LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Newsletter
Making Democracy Work
November  2017-Volume 70, Issue No.3

In This Issue
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League of Women Voters

San Jose / Santa Clara

P. O. Box 5374
San Jose, California 95150 

President's Message
Mary Collins
 Mary Collins  President,  LWV SJSC

As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of you who wrote to the Santa Clara Valley Water District opposing the Waterfix two tunnel proposal. Roberta Hollimon, our chair of the County Council of all five county Leagues, ably represented us and spoke to the League opposition to the plan. As a result of the many community comments and their own study, the District directors voted no on the two tunnel proposition while looking to plan methods for securing a safe water supply for our area.

This action demonstrates the importance of communicating with elected officials and responding to League Action alerts. These alerts encourage response to key League action issues and support our legislative advocacy. Your messages are part of this advocacy.

If you are not signed up to receive action alerts from the League of Women Voters US or the League of Women Voters California, here are the links to use to do so. 

In local action, two committees are at work reviewing San Jose land use issues. One, the Coyote Valley update study group, hosted a tour of the Coyote Valley October 21st to enable members to see first-hand this important area and to hear from Open Space Authority, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and agricultural interests. A fuller report about the tour follows in this Voter. The group will be presenting a consensus meeting for the update in March 2018. Should you like to join this group contact Trixie Johnson.

Second, the board authorized a new committee to evaluate our existing positions on land use and good government procedures to prepare a response to a new proposed development in Evergreen Valley. This calls for a change in the San Jose master plan by ballot. You may receive flyers about the project and be solicited to sign petitions calling for the ballot measure.  If you would like to join this committee, contact  Roma Dawson.

Our standing committee on Climate Change continues to monitor the new San Jose Clean Energy Plan rollout.

Be on the alert for a fundraising letter coming to you on behalf of our League after Thanksgiving. Last year we had a wonderful response which enabled us to increase budgets particularly in Voter Service. While this year is a nonelection year, we know next year will call for increased efforts.

Hopefully, you will be as generous as you can to enable us to continue and expand our work.  Each one of you, in one way or another, has made a commitment to making Democracy Work.

Thank you for your continuing support.


Thank you to the following members 
for contributions for our League:

Sandy Mory, Alice & Rod Thorn

Lunch with League - November 16th, 11am-1pm (New Starting time)
Speaker: Linda J. LeZotte, SC Valley Water District, Director - District 4

Linda J. LeZotte, Director of District 4, Santa Clara Valley Water District, represents the City of Campbell, portions of the Willow Glen and Cambrian communities, and North Almaden and Blossom Hill areas of San Jose. Linda was re-elected to the Board in 2014 and served as Chair of the Board in 2012. Linda is a local attorney with 30 years of practice specializing in the areas of land use, environmental and municipal law, and corporate development.

For eight years, Linda served as a distinguished member of the San Jose City Council leading 
the green building/sustainability policy discussion, and six years as a San Jose Planning 
Commissioner. She is one of a select group of Silicon Valley and California attorneys who are 
accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and 
Environmental Design Accredited Professional) in new construction. 

Linda chaired the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Sustainable Buildings Initiative, and served on 
the Bay Area Climate Collaborative-Green Building Group, and the Cities Association Green 
Building Collaborative. She is also on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Silicon Valley.

Linda J. LeZotte
Director - District 4, Santa Clara Valley Water District
Topic: Water Management

Thursday, November 16th, New time
11am to 1pm 


Please let us know that you are planning to attend by going
and filling out the form on that page.
RSVP BY Monday, November 13th

We are also adding the ability to prepay for the event using your credit card or PayPal account.  Then you need not have cash with you on Thursday!   

The cost is $23 at the door, or, if you prepay, $23.82, which includes processing fees.
(No shows may be charged for their lunch.)

Or, rsvp to Marie, 408-629-5340

Santana Row
(Drive in from Winchester and Olin Street, turn right into garage)
Maggiano Parking view
Maggiano Parking in on OLIN 

Enter Olin Street and parking is on the right side; after parking, cross the street to Maggiano's.
PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE:  We'll meet/greet at 11:00, eat at 11:30, our speaker will present at 12 noon for 15-20 minutes with Q/A to follow. We'll be finished by 1:00pm so that people can return to work, etc. 

Maggiano's family style luncheon is a set menu:
The Menu: Freshly baked ciabatta rolls, classic bruschetta, Maggiano's salad, Rigatoni with marinara sauce, and Chicken piccata.  Vera's lemon cookies for dessert. Choice of drinks: coffee, hot or iced tea, and sodas. 

Cost for Lunch is $23 which includes an entree, beverage, and dessert cookies.
Check-in is 11am. Please come prepared to pay cash if you have not paid online.

Annual Fundraising 2017
By Karen Warner Nelson, Development Committee Chair

What comes to mind first, when you think about our democracy? 
Justice for you, your family and all those you care about? 
Your liberty to vote and vote for whom you choose?
Your freedom of speech and peaceful assembly?
Equality for all?
And other important democratic values for ourselves and our posterity.

The League of Women Voters has, for almost 100 years, worked to protect our democracy.  Our efforts are now more important and more challenging than we've experienced in nearly a lifetime.  
You know what LWV SJ/SC has been doing over many years.  Our focus for 2018 is to:
  • Protect our voting rights with voter registration and voter education efforts.
  • Educate a more diverse community of residents with programs that provide an opportunity to meet important civic leaders and providers of critical services for our region by "Lunch with League" and the new "Evening with League" that gives working people the opportunity to engage on civic topics.
  • Expand monitoring and outreach regarding our environment and climate, housing, transportation and other critical issues in our region.
  • Produce CreaTV programing that offers dynamic interviews with civic leaders to share important need-to-know information that residents access through YouTube and Comcast.
  • Engage our elected officials and civic leaders with well-considered positions on key community issues.
  • And many other important educational and advocacy actions.

Your financial support will help keep us growing strong.
By donating
during our annual fundraising
You Can Help

Please support the League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara today! Your generous tax-deductible donation of any amount will make a difference. 
Donate online with PayPal or use your credit card by going to this link:

And you can also donate by check when you receive the Annual Fundraising letter in late November.

Thanks for helping make our democracy work!

Volunteer: Junior Statesman Political Faire, New Citizen Ceremony
Suzanne Sikora, Voter Services Chair
Saturday, November 11th, our League is participating in the Junior Statesman Association  Political Faire, which will be held at the Santa Clara Marriott from 1:30-3:30pm. About 500+ high school students from around northern California attend the convention. Groups attending the faire consist of a wide array of public and private organizations.

We will have a booth with League materials and be ready to answer any political questions these students may have. While these are high school students, and few 18 years old, registration and preregistration can be done. Members who have participated describe this as a fun event!  If you are interested in participating, contact Suzanne Sikora 

Another date to keep in mind, January 18, 2018, our Local League has been requested to participate in registering voters after the New Citizen Ceremony. We will require volunteers to participate in the three registration sessions.  Details will be distributed in early December.

League-Hosted Tour of Coyote Valley: Ag, Water, Recreation, Wildlife
By Judy Chamberlin and Liz Bogatin-Starr
Thank you to our newly-formed committee on Coyote Valley for organizing an informative Saturday morning for League members to learn more about Coyote Valley in preparation for updating our position on land use in that area. The morning was enhanced by a bus tour which allowed us to not only understand but also experience Coyote Valley. Several experts pointed out the very valuable aspects of the valley (agriculture, water, recreation, wildlife). Sibella Kraus, founder and president of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE), showed us small farms and we looked at a map of Coyote Valley agriculture with data about 1,956 acres of prime farmland encompassing 33 small farms. And, the passion of the Coyote Valley Nursery owner was clear; some of the plots have been owned and farmed by the same family for several generations.

League Members, OSA, and SC Valley Water District

It was especially interesting to hear speaker Andrea Mackenzie, Open Space Authority General Manager, say that land set aside for preservation must now meet several criteria and be multi-purpose. We saw that for ourselves as we stood near the Fisher Creek flood plain and watched birds soar while on a nearby farm cows grazed and hikers and bicyclists passed us. 

The bus tour stopped for discussions and views of the new Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve and Coyote Valley Nursery in Morgan Hill before heading north on Monterey Highway and wrapping up the tour at the junction of Fisher Creek and Coyote Creek. John Varella, Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District's Board of Directors, who also represents District 1, which includes Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and the Coyote Valley area, and District staff Brian Mendenhall discussed water supply and groundwater, the aquifer, the water table being only 10 feet below, natural groundwater recharge capability, and flood management.
The tour was planned as part of the research and education prior to updating our local position on Coyote Valley. Look for more information regarding Coyote Valley and upcoming update on our position in early 2018.

Annual Holiday Party - Save the Date
Tuesday, December 5th, 5 to 8pm, downtown San Jose

Save the Date -Dec 6th

            SAVE THE DATE

League Annual Holiday Party

Tuesday, December 5th
5 to 8 pm

in downtown San Jose

More information to come later this month.

Use AmazonSmile for Another No Cost Way to Donate to LWV SJ/SC 
Martha Beattie and Karen Warner Nelson
We have told you about GoodSearch for the past several years, a place where web searches and shopping in various stores can give our League extra money at no cost to you.  Now we have another great opportunity!  AmazonSmile.
We're excited to announce that by shopping from AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to LWV SJSC.  A mazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that 100% mirrors (same products, same prices and same flow thru Prime membership shipping policy) with the ADDED BENEFIT that when you shop on AmazonSmile (
the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to our League.
It's very easy to donate. 
Here's How to Sign Up for AmazonSmile and Donate
  • Log-in to AmazonSmile (
    • If you are already an Amazon member, you'll sign in with your email or mobile phone and your Amazon password.
    • If you are NEW to Amazon, use the link right below the Amazon sign-in that asks you to create an Amazon account.
  • When logging into AmazonSmile for the first time you are prompted to select a charitable organization from a list to "pick your preferred charitable organization". Type in and search for League Of Women Voters Of San Jose-Santa Clara.  You'll be asked to select this charity.  That's it! 
  • And then be sure to log into AmazonSmile ( for all future purchases.  Eligible purchases will generate the 0.5% of purchase DONATION.
Is There Any Cost or Fee for AmazonSmile?
No. There is no cost to you or the League .  With AmazonSmile, the shopping experience is identical to, including your Prime member shipping benefits. (Karen just started using AmazonSmile three weeks ago and purchases already generated $3.78 for our League!)

Our Hope
We're definitely not encouraging you to shop with Amazon more than you normally do.  By using AmazonSmile, the combined impact of all our purchases will make a difference for our programs and actions. GO TEAM!
Thanks from the LWV SJ/SC Fundraising Committee

Panel Discussions

Evaluation Committee Forming to Review Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative
By Roma Dawson, Program Chair
Many San Jose voters recently received a brochure supporting the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative (Initiative), with major funding by Ponderosa Homes.  Proponents are gathering signatures for a measure that allows for the creation of up to 910 residential units for active, independent seniors age 55 or older with at least 20% designated for affordable housing with a preference given to veterans. 
Former Evergreen council member Pat Sausedo - now employed by the Building Industry Association - notes that the Initiative turns unused industrial land into a senior community while enabling existing homes to be added to the re-sale market. Mayor Liccardo states, "This is about billionaires building a gated community for millionaires and calling it affordable housing." He further maintains that it upends San Jose's careful land use planning process.
The controversial Initiative was discussed by your League Board during its October meeting. Members voted to form an Evaluation Committee lead by Roma Dawson. Pat Reardon will co-chair. The Committee's first task will be to compare the Initiative to existing LWV policies at local, regional, state and national levels. Interested LWV members are invited to participate, email  Roma Dawson by November 15.

Can We Get Rid of the Electoral College?  Tuesday, November 7, 7pm
Speaker Jack N. Rakove, Sponsored by LWV of Southwest Santa Clara Valley
On Tuesday, November 7, at 7:00 P.M. at the Saratoga Library, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Professor Jack N. Rakove, will provide a historical context on the Electoral College and present information on how it has affected politics in our country. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Southwest Santa Clara Valley in conjunction with the Saratoga Library, the program will explore what it would take to do away with the Electoral College and have the U.S. presidency determined by national popular vote.
This event is free and open to the general public. The Saratoga Library is located at 13650 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga. For Questions Contact: lwv.swscv@gmail. com or (408) 598-1842 and the Saratoga Library (408) 867-6126.
Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
  • Bill Status Report for 2017: Bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommended action.
  • Bills of Interest:This report includes bills being "followed" by the League, on which no formal position of support or opposition has been taken, as well as bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommended action.  
Need help with legislative terms? Try this useful glossary .

Sign up for Action Alerts - League of Women Voters California 
League of Women Voters California (LWVC) grassroots action network
Join the League of Women Voters California (LWVC) grassroots action network to advocate on the issues you care about in your community. Action Alerts provide up-to-date information on bills and legislation: Voting Rights and Elections, Money in Politics, Immigration, Education, Housing, Transportation, Climate Change, Health and more...

SIGN UP HERE  to receive LWVC Action Alerts and be notified when your voice is needed.

Read More
League and Community Activities

LWV Presents: Insights and Perspectives
Comcast Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm and Sun, 4:30pm; Ch 27, Wed, 5:30pm
The best way to describe Channel 30 and Bay Voice Channel 27 is TV "by the community for the community." Channels 30 and 27 air non-commercial, member-produced videos that educate, express views, and expose talents to the San Jose community and beyond.  

Connect to our League Web Site for current and archived Insights and Perspectives broadcasts:   Insights and Perspectives recorded broadcasts

Schedule of Airings 
Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm, Sun, 4:30pm
Channel 27, Wed, 5:30pm 

Patty Cattoor, Rosaleen Zisch
November Airings
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Patty Cattoor, Supervisor of Student Nutrition, Morgan Hill Unified School District.
Monday, Nov 13, and Dec 4

CREA Coyote Valley
Deb Kramer, Imelda Rodriguez, Gloria Chun Hoo
Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Deb Kramer, Executive Director,  Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful; Imelda Rodriguez, Communications Director, CommUniverCity San Jose and Coyote Meadows Coalition
Monday, Nov 6

Pam Vavra interviews Tamara Alvarez, Executive Director, School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
Tamara Alvarez
Tamara Alvarez, Pam Vavra
Monday, Nov 20, and Dec 11

Rosaleen Zisch interviews Ariadna Manzo, President and
Ariadna Manzo
Ariadna Manzo, Rosaleen Zisch
Chief Executive of SJSU Associated Students.
Monday, Nov 27, and Dec 18

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming from your computer 
Watch CREATV Channel 30 shows on your computer with an internet connection. 
Information on many of these events is available in this newsletter. See our  website calendar  for current listings and more information.  If you'd like more information but don't have web access, contact the League at (408) 271-7163.

Nov 4 Board Meeting
Nov 11 Junior Statesman Association Political Faire
Nov 16 Lunch with League
Dec 2 Board Meeting
Dec 5 Holiday Party
Jan 6 Board Meeting
Jan 18, 2018 New Citizens Ceremony
Jan 20, 2018 Program Planning
Feb 3, 2018 Bay Area League Day

Address / Email Change
To keep our records current please send any changes to your address, email address, or phone number, to our Dues Secretary, Sandy Remmers.  The only updates she receives are on the renewal form which is only sent once a year.
The Voter
Submissions due the 20th of the month
The LWVSJ/SC Voter is distributed monthly.  Article deadline is the 20th of the month.  If you have questions or comments, contact Liz Bogatin-Starr, the Voter Editor.

  Democracy is not a spectator sport!  Educate!  Advocate!
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