VOTER newsletter
April 2019-Volume 71, Issue No.3

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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 SJ/SC
This year the California Primary has moved to March 2020, only a year away! This means an earlier and compressed election system for Election 2020. So far there are no ballot measures scheduled for the March election; we'll let you know if we need to present Pros and Cons on any propositions or local measures. As always there are many opportunities for participating in the process.  We are beginning to develop a list of those of you interested in the different opportunities. Training in these areas will be provided later. Voters Edge, our premier information source on candidates and issues needs volunteers to help input data and to help gather candidates' statements. If you can assist contact Judy Conner.
Candidate forums are those important programs that we provide to have civil discussions on the issues facing our community. You can volunteer for this program by contacting Sandy Mory. Registering voters and getting out the vote continue as priorities. Interested? Contact Cheryl Fuelleman with your ideas. Later in the year, presentations on ballot measures will occur. Information will follow. If you'd like to participate contact  Martha Beattie.

Unsure about how to be involved or who to contact, you can always contact me with questions and ideas. We'd like you to join us in our Spring Into League Event to meet members and learn about all our programs. Register below for either of the two times: Saturday, April 13 or Thursday, April 25.

Following up on last month's letter, I want to alert you to a program sponsored by League of Women Voters US. LWVUS is hosting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webinars in April-Register here and May-Register here on the fourth Thursday from 7-8pm CT. All will be recorded and shared on the League Management Site on the LWVUS website.
Thanks for all you energy and inspiring activities,

Thank you to the following members
for  contributions for our League:
Deborah Garvey, Pamela Hammer, Judy Stabile
Welcome to  New Members
Sharon Jackson, Malini Nair
Lunch with League - April 18, 11:00am
Why Volunteer? Don't I Already Have Enough on My Plate?
Speaker: Jasneet  Anand, Action Center Coordinator, Vibha Bay Area

Jasneet Anand
Our speaker is Jasneet Anand, Action Center Coordinator, Vibha Bay Area.  She has been volunteering with Vibha, a non-profit organisation working for heath, education and rehabilitation needs of underprivileged children in India and US for over 13 years. Vibha's mission is to educate, empower and enable any individual who wants to make a difference in the life of an underprivileged child.

Jasneet has a Master's Degree in Computer Science and works full time in the semi-conductor industry. She has two teenage kids and teaches Zumba style dance. Volunteering has given her life a balance between earning big dollars, driving the kids to classes and yet staying humble and connected to the basic needs of underprivileged.   Come learn how she keeps a positive outlook and manages her full life!
Jasneet Anand
Action Center Coordinator
Vibha Bay Area

T opic: Why Volunteer? Don't I Already Have Enough on My Plate?

Thursday, April 18, 11:00am to 1pm

Free Parking is across the street from the restaurant.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 16th by going to and filling out the form, including your choice of entree. Beverages include coffee, ice tea, and soda. Select entree: Grilled Chicken Salad; Sausage, Mushroom, and Peppers Sandwich; Minestrone Soup and half Italian Combo on Roll (Capicollo, provolone, vinaigrette, lettuce and tomatoes); Siciliana Salad (Mixed Green Salad, Oranges, Tomatoes, Onion, Anchovies, Olives); Burger (w/cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, with fries); Penne Palermo. You may also RSVP by sending an email with your choice of entree  to or call Marie Arnold,  629-5340.

We meet at 11:00am and are served lunch at 11:30am. The guest speaker begins her talk at noon for 15-20 minutes and then invites attendees to ask questions and give comments. LwL ends at 1pm. 

The price of lunch is $20 payable in cash at the door or, if you don't want to worry about having cash, you can prepay just after you register by using PayPal which will take a credit card or a personal PayPal account. 


Spring Into the League Events in April!

Spring Into the League! 

Register NOW for our Spring Member Event
Join us for our upcoming member event 
Spring Into The League.
Choose one of two convenient times to hear about
San Jose/Santa Clara League's planned activities for 2019.
Saturday April 13 10:00am
Thursday April 25 6:00pm
If you are a long-time member or a new member,
this fun and informative event will outline our 2019 program
and help you become involved in this year's important work.
Please share this experience - bring a friend!
Register  NOW .  Space is limited.

Oak Grove Resource Fair, Friday, April 19th
Cheryl Fuelleman, Chair, Voter Service Committee
Speaking to students and registering students - manning a table at the fair.

Last year, the League partnered with Oak Grove HS to bring its first ever resource fair. We would love your presence at this event again this year as we try to expand and make it even better.   Here is some information that will be helpful:
Location: Oak Grove HS (285 Blossom Hill Rd., SJ 95123) 
Time: Small Gym Resource Fair 11:30-1pm
           Room X1 Guest Speakers (8:15am-tbd) Based on availability of guest speakers
Purpose of Event This resource fair and day of speakers was in response to the student walkouts that happened last year after the Florida school shooting.  While we support our students' voices and activism, we also wanted to show them there were other ways to use our voices and energy.  So, we arranged an avenue for mental/self health groups and community agencies to connect with young people on our campus. The idea is connection.  Isolation leads to a disdain for the community and self.  Connected people are less likely to harm themselves and others around them.  Last year was very successful.  Students found volunteer opportunities, learned about civic engagement, how to communicate with law enforcement, or simply found a community of people like themselves.  

Again, this event is scheduled for Friday, April 19th.  Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have and if you want to participate:

Advocacy Volunteer Opportunity:
LWVC Representative to Coalition on Abolishing the Death Penalty
A coalition is being formed to work on   death penalty action in California. The League of Women Voters supports abolition of the death penalty. In California, the League has supported both legislative and initiative measures to abolish the death penalty. We are looking for a League member to represent us at coalition meetings.

Volunteer Representative Duties: Attend coalition meetings and report back to the LWVC advocacy team on coalition work, including recommendations on actions the LWVC should take.  
  • Help coordinate LWVC action.
  • With LWVC advocacy team, determine when and how LWVC should speak out on death penalty.
    For more information contact  
Program Planning Focus Established
By Roma Dawson, Program Chair
Our annual program planning meeting was held on January 26 at the home of Alice Thorn with 16 members attending. In odd numbered years, local Leagues make recommendations to the LWV of California board that lead to adoption of a statewide program. Delegates to the LWV United States convention last June re-adopted a national Campaign for Making Democracy Work (MDW) program with a focus on: voter protection and mobilization; election reform; and money in politics, constitutional amendment process and redistricting. Notes on Ongoing Work and Opportunities provided background on what the League will be doing to implement MDW in California: expanding the electorate, election reform, money in politics, redistricting, and the 2020 Census.
Traditionally, LWVC asks each League to chose our top three priorities for inclusion in Issues for Emphasis 2019-2021. Those in attendance selected housing/homelessness, climate change/natural resources and immigration. There were no adopted positions recommended for revision. Two proposals for new positions were supported by concurrence for inclusion in the state convention program: Criminal Justice Reform and Voter Representation/Election Process. However, the group added a comment to Voter Representation/Election Process as follows: A State study should be done prior to the State recommending a specific voter system or process.
In addition to selecting what priorities we want to recommend to the State board, members discussed where LWV SJ/SC should focus for July 2019 through June 2020. Five priorities were selected: Affordable Housing; Climate Change/Natural Resources; Schools and Communities First (Prop 13 reform); Making Democracy Work; and, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Two proposed positions for concurrence on Homelessness and Civil Discourse arrived after our January 26 meeting.    
LWVC board members carefully consider the input from Leagues as they formulate a recommended program. The program planning process culminates in the delegates' adoption of the statewide program during the Convention to be held May 30 - June 2 in Pasadena. The hands-on work of members that attended our LWV SJ/SC program planning meeting along with others throughout the State matters. It impacts what the LWVC board recommends for adoption as our 2019-2021 California priorities. Please send me requests for more information and any suggestions to make program planning more engaging in 2020, Roma Dawson .


From Marching to Voting: The Impact of Youth Turnout on Midterms
By Arushi Bansal, Student, Notre Dame HS
The March for Our Lives movement that began in 2018 made it clear that the youth of this nation have a voice and won't stop until that voice is heard. Nothing showcased this better than the 2018 midterm elections, when eligible youth cast their vote, demonstrating their participation in our political system. CIRCLE estimated that 31% of citizens from ages 18-29 voted in the Midterms, marking a 10% rise from 2014 turnout and the highest participation in the last quarter century. A Brookings survey found top priorities of youth when voting included gun reform, access to higher education, and healthcare reform. This rise in youth turnout, coupled with a desire for social reform, influenced several close races across the nation that determined which party gained control of Congress.

Pew Research finds that the midterms marked a clear age divide, with youth often favoring the Democratic candidate. Among first time voters, 62% voted Democratic, compared to 36% who voted Republican. This divide was showcased in many state elections. In traditionally Republican-state Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams almost upset Republican Brian Kemp, in large part because counties with high youth populations voted for Abrams 7% more than the state average, and counties with high percentages of youth and people of color voted for Abrams 22% more. Similarly in Montana, Democratic Senator Jon Tester almost gained victory due to a doubling in youth turnout, and in Nevada, the 20% rise in voter turnout provided Democrat Jacky Rosen a large enough margin to gain victory and flip the Senate seat.

High youth turnout in the 2018 Midterms played a key factor in the Democrats gaining control of the House. Consequently, it would be wise for all of us to keep our eyes on our teens, who have gone from marching on the streets to voting at the polls.

Works Cited:

League Members Reaching out to Homeless
Brainstorming in March at Lunch with League

At lunch with League in March, we relearned the tremendous problem of homelessness. One member, Robin Hayr shared what one person could do to improve the situation by direct action. Her suggestions for successful advocacy:

Things to consider when reaching out to a homeless person:

* First, build TRUST between the two of you. Provide coffee/a sandwich and conversation several times before "helping".

* ASK what is needed. A phone and transportation are necessary items. Many services for food, clothing, medical, etc. are available, but out of reach without transportation.

* Free phones are available through Medi-Cal and County Social Services.

* A transportation account can be set up with VTA, or you can provide transportation. A bike can be earned by working at Good Karma for Bikes, SJ (408-291-0501).

* Important Resources include NAMI, the Dept. of Social Services, SC Housing Authority, Dept. of Aging and Adult Services, Catholic Social Services, the Office of Housing and Homeless Support Services, the Center for Independent Living, Gardner Family Health Network,...plan on spending lots of time on the computer and telephone.

* Do not give or loan money to the person.

Bill Status Report - LWV California
Based on  our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
  • Bill Status Report: Bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommends action.
Need help with legislative terms? Try this useful  glossary.

California is better when we all work together...
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:

Rita Norton interviews Lori Mitchell,
Director of Community Energy,
San José  Clean Energy
Airs: Weeks of April 8 and April 22

Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Susan Wilson, LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission of Santa Clara County)
Airs: Weeks of April 1, 15 & 29

with Susan Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming and On-Demand from your computer

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.

April 13
New Member Event - Spring into League
April 18 Voter Registration at US Naturalization Ceremony
April 18 Lunch with League
April 19 Oak Grove Resource Fair
April 25 New Member Event - Spring into League
April 27 2019 Biennial Council - Business Mtg and Voter Services 101
May 30-June 2 LWVC Statewide Convention

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 LWV SJ/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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