Serving the people of San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Morgan Hill & Gilroy
May 2021
President's Message from Carol Watts

Revised Local Governance Position heads to Annual Meeting on June 5 for member approval
We reached consensus on proposed changes to one of our positions! The Study Committee for Local Governance in San Jose worked hard to prepare written materials before a Consensus Meeting on April 24 and to present a summary of that material at the meeting. Let’s thank everyone who made such significant contributions to this important and challenging effort:

Co-Chairs Vicki Alexander and Virginia Holtz contributed their enthusiasm, leadership and experience.

Committee members Marie Arnold, Martha Beattie, Roma Dawson, Curtis Jones, Diane McNutt, Sandy Mory, Randall Studstill and Taryn Upchurch worked very well together, attending Zoom meetings at least every two weeks since October and spending countless hours between meetings on research and thoughtful consideration of issues and options. 

Read the article below to learn about this project.

The process to produce an updated position continues next month when we will ask our members to approve the new wording. This happens at our Annual Meeting of all members on Saturday, June 5. Other important items are on the agenda: 

• Kickoff Speaker: We are pleased to host our own LWV California President Carol Moon Goldberg who will discuss how the levels of League can interact and work together. 

• Approval of a budget for the upcoming year.

• Election of officers and directors.

Look for the Annual Meeting Kit in your email on or before May 16 which includes the agenda and background information on the votes we ask all members to REGISTER for this important meeting today!

Don’t miss hearing from the founders of the award-winning San José Spotlight news service Josh Barousse and Ramona Giwargis at LUNCH WITH LEAGUE May 20. Read more information below and see you there!

Virtual Lunch With League
"Changing the Face of Local Journalism"
Thursday, May 20, 2021, 12 noon
A Zoom Online Event

The League welcomes the co-founders of San José SpotlightJosh Barousse and Ramona Giwargis – to Lunch With League on Thursday, May 20, 12 noon-1 p.m. They will discuss the history and mission of the city’s first nonprofit news organization dedicated to independent political and business reporting. They refer to San José Spotlight as “the community’s newsroom” that seeks to ignite civic engagement, educate citizens and strengthen our democracy.

Josh has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations in Silicon Valley and beyond and serves as Spotlight’s Director of Development. Ramona has covered politics and government for more than 10 years and previously worked as the Mercury News San Jose City Hall reporter. To learn more about them and Spotlight, visit San José Spotlight.

REGISTER HERE for Virtual Lunch With League.

Also note Thursday, June 17 on your calendar when we will hear from Russell Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
League of Women Voters
of San Jose/Santa Clara

Saturday, June 5
10 a.m.-12 noon via Zoom

Priorities for 2021-22
Revisions to position on governance structure in San Jose
Adoption of 2021-22 budget
Election of Officers and Board
Updates on accomplishments and future plans

Register to attend HERE


Consensus Meeting discussed proposed revisions
to Local Governance in San Jose Position
A Consensus Meeting to discuss proposed revisions to the League's position on Local Governance in San Jose was held on April 24 attended by 27 members and four non-members. After hearing background presentations by members of the Study Committee who have been working on the position update for seven months, League members discussed six Consensus questions to provide input for the final draft that will be presented at the Annual Meeting on June 5.

The current League position was last updated in 1986. With the proposed changes, the revised position better aligns with a typical League position that focuses on idealistic goals and not on specific mechanics of how those goals might be achieved. For example, the new position includes 17 principles of effective government organizations and support of democracy that should be reflected in any governance structure under consideration.

Read the Local Governance in San Jose Study Report HERE.
For more information, go to the League Convention website HERE.   

Upcoming Meetings Of Interest

Community Listening Session: San Jose Police Department's Response
to Local Demonstrations
Thursday, May 6, 6 p.m. via Zoom

Individuals who participated in local demonstrations against police violence or were on-lookers in San Jose are invited to share their personal narratives with an independent consulting firm hired by the City of San José to review SJPD's response to local demonstration. Log onto Zoom for meeting ID 933 5418 8832, Password 963812.

El Camino Real Specific Plan
Monday, May 10, 6 p.m.

A special meeting of the Santa Clara Planning Commission will be held prior to the Commission making a recommendation to City Council about adoption of the El Camino Real Specific Plan. You can review the Environmental Impact Report and Specific Plan document HERE. If you know of other important issues in the City of Santa Clara that you would like to share with League members, please email For more information about public meetings in Santa Clara visit

Quick Links
Join the League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara HERE
Donate to the League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara HERE