Skip to main content

Follow Us

Social networking will appear here

Support Us

Join  |   Donate  |   Volunteer  |   Newsletter 

Contact Us

LWV - Sonoma County
555 Fifth St. Suite 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
Phone #: 707-546-5943
Copyright © 2020 • All Rights Reserved • Terms of Use Privacy Policy • Powered by ClubExpress

News / Articles

The Voter - April 2024

Published on 4/15/2024
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.
Your Vote is Your Voice

The Voter
The official Newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
Volume29, Issue 4
In this Issue:
Voter Service

Monthly Meetings
April15that 5:30 PM

Monthly Meetings

By Leona Judson

Our March monthly meeting on the 18thwas an excellent presentation by Mary-Frances Walsh, director of NAMI, and Chief John Cregan of Santa Rosa. They discussed the inReach mental health response program as well as well as other county wide efforts. This program has had a positive effect on how people experiencing a mental health crisis are treated. The session was recorded for those that missed it and is now on our YouTube channel. It is well worth checking out.

OnApril15that 5:30 PM (note the time change) our monthly meeting will feature the Regional Climate Protection Authority also known as RCPA. Tanya Narath, the chief executive director, will give us an update on their Climate Change Initiative. Register hereZoom Link. This should be a timely program as our changing climate is here.

What is a General Plan? Our cities and county are working on these general plans, including having public hearings. OnMay 20th, we will hear from Jessica Jones who the deputy director of the Planning & Economic Development Department of Santa Rosa. She has been deeply involved in the general plan process.Learn about the role and relevance of this important planning process.

OnJune 24thwe will hold our Annual Membership Meeting. Details to follow. Mark your calendar.

Voter Service Committee
Therese Scherrer, Chair


Voter Service Help Wanted!

Stay Tuned for Volunteer Training Opportunities

As the League approaches the general election season, the Voter Service Committee is in planning, recruiting and training mode. It’s time to reach out to involve new volunteers. Key to prep for the next election cycle is securing effective leadership for the coming year. The board is seeking leaders for the Voter Service Committee – chair or co-chairs – starting July 1, 2024. Other volunteer positions are available to assist in the League’s core function of voter education. Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons development offer many opportunities that require a few hours during election season. It’s the most effective way to contribute to ensuring a more informed voting public. Please join us as we gear up for volunteer training this summer.

For more info about the open positions, contact Karen Weeks or Therese Scherrer atelections@lwvsonoma


Pros & Cons Are Revving Up for the November Election

Pros & Cons of the State ballot propositions are something the public has come to rely on.Our non-partisan, unbiased look at both sides of each proposition gives the public the opportunity to make their own decisions and be better informed voters.

For the March primary election, we partnered with the Marin League to produce a pros and cons recording for State Ballot Proposition 1 and Sonoma County Measure H.These videos were posted on both League’s websites.

I’m pleased to report that local Sonoma County Measure H received over 325 views on the Sonoma LWV YouTube channel.Prop 1 received a whopping4900 viewson the Marin & Sonoma YouTube sites combined.

Special thanksto our members Connie WilliamsandLaraine Kelmanalong with Marin memberSara Thorpewho researched and recorded Measure H.And, thanks to Marin membersAnn Wakeley&Joan Rentsch&Carol Joy Harrisfor doing an excellent job researching and producing the Prop 1 recording.Your dedication and professionalism are what made these productions the success they were!!

PROS & CONS ARE ONE OF THE LEAGUE’S MOST FUN, SHORT-TERM ACTIVITIES.If you like research, working with others, and/or being a presenter THEN THIS IS FOR YOU.We’re expecting to have more than 7 state & a few county-wide local measures on the November 5thballot.We will need all hands on deck!!The process spans from mid-August thru mid-October 2024. Please join our team!!

Contact Lynn Dooley atprosandcons@marinlwv.orgtoday!!

Message from Our President
Donna Roper

We sometimes get complacent about democracy living in California and especially, Sonoma County. Our rights are rarely threatened, and our state tends to do what’s right on issues that we care about BUT that can change in an instant which we see around the country. Money in politics has become insidious, redistricting can alter a community, and fake news limits the “truth” of what we read and hear.

Elections should be about the voters not big money interests. Redistricting, orcommunity districting,is the process ofcreating representationaldistrict maps for states and local communities.It impactshowour communitiesare represented and how resources are distributed.Mis- and dis-information are two of the most dangerous tools used to undermine our democracy and the value of every person’s voice.

That’s why the League of Women Voters is so important to support. We emphasize non- partisanship; we provide pros and cons on most issues; and we believe that voters should play a critical role in democracy.

One of our tools is whichprovides both general and state-specific nonpartisan resources to the voting public, including a polling place locator, a ballot look-up tool, candidate positions on issues, and more.

Our other “tool” is you- the voter, the volunteer, the interested person. We need you to show up, stand up and speak up for democracy in Sonoma County. On our website, you will see opportunities both large and small for volunteering. Please join us!


League Social

Saturday, May 4, 2024

at 2pm



Sip, Munch & Mingle!

Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 2pm

Come Join us for an LWV-Sonoma Social!

Meet wonderful, interesting LWVers.

Light appetizers for munching!

Wine & non-alcoholic beverages for sipping.

At Judie’s home in Oakmont (Santa Rosa).

Fun, Friendly, Welcoming!

Registration Required.




Take Action

LWVUS has two exciting opportunities for Leagues to take action on federal legislative priorities this year.

TheJohn R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:LWVUS has created atemplate letter for state and local Leaguesto input local stories and data from their communities and send to their member(s) of Congress in support of the JLVRAA.These letters will demonstrate the need for passage of the JLVRAA by elevating the impact this legislation has on the local and state level. State Leagues may use this template to send a letter to members of the Senate representing their state, and local Leagues may use this template to send a letter to their members of the House after coordinating with their state League leadership.Letters should be completed before 2024 LWVUS Convention.All completed letters should also be sent toadvocacy@lwv.orgfor our records.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): LWVUS has authored a memo calling on US Congress and the Administration to take every action in their authority to ensure the publication of the Equal Rights Amendment. To demonstrate nationwide support, our goal is to get sign-on from all 50 state Leagues and the District of Columbia League. This opportunity isjust for state Leagues.

Webinars of Interest

Election Disinformation

There was a powerful webinar on March 21ston “Combating Election Disinformation in2024”. This was a joint effort by the Leadership Conference, Common Cause & Spitfire Strategies. The panelists walked through the role of AI and the many bad actors wanting to disrupt our elections. The panelists also discussed ways to spot disinformation and ways to counteract its effects. Here is the link to the recording.Webinar

The Freedom to Read

Our LWV and the Santa Rosa AAUW joined forces to hold an in-person free event March 9thon the threat of book banning, a phenomenon in public schools felt around the country. The panelists were Leona Judson from our league, Deborah Doyle, librarian from the Sonoma County Library Commission, and author, J.J. Elliot. Taryn Young, President of the AAUW started off with some background on the effects of book banning. Leona spoke of the role of school board elections and how they are being influenced by the conservative group called Moms for Liberty. Deborah spoke on the need to keep our libraries free and open to all. She described how libraries in many communities can come under fire by elected officials. JJ Elliot, the author, described the difficulty of getting a book published, especially if it is on a controversial topic, which could get much worse if publishers become concerned about the impact of book bans. She offered this quote:Books have medicine in them and have the power to heal”.

There was general agreement that elections are important and communicating with elected officials directly is more effective than simply posting on social media. Yes, the freedom to read is not a privilege but a right. We cannot allow others to decide for us what we can or cannot read. That is called censorship.

To learn more about the banning of books go to PEN AmericaPen America


LWVSC Calendar

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest scheduleand for location or links to virtual meetings.

Link to Calendar

New Members

Loretta Garcia (Cotati)

Shirley Davis (Cloverdale)

Patricia Andrews (Santa Rosa)

Kathleen Meadows (Santa Rosa)

Taryn Young (Santa Rosa)

It's great to have you on our team.

Vote 411

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

Vote 411 (California) is taking a breather as we gear up for the November general election in the late summer. The immediate action (see below) is the fun and exciting news that Vote 411 has been nominated for the “Best Government & Civil Innovation Website” by the 28thAnnual Webby People’s Voice Awards.

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996, the award was presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS). The Academy is comprised of leading internet experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, and creative celebrities, and by former Webby winners. Nominees are from a wide range of industries and categories.

IMMEDIATE ACTION: Please vote for the League of Women Voters no later than April 18th

  • Go to:
  • Once there, using the “search” button, enter “League of Women Voters”
  • “— League of Women VotersGovernment & Associations”will pop up at the bottom on the left.
  • Click on "Government & Associations"and you'll get to the voting site where there will be a few (4 or 5 ) entries.
  • Votefor Vote411. You will receive an email to confirm that you are not a robot. Please respond so that your vote counts.
  • Spread the word to your friends and other LWV members.

As of publication, the League of Women Voters leads in votes for the Government & Innovation Website category. Let’s win this!

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator


The LWV Elections Ambassador Program has been taking shape thanks to the hard work of Robyn Bramhall and Chris Riezenman.Robyn and Chris presented this peer to peer voter registration program to Santa Rosa Junior College’s Student Government Assembly and Interclub Council.These presentations resulted in 8 groups signing up to take our training and hold election activities on campus.Stay tuned for more information as this program grows.


If you’d like to play a role in this important program,



April 18. 2024: Moderated by Sukey Robb-Wilder

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America,byHeather Cox Richardson, 286 pages, September 2023.

Richardson crafts a compelling and original narrative, explaining how, over the decades, a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals. By weaponizing language and promoting false history they have led us into authoritarianism -- creating a disaffected population and then promising to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. She argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation's true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld. Their dedication to the principles on which this nation was founded has enabled us to renew and expand our commitment to democracy in the past. Richardson sees this history as a roadmap for the nation's future. Richardson's unique talent is to wrangle our giant, meandering, confusing news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to, what the historical roots and precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead. Writing in her trademark calm prose, she manages to be both realistic and optimistic about the future of democracy. There are many books that tell us what has happened over the last five years. This book explains how we got to this perilous point, what our history really tells us about ourselves, and what the future of democracy can be.

May 16. 2024: Moderated by Jan Randall

The Blue Machine: How the Ocean Works, by Helen Czerski, 440 pages, October 2023
A scientist’s exploration of the "ocean engine"—the physics behind the ocean’s systems—and why it matters.
All of Earth’s oceans, from the equator to the poles, are a single engine powered by sunlight, driving huge flows of energy, water, life, and raw materials. In The Blue Machine, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski illustrates the mechanisms behind this defining feature of our planet, voyaging from the depths of the ocean floor to tropical coral reefs, estuaries that feed into shallow coastal seas, and Arctic ice floes.
Most important, however, Czerski reveals that while the ocean engine has sustained us for thousands of years, today it is faced with urgent threats. By understanding how the ocean works, and its essential role in our global system, we can learn how to protect our blue machine. Timely, elegant, and passionately argued, The Blue Machine presents a fresh perspective on what it means to be a citizen of an ocean planet.


To see the list for the year:


Zoom Meeting
April 2024
Therese Scherrer, Acting Secretary

April 6, 2024, Board Meeting

AdministrationThe board approved sending three voting delegates to the National Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 27 – 30. Two delegates, Robyn Bramhall, and Donna Roper, will attend in-person, and Lynn Dooley will attend virtually.

AdvocacyA letter supporting the Tree Ordinance was approved to be submitted to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors ahead of their April 16thmeeting.

Membership Join the League at a new member social – Sip, Munch and Mingle! on May 4that 2pm at the home of Judie Coleman in Oakmont. Registration is required. For details, see the event calendar.

CommunicationsBoard members are reminded to use the website article submission forThe Voterarticles. The board has recommended a by-laws amendment to accept the national membership process. The full membership will receive notification of the proposed change before the Annual Membership meeting in June.

Voter ServiceThe Voter Service team seeks volunteers for its open positions, notably Committee Chair / Co-Chairs and Candidate Forum Organizers, Moderators, Zoom Hosts & Co-Hosts, and more. Training for the Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons is planned for this summer in preparation for the general election season.

Youth Outreach:The In-School program has visited 37 classes in eight schools; spoken to 909 students; registered or pre-registered 592 students; and sent 160 follow-up communications. The Student Elections Ambassadors program presentations at SRJC have resulted in eight campus clubs signing up for training.

Outreach & Program:The League will host its monthly member meeting on April 15 at 5:30 PM featuring Regional Climate Protection Authority staff discussing the Climate Protection Initiative. The May program will highlight the Santa Rosa General Planning process.

Volunteers Needed!

Join the League board as Secretary, Membership Chair, or Voter Service Chair. Watch the website for a wide variety of opportunities to assist with League activities:Pros & Cons, Candidate Forums, Youth Outreach, Vote411, Voter Registration, Programs, Tabling at Events.

Connect with the League

We want to hear from you!
LWVSC Board of Directors

Contact Us

Donna Roper, President
Lee Lipinski, VP Administration
Jim Masters, VP Advocacy
Open, Secretary
Linda Rosen, Treasurer
Judie Coleman, Membership
Open, Community Outreach
Therese Scherrer, Voter Service
Leona Judson, Programs
Juanita Roland, Web/Communications
Lynn Dooley, Member at Large
Chris Reizeman, Member at Large
Some Useful Links


lwv.sonoma.orgVote 411

FacebookYou Tube


LWV of Bay
LWV of
LWV of the United



Join Us
League of Women Voters Sonoma County
555 5th St, Suite 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
We'd love to have you join us. The most direct way to join is to go to our web sitehttps://www.lwvsonoma.organd click on theJoin Usbutton to fill in your contact information, preferences, and even pay your dues online, or you can print out your invoice and send it along with your dues to our office. If that does not work for you, you can fill out the information below and send it to us. Judie Coleman, is always available to answer your questions.
Individual Membership $75
Household Membership $110
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Membership $100
Carrie Chapman Catt Membership $200 or more

Additional Household Member: ____________________________________
Email: ________________________________________

Please circle any topics you are interested in knowing more about:

Voter RegistrationCandidate ForumsTransportationHousing/Homelessness Climate Change Immigration Newsletter Website ManagementLocal Governance
Membership dues and donationsare tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law

Here are some links of interest.
LWV Sonoma Web Site
LWV Sonoma YouTube
555 Fifth Street, Suite 300-O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8301
(707) 545-5943