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LWV - Sonoma County
555 Fifth St. Suite 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
Phone #: 707-546-5943
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The Voter - May 2022

Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

The Voter
May 2022
The official Newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
Volume27, Issue 5
In This Issue:

Annual Member Meeting
Saturday, June 4th
10:30 am
Guest Speaker:

Join us to hear from Maraskeshia Smith
Santa Rosa’s new City Manager.
Guest Speaker
Budget Approval
By-Laws Revisions
Coming Attractions
Get Out The Vote!
Review the documents in
the Annual Meeting Kit:

Meeting ID: 890 9663 4144
Passcode: 892703
Maraskeshia Smith
Santa Rosa City Manager

Ms. Smith started her new position with the City of Santa Rosa in January 2022 after a nationwide recruitment and brings more than 20 years of government experience to the role.

Ms. Smith is an administrator with decades of experience in local government. In2015, she was appointed Cincinnati’s Public Works Director, managing daily operation of traffic and roads, sanitation, facilities, fleet management and emergency operations.


She then worked in Oakland, where for two years she was assistant city manager and led programs on homelessness, affordable housing and economic development.


Prior to coming to Santa Rosa, Ms. Smith was theDeputy City Manager of the City of Stockton, where she oversaw economic development, human resources, municipal utilities, public works, and affordable housing and homelessness initiatives.

Message from Our President
Donna Roper

As you are aware, the League of Women Voters is committed toregisteringresidents of Sonoma County to vote, which is why we participate in community tabling and go into High Schools. We need volunteers to participate in those activities throughout the summer and into the fall.

We are equally committed togetting people to VOTE. Even though about 75% of Sonoma County residents are registered to vote, it does not mean that they will get to the polls to vote. The new Voter’s Choice Act in Sonoma County makes it easier than ever to participate in the election. Everyone will get a ballot in the mail which can be mailed back, returned to drop boxes or to polling places. Polling places will be available for a longer duration. You should have received this info by now, but you can also go to the Registrar of Voters to learn more. Please help by reminding your friends, family, and neighbors to cast their ballots!

Another goal of the League is toeducate the publicon the issues and candidates they are voting for. League volunteers have done an amazing job learning to zoom our forums this year. The forums can be viewed in real time but also accessible on our YouTube channel. Most have been translated into Spanish. We partnered with other groups to provide on-site or zoom candidate forums in this primary. Links to this information are at our website These forums will be offered again in the fall. It is a great way to be involved with the League.

And thanks to Sue Jackson, written candidate information can be found atVoters' Edge.

Learn with the Leaguestarted this year and will focus on issues affecting our county. This year we will learn about housing issues and child care. It’s important that voters know the facts before voting so please spread the word about these opportunities.

June 4 will be our annual membership meeting to approve next year’s budget, board and by-laws as well as hear from the new Santa Rosa City Manager. We will be doing this via zoom so please log on to learn more about your league. The Annual Meeting kit of information is also found on the website under Member Resources / References.

2022 Primary Election
June 7, 2022

The League provides a variety of ways to help you to be an informed voter:
Find links to candidate forums on ourVoter Information Page.
UseVoters' Edgefor extensive election information (see article below).
Our go directly to theCounty Registrar of Voters Website.

Voter's Edge

Sue Jackson, Coordinator


A Bipartisan Online Resource for Voters

Ballots are being mail to all Sonoma County Voters on May 9th.

All federal, state, and local candidates in Sonoma County are offered the opportunity to provide information about their backgrounds, priorities, and political philosophies. Most Sonoma County candidates have submitted information to your personal Voter’s Edge resource.

Make sure you take the time to read about them before casting your ballot.

To access your Voter’s Edge site, visit

Enter your zip code or select “Sonoma County” for candidates on your ballot.

Voter’s Edge is a respected, bipartisan resource. The Los Angeles Times and major public radio stations KQED, KPBS, KPCC, CapRadio, and KCRW have partnered with Voter’s Edge and are making it their official online election guide!


Tell your friends about Voter’s Edge. And if your candidates have not submitted information, give them a nudge!!


Check out Voter’s Edge for current information about these races at

Getting More From Our Website
Membership Renewal

Renewing Your Membership on Our Website


Membership renewal time is coming up for most of our members, except for those who have joined since we changed to using the join date rather than the fiscal year as the renewal date. Either way, active members will receive an email renewal reminder about 1 month before their membership is due to expire. They will also see the following when they log onto the website.

When you get this reminder, please follow the link to the renewal section. You will first be asked to verify that you information is up to date and your membership type is correct. Once these steps are completed, you will proceed to the payment screen.


Renewal 2

First you must select your payment method. You may pay by either credit card via PayPal or check. You do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal, and it is the quickest for everyone. Just select PayPal and click on the PayPal button, which will take you to the screen to enter your credit card information. Once you complete these steps, your renewal is complete, and your membership is extended for another year.

If you prefer to pay via check, there is a button at the bottom of the screen that allows you to print a copy of the invoice to mail in with you check. This helps our office to process you payment correctly. Please remember whenever making payments to send accompanying paperwork so our treasurer doesn’t have to guess your intentions. If you do pay by check, please note that you will continue to see a reminder until you check arrives and is processed in our office.

Please remember to click thesubmit paymentbutton to finalize your payment, whichever method you choose.

If you need help navigating this process, or you have questions, you can contact Juanita Roland atcommunications@lwvsonoma.orgor Judie Coleman

We hope you will renew as soon as you get your reminder. There is much work for the League to do, and we need you help.


LWVSC Calendar


Coming Events

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest schedule

and for location or links to virtual meetings.



  • Annual Meeting, Saturday June 4, 10:30 - 12:30, on Zoom
  • Primary Election, Tuesday, June 7 (See information above)
  • LWV National Convention, June 23-26, Denver, Colorado

Standing Meetings

Please note that some committees may not meet during the summer months. See the Online Calendar for the most current information.
  • Board of Directors,1st Saturday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon. June meeting after Annual Meeting, No July meeting.
  • Advocacy Committee-1st Wednesday of the month from 10:00 AM to Noon
  • Voter Service Committee- 1stThursday of the month from 2:00 to 3:00 PM
  • Book Group: 3rd Thursday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon
  • Observer Corp , MostFridays, 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Check calendar for meeting that apply to you and to register..


Debbie McKay, Sectreary

2022-2023 Proposed Budget: The Board approved a proposed budget for 2022-2023 which will be presented to the members for a vote at the June 4th Annual member Meeting.

By-Laws:The by-laws are being revised to reflect the change in how membership renewals will happen under Club Express. The Board approved recommended by-laws changes that will be voted upon by the members at the
Annual Meeting.The proposed changes will be included in the Annual Membership Meeting Kit.

Convention Delegates: Our League is entitled to three voting delegates to the national Convention. Donna Roper, Leona Judson & Judie Coleman will be attending the National Convention.

Newsletter:There will be a summer edition of the Newsletter, and then we will resume doing a monthly edition in September

Facebook:Debbie Mc Kay is willing to do training for a league member or two who are willing to help compose posts on our League page.

Advocacy:Leona Judson reported on the first Learn with the League presentation, which was on the DA and the Public Defender’s Offices. We were able to record both the English & Spanish versions. The next Learn with the League will be on June 8th and will focus on the unsheltered.

Voter Service
: Karen Weeks and Lynn Dooley plan to do a training this summer on how to run a forums and candidates participation in forums.

Voter’s Edge:Voter’s Edge is available in several languages. Sue Jackson is still working on getting some candidates to respond to Voter’s Edge questions.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV): We will be delivering GOTV lawn signs again to local libraries. Linda will have a signup sheet in the office on who is delivering lawn signs.

Annual Meeting: Set for June 4th via Zoom at 10:30 am. We have a confirmed speaker.

Kickoff event:
Save the Date: September 10th .

Apple Blossom Parade:
Leona Judson reported that it was a fun event and we passed out a lot of information. We may do other parades in the future. Donna Roper observed that we see lots more people at a parade than during tabling at an event. Donna reported that League members and our AAUW partners distributed near 300 Government Guides at the Apple Blossom Parade. And, we already got a couple of new members from our participation in the Apple Blossom Parade.

The next Board meeting will be held via Zoom on June 4th, following the annual meeting..

Apple Blossom Parade 1
Apple Parade 2

Leona Judson, VP
This month there is a need to focus on Reproductive Rights. This is not currently one of our areas of emphasis. But it sure has become one nationally with the Supreme Court leak of the draft decision to the overturning Roe vs Wade. The final decision won’t come out until this Summer. But this leak strongly suggests that the conservative court will likely overturn this nearly half century of legalized abortion. The national LWV strongly supports reproductive rights including a woman’s right to choose. Abortion has long been a contentious issue in America. Yet, the majority of Americans favor keeping Roe vs Wade, although many feel some restrictions are needed. If Roe vs Wade falls, as predicted, then many states will enact trigger legislation to immediately ban abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy. California is preparing to become a sanctuary state for women seeking abortion. But is there more we can do to protect our reproductive rights? Planned Parenthood and other organizations are promoting the “Bans off Our Bodies” rallies and phone banks. Here is a link for more information:

On other Advocacy news, we are planning our next Learn with the League forum, likely scheduled for July. Topic under consideration is ambitiously titled “Democracy on Fire”. We hope this will help inspire voters to seek ways to preserve our fragile democracy in the era of disinformation.

Our members continue to follow our local government commissions and committees. I’d like to give a shout out to Rick Luttmann (transportation), Judy Levy and Carrie Anabo (Criminal Justice), Jan Randell & Gene Zingarelli (Climate Change), Therese Scherrer & Barbara Coen (housing), Leona Judson & Paula Hawkes (childcare).

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month. All are welcome. Check our calendar for the Zoom link.

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

I’d like to give a BIG shout-out to our In-Classroom High School Presentation Team of Elaine Covell and Nancy Lewis. They have been going strong these past months. In this school year they have registered a total of 162 students and inspired more to register online! The most recent school they attended is Roseland University Prep where the entire class they addressed was Latinx. This class came prepared with questions for our team and were completely engaged in the discussion. Thank you, Nancy and Elaine!!

I’d also like to give a HUGE shout-out to the newest member of the In-Classroom High School Team: Gail Vann. Gail is a new member of the Sonoma League and is a former High School Vice Principal. Gail has been instrumental in opening the doors to schools for our presentation team. Her successes have boosted our registration total significantly. Thank you, Gail!

May concludes this years’ in-classrooms’ presentations. We will be back up and running as soon as school starts again in late August. We will begin training additional teams to go into the classrooms at the beginning of August.

This is where you come in. Please consider joining this rewarding and important team! We need your help. Contact Lynn Dooley at

You can make a difference in our future and the future of democracy by joining the Youth Outreach Program! It’s more important than ever!



May 20, Moderated by Juanita Roland

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know,byAdam Grant 319 pages,2021.

The bestselling author ofGive and TakeandOriginalsexamines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval--and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.

June 17, Moderated by Joyce McLaury

The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of An American Institution, by Lindsay M. Chervinsky, 323 pages.

This is another recommendation from the Poor Richard’s Book Club. It is on my bedside table, unfinished, because I got too busy. It explores Washington’s style as an administrator, taken from his experience as a farm manager and General. It then goes through each cabinet member, describing who they were, their motivations, and contributions. It describes how Washington grappled with establishing his cabinet, trying to work with congress (an hysterical passage – they couldn’t decide a thing!), all mindful of the precedent he was setting for future presidents. It well printed- spaced 1-1/2 lines, so the 323 pages go quickly.

Connect with the League

We want to hear from you!
LWVSC Board of Directors

Contact Us

Donna Roper, President
Lee Lipinski, VP Administration
Leona Judson, VP Advocacy
Debbie McKay, Secretary
Linda Rosen, Treasurer
Judie Coleman, Membership
Open, Community Outreach
Karen Weeks, Voter Service
Gayle Peterson, Programs
Juanita Roland, Iris Levitis, Web, Communications
Jim Masters, Member at Large

Some Useful Links
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 Channel
555 Fifth Street, Suite 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8301
(707) 545-5943