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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 - Nov-Dec 2022 Voter

Published on 12/2/2022
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

The Voter
November/ December2022
The official Newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
Volume27, Issue 9
In this Issue:

Volunteer Opportunities
by Debbie McKay

“Bite Size” Opportunities

Many of us are seeking ways be of service to our community, but our time is limited. Our local League has opportunities for ways to serve that don’t take a lot of time, but make a big difference.

Two hours now & then: We periodically go to community events to register and education voters. We always pair up newcomers with more experienced League members. If you are willing to occasionally staff our League booth, please send your name and contact information Then, we will let you know went events come up.

An hour a week: Could you do a couple of non-partisan post on our Facebook page or Instagram once a week? We will train you and show you what resources we use. Want to know more, email your name and contact information

An hour or two every 2 to 3 months: Our league distributes Voter Registration applications all around the County at locations like libraries, post offices, etc. Each volunteer has a “route” with several stops. Normally, the assigned person checks the application display boxes about once every two months to make sure there is a supply of forms. If you want to volunteer or learn more send an email

Connecting with Youth: Our League volunteers make one hour presentations in local high schools to senior students about registering to vote and the voting process in Voter Choice Counties, like Sonoma. We provide training, supplies and support. If you would like to be notified of the next training date to see if this is a good fit, send an email

Periodic Public Relations Activities:Occasionally, do Public Relations (PR) work such as sending our press releases and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to the media about our activities, and sending announcements and flyer to our non-profit partners. Donna Roper and Lynn Dooley are available to provide training and answer questions. Please send an email topresident@lwvsonoma.orgif you are interested in volunteering or want more information.

Other Opportunities to Serve

The City of Santa Rosa is seeking 45 volunteers to serve on 12 boards that currently have or will have vacancies by the end of 2022 The vacanciesare on the following boards/committees:

  • Art in Public Places Committee
  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board
  • Board of Building Regulation Appeals
  • Board of Community Services
  • Board of Public Utilities
  • Community Advisory Board
  • Cultural Heritage Board
  • Design Review Board
  • Housing Authority
  • Measure O Citizen’s Oversight Committee
  • Personnel Board
  • Planning Commission

Applicants must be residents and registered to vote in the City of Santa Rosa. For immediate consideration by newly seated Council Members, applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19.

Residents interested in applying to serve on a Santa Rosa City Board, Committee, or Commission can call (707) 543-3016 or more information.


And after all of that work, do something for yourself.If you like to read and you enjoy interesting discussions with well informed people, consider attending the LWV Book Group on the third Thursday of each month, (except December). Because this is on Zoom, it is easy to attend from anywhere, and you don't have to commit to reading all of the books to participate. See the Calendar for Zoom information, or you can contact Judie Coleman (

Usuallyour book selections are non-fiction, and cover a wide variety of topics. You can link to thecurrent listand find pasts list in theGeneral Referencesof our website.
Upcoming books are:


January 19. 2023: Moderated by Jan Randall

The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across CaliforniabyMark Arax,2019 560 pp.

“You cannot understand California without understanding water.” California water issues continue to become more serious and intense as droughts occur more frequently, last longer and are drier. In the classic 1986 book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner rang the alarm about the environmental and personal costs of western water projects. Arax updates the issues in this deeply researched and personal book (Arax grew up in the Central Valley and is a resident of Fresno today.). The book is a tour de force of California history and details how California went from the small farmer to today’s Big Ag’s manipulation and hogging of water resources. Arax even names the principle actors when he describes the exploits of “the nut king, grape king, and citrus queen.” For me, this book has it all: history, politics, personal stories of farmers and farm workers, and wonderful descriptions of beautiful California and how to preserve the soil and water we love.



February 16, 2023: Moderated by Mary Fricker

I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, by Mónica Guzmán, 287 pages, 2022.
Monica Guzman is the liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who voted, twice, for Donald Trump. She is a former Seattle Times columnist who is director of digital and storytelling for Braver Angels, a group that works to heal the wounds between right and left by teaching people how to understand another’s point of view, not change their point of view. A central event in the book is a bus trip for 16 people from Seattle to travel to Sherman County. Oregon, to meet with 16 “opposite” people, not to argue, but to learn. They pair up and ask each other questions, and, most importantly, listen. Viewpoints are not changed, but people learn to look at each other differently. If you’re looking for a book to help you win arguments, this is probably not a book for you. If you’re looking for ways to find understanding and empathy with others, this is the book for you.


Message from Our President
Donna Roper

As I reflect on the end of this election cycle, I know that the League is recognized as a vital aspect of the goal of free and fair elections. The quote below is from one of the many audience members of our pros and cons forums. “Thank you to LWV for doing the work you do to make our more complex world more sensible. We can only have a democratic government that works when the people in the democracy know the facts (“truths”). You make that possible.“I echo all the appreciations listed in other news articles because it took a lot of people to make this election education happen.

You should have received a request for Giving Tuesday from the League. Please consider donating so we can continue to register voters, go into high schools, and educate the public on voting issues.

Watch the calendar and email blasts about upcoming member events we are planning for 2023.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Don't forget to complete your 'Learn-with-the League' Surveyto let us know what topics are of most interest.

A Busy and Successful

Election Season

Rock the Vote
Candidate Forums, Ballot Measure Pros and Cons, Letter Writing Campaigns, GOTV Rallies, Youth Registration, we did it all this election season.
Our thanks to all who helped.
According to the Registrar of Voters' Website, 65% of registered voters participated in this election.

Voter's Edge

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

Voter’s Edge proved to be a valuable resource for voters seeking information about their choices for candidates in state-wide races as well as those throughout the County of Sonoma.

In Sonoma County, several cities transitioned from at-large elections (where council members are elected to serve the population of the city as a whole) to district elections (where a council member is elected to serve a specific section of the city). This resulted in more city council races, and hence, more candidates.

We were fortunate to have a large majority of candidates who chose to participate in Voter’s Edge. In fact, of the 57 open mayoral and council seats on the ballot, a whopping 54 candidates participated. Their professions, priorities, political philosophies, and endorsements were showcased to anyone seeking to learn more about his or her choices. Not surprisingly, the number of hits to the Voter’s Edge website was comparatively higher than in previous elections.

School District candidates also represented a higher than usual number of participating candidates. With 35 candidates running for various school boards, 25 participated in Voter’s Edge. Special Districts (fire protection and water districts) had 16 open board positions, with 9 candidates participating. Effort to reach school and special district candidates was increased over what we have been able to do in previous years and we expect that participation will continue to grow in future elections.

Thank you to the candidates who participated. Thank you to those who helped spread the word about Voter’s Edge. And thank you for voting.

The 2022 Pros & Cons Team Raised the Bar!
by Lynn Dooley

League members on the Pros & Cons team created new ways to educate voters during this election season! This year, in partnership with the Marin League, the pros & cons of the seven state ballot propositions were presented via video.


A team of League researchers created a clear, concise and accurate script. A two-person team then recorded the script in a multi-media interview style. The videos were presented via Zoom to the Sonoma County Libraries, Spring Lake Village, the Commission on the Status of Women and all Sonoma County’s AAUW organizations.


In addition, the videos were put up on the Sonoma LWV YouTube channel and received1050 online views. The feedback has been wonderful!


Helping the team were political science students from Dr. David McCuan’s Senior Seminar class at Sonoma State University. These students researched the campaign financing behind the propositions, updating the information each week. Plus,Dominican University service-learning students from their Citizenship & Immigration classhelped make some of the presentations. This student participation made the process all the more rewarding.


Special thanks to the dedicated and hardworking Pros & Cons Team:Chlele Gummer.Connie Williams,Debbie McKay,Donna Roper,Gayle McKinney Peterson,Jana Cosgrove,Jim Masters,Juanita Roland,Karen Weeks,Laraine Kelman,Leona Judson,Robyn Bramhall.

Voter Service Committee
Karen Weeks and Therese Scherrer, Co-Chairs

From mid-September to mid-October the Voter Service team hosted a total of eightforums in Petaluma, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Windsor. In a number of these communities we had two forums due to the number of candidates as well as district configurations. The candidate forums were live streamed on ZOOM, YouTube, and Facebook. Each forum also had Spanish interpretation. Even though ZOOM creates some complexity, it also enables us to reach a VERY BROAD audience. We have had a total of 8 forums and have had a total of5483viewers. 463of these were in Spanish. The most views we have had are for the Sebastopol forum with a total of 941 views!


Many in our team worked on multiple forums and a huge thank you to all who helped– Leona Judson, Debbie McKay, Therese Scherrer, Linda Robinett, Linda Lamb, Judie Coleman, Paula Hawkes, Chris Reizenman, Barbara Coen, Jim Masters, Ann Whitman, Connie Williams, Pamela Stevens, Donna Roper, Lorraine Kelman, Lynn Dooley and Karen Weeks.

You can find all things election, including links to recordings of forums on our


Again, thanks and gratitude to those who have stepped up to make this all happen!

GOTV Letter Writing
Vote Forward
Leona Judson, Coordinator
Among our GOTV activities during our recent election was a very active letter writing campaign through the nationalVote Forwardorganization. We wrote to individual voters in several swing states providing personal reasons why voting is important. We had several group letter writing sessions as well as those who wrote letters from the comfort of their home. We even kept writing letters for the Georgia state senate run-off election.

For the general election,930letters were written, and for the run-off election we wrote335letters. That’s impressive.

We thank all who participated. But don’t put your pens away just yet. The 2024 election is not far off.

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

The Sonoma LWV Youth In-Classroom Program


Welcome 250 new Sonoma County voters!


The Sonoma LWV Youth In-Classroom programgives students important information about voting and the opportunity to register or pre-register to vote during a class session. In September and October, the team was invited to Analy High School, Windsor High School and Roseland University Prep High School. And, as a result, the team delivered 250 voter registration forms to the Registrar of Voters. Special thanks to all involved: Chris Riezenman, Elaine Covell, Gail Vann, Nancy Lewis and Robyn Bramhall.

Sonoma County Library Youth Outreach:

Also, during the busy election season, Debbie McKay spearheaded a youth outreach program in Sonoma County libraries. This effort targeted people 16-24 and was designed to deliver information about the voting process, how to research information on the ballot and register and pre-register individuals to vote. The team visited seven Sonoma County Libraries, where we pre-registered 16 & 17 year olds and handed out voting information to adults who popped in with questions. The Sonoma County libraries are excited to extend the partnership with our League. Look for more developments in the new year. Thanks to everyone involved: Debbie McKay, Carolyne Sybelle, Chris Riezenman, Jim Masters and Leona Judson.


Youth Outreach will start up again in January and continue to visit classrooms & libraries during 2023. If you’d like to be part of this rewarding program, please contact Lynn Dooley at

Leona Judson, VP

Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) Update- Our league has weighed in on this long running issue. The SDC, which is currently owned by the state, is up for sale. The County has been working on a draft proposal called the Specific Plan, which will be presented to the Bd. Of Supervisors on Dec. 16th. For highlights of their proposal go to:Link to Development CenterAnother proposal is offered by a group called Eldridge for All, a coalition of several local parties. Their proposal is called Historical Preservation Alternative. It differs significantly from the County one in that the SDC would become a public trust byforming a special district. The housing footprint would be greatly reduced and the wildlife corridor that runs through it would be expanded. Our board wrote a letter of support for this proposal to the state Department of General Services as well as Permit Sonoma and the board of supervisors. The DGS will make a decision after the first of the year. We think the Alternative proposal is a better fit for the rural community and the historical nature of the 100-year-old developmental center.


Learn with the League-Advocacy wants to expand our public forums in the coming year. We plan to offer several one-hour virtual forums for our membership and the public. They will focus on climate change, Making Democracy Work and more. We are asking our membership to respond to a survey of suggested topics with room for you to submit your ideas. Your response will help inform our planning.Link to Survey


Climate Change Subcommittee- There is much going on in Sonoma County around climate change these days. To better focus on the many issues from gas stations to tree ordinance, it was decided that climate change needed its own committee. Jan Randall, a retired environmental science professor agreed to head this up. The committee meets monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at 2PM. So, if trees, water, drought, fire safety, wildlife preservation and more is your thing, please join the conversation.

We gratefully acknowledge a bequest from the
Linda Burton White Trust
"Linda was a caring and compassionate person, and a life-long lover of nature, animals, travel and the less fortunate. On her behalf, I, and her family, hope that you use these funds wisely to continue the good works that your organization supports."

The League is grateful for this gift, which will enable us to continue supporting many of the causes Linda championed.

LWVSC Calendar


Coming Events

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest schedule

and for location or links to virtual meetings.



  • LWVCA Open Meeting Laws Forum--Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, See calendar for registration Information.

Standing Meetings

  • Board of Directors,1st Saturday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon.
  • 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


November 2022
Debbie McKay, Sectreary


Financial report:Donna explained that expenses were higher because they include the GOTV ads in local papers.Also, the cost of the new printed T-shirts is included in the expenses.


President’s Report: Donna Roper reviewed the events the League has participated in this past year includingmany tabling events, HS Youth Outreach, the numerous candidate and pros & cons forums, presentations to several groups, radio interviews, ads in KCRB, Apple Blossom Parade, Adopt-a- Room project, Vote Forward letter writing, etc.


Membership: Ten new members joined in October.


Advocacy Committee:

Sonoma Development Center Property:The Board of Directors decided to send a letter to the State General Services Department requesting due consideration of the Sonoma Mountain Community Service District’s proposal, and authorize Donna Roper as President to approve the letter.


Voter Services: Therese Scherrer shared that the YouTube videos of the candidate forums are getting lots of views.


Candidate Forums: Karen Weeks reported that we completed eight candidate forums. Due to an insufficient number of volunteers, we were not able to provide forums for all the cities with contested races. Also, there are far more races and candidates due to the change to district elections, which makes it much harder for the League to cover all the races. If we can train more volunteers, we may be able to do more in the future.


Pros & Cons Forums:Lynn Dooley reported that she has received very positive feedback of the format & content of the Pros & Cons presentations.


Youth Outreach:

Several League volunteers visited seven library branches in October to register and pre-register students.

We have two more trained volunteers going into high school classes. We have been to Windsor, Analy, Laguna, and Roseland Prep. We will add more high schools as we train more volunteers, and we hope to expand this program beginning in January.If you are interested in participating in the training and possibly becoming a presenter, please send an email


Outreach / Programs: The Board is discussing how we want to organize ourselves and our activities over a two year period now that Board member terms are two years. Also, the election cycle is a two year period with an election year and then an off election year.


Strategic Plan update:

Calendar: The Board will be developing a longer range calendar with events planned out for the rest of the year. Known events are Program Planning meeting in February, Annual Member meeting in June, Kickoff Meeting in September, Legislative Interviews in February, Convention in June, June 2024 primary and November 2024 general elections.


One meeting a month concept:The Board discussed the idea of dedicating one day a month for a League sponsored activity that would be the date we do any League activities such as Learn with the League, Making Democracy Work, etc.


Legislative Interviews: These take place in February. Donna Roper will be organizing our participation and we may partner with other Leagues again.If you would like to participate in the Legislator interviews, please send an email


February Program Planning:Program planning takes place each year in February. The purpose is two-fold--to give input to the National or State Convention and to do local planning on areas of emphasis. Alternate years conventions are National and then the following year CA State. The Board will pick a date for the Program Planning meeting at their December Board meeting.


Next Meeting:The December Meeting will be Dec 3rdat 10:30 am.

The full minutes of board meetings are available in theMember Referencessection of our website after board approval.


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. Therese Scherrer, Voter Service
Open, Programs
Juanita Roland, 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:

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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 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8301
(707) 545-5943