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 -September 2023

Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.
Your Vote is Your Voice

The Voter
The official Newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
Volume28, Issue7
In this Issue:

Annual Kickoff Meeting
Monday September 25
11:30 am-1:00 pm

Boys and Girls Center

Register Here

Don’t forget to join us for this in-person event;


Roseland Community Club House
929 Sebastopol Rd
Santa Rosa, CA

The Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma-Marin operates thisjust completedfacility. It is filled with classrooms, recreation space & meeting rooms. It will be a valuable resource for the Roseland community, especially the young people. Our league is eager to find ways to engage with this community primarily through our youth outreach and voter education.

The event is free, but you do need to register. Click on button above or go to our website at Click on the calendar and register. It’s simple.

Bring a small dish to share with us if you’re able. A staff person will tell us about plans for the Club House followed by a discussion of how the LWV might become involved. This is an exciting opportunity for our league, and we hope you will join us. If you have questions, please

Meeting Details

Monthly Member Meeting
Nina Jankowicz
October 23, 11:30
Save the Date

Can Democracy Survive Disinformation?

Register Here

Mark your calendar! Our monthly meeting on Monday, October 23rdwill feature an international authority on the impacts of disinformation on democracies around the world,Nina Jankowicz.


Are you concerned about the corrosive influence of disinformation on our democracy? She has advised governments, international organizations, and tech companies; testified before the United States Congress, and European Parliaments. Her book: “How to Lose theInformation Wars: Russian, Fake News and the Future of Conflict” was named a “New Statesman 2020 book of the year.”


Last year, President Biden appointed her to chair the Department of Homeland Security’s newly formed Disinformation Governance Board. Immediately, both the new Board and Nina herself became the targets of a relentless, intense, and very nasty disinformation campaign resulting in the Board being put on hold. Nina was very alarmed at the vicious threats to herself and her family, and eight months pregnant at the time, chose to resign.


As Nina put it, “.…we all need to stand up against these sorts of lies, no matter what your political party is, no matter what political inclination you have, this is a threat to democracy.”


Newly back from a trip to the Ukraine, Nina will be talking to us on Zoom from Washington at our Monthly Monday League Meeting onMonday, October 23 at 11:30am. So, mark your calendars.


The event is free, but registration is required.

Register Here

Message from Our President
Donna Roper
The League Board has embarked on a membership drive to increase the number of volunteers involved in Sonoma County. We recognize that 2024 will be an important election year both nationally and locally. In order to keep our electorate informed on candidates and ballot measures, we will need more assistance. You can help by encouraging your family and friends to join the League. Here are some talking points:
Your participation in League will expose you to a breadth of experiences and issues that will not only inform you but create greater possibilities for civic engagement than you might imagine.
Through participation in League projects, you will:

• Meet new people, make professional contacts and develop lasting friendships as you engage with others in League who share your interests
• Have help when working on issues and concerns
• Discover new interests, develop new skills and enhance existing skills, including:

o Developing and increasing leadership skills
o Building collaboration skills
o Learning about engaging in civil discourse

• Learn about

o Voting rights and elections security
o Crucial issues in your community
o Working in partnership with others
o Community outreach
o Access to league resources and information

• Have Opportunities to

o Contribute valuable service to our community
o Gain knowledge and experience through the study and discussion of timely and important topics
o Participate in local, state, and national League work
o Advocate for change on important local issues

We offer our members webinars, workshops, other events and mentorship opportunities throughout the year, at the local, regional, state and national levels.
You can spend as much or as little time as you wish. Whether you aspire to leadership or are keen to follow the lead of experienced members, the League will excite, use, and nurture your civic curiosity, ideals, or desire for action.
Your membership dues add to our financial resources and your active participation increases our grassroots strength and effectiveness in creating a community where we all want to live and prosper. The League is all about making democracy work for all members of our community.

Our Communications Committee
Needs Your Help
Juanita Roland

Looking for more ways to defend democracy? Communication is an importantpart of the way the League executes its mission. And this is work that you can often do at home and on your own schedule.

We work on several fronts, Voters Edge, social media, email, and of course our website, and there are jobs available both large and small. We need more hands to both lighten the load and extend our reach.

Training is available and don't believe that this is something you need to be young to do. Most of us currently working on our online communication refute that.

Please join us for the Communications Committee Meeting on September 21 at 1:00 pm.

Link to Meeting

Or contact Juanita Roland

Participate in League
Action Alerts
It's Easy and Quick
League Action Alerts are an effective way for you to make your voice heard on important issues that matter to you. By taking action on important issues, you can help shape the future of your community and create positive change. Usually what is called for is a letter to you representatives or a signature on a petition, and the League makes this easy with suggested letters and links for sending them.
You can sign up for ongoing Action Alerts at the National, State, And local Level:
  • For National Alerts, go to the LWVUS "Take Action" page, and scroll to the bottom to "Sign Up for Email:LINK TO LWVUS ALERTS
  • For LWV California Alerts, go to LWVCA. Sign up for Communication":LINK TO LWVC ALERTS SIGN-UP
  • Sonoma County Alerts are sent to all members. If you are not a member, you can also receive Alerts and other communication by clicking on the "Add Me to Your Mailing List" link in the upper right of the web page .LWV SONOMA WEBSITE

Some thoughts on
Health Care
from Mary McDevitt, MD
Health Care


Our Present, Broken Healthcare system is “Profitized” Medicine

I recently read a letter written byKevin D. Roberts of the Heritage Foundationwarning of the dangers of Socialized healthcare.
The concept of completely socialized medicine means that thegovernmentprovides all aspects of health care:

  • It pays for all care.
  • It employs the providers.
  • It runs the facilities.

I would like to pose that we are presently living in a system of “Profitized” Medicine. Instead of the government, our “Profitized” system is run by the for-profit insurance companies. According toStatista, in 2022, 45%of people in the United States received healthcare throughprivate insurance companiesas opposed to24% for Medicareand19% for Medicaid.

Pays for all care:Humana, one of the largest insurance companies, had a banner year in 2022 with $ 2.8 billion in profits, paying $448 million in dividends to shareholders and more than $ 17 million in compensation to its CEO. Part of their profit is related to systematically overbilling Medicare for its Advantage programs. In addition, Medicare Advantage plans have higher claim denial rates and more prior authorization restrictions than traditional Medicare. In 2018 regulators found that nearly one in five payment requests rejected by Medicare Advantage plans were wrongfully denied, representing an estimated 1.5 million claims.

It employs the providers:At present70% of physiciansare not independent practitioners butemployeesof insurance companies or large hospital chains. It has been reported that in 2021, 117,000 physicians left the work force while fewer than 40,000 joined it. During the pandemic physicians watched as their hospitals nearly fell apart because of inadequate personal protective equipment and underinvestment in our public health system. Today’s physicians are not suffering from burnout but from “moral injury”, first defined in the military as “An emotional wound sustained when in the course of fulfilling their duties, a person performs acts against their core values”. Our physicians are not happy campers!

It runs the facilities:And now we come to the third part of our “Profitized” Medicine, Hospitals, which represent one of the monopolies of healthcare. At present, the 40 largest health systems own 2,073 hospitals, roughly one-third of all emergency and acute-care facilities in the United States. The top 10 health systems own a sixth of all hospitals and combine for $226.7 billion in net patient revenues. (Forbes, January 16, 2023). Because of the excessive Medicare dollars available, Private Equity is now a player in hospital ownership. In 2018 Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia was purchased by Paladin Healthcare, a private equity firm. Unfortunately in less than two years the hospital was bankrupt and closed.During that year private equity firms spent $10.4 billion buying hospitals and clinics.

As we prepare for the fall blitz of advertising for Medicare Advantage programs we should take note of Wendell Potter’s (Former Cigna executive) proposed warning:


Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

Registering Sonoma County youth is the main objective of the Sonoma LWV Youth Outreach Committee. We are reaching out to schools to schedule both ourHigh School In-Classroom Voter Education and Voter Registration Programand ourCollege LWV Elections Ambassador Program. The good news is that in an off-election year, there are no pressing deadlines so we can register students anytime. The bad news is that in an off-election year there are no pressing deadlines so high schools and colleges need to be convinced that this is a timely need.With that in mind, our committee has been diligently reaching out to both high schools and colleges to gain class time and exposure for our programs.

The High School In-Classroom Voter Education and Voter Registration Programsent out a “Happy 18thBirthday” poster along with a letter of introduction and a program flyer to 16 county high schools. We are following up this mailing with phone calls to the school principals as well as history, civics and government teachers to schedule our sessions. So far, we have pending dates with Petaluma High.

On top of these efforts, committee members Elaine Covell and Nancy Lewis have already scheduled sessions at West County High! Yay!

The College LWV Elections Ambassador Programis also moving forward. Our new intern Tessa Vandenberg has successfully contacted Sonoma State University’s Student Association about collaborating on their Voter Registration program. Plus, we have a whole team of committee members reaching out to Santa Rosa Junior College to get this peer to peer voter registration program rolling there.

We will be extending National Voter Registration Day to Wednesday, September 20thwith a tabling event on Sonoma State University campus. Tessa and I will be there promoting the LWV Elections Ambassador program and registering students. Members are always welcome to lend a hand. Come by the Student Center from 11am to 1pm. We’d love to see you!

Getting into schools and onto college campuses takes perseverance and commitment. I’d like to thank everyone in the Youth Outreach Committee for all your efforts!!

New members are always welcome.

If you’d like to participate in the events or learn more,

contact Lynn Dooley

Youth Outreach Poster

National Voter Registration Day
Tabling Event at SSU
Sept 20, 11 am-1 pm
Voter Registration Day




On Wednesday, September 20th, 11am to 1pm

In front of the SSU Student Center

Our intern Tessa Vandenberg is holding a tabling event in honor of National Voter Registration Day. Here’s your chance to visit SSU and register students to vote. If you are interested in joining the fun, contact Lynn Dooley at

The Student Center is #34 on this map:

Link to Map

Jim Masters, VP
Eel River

Advocacy Committee speakers on the Eel River Dam Removal

September 6th

Supervisor Susan Gorin was the keynote speaker at our annual meeting,June 26, 2023. She said: "In addition to the Sonoma valley aquifer... the other water policy that you need to pay attention to is the Potter Valley (Eel River) project, head of our water supply….”


At the LWVSC Advocacy Committee meeting Wednesday, September 6th, Charlie Schneider, Lost Coast Project Manager from CalTrout, presented informationaboutefforts to remove two obsolete dams in the Eel River


The recording is here.

Passcode: @J22rxw! Copying and pasting the passcode to get to a Zoom recording is better than trying to type it in.


LWVSC Calendar


Coming Events

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest schedule

and for location or links to virtual meetings.





Seiptmber 21, 2023: Moderated by Carrie Anabo

The Daughters of Yalta, by Catherine Grace Katz. 317 pages 2021

In the waning days of World War II, three intelligent young women were chosen by their fathers to accompany them to the Yalta Conference. Kathleen Harriman, daughter of US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Averell Harriman, was a war correspondent and champion skier, Sarah Churchill, an actress turned RAF officer, was devoted to her brilliant father, Winston, who depended on her astute political mind. Roosevelt’s only daughter, Anna, chosen in stead of her mother to accompany the president, was the keeper of her father’s most damaging secrets. Situated in the tense political maelstrom that marked the transition to the postwar world. This is the remarkable story of fathers and daughters whose relationships were tested and strengthened by the history they witnessed and the future they crafted together.


October 19, 2023: Moderatedby Juanita Roland

Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It, by Richard V Reeves, 256 pages, September 27, 2022

Apositive vision for masculinity in a more equal world.Boys and men are struggling.Profound economic and social changes of recent decades have many losing ground in the classroom, the workplace, and in the family. While the lives of women have changed, the lives of many men have remained the same or even worsened.Our attitudes, our institutions, and our laws have failed to keep up. Conservative and progressive politicians, mired in their own ideological warfare, fail to provide thoughtful solutions."A landmark, one of the most important books of the year" — David Brooks


November 16, 2023: Plan for 2024--Start thinking about your recommendations



Zoom Meeting
September 2023
Debbie McKay,Secretary

August Retreat

Prior to the Board Retreat there was a brief meeting with SLV residents who are League members. Jim Masters gave an overview of League member activities at SLV. Donna Roper gave a brief presentation about our local league and answered questions.

Review of Mission Statement: The Board formed a committee to review our local mission statement. Therese Scherer will chair the committee and the following members volunteered to serve on the Committee: Karen Weeks, Chris Riezenman, Juanita Roland.

Fall Kickoff Meeting & Social: The Kickoff/Social will be held on September 25th at 11:30 am and will be a potluck at the Roseland Boys & Girls Center.

Advocacy:There was a general discussion of recent history where various groups have approached the League at the last minute requesting us to support or oppose an issue, sign a petition, and/ or opposed an action. There was a general consensus that these issues are often complex, and the Board needs more in depth information prior to making a decision.

Program & Outreach:We want our league to be proactive rather than reactive. Watch for information on how to sign up for Action Alerts in The Voter.

Civics Class: Judie Coleman is continuing to work on a civics class for February 2024 with classes every two weeks. Presenters will be David Mc Cuan on State offices and Steve Rabinowitz as a speaker on local offices.

Voter Service: Donna Roper asked for volunteers to cover the various activities of Voter Service.

  • Voters Edgewill be supported by Sue Jackson and Rebecca Jones.
  • Vote Forwardactivities will be coordinated by Leona Judson.
  • Youth Programs:
    • Peer to Peer:Lynn Dooley & Chris Riezenman
    • Classroom Registration:Robin Bramhall
    • Pros & Cons:Lynn Dooley
    • Intern Supervision:Lynn Dooley
  • Forums
    • March Primary:Karen Weeks and Therese Scherer
    • November General Election:If you would like to learn about helping to put on our candidate forums, please send an email

Communications: The Board will form a Communications Committee soon.

Membership: Several Board members met at the League office on August 10that 11 am to sign and address letters to those who have not renewed their membership in the last five years.


Presentations: We will be developing several 20 minute presentations on the League which may be shared at various local community meetings. We need both presenters and those with the techie skills to set up a Power Point presentation. Please send an email toPresident@lwvsonoma.orgif you have ideas on groups.

Leave of Absence:Debbie Mc Kay requested a leave of absence from the role of Secretary due to family medical conditions. The Board approved the leave by consensus.


September 9 Board Meeting

Membership:The Board spent time discussing the many aspects of League membership including recruitment, retaining and renewals. We also went over the new membership brochure and making the website more user friendly.

Communications:We are developing a new committee to streamline all the communications to members and the community. If you are interested in helping, please contact Juanita Roland, Many of these tasks can be done from your home.

Youth Outreach:Headed up by Lynn Dooley, there are many exciting opportunities to register high school and college students to vote. Our new intern is heading up activities at SSU. If you can volunteer at your local library to register voters, please contact Donna Roper.

Programs:Leona Judson and Judie Coleman have organized some great member meetings including the Kick off at the new Boys and Girls club in September, a member of Obama’s staff for October and civic classes in the Spring. Check out the calendar section on the web page. The League is also partnering with Listening for a Change to host Embers of Awakening movie on November 11th.

Advocacy:Jim Masters and the climate committee have been really busy getting the word out about water issues which also involve tree ordinances and other climate related issues.

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
Debbie McKay, Secretary
Linda Rosen, Treasurer
Judie Coleman, Membership
Open, Community Outreach
Karen Weeks. 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 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 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8301
(707) 545-5943