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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 - October 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, Issue 8
In this Issue:

Monthly Member Meeting
October 23, 11:30 on Zoom
Nina Jankowicz
Can Democracy Survive Disinformation?

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

I’m writing this on Indigenous People’s Day known as Christopher Columbus Day when I was a child – the day I was born – 70 years ago. (I was almost named Christine and my birthday was always a school holiday). But times – and knowledge - have changed many celebrations, vocabulary, and attitudes since I was a child. And for the better! As Obama said, when we know better, we do better.

I was happy to attend a workshop at the California League’s conference this past year which focused on marginalized people – disabled, People of Color, Indigenous and LBGT – where I learned even more. I had problems with the plural they / them pronouns and often said, I wish “they” had chosen something else. I realized that “they” get to choose how they want to define themselves; that I often had used the plural pronoun when not knowing a person’s gender (they left their car parked there); and that I am not too old to change my ways.

I hope we at the League take on that mantra – we need to change. We need to embrace more diversity in Sonoma County. We need to learn more about other cultures. We need to not judge so quickly. We need to be more open minded, especially since we espouse to be non-partisan. We, and the country would be better for it.

On another note – it was so nice to visit in person at the Roseland Community Center – meeting new members and seeing old friends. There, I encouraged all participants to become more involved with the League this year as we will need “all hands on deck” to prepare for 2024 elections. We are especially in need of two positions. The first is The Voter editor. Our on- line newsletter is done monthly, and the editor collects articles from board members and other to copy and paste into an email page. We will provide the training you need to do this job, which can basically be done at your home.

The other position is Secretary. The fabulous Debbie McKay has had to resign because of her husband’s health problems. Although we hope she will return in the future, we need someone to take minutes at Board meetings and generally function as our recording secretary. These job descriptions can be found on our website under members resources. And, as always, there are lots of other duties which could use your help – high school student presentations, library registration efforts, advocacy champion and more. Please consider it!

Consider a CharitableConation

Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA

Looking for a create way to support the work of the League including voter registration, candidate forums, pros & cons presentations on ballot measures, registering high school students, advocacy activities? It may be easier than you think.

If you are 70 ½ years old and have a traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) you are eligible to make a gift from your IRA directly to the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County. In many cases these gifts are 100% tax free, allowing you to support the League without increasing your taxable income. And you can make a gift each year if you choose.

How to Qualify:

  • You must be 70 ½ or older at the time of your gift
  • The transfer must be made directly from a traditional or Roth IRA account to the LWV of Sonoma County
  • The gift must be outright with no material benefit received and cannot be used to fund gift annuities


  • You may donate up to $100,000 per year, and of course any smaller amount
  • The gift may be used to satisfy your required annual withdrawal
  • Your gift may be excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes

How to Get Started:

  • Contact your financial advisor, attorney, and/or tax preparer to discuss the details and to determine how much of your required annual distribution you would like to gift to the League
  • Write the League of Women Voters to let us know you plan to make a gift.Our address is LWV of Sonoma County,555 Fifth St., Suite 300 O, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Let us know if you wish your gift to be anonymous, of if we may acknowledge your gift in our newsletter. Please include your current phone number and/or email when you write. This will ensure smooth processing of your gift.If you need more information from the League on this opportunity, please email us

Please Note:The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Please consult an attorney and/or your tax advisor before making a charitable gift.

Your Helpis Needed
Don't be shy.

We need your help in many ways, but currently we have special need of a secretary to fill in for Debbie McKay while she takes a leave of absence, and we need someone to assist in editing this publication, the Voter.

If you can help out, contact Donna Roper atpresident@lwvsonoma.orgor
Juanita Roland

Roseland Youth Center Meeting
Program Outreach
Leona Judson, Chair

Our monthly League meetings got personal last month, that is in-person at the new Roseland Community Clubhouse operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs. This center will primarily serve kids from middle and high school as well as their parents. Our goal in meeting there is to increase our presence in this mainly Spanish speaking community. We had a lively discussion on possible ways to work with them from voter registration to candidate forums.


Looking ahead this month, October 23rd, we go national with Nina Jankowicz an authority on disinformation and its damaging effects on our democracy. She will be speaking from Washington D,C, on Zoom. Be sure to register for this free event.


November we’ll be closer to home with a talk from the executive director, John Alden of IOLERO: Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach. We will learn about some of their recent successes and challenges in fulfilling their mission. In December, we’ll be away for the holidays.


These monthly forums are the league’s way of helping our membership and friends learn about our community and the critical issues of the day. An informed citizen is the best anecdote to maintaining a strong democracy. So please join us on the fourth Monday of the month.

Voter Registration Outreach
Jim Masters, Chair

Voter Registration Outreach Committee Winter Sweep


Under an agreement with the Registrar of Voters, twice a year LWVSC volunteers refresh the supply of Voter Registration Cards at 115 locations around Sonoma County. The next “sweep” starts October 15thand will be completed December 15th. Want to help? ContactJim Masters

Sonoma County Election Administration Plan Approved by the State

Every county must send a plan to the Secretary of State describing numerous aspects of how they will manage elections, including how they will operate polling places, use drop-off boxes, and conduct mail-in voting. The ten-year Sonoma County plan had many public hearings during its development. It was approved on September 14, 2023. Copies are posted here:2023 Final Election Administration Plan (Including Appendices)(English) (PDF) andEl Plan Final de Administración de Elecciones de 2023 (Incluyendo Apéndices)(En español) (PDF)

Electio Ambassador-1

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

Lot’s happening in the world of Youth Outreach!


This amazing Youth Outreach team has scheduled ourHigh School In-Classroom Voter Education & Voter Registration Programsessions at Analy High, Casa Grande High, Petaluma High as well as Roseland Collegiate Prep school.We’ll have the opportunity to speak with over 600 students. We have had responses from Healdsburg High, Montgomery High and Piner High Schools and are working on scheduling dates.


Thank you to the entire team: Robyn Bramhall, Nan Butterworth, Elaine Covell, Tina Dugan, Paula Hawkes, Leona Judson, Laraine Kelman, Nancy Lewis, Gayle Peterson, Theodora Pollack, Chris Riezenman, Donna Roper, Martha Selig, Tessa Vandenberg, Gail Vann and Connie Williams.


This is just the beginning. We are reaching out toallSonoma County High Schools. We feel speaking to Sonoma County Youth will create the habit of voting that will last their lifetime. If you are interested in joining us, please


The Sonoma County League of Women Voters Elections Ambassador Programhas been moving forward at Sonoma State University. Kudos to SSU senior & LWV SC Intern Tessa Vandenberg for arranging a meeting with the Associated Students Government Coordinator. At this meeting we proposed working with SSU’s student government to expand their voter registration efforts by training their students to be LWVSC Elections Ambassadors. The meeting resulted in an introduction to the Associated Students’ President and Government Affairs Senator. We hope to be presenting our concept to the entire student government in the next few weeks.


This is the beginning of a great peer to peer voter registration effort. Although this program is new, we are making great headway. If you are interested in learning more or helping to plan our SSU partnership, contact

New members are always welcome.

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

contact Lynn Dooley

Electio Ambassador-2

Jim Masters, VP
Eel River

Will Eel River Water Continue to Feed the Upper Russian River?

In a few years, PG&E will remove two dams on the Eel River in Mendocino County. For decades, a diversion tube has sent water to the upper Russian River. Will this continue? If so, who will operate it? Charlie Schneider, Cal Trout did a presentation for LWV SC. The passcode: @J22rxw! Copying and pasting the passcode to get to a Zoom recording is better than trying to type it in.

Sonoma Water has drafted a plan to continue the diversion. See it here:

Comprehensive Tree Ordinance

Trees in Sonoma County are at last receiving protections, but is it enough? The County Planning Commission, based on proposals from the Permit Sonoma staff, recently passed two ordinances: Comprehensive Tree Ordinance and the Oak Woodland Combining District Ordinance. The ordinances expand protections to eleven species of trees, including seven species of oak trees, limit the circumstances in which a mature tree can be removed and require more permits for tree removal. The County Board of Supervisors plans to consider the tree ordinances on 28 November. For information consult the Permit Sonoma web page:

link to Page

LWVSC Calendar


Coming Events

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest schedule

and for location or links to virtual meetings.






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--Bring your book suggestions for the coming year. This is a fun time when we get to talk about many good books.



Zoom Meeting
Therese Scherrer, Acting asSecretary

October 7Board Meeting

Membership:Positive results of the current membership renewal campaign were reviewed by the board. Work will continue to encourage membership renewal with a focus on those whose membership has recently lapsed. Exploration is moving forward into potential partners to join forces in League work.

Communications:The committee met last month to address various types of communication the League employs: social media, website, newsletter, and written and email communications. Juanita Roland is seeking a volunteer to take on the role ofThe Votereditor. The board discussed upcoming ideas for articles, e-blasts, posts, and letters. For more

Voter Service: Committee members met with Registrar of Voters, Deva Proto, to discuss partnership opportunities particularly in the realm of youth outreach. Plans are underway for a “How to Run” session in January with the panel taking shape to include Supervisor, Susan Gorin, and Registrar of Voters, Deva Proto, among others. Candidate Forum volunteer training will be offered for Moderators, Zoom Hosts and Co-Hosts later this year in preparation for the Spring primary elections. For more

Youth Outreachwork is progressing with several high schools signing up for In-Classroom voter education and registration this Fall, and the Student Elections Ambassador Program is actively recruiting students to learn and conduct peer-to-peer voter registration at Sonoma State University. For more

Registration forms are an important way for people to register throughout the county. Sonoma County Registrar’s office counts on the League to distribute and re-stock forms at 115 locations. The sites will be visited October through December in preparation for a January 2024 deadline leading up to the primary election season.

Outreach / Programs:LWVSC board praised the committee for its successful Annual Kickoff Meeting in September at the Roseland Community Clubhouse – Boys and Girls Clubs. There is excitement brewing for the upcoming Monthly Member Meeting on October 23rdfeaturing Nina Jankowicz, acclaimed disinformation expert. Stay tuned for details of the coming monthly meetings. More info:

Advocacy:The board discussed committee work adavancing with several issues on the horizon: Tree Ordinances, Eel River dam removals, Alexander Valley new water district proposal, regional bond for new affordable housing, and IOLERO and youth criminal justice. For more

Administration:The board accepted the resignation of long-time board member, Debbie McKay. Heaps of admiration and accolades were given for Debbie’s sustained commitment to League of Women Voters Sonoma County. She has served in most positions for many years and has brought decades of vital contributions to ensure the success of the League and its mission to serve the voters of Sonoma County. We thank Debbie for her incredible service.

LWVSC board will meet in November for a Strategic Planning session as it considers what impact it wants to make on the community in the next year. The session will be facilitated by Christine Sliz, Training and Organizational Development Consultant.

The Treasurerreported that LWVSC finished the fiscal year in good standing and is in excellent position as the first quarter of this fiscal year wraps up. The board approved securing a new payment option for online purchases and membership renewal.

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
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: ________________________________________

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