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 - November 2023

Published on 11/14/2023

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 9
In this Issue:

Monthly Meeting
What is IOLERO?
November 27th. 11:30 AM
On Zoom

Monthly Monday League Meeting

For the November meeting we will have a presentation by the dynamic director, John Alden of the Independent Oversight Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO). IOLERO began operations in 2016 largely prompted by the killing of thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez, by a sheriff officer.It was a tragic event that greatly affected the Latino community. The incident created unrest and distrust. IOLERO was established in part to improve transparency and accountability by being able to independently conduct investigations of alleged law enforcement misconduct and address citizen complaints.

In the 2020 election measure P was overwhelmingly passed that made significant changes in IOLERO’s mandate that increased its investigative powers and other changes. There was pushback by sheriff’s unions that went to theCalifornia Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). This commission is tasked with addressing government labor issues. The union claimed their bargaining rights were being violated under measure P. PERB ruled that the sheriffs should have had the right to negotiate provisions under measure P. It didn’t stop there. In 2022 the Board of Supervisors appealed the PERB ruling to the First District Court of Appeals. The court ruled against PERB. Since then, the two unions representing the sheriffs have announced agreement to the terms of measure P.

That is some of the back story of ILOERO. Join us on November 27that 11:30 AM and learn more about how IOLERO and its companion Community Advisory Council (CAC) currently works. A lot has been accomplished and there are exciting plans for the future.

Register Here


SPECIAL NOTE:This webinar had the largest attendance of any meeting in Sonoma County LWV history!

453 people registered in 34 states and 240 people tuned in!

This was accomplished single handedly by our Membership Chairperson,Judie Coleman. Judie made many personal phone calls and reached out to almost every league in the country. Many of these leagues promoted it. It was also promoted on KRCB and it got national press in Robert Hubbell’s newsletter to his 50,000 subscribers. Please take a moment to thank Judie Coleman for her incredible effort! This was incredibly important information that needed to be heard.




Our October Monthly meeting speaker, Nina Jankowicz, a leading expert on the use of disinformation as a geopolitical strategy, spoke to us about her book, “How to Lose the Information Wars”. Nina studied both Russian and political science at Bryn Mawr College and in Russia. She was a Fulbright scholar inUkraine. Nina gave us a chilling report of details of Russian influence operations aimed at weakening democratic nations as well as some tips to help us identify disinformation.

We were unable to record this session because Nina is part of an ongoing lawsuit with Fox News and anything posted online has been taken out of context and used against her. In fact,President Biden appointed her to serve as theExecutive Director of the newly created Homeland Security Disinformation Governance Board. But sadly, that agency was dissolved after a fierce campaign of disinformation. She spoke about the horror of being targeted and gave us some good information to recognize dis-information when we see it.

She helped us differentiate buzz words like “propaganda”, “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “fake news” that are used interchangeably but have very different meanings. Here is her definition of these charged terms:

  • Propagandais biased or misleadinginformation used to promote orpublicizea particular political cause or point of view.
  • Disinformationis when false information is knowingly and intentionally shared to cause harm.
  • Misinformationis when false information is unknowingly and unintentionally passed on but yields the same result – false information is shared and absorbed.
  • Fake newsis false info wrapped in a kernel of truth making it more easily believed.Plus, politicians and pundits employ the term ‘fake news’ to describe any narrative they find politically inconvenient.

Another interesting difference is between trolls and bots. She explained that “trolls” are humans who create multiple fake sites and use them to spread disinformation. Whereas, “Bots” are computer generated usually using Artificial Intelligence for the same purpose. These are particularly scary because the same information can be packaged a multitude of ways so the same message can be reinforced over and over.

Nina stressed that disinformation will be even more prevalent in the 2024 election, especially from Russia because Russia’s goal is to create chaos and destroy democracy. Russia attacks both left leaning and right leaning supporters with constant, repetitive disinformation. Their feeling is if they can influence both sides, they can really pull apart the fabric of society.

She issued a strong warning about social media use. Pay close attention and notice if something doesn’t seem right. That is most likely disinformation. She stressed thatenraging content is engaging contentand motivates sharing. So,never, ever shareanything when you are emotionally charged!Check the source and calm down before you share. She gave us catch phrases like, “Learn to Discern” and “Make Good Decisions in Your Information Diet” and “Info is a Decision – Choose Wisely”.

Nina shared much more than can be captured here.I encourage you to check out her book (title above) and her blog: And be on your toes every time you go online!!


Message from Our President
Donna Roper

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” Marian Wright Edelman

Here at the League, we are trying to make a BIG difference in promoting democracy, but we do it in many small ways. From voter registration to candidate forums to high school presentations, there are many ways that League members can help further the cause. We need volunteers to stock voter registration forms in Santa Rosa as well as Windsor. This is a less time-consuming job (only about twice a year) but helps support the League financially (The Registrar of Voters funds us to do this task). We need volunteers to help youth fill out registration forms at the high school presentations. We need a volunteer to work on The Voter each month. We need observers at local governmental meetings. There is a job and a need for every member! Contact me if you can help!

November 28this Giving Tuesday – an opportunity to support non-profit work if you haven’t spent all your money on Black Friday or On-line Monday shopping. With all that is going on in the world, it makes me very thankful that we can shop, eat, be housed, and live a life free from bombs falling on our heads. I hope you all will be giving thanks for the people in your life and the simple pleasures we often take for granted. I am very thankful for the work of the League as we navigate these challenging times. If you, too, are thankful, consider a gift to the League either online or a check to our office.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just in time for the holidays.

Have a friend who has everything? Want to encourage young voters? Give a gift of membership to the Sonoma County League of Women Voters. Contact Donna Roper, with the relevant information and she will prepare a certificate for you to send and help you with the process.

What Does Non-partisanMean?

The League of Women Voters describes itself as non-partisan, but what does that mean, and how do we manage it in this very partisan world where some cherished League values are beginning to take on partisan overtones? The link below will take you to am article on the national website that discusses this.

Voter Registration Outreach
Jim Masters, Chair

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)

In partnership with the Sonoma County Library, we tabled at Rincon, Coddington, Sonoma Valley and Petaluma libraries last month. It’s a great way to get exposure for the League, register people to vote, and to inform voters about issues.Thanks to Susan Novak, Nan Butterworth, and Donna Roper for volunteering.

Voter Registration table

Vote 411

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

We are thrilled to announce that, beginning with the 2024 election cycle, the League will transition from using Voter's Edge as our primary platform for delivering nonpartisan election information to the public, to utilizing VOTE411. This decision was made after careful consideration and with the intention of continuing to provide the most comprehensive and user-friendly information possible for voters in Sonoma County.

VOTE411, like Voter's Edge, offers essential details about candidates, ballot measures, and other election-related content. However, we believe that VOTE411 will provide more streamlined user and mobile experiences, ensuring that voters receive the most pertinent information tailored to their locality on the device of their choice.

VOTE411 will be active on our website in time for the 2024 election cycle.


Electio Ambassador-1

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

TheHigh School In-Classroom Voter Education and Voter Registrationteam has been doing good work this month! Our presentation team of Elaine Covell, Nancy Lewis and Theodora Pollack visited 14 classrooms at Analy High and Roseland Collegiate Prep schools in Santa Rosa. Their numbers are impressive:

  • 311 students spoken to,
  • 18 students registered and
  • 162 students pre-registered

Thank you, Elaine, Nancy and Theodora!!

In addition, Robyn Bramhall and I visited 4 classes at Casa Grande High in Petaluma. We spoke to 109 students, registered 3 and pre-registered 75. Thank you, Robyn!

Add it all up and we have introduced the value of voting to 420 students. We have registered 21 students and pre-registered 237 – SO FAR. There is a very good chance that many of those pre-registered will be 18 in time for the March primary or the November General Election.

We still have 6 classes on the schedule before the end of the year. Many members of our committee have been shadowing and helping in the classroom to build our bench of presenters so we can hit the ground running in 2024. If you’d like to get involved contact Lynn Dooley

Jim Masters, VP
Tree Ordinance Update
from Jan Randall
Climate Change-Trees


The League of Women Voters of Sonoma County has an interest in maintaining the biodiversity of Sonoma County and recognizes that the rich species diversity of native trees is an important contributor to the health, prosperity, and beauty of our local ecosystems. The old tree ordinances are outdated and fail to provide the necessary protection for trees that are major agents of carbon sequestration, soil stabilization, and aesthetic beauty.

Two new tree ordinances are under consideration: The Tree Protection Ordinance and Oak Woodland Combining District (Link to Permit Sonoma and proposed tree ordinances below).The Sonoma County Planning Commission recently approved both ordinances, and the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider them on November 28th.

The Sonoma County LWV recognizes the new tree ordinances are an improvement over the existing ordinances.The League, however, wants the ordinances made stronger withthe first priority to discourage tree removal in the first place through fees to make it expensive to cut down trees. To maintain biodiversity, the Comprehensive Tree Ordinance must include all native trees in Sonoma County including Douglas fir and California bay. Mature oak woodlands are irreplaceable and no amount of small, replacement trees can take the place of them. Because oaks are slow growing, every effort must be taken to preserve mature oak communities with the commitment that the best approach to preserve biodiversity is not to cut down mature trees.


link to Page

Take Action:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg captured our role as League leaders.
Fight for the things you care about, butdo it in such a way that will lead othersto join you

LWVSC Calendar


Coming Events

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest schedule

and for location or links to virtual meetings.






November 16, 2023: Plan for 2024--This is a fun time when we get to talk about many good books and make our suggestions for the coming year. Even the books we don't choose may spark and interest. Please join us

And watch this space for our new list soon. Our you can find the list, along with past lists in our website reference section.



Zoom Meeting


NovemberBoard Meeting

The board met on November 4thfor a retreat to flesh out our goals for the next twelve months. To help us we had an outside facilitator who marched us through a very helpful process to clarify our goals and priorities. The top four vote getters after much discussion were:

  • Volunteer involvement such as:find ways to engage our members, recruit more people of color.
  • Election related forums such as: develop and train teams to conduct candidate forums, identify more non-partisan partnerships to help with forums, promote a wider reach with pros and cons to educate voters.
  • Youth Outreach: engage more members to help with high school presentations on voter registration.
  • Our Website such as- Recruit a new Voter newsletter editor, make our website more user friendly.

The board members felt the retreat process very helpful in putting a focus on what we need to prioritize for the coming year. With the 2024 election cycle looming it’s all hands on deck to get our work done.

We also held a brief special meeting to discuss some actions needed:

  • New agencies in Sonoma County like fire districts and water districts have to be created by the Local Agency Formation Commission.A group of agricultural interests in the Alexander Valley have proposed creating a new Water District there. LWV SC sent a letter to the LAFCO expressing concerns and asking questions about the proposed district.
  • The ordinance covering preservation of trees and the process for removing and replacing certain protected species of trees (like Oaks of a certain size) is being updated by the BoS. LWV SC sent a letter with some suggestions for improvements.

For more information, attend the Advocacy Committee meeting December 6 at 10:00 on Zoom through the hotlink on the LWV SC calendar.

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.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