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 - January 2024

Published on 1/16/2024
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.
Your Vote is Your Voice

The Voter
The official Newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.
Volume29, Issue 1
In this Issue:

Monthly Meeting
ROV withDeva Proto
January 22nd. 11:30 AM
On Zoom

Monthly Monday League Meeting

Voting is one of the most important tools citizens have to protect our democracy.
The 2024 election is fast approaching. Join us with Deva Proto, the Registrar of Voters, to learn about the Voters Choice Act, the ways the ROV ensures thatour ballots are secure and potential threats to the voting process.

Register Here

Zoom Meeting
Program Planning
By Leona Judson

We have developed an interesting slate of topics for our Monday Monthly Meetings. We start off with a talk from our Registrar of Voters director, Deva Proto who discuss the Voters Choice Act and what the county is doing to keep our elections secure. Tune in on January 22nd.

In February we will have our general membership meeting. Here our members can review and vote on what our areas of emphasis should be in the coming year. Mark your calendar for February 26th.

Some other topics will include timely talks on emergency response systems for those experiencing a mental health crisis. We’ll hear from the Family Justice Center; and we’ll learn about the importance of a General Plan that all cities must develop. Also, we will again honor the departing Grand Jury at a luncheon in August.

These monthly meetings generally occur on the fourth Monday of each month at 11:30 AM on Zoom. Check ourwebsite calendarfor details and to register. We hope you will join us. Friends and family are also welcome.




Come Get Your Civics On!

Three Zoom Sessions
February 6, February 20, March12
6:00 pm

Come Get Your Civics On!


Do you know what Democracy is? It's us! If we don't know what's going on, if we don't know how our government works, then we forfeit our political power to someone else -- who may or may not serve our interests. Democracy is only as strong and healthy as our awareness and involvement in it. Government is a good example that if we are not AT the table, then our interests will be ON the table.


The point of these sessions is not to take a test at the end, but rather to inspire and motivate you to become more aware of what's going on in your government. These talks are targeted for anyone living in California. If you already know a lot about government, this class will be a good refresher. If you have been thinking you SHOULD learn more about local government but never find the time -- this is the class for you!


Come Get Your Civics On!

This initial series of 3 separate talks is on Zoom; the sessions are free, but registration is required. You must register for each class individually.


  1. Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 6pm on Zoom

    How California State Government Works – and Why You Should Care

    By David McCuan, PhD, Political Science Professor, Sonoma State University

    Free, but Registration Required:Register Here

  2. Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 6pm on Zoom

    How An Idea Becomes a Law

    By Logan Pitts, MPA, Senior Field Representative & Senior Legislative Aide at California State Senate

    Free, but Registration Required:Register Here


  3. Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 6pm on Zoom

    How City and County Government Works

    By Steve Rabinowitsh, Instructor Emeritus, Santa Rosa Junior College.

    Free, but Registration Required:Register Here


LWVSC Calendar

Check theOnline Calendarfor the latest scheduleand for location or links to virtual meetings.

Link to Calendar

An Invitation from LWV Berkeley, Albany, Emery:

From the Board Room to the Exam Room” will look under the covers to find out if Medicare is in good health (it’s not) on January 24th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

The Medicare we have is not the Medicare we thought we had. Learn what’s wrong and what must be done at a webinar co-sponsored by LWVBAE and CARA (California Alliance for Retired Americans) on Wednesday, January 24th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

We’ve invited three expert speaker/panelists to review how Medicare works, explain how it’s being privatized, reveal how profit is being extracted from this vital nonprofit public program, and answer your questions. See more here:

Recology Open House
by Rick Luttmann
Recologyis having anopen housefor people to visit their processing plant and see how recycling works. I visited Recology's San Francisco recycling facility a couple of years ago and found it fascinating.The event is from10 am to noon on Monday, January 29, 2024, at their facility at3417 StandishAve. in Santa Rosa.Although carpooling is recommended since on-site parkingis limited, overflow parking is available at 3565 Standish Ave, Wine Country Radio's parking lot.
Recyclingis very much a part of our climate-change fight.Our LWV chapter membersmight be interestedin how Recology recycles our waste. Single-stream recycling, where everything recyclable goes into one can, is a challenge for recyclers, but Recology handles it well.

Message from Our President
Donna Roper

It’s the time of resolutions and Roger Rosenblatt wrote a great article in the NYTimes about making small resolutions that improve the life of others which therefore improves his life. It reminded me of the story of the small boy throwing starfish that have been stuck on the beach, back into the ocean and an old man telling him that there were so many starfish that he would never save them all – it won’t make a difference. But the young boy responds - as he throws one back into the ocean - that it makes a difference to this starfish.

Many of us are feeling frustrated that we have little control over what will happen in the 2024 Presidential election, but we CAN encourage more transparency in the Board of Supervisors. We CAN have a say on tree ordinances. We CAN register local high school students. We CAN provide venues for voter registration. We CAN offer forums on candidates and ballot measures. We CAN coordinate educational programs like the Civics class in February. We just all need to do a small piece to make the world a better place. And you will feel fulfilled by the work we do through the League.

So, join a committee. Sometimes we just need new and good ideas. Volunteer at an outreach event. Tabling is a great way to meet others. Help distribute voter registration cards. This can be done right in your own neighborhood. Spread the word about the League. We always need new members and volunteers. And this month, you can fill out our annual survey letting us know the issues you are concerned about.

Speaking of volunteering, I appreciate Linda Robinett for agreeing to be the Voter Editor and especially to Juanita Roland who is training Linda and has done the Voter for close to 15 years! Thank you both!

Editor's Note: For truth in reporting, I think there were times during those 15 years that others worked on the Voter, but it kept coming back to me. One of several jobs we do to defend democracy.

New Member


Sharon Rossi of Petaluma

It's great to have you on our team.

Vote 411

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

California's Primary Voter Resource - Vote 411

Primary elections are just around the corner. Voter education and empowerment are critical components of our mission, and it is essential that voters have access to the information they need to cast an informed vote.

All qualified Sonoma County candidates have been invited to participate in Vote411. To see what is on your ballot, and to read what candidates who may represent you have shared, go to the link below and enter your address. Measure and proposition information is also on the site.

You can see a video about Vote 411 on YouTube:Link to Video

Your ballot will be mailed to you on February 5th.Link to Vote 411


Your Vote-Your Voice
Voter Service Committee
Therese Scherrer, Chair

League Voter Service Gears Up for Primary Election Season!

Planning is underway for the primary election season in March 2024 with Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons. A new team of volunteers was trained in December to join the existing corps that make the forums run smoothly.Two forums are planned, for January 31st and February 7th at 6:30pm, for Sonoma County Board of Supervisors District 1 and 3 races.

Additional training will be provided in 2024 for the general election season. The Pros & Cons team is gearing up for research, script writing, and video production of information about state and local propositions. See articles in this edition for updates on Youth Outreach, Voter Registration, and Vote411. Stay tuned for updates on the website event calendar.

Voter Service meets monthly on the 2ndThursday at 10am via Zoom. Join us for the next meetings on January 11thand February 8that 10am. For more info, to learn more about the volunteer opportunities listed below, contact Therese Scherrer or Karen Weeks



  • Candidate Forum team– Virtual candidate forums for the 2024 general election providing the voting public with candidate responses to community questions. Roles: Moderator, Zoom Host or Co-Host, Timekeeper.
  • Pros & Cons team– Research, script writing, and video production of information on the state and local ballot propositions.
  • Youth Outreach team– In-School voter education and registration in local high schools, and Student Ambassadors Program recruiting and training college students to educate and register their peers.
  • Voter Registration Forms Distribution team– Stocking voter registration forms at community locations for the public.
  • Vote 411 team– Candidate Information System – Gather and update candidate information on an automated system to provide voters with current information.
  • Voter Education & Registration– Staffing tables at community events to share information about the League, voting and voter registration
SeeCalendarandVoter Infofor more information



The League’s Pros & Cons team is gathering to create a script that outlines what a “Yes” vote and what a “No” vote means for CA state ballotProposition 1andSonoma County Measure H.


Both of these measures will appear on the March Primary ballot. Our Pros & Cons script will also present the current situation of each measure, what would change if passed, who the supporters & opponents are as well as who has contributed financially to both sides. Once researched, we’ll record the script for posting on the League’s YouTube channel. Finally, we’ll promote the recordings to the public.


This is one of the most fun of all the League short-term activities. If you like research, working with others, and/or being a presenter THEN THIS IS FOR YOU. Our goal is to have this produced and posted by February 1st. So, don’t wait! Contact Lynn Dooley atprosandcons@lwvsonoma.orgtoday!!


B e c o m e a P o l l W o r k e r !

Being a Poll Worker is a great way to serve your community, take an active role in democracy, and become part of the dedicated team working to make the election process easy and accessible to everyone.

Poll Workers who work at a Vote Center are volunteers who are provided a stipend. Bilingual Poll Workers receive an additional stipend of $25 on Early Voting Days and $40 on Election Day, and must be fluent in English and one of these languages: Spanish, Khmer, Tagalog, Vietnamese.

In 2022, Sonoma County began conducting elections under a new election model called theVoter's Choice Act. This model utilizes "Vote Centers" instead of traditional polling places.What's the difference? First, voters are not assigned to one specific location; they can vote at any Vote Center in the county they choose and still obtain the correct ballot. Second, Vote Centers are usually (but not always) open multiple days, not just on Election Day itself. Poll workers should be comfortable using computers because many of the tasks at Vote Centers rely onthem.

  • Click Here to Apply to Be a Poll Worker

For more information, please contact the Registrar of Voters Office at <>.

Youth Outreach Presentation

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

The Youth Outreach Committee is kicking off 2024 with new round of in-classroom sessions.

We have interest from 12 schools this semester before the March Primary. Our team of excellent presenters will be registering eligible Sonoma County students and giving them some sound, non-partisan civics information. The more participation we have from our membership, the more classrooms we can visit.
If you’d like to join this important committee, please contact Lynn Dooley





January 18. 2024: Moderated by Mary Fricker


Inflamed: Abandonment, Heroism, and Outrage in Wine Country's Deadliest Firestorm, by Anne E. Belden and Paul Gullixson, 464 pages, October 31, 2023.

This is the gripping and emotional narrative detailing what happened to the seniors, employees, and rescuers before, during, and after the Tubbs Fire decimated portions of Santa Rosa, including Oakmont Senior Living Villa Capri and part of Varenna at Fountaingrove. Anne Belden and Paul Gullixson are professional journalists and Sonoma County residents who spent three years recording each phase of the disaster in agonizing detail—from the botched evacuation and its excruciating aftermath to the investigations, lawsuits, and breakdowns that followed. (Review from distributor Simon & Schuster.)


February 15. 2024: Moderated by Karen Rust


Prequel: An An American Fight Against Fascism, by Rachel Maddow, 416 pages, October 2023


Rachel Maddow traces the fight to preserve American democracy back to World War II, when a handful of committed public servants and brave private citizens thwarted far-right plotters trying to steer our nation toward an alliance with theNazis. Atthe same time, a handful of extraordinary activists and journalists were tracking the scheme, exposing it even as it was unfolding. In 1941 the U.S. Department of Justice finally made a frontal attack, identifying the key plotters, finding their backers, and prosecuting dozens in federal court.

The parallels to today are obvious and chilling.


To see the list for the year:

Zoom Meeting
January 2024
Therese Scherrer, Acting Secretary

January 6, 2024 Board Meeting

AdministrationThe annual report was submitted to LWV California recapping 2023 local activities. Annual legislative interviews are being coordinated by the Voter Service team for five districts that represent portions of Sonoma County. Teams comprised of several local Leagues will meet with legislators in late January. Treasurer, Linda Rosen, reported that items noted in the annual financial review are being addressed.

AdvocacyCommittee work continues on two tree ordinances as part of the Climate Change area of emphasis. A review of committee structure resulted in continuation with interest area discussions to be held at each monthly meeting.

MembershipChanges to the national membership process are on the horizon in the coming year. Judie Coleman, Membership, reported results of the current membership renewal campaign with 141 active members and several pending membership renewals. Volunteer opportunities have been updated on the website.

CommunicationsLeague member, Linda Robinett, will work with Juanita to learnThe Votereditor position. Lee Lipinski and committee chairs will post events on the website.

Voter ServicePlans for Candidate Forums, Pros & Cons, Voter Registration, Youth Outreach, Vote411 are moving forward. Two forums are anticipated in late January, early February, for the Board of Supervisors Districts 1 and 3. Pros & Cons research and preparation is starting for state and local propositions on the Spring ballot. The Voter Registration team has just completed its review of the forms distribution locations and is considering a re-structuring in the coming year. Vote411, the new candidate information system, will be rolled out in time for the Primary.

Youth Outreach:The team is actively presenting voter education in local high schools with increased numbers of youth being registered and pre-registered. The Student Elections Ambassador program which trains youth in registering peers is gaining momentum at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.

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