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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 - February 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 2
In this Issue:
Board Briefs

Zoom Meeting
Program Planning
February 26th
On Zoom at 11:30 AM

This month we are holding our annual program planning membership meeting, February 26thon Zoom at 11:30 AM. Please sign up through our website athttps://lwvsonoma.orgThe focus of the meeting is to discuss and vote on what issues should we devote our efforts to this year. Please take the survey to help us determine what our members feel is importantLink to Survey. Making Democracy Work is our core mission and with this being a critical election year, much of our attention will be devoted to that end. Still, there are other pressing issues that our league has been working on such as climate change, criminal justice, and the like. Our members will get a chance to vote on what our areas of emphasis should be this year. Please join us for discussion and to learn about other election related activities.

Message from Our President
Donna Roper

More on Program Planning

The League is a grassroots organization that sets its agenda through the “Program planning” process. This is a chance for League members and friends to help choose our priorities in education and advocacy and determine what we want for the future of California and our League.

In League, “Program” consists of the body of issues we choose for study, education, and action at local, state, and national levels. Program can include both education and advocacy work. Each League member has the opportunity to influence the selection of issues on which the local, state, and national League will focus time, talent, and money. It takes the enthusiasm and interest of our members to keep our program vital. We encourage a champion to take on any issue that is important in our community.

The Campaign to Make Democracy Work is always an area of emphasis but within that, what is most important to you? Voter registration? Redistricting? Passing the Voter’s Rights Act? This is your opportunity to make your voice heard.

Criteria to consider in choosing priorities.
● Is this an issue that would attract participation from the community and our members? Would it entice new members? Diverse members?
● Is this an issue on which legislative or regulatory action is needed? Will political realities permit effective government action during the next two years?
● Does this issue involve a need not being well met by other groups?
● Is there member interest and commitment to this topic?
● Could the League play a significant role in impacting community concern and/or public policy decisions on this issue? Does it further our long term vision and impact?
● Do we have the capacity (staff, members/volunteers, funds, project management) to take on this issue? Is it an issue that will attract financial support?
● If this is a topic for study, will the issue still be timely when the study is completed in several years?

Join us at 11:30 am on February 26, when we’ll be discussing League policy and positions at the state level. Where should the League focus its energy over the next two years? What are the issues of concern to us here in Sonoma County? Where is there a need for legislative activity and other advocacy, both in Sacramento and in our city or county?


The program planning process is a regular part of our process at all levels throughout the League.You can read more about it from the LWVUS Board in this document.Program Planning from LWVUS Board

League Mourns Loss of LWVUS President Dr. Deborah Ann Turner

Deborah Turner 2

It is with profound sadness that the League of Women Voters announces the passing of our esteemed president, Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, who passed away on Sunday, January 28, 2024, from complications from a pulmonary embolism.

A fearless advocate for voting rights and women’s rights, Dr. Turner devoted her life’s work to impacting meaningful changes in the lives of voters across the nation. As the 20th president of the 103-year-old voting rights organization, Dr. Turner played a pivotal role in fighting for a more fair and representative union, while uplifting racial equity in the League’s mission work.

You can read the official statement on here.


Democracy: It’s Up to Us!

Come Get Your Civics On!

Two More Zoom Sessions
February 20, March12
6:00 pm

How Ideas Become Laws

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 6pm On Zoom (Free but Registration Required)

Laws reveal the values and beliefs of a society and set the protocol by how we treat one another. Since laws are so important in our lives, do you know how an idea becomes a law?How easy or hard is it to make a law? How are differences of opinion handled when making a law? It's time to find out! Sign up and let Pitts share his experience and knowledge of how laws get made in California. Free but registration is required. You can find the registration links onlwvsonoma.ORG

LWVSC Calendar

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

Link to Calendar

March Monthly Meeting-- Mental Health, a New Approach

In March, our Monday forum will focus on mental health and community outreach with Mary-Frances Walsh, executive director of NAMI & John Cregan, Santa Rosa police chief to discuss the InResponse street outreach program, how it’s grown and changed since its inception.

The goal of our Monday monthly league meetings is to educate our members and the public about issues happening in our community and some of the impressive solutions toward addressing these problems. These mostly virtual meetings generally take place on the fourth Monday of each month. Check out our web calendar for details.

Join fellow League members to view this free exhibit by a major female sculptor and a refugee from Germany during Hitler’s reign. An optional lunch at a nearby restaurant will be at your own expense.

MARCH 12that 11:00 am. There is a parking fee on campus. In the Frank Doyle library.

Pottery Exhibit

New Members

Sherrie Brand

Donna Norquist

Lisa Hemenway

Leslie Jacobson

Mary Kost

Ann Kain

Rachel Porter

Ann Oglanian

It's great to have you on our team.

Vote 411

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

California's Primary Voter Resource - Vote 411

Is your registration current?
Have you read the candidate profiles?
Have you read the county measures the state proposition?
It's all a click away.
We have held forums, provided pros and cons of ballot measures, legislative interviews, and are offering an educational series on civics, with links to each on our website.
Take advantage of us. That's why we're here.

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

Voter Service Team Shows Up for Primary Voters!


Candidate Forums

Focused on bringing timely nonpartisan information to primary voters, the team conducted two virtual Candidate Forums during January and February. The Zoom forums featured two contested Sonoma County Board of Supervisors seats. In District 1, candidates Rebecca Hermosillo and Jonathan Mathieu, and in District 3, candidates Chris Coursey and Omar Medina, made opening and closing statements and responded to questions from the audience and the League. To reach a broad audience, forums are offered in English, with Spanish interpretation, and recordings are posted on the League YouTube channel. The District 5 race is uncontested with incumbent Lynda Hopkins running unopposed. In that scenario, the League does not conduct a candidate forum. Each election season the team works to provide the public with responses directly from the candidates on issues of priority for each District.

Legislative Interviews

In January, a Voter Service team coordinated and conducted legislative interviews, together with members of neighboring leagues. The annual interviews are a way to get to know our legislators and for them to share their priorities. The State league provided prepared questions around open meeting laws, climate change issues related to health, how to make progress to meet state housing goals. As all the Sonoma County legislators are “shared” with other counties, we coordinated with other leagues. Napa and Marin counties joined us on the ZOOM calls. A summary of the interviews will be reported to the State league. This helps the League in gaining information and is useful in statewide planning and advocacy. The legislators interviewed: Senator Bill Dodd, SD3; Assemblymember Cecila Aguiar-Curry, AD4; and Assemblymember Damon Connolly, AD12. Legislators praised League advocacy efforts and were versed on League positions. Their answers were consistent - supporting various housing bills, open government revisions and measures to address health issues related to climate change. This was an excellent opportunity to talk with our elected officials. As always, it was interesting.

Voter Resources

VOTE411: The place to find your voter info! Simply enter your address to see a personalized ballot in English or Spanish. Find nonpartisan candidate info and explanations of ballot measures and propositions.

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters: Check with the County Registrar for the latest 2024 primary and general election info: County Voter Guide, State Voter Guide, Drop Box and Vote Center Locations, Sample Ballots.

Track your ballot: Find out when your ballot has been mailed, received, and counted. Explore the Vote-by-Mail frequently asked questions.

Voter Status Look-Up: Check your registration status or register to vote at the Secretary of State website.

LWV California Easy Voter Guide: Click to access the Easy Voter Guide in five languages.

Vote with the League: See the League recommendation on Proposition 1.

Volunteer Opportunities & Training

Additional candidate forum volunteer training will be provided in 2024 for the general election season. The Pros & Cons team has completed primary ballot measure research, script writing, and video production and will be gearing up for the general election later this year. Volunteers are needed for all Voter Service teams. See articles in this edition for updates on Pros & Cons, Youth Outreach, Voter Registration, and Vote411.

Many thanks to the volunteer teams who made these Voter Service activities come off smoothly and with League of Women Voter’s integrity.

March Election Pros and Cons are on YouTube!

Check out the pros & cons recordings of CA State Proposition 1 and Sonoma County Measure H, currently up on our Sonoma County LWV YouTube channel.


The Sonoma and Marin Leagues joined forces to create first the scripts and then these recordings.In them you’ll see what a “Yes” vote means and what a “No” vote means.We also include 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.

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.We’re expecting to have more than 7 measures on the November 5thballot as well as some county wide measures.The process spans from mid-August thru mid-October, 2024.We will need lots of help.Join our team!!Contact Lynn Dooley atprosandcons@lwvsonoma.orgtoday!!

Youth Outreach Presentation

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

The Youth Outreach Committee has been going back to school!!


Our terrific team ofHigh School In-Classroom Programpresenters have visited Laguna High, Casa Grande High, Petaluma High and Cloverdale High so far this semester.They are registering eligible Sonoma County students to vote while giving them some sound, non-partisan civics information.


During our in-classroom sessions, 160 students have signed up for election reminders.On February 5th, these students were contacted via text or email to be on the lookout for their ballot.In this communication we included a list of trusted, non-partisan websites where students could research the info on their ballot.Our communication wrapped up with a warning to be on the alert for disinformation and gave some tips regarding how to recognize “fake news”.


On another note, the LWV Sonoma County Elections Ambassador Programis picking up steam.With interest now from Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College and a few high schools, this team is holding training sessions so students can register their peers to vote.


Special thanks to Robyn Bramhall and Chris Riezenman who are heading up the Youth Outreach committee temporarily.And a shout out to the presenting teams & committee members: Nan Butterworth, Elaine Covell, Paula Hawkes, Leona Judson, Nancy Lewis, Debbie McKay, Gayle Peterson, Theodora Pollack, Donna Roper, Martha Selig, Tessa Vandenberg and Connie Williams.You all are making a huge difference for Sonoma County youth!

Luckily, neither of these programs have to end with the March election!We can continue to visit schools throughout this semester and into the fall.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


March 21. 2024: Moderated by Juanita Roland

The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel,byPip Williams402 pages,|Apr 6, 2021

“Delightful . . . [a] captivating and slyly subversive fictional paean to the real women whosework on theOxford English Dictionarywent largely unheralded.”—The New York Times Book Review.

Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming,The Dictionary of Lost Wordsreveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of theOxford English Dictionaryto tell this highly original story.The Dictionary of Lost Wordsis a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.


April 18. 2024: Moderated by Sukey Robb-Wilder

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America,byHeather Cox Richardson, 286 pages, September 2023.

Richardson crafts a compelling and original narrative, explaining how, over the decades, a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals. By weaponizing language and promoting false history they have led us into authoritarianism -- creating a disaffected population and then promising to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. She argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation's true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld. Their dedication to the principles on which this nation was founded has enabled us to renew and expand our commitment to democracy in the past. Richardson sees this history as a roadmap for the nation's future. Richardson's unique talent is to wrangle our giant, meandering, confusing news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to, what the historical roots and precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead. Writing in her trademark calm prose, she manages to be both realistic and optimistic about the future of democracy. There are many books that tell us what has happened over the last five years. This book explains how we got to this perilous point, what our history really tells us about ourselves, and what the future of democracy can be.


To see the list for the year:


Zoom Meeting
February 2024
Therese Scherrer, Acting Secretary

February 3, 2024 Board Meeting

AdministrationThe League started accepting credit cards through the STRIPE program in December and is receiving a substantial number of transactions. This form of payment is offered as an alternative to PayPal.

AdvocacyThe committee recommended, and the Board approved the nomination of Kevin Hagerty, League of Marin County President, for a seat on the SMART Citizen Oversight Committee. The new Eel-Russian Project Authority was recently formed with Sonoma County, Sonoma Water, and the Mendocino County Water and Power Commission to negotiate with PG&E as the utility moves ahead with plans to surrender the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project.

MembershipChanges to the national membership process are on the horizon in the coming year. Judie Coleman reported there were seven new members since the last report.

CommunicationsDonna Roper and Therese Scherrer were on the KBBF Women’s Spaces radio program, hosted by Elaine Holtz, in early February to discuss League primary elections work and the Civics Classes. Linda Robinett is working with Juanita Roland on theThe Voter. Lee Rosen and committee chairs will post events on the website.

Voter ServiceCandidate Forums, Pros & Cons, Voter Registration, Youth Outreach, and Vote411 are underway for the Primary season. Two virtual forums were conducted in January and February for the Board of Supervisors Districts 1 and 3. Pros & Cons for state Proposition 1 and county Measure H have been produced. Recordings of the forums in English and Spanish and Pros & Cons will be posted. The Voter Registration team has completed its review of the forms distribution locations and is considering a re-structuring in the coming year. Vote411, the new candidate information system, is up and running in time for the Primary.

Youth Outreach:Chris Riezenman and Robyn Bramhall are leading the In-Classroom Program coordinating visits to Casa Grande, Laguna, Petaluma, and Cloverdalehigh 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.

Outreach & Program:The League will host its annual program planning meeting on Monday, February 26. Leona Judson sent a follow-up survey encouraging members to weigh in on program priorities for the coming year. In addition to selection of the areas of emphasis for 2024-2025, presentations will highlight the recent Legislative Interviews and Pros & Cons on Measure H and Proposition 1. Join the League for the three-session Civics Class Tuesdays in February and March. Local experts will present on State, county, and city government and the legislative process.


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

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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