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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 - March 2024

Published on 3/15/2024
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 3
In this Issue:

Voter Service Committee
Therese Scherrer, Chair


Voter Service Help Wanted!

Stay Tuned for Volunteer Training Opportunities

As the League moves beyond the 2024 primary season, the Voter Service Committee is planning for the upcoming general election. It’s time to step back, assess, adjust, and reach out to involve new volunteers. Key to prep for the next election cycle is securing effective leadership for the coming year. The board is seeking leaders for the Voter Service Committee – chair or co-chairs – starting July 1, 2024. Other volunteer positions are available to assist in the League’s core function of voter education. Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons development offer many opportunities that require a few hours during election season. It’s the most effective way to contribute to ensuring a more informed voting public. Please join us as we gear up for volunteer training this summer.

For more info about the open positions, contact Therese Scherrer at


Monthly Meeting
Mental Health, a New Approach
March 18, 11:30 pm
on Zoom

Monday Monthly Meetings

By Leona Judson

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.

We had a very successful Program Planning meeting last month where we voted on what our areas ofemphasis will be starting in July 2024 through June 2025. There was general agreement that Making Democracy Work, our core mission, should take priority with this being a critical election year. From there, the members voted to keep our same issues that we are currently working on: Climate Change, Criminal Justice & Transportation. Health care was a close runner up but didn’t make the list.

So, what’s next? This month,March 18that 11:30 AM,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.Registration is recommended but not required. Please join us.Please sign up through our website atLeague of Women Voters SonomaLink to Event

In April, we will have a speaker from RCPA (Regional Climate Protection Authority) to give us an update on their Climate Protection Initiative. Stay tuned.

Message from Our President
Donna Roper

I’m excited to have “seen” all of you at our planning session for the next year. It’s good for the board to have some direction from members as to where to put our energy. The National League compiles all this info from around the states and puts their plans together at the upcoming convention in June. This year it will be held in Washington DC and we will have an opportunity to visit with our legislators. We will also meet our new national president, Sania Irwin. If this is an interest to you, please contact me

I hope to see more of you getting involved in the many projects we will try to accomplish before the November election. The more volunteers we have, the more forums we can provide, more high school kids get registered, more letters get mailed and on and on. Please sign up to help wherever you can. We also will be electing new Board members in June so consider joining to help set the agenda for our League.

Another thing you might like to try is tabling opportunities which are mentioned in this newsletter. It’s a great way to meet other members and get the word out about the League. You also can spread the word! Invite friends and neighbors to join.

Happy Spring!


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.

National Popular Vote
Who Elects the President of the US?
ByDeborah J McKay

Who Elects the President of the US?

Many Americans would say the people.But does the national popular vote of the people always determine who is President?Many of you know there is an intermediary called the Electoral College.When you vote for President, you are actually committing your state’s electors to vote for whomever get the most votes in your state.

In some years, the Electoral College process results in the candidate with the most votes nationwide becoming the next president.But other times that is not the result.

But what if the candidate who won the most votes nationwide was the President every time?Impossible, because of our Electoral College system, which would be too hard to eliminate?There is actually a movement to make the Nationwide popular vote determine the Presidency every time, without eliminating the Electoral College.

The National League of Women Voters (LWVUS) has supported the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact since 2010.The League conducted a two year study before adopting this position.At the 2018 LWVUS Convention delegates from Leagues across the United States voted to add advocacy of theNational Popular Vote Interstate Compactto the 2018-2020 Campaign for Making Democracy Work®. To support this effort, the LWVUS National Popular Task Force (the “LWV Task Force”) was established. More detailed information is available atNational Popular Vote Task Force

“The National Popular Vote Interstate Compactwill guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will go into effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538).

“The Compact ensures thateveryvote, ineverystate, will matter ineverypresidential election. The Compact is a state-based approach that preserves the Electoral College, state control of elections, and the power of the states to control how the President is elected. All of this group of 270+ presidential electors will be supporters of the candidate who received the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC—thus making that candidate President.”--

Are we anywhere close to the number of states needed to make this change?The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by 16 states (including CA) and the District of Columbia (DC) possessing 205electoral votes.As mentioned above a total of 270 electoral votes are needed to elect the President.Therefore, the Agreement will take effect when enacted by states with 65more electoral votes.There is pending legislation in a number of states.

To learn more details, including the status of the bill in each state go to

National Popular Vote


Debbie Mc Kay

Immediate Past President, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County

Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury
An Opportunity to Serve

Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury Presentation and Q&A

The CivilGrand Jury is an historic institution, sometimes called the "watchdog of the community."If you have an interest in local government and its operations, enjoy learning and working with others, and want to promote positive change, consider becoming a Civil Grand Juror. The time commitment isforone-year from July 1 to June 30, 10 or more hours per week, must be a U.S. citizen, and have basic computer skills. Apply online by April 29th: atGrand Jury

To find out what it is like to serve as a civil grand juror, please join former grand jurors for a presentation on March 19 at AQUS Cafe, 189 H Streetin Petaluma from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.



LWVSC Calendar

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

Link to Calendar


A great way to meet fellow Leaguers and learn more about our activities is to join us at a tabling event. An experienced member will show you the ropes. Tabling at community events helps us register and educate voters, get exposure for the League and to recruit new members. Here are some upcoming activities. You can also go to our website and look under Take Action / Volunteering. You can also just come by and say hi!

March 13th– Press Democrat Trust and Democracy Series

April 20 – Butter and Eggs Day in Petaluma

May 18th– Rose Parade in Santa Rosa

June 1 – Sonoma County Pride Parade in Santa Rosa

Interested? Contact

Housing Webinar
The League of Women Voters of California would like to invite you to attend our upcoming webinar, "Legalizing Housing Abundance in California".Join us on March 28that 5 PM (PDT)!

Legalizing Housing Abundance in California

Date:March 28, 2024

Time:5-6 PM (PDT)

Description:Are you interested in learning more about solutions to the housing crisis in California? In recent years the League of Women Voters of California has supported several important bills designed to increase housing production and expand equitable access. Join us to learn more about policies to increase supply, including affordable housing, and how this may impact you.


Nolan Gray, Research Director at CA YIMBY

Teri Mufic Neustaedter, LWVC Housing & Homelessness Interest Group Chair



New Members

It's great to have you on our team.

Vote 411

Sue Jackson, Coordinator

With the California primary election under wraps, we are beginning our work behind the scenes to make the 2024 General Election Voter Resource Guide the best ever. We successfully managed the transition from Voter’s Edge to Vote 411 and did quite well. California boasted the second highest user rate in the nation. 80% of Sonoma County candidates participated – also a good showing that put us in the top tier.

Candidates moving forward to the general election will be able to access the profiles they submitted for the primary election, making edits and additions as they see fit.

If you would like to join the Vote 411 team, please send an email We welcome volunteers. It’s fun. It’s easy. You can do it from home. The fun will begin in July with volunteer training sessions and new marketing tools.

That email

Vote 411 Map
Vote 411 So Far

Youth Outreach Presentation

Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator

Youth Committee Update


The LWV Elections Ambassador Program has been taking shape thanks to the hard work of Robyn Bramhall and Chris Riezenman.Robyn and Chris presented this peer to peer voter registration program to Santa Rosa Junior College’s Student Government Assembly and Interclub Council.These presentations resulted in 8 groups signing up to take our training and hold election activities on campus.Stay tuned for more information as this program grows.


If you’d like to play a role in this important program,



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
March 2024
Therese Scherrer, Acting Secretary

March 2, 2024 Board Meeting

AdministrationThe League is fielding a heavy volume ofelection-related calls and making referrals regarding spoiled ballots, judicial candidates, and voter registration.

AdvocacySonoma County Board of Supervisors held a workshop on March 5thfeaturing reports from Permit Sonoma regarding pending tree ordinances. Sonoma Water officials presented a briefing to environmental groups on the Eel River diversion.

MembershipIn-person member socials will start in April and continue monthly. The League will host a group gathering at SRJC Doyle Library to viewMarguerite Wildenhain pottery exhibit on March 12 at 11am. See the events calendar for details.

CommunicationsBoard members are reminded to use the website article submission forThe Voterarticles. There may be a by-laws amendment on the horizon as changes to the membership occur later this year.

Voter ServicePrimary season activity has wrapped up. The Voter Service team seeks volunteers for its open positions, notably Committee Chair or Co-Chairs. Training for the Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons is planned for this summer in preparation for the general election season.

Youth Outreach:The In-School program has visited 37 classes in 8 schools; spoken to 909 students; registered or pre-registered 592 students; and sent 160 follow-up communications. SRJC has stepped up to welcome presentations for the Student Elections Ambassadors program to its Student Government Association and the Inter-Club Council.

Outreach & Program:The League hosted its annual program planning meeting on Monday, February 26. Those present approved the following areas of emphasis for the coming year: Making Democracy Work, Climate Change, Criminal Justice, and Transportation. In March, the monthly meeting will be on Monday the 18thfeaturing Santa Rosa Police Chief, John Cregan, and Mary-Frances Walsh, Executive Director NAMI of Sonoma County, discussing the InResponse Mental Health program. The third class in the Civics series, “How City and County Government Works” is scheduled for March 12that 6pm. The League will participate in the Press Democrat’s “Trust & Democracy” Community News Event on March 13that 5:30 at SRJC. See the website events calendar for details.

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
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton Membership $100
Carrie Chapman Catt Membership $200 or more

Additional Household Member: ____________________________________
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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