National Voter Registration Week 2021
During the week of 9/26 – 10/2/21 we had a table at 8 of the library branches and at the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market. We had a total of 18 volunteers, six of whom worked the Sebastopol Farmer’s market, and 2 at each library branch. Some volunteers worked more than one location during the week. The library branches were: Central, Guerneville, Northwest (Coddingtown), Petaluma, Rohnert Park-Cotati, Roseland, Sonoma, and Windsor. There were different levels of “foot traffic” at each location.
We value our partnership with the Sonoma County Library and share a goal of registering citizens to vote, but we find that most library patrons are already registered. That is due in part to the fact that most citizens in Sonoma County are already registered to vote. So, we consider it a success when we do find someone who does need to register. We spoke to several hundred people, most of whom said they were already registered. We registered 2 people, handed out 5 voter registration cards to be completed later and showed three people how to register online.
And, we do these kinds of events for many reasons, not just voter registration. We want to educate voters, which is why we pass out information such as our Voters’ Edge bookmarks and the Fake News bookmarks. At the library branches we handed out approximately 90 English Voter’s edge bookmarks, 9 Spanish Voter’s Edge bookmarks, and 25 Fake News bookmarks. Because we are an all-volunteer organization, we are always seeking new members. We handed out 5 membership applications.
In addition, we want the League to have a good profile in the community and let people know about activities beyond registration. We did our best to speak to each person entering or leaving the library. It was good exposure for the League and many people thanked us for being there to offer information and an opportunity to register.
Check the Online Calendar for the latest schedule
and for location or links to virtual meetings.
Link to Calendar
- United Nations Day Celebration, October 24, 2021, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
- Observer Corps I, Monday, October 11, 2021, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
- Observer Corps Intermediate, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
- Observer Corps Advanced, Friday, October 29, 2021, 10:00 AM yo 11:00 AM
- Board Meeting-1st Saturday of the month, 10:30 AM to Noon
- Advocacy Committee- 1stTuesday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon
- Community Outreach Committee- 1nd Monday of the month at Noon to 2:00 PM.
- Voter Service Committee- 4th Thursday of the month from 10:30 to Noon
- Book Group: 3rd Thursday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon.
Message from Our President
We sometimes get complacent about democracy living in California and especially, Sonoma County. Our rights are rarely threatened, and our state tends to do what’s right on issues that we care about BUT that can change in an instant which we saw during the recall election – both state -wide and locally. Money in politics has become insidious, redistricting can alter a community, and fake news limits the “truth” of what we read and hear.
Elections should be about the voters not big money interests. Redistricting, or community districting, is the process of creating representational district maps for states and local communities. It impacts how our communities are represented and how resources are distributed. Mis- and dis-information are two of the most dangerous tools used to undermine our democracy and the value of every person’s voice.
That’s why the League of Women Voters is so important to support. We emphasize non- partisanship; we provide pros and cons on most issues; and we believe that voters should play a critical role in democracy.
One of our tools is Voter’s Edge which provides both general and state-specific nonpartisan resources to the voting public, including a polling place locator, a ballot look-up tool, candidate positions on issues, and more.
Our other “tool” is you- the voter, the volunteer, the interested person. We need you to show up, stand up and speak up for democracy in Sonoma County. On our website, (lwvsonoma.org) you will see opportunities both large and small for volunteering. Please join us!
Welcome New Members
We're So Glad You're Here!
Deborah A. Eppstein
Kay E. Vick
Ann C Whitman
Debbie McKay, Sectreary
At their October 2nd Board meeting Gayle Mc Kinney-Peterson was appointed the new Program Committee Chair. Gayle will be working with other league members to plan our Fall Kickoff Meeting – Save the Date -- Nov 13th 10 am. If you would like to help with this event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Rosen, VP of Administration, and league member Lee Lipinski are reviewing and organizing our League’s historical records and photos. Linda will make a progress report at the next Board meeting.
A generous donation of pictures and framed artwork from the Suffragist Exhibit at the Petaluma Museum and Library was donated to the League, and the board is discussing the best ways to share these items with our members and the public.
Position descriptions for Board positions and off-board positions are being updated and approved by the Board to reflect the current duties more accurately. We need a volunteer to fill an off-board position to coordinated having our booth at community events to do voter registration and education. If you are interested, or want more information, please send an email to email@example.com.
We joined with the Humboldt and Mendocino County Leagues to pass a joint letter and resolution opposing the request of NCRC, LLC to restart freight trains running through our counties to transport coal shipments to Humboldt Bay. The letter and resolution were sent to the Surface Transportation Board, to our elected representatives Jared Huffman and Mike McGuire, as well as the Secretary of Transportation.
There are three ground water basins in Sonoma County that are of moderate concern: Sonoma, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa. The reports on the sustainability plans for these three basins were released the first week of October with a deadline of October 31st for public comments. Because these are complex and lengthy documents, the League Board felt a longer time period for public comment should be allowed. Therefore, the Board approved that a letter be sent to the appropriate bodies to request that public comment be allowed through November 30th.
Sue Jackson has stepped down as chair of the Community Outreach Committee and there is not yet a replacement, so the Board is suspending meetings of the Committee until a new chair is selected. If you are interested in chairing or co-chairing the Community Outreach Committee, please send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Board meeting will be held via Zoom on Nov 6th at 10:30 am.
Leona Judson, VP
There are many ways to strengthen our democracy. Getting out the vote is critical. But there is another way too, and that is to simply to observe your government in action. Observing board and council meetings improves transparency as well as educating and informing the public. Our league is joining others across the country in developing something known as “observer corp”. This is a process to learn the best practices of observing government meetings while remaining non-partisan. Most government meetings are still being held virtually, making it easy. Our membership chair, Judie Coleman, has put together a three-part training. These will be held regularly. All you have to do is go to our website. The sessions are listed on the calendar. Just click on the one you want and register.
We have all become acutely aware that the continued historic drought has placed a heavy strain on our rivers, creeks and groundwater. The advocacy committee has taken this to heart by becoming involved in the agricultural cannabis issue. At stake is the agricultural departments’ use of issuing permits using the ministerial procedure. This allows permits to be issued without the required environmental CEQA process or notification. Further, these permits are being issued to mult-tenant farmers. The board of supervisors placed a 45-day hold on these permits. But this will expire soon. Our league wrote a letter to the BOS and related agencies asking for a moratorium on all new and renewing permits for multi-tenant farmers until a full EIR can be conducted. The intense water requirements that cannabis needs puts further strain on our groundwater and rivers. The BOS meeting on October 26th will bring an update on what the Sonoma County Cannabis Program will recommend.
United Nations Day-
The United Nations will be celebrating its 76th anniversary here in Sonoma County on Sunday October 24th from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. It is a free online event with an impressive panel that includes local activists and elected local representatives. The panelists will highlight the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is one you do not want to miss. Register today and find out more about the panelists and our local UN chapter go to: https://una-sonoma.org/blueprint-for-a-better-future/
LWV Sonoma County appointee to Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC}
to Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA)
SMART and all three Sonoma County bus services are gradually bouncing back from the pandemic downturn, with the help of Measure M funds. Ridership is up and service frequency is increasing.
SMART is working with the Golden Gate Bridge ferry division to improve connectivity in Larkspur.
SMART is searching for a new General Manager to replace Farhad Mansourian, who is retiring. The new GM will be announced at the SMART Board meeting on 20 October.
SMART will require all employees to be fully vaccinated by 6 December.
The Hwy 101 widening north of Petaluma will be completed soon, and then the final phase of widening 101 to three lanes will begin north of Novato.
A roundabout is proposed for the intersection of 116 and 121 near Schellville to relieve congestion.
Hwy 37 continues to be the subject of meetings to propose relief of congestion and flooding. All solutions being considered are expensive and long-term, despite the existence of a viable SMART track from Novato to the Napa River Bridge, now in use for light freight.
Two ped/bike overcrossings of US 101 are planned, one connecting SRJC with Coddingtown, the other in Rohnert Park at Copeland Creek.
Although citizens, city councils, boards of supervisors, and State and Federal legislators have all spoken out against a proposal to run trains through the North Coast to Humboldt Bay for exporting coal to Asia, the matter is now in the jurisdiction of the STB (Surface Transportation Board), a Federal agency charged with promoting rail service, 4 of whose 5 members were appointed by the previous President.
See a more complete report on transportation on our website News Section.
Voter Service Committee
Karen Weeks, Chair
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is just around the corner! The Voter Service Committee is beginning to plan for early 2022 forums for special elections and primary elections. We will continue virtual forums – the viewing numbers for the 2020 forums have been tremendous. If you are interested in helping out with these forums, please contact me. We can pair you up with someone who has participated before. Roles include timekeeper, moderator, question sorter, and others.
Judie Coleman, Chair
Here We Come!
LWV Observer Corps
Bring a Friend!
Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83074833934
Have you attended a government meeting recently? As the LWV-US puts it: “Protecting our right to know is integral to the health of our democracy.”
LWV-Sonoma has an active Observer Corps. Come watch the wheels of government with the League. We do it together, so it’s fun. We explain the background of what is being discussed, so you’ll understand. While there is danger of COVID, we do it on Zoom, so you don’t have to drive. We make it easy. Whether you have never been to a government meeting, or have attended many in the past, we invite you to join us. Stop taking your democracy for granted! Register Now! Bring a Friend!
No obligation or long term commitment required. The next orientation is on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 2 pm on Zoom. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83074833934 For more information, email: email@example.com.
Wed, Oct 27 6 pm (Zoom)
Everyone is welcome for this no-agenda virtual social get together on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 6 pm on ZOOM. It’s free, it’s fun. You never know who you are going to meet, or what conversations we’ll have. (Bring your own wine.) Feel free to bring a friend! Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88258478680
Looking for a Buddy?
We are looking for people who would like to be a friendly buddy to new members. Help them learn the ropes. Be a friend. Email us here to sign up to be a buddy: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 21--Moderated by Joyce MacLaury
Imperfect Union by Steve Inskeep, 353 pages, 2020.
How Jessie and John Fremont mapped the west, invented celebratory and helped cause the civil war. This book is a masterfully dual biography of how the Fremonts won the American West. Action packed stories about the Mexican War, the Oregon Trail, the California wilderness and the Civil War are bountiful. And the political intrigue surrounding the birth of the Republican Party offered is marvelous
November 18—Choose books for the coming year. A time to bring in your list and talk about a lot of great books.
Book List 2021
Connect with the League
We want to hear from you!
LWVSC Board of Directors
Donna Roper, President
Linda Rosen, VP Administration
Leona Judson, VP Advocacy
Debbie McKay, Secretary
Linda Rosen, Treasurer
Judie Coleman, Membership
Open, Community Outreach
Karen Weeks, Voter Service
Gayle Peterson, Programs
Juanita Roland, Iris Levitis, Web, Communications
Jim Masters, Member at Large
Become a Member
of the LWV of Sonoma County
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 site https://www.lwvsonoma.org and click on the Join Us button 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, email@example.com is always available to answer your questions.
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League of Women Voters of Sonoma County
555 Fifth Street, Suite 300O
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8301