Voter Service Committee
Karen Weeks, Chair
June 2022 Primary Season is Here
There are many forums happening throughout Sonoma County in anticipation of the June primary. The League is partnering with two organizations on their forums:
On April 28th the Mark West Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a hybrid forum for the District 4 Supervisorial Race.
On May 9th we will partner with La Luz for a forum with those running for Sheriff. This will be a ZOOM forum.
In addition, Los Cien will be hosting forums for the Superintendent of School and for the Sherriff.
Also there will be a forum for the State Assembly District 12 sponsored by the Marin County League of Women Voters on April 21st with a focus on climate change and environmental-related issues.
For specific information on League forums, please refer to the calendar on the League’s website.
For information on other forums, please check the New Articles under “Candidate Forums” on the home page of the League’s website.
You can also see past emails on forums, as well as other programs in the emails section of our web site.
A flyer on the forum for Candidates for Sonoma County Sheriff is in the Reference Section.
Message from Our President
April is Volunteer Recognition Month and since the League of Women Voters is all volunteer, we really need to focus on the accomplishments of so many of our members. There is a role for any of you who want to get involved. In this newsletter, you will see information about stocking voter registration forms at post offices and libraries around the county. I want to thank Jim Masters for his leadership of a great group of people - Sukey Robb-Wilder, Anita Lytle, Elaine Covell, Claudia Robbins, Nancy Lewis, Julia Pollock, Janis Oatham, Barbara Coen, Diane Graner, Linda Trodder Karow, Susan Novak, Sandy Benson, and Susan Richter. These women are giving their time (and now gas money) delivering forms in 90 locations.
On our web site, you will find other opportunities for volunteering. We especially need help in social media and marketing which can be done from your home. If you would like to learn more about this, we can train you to post events on Facebook or newspapers or other media as well as write articles for publication or help to keep our website interesting and up to date. We will be tabling at markets and events around the county to register voters. We will train volunteers to go into High schools next fall to inform and register students. If you have read a great book, you could lead a discussion for our book club. You can join the Observer Corp and help us monitor legislation. And we have one in person forum on April 28th where we need greeters and question sorters.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Whatever your passion, we can find you a place in the League to make a difference.
Don’t wait to be asked - Show up, stand up, and speak up!
Help Is Particularly Needed In These Area
Public Relations Position
Seeking a committed individual, or team, to help promote the Sonoma League activities and build awareness in the community.
This is a part-time, volunteer position. Time commitment is approximately 4-6 hours per week.
Volunteers needed for Voter Registration Outreach Committee (VROC)
The LWV SC has an agreement with the Registrar of Voters to place Voter Registration Cards (VRC’s) at locations around the county. The county is divided into 17 districts, with a current total of 90 locations. Each route has 6-10 locations. Twice a year the LWV volunteers call the locations and then visit them to replenish the VRC’s. There are ROV cardboard stands at most locations, and the volunteer keeps each stand filled with 25 VRC’s in low traffic locations (senior center) and 50 in high traffic locations (post offices). With Covid, many locations were closed (some permanently) or the person who was the contact is no longer there -- which means you have to just go there.
Currently, this district is open: District 3 (Cloverdale and Geyserville), Auto insurance is required. If you have questions or are interested, please send an email to Karen Weeks, Chair of LWV Voter Service Committee, email@example.com with a cc to Jim Masters, Coordinator of the VROC, Vroc@lwvsonoma.org.
See the specific locations in the VROC section of references on our website.
Check the Online Calendar for the latest schedule
and for location or links to virtual meetings.
- Forum-State Assembly District 12, Thursday, April 21, 7:00 PM
- Apple Blossom Parade, Saturday, April 23,8:00 AM, Analy High School, (see more below).
- Candidate forum for Supervisor District 4, Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 PM, Mark West Elementary School
- Candidate Forum for Sheriff, Monday, May 9, 2022, 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM, on Zoom
- Board of Directors, 1st Saturday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon
- Advocacy Committee- 1st Wednesday of the month from 10:00 AM to Noon
- Voter Service Committee- 1st Thursday of the month from 2:00 to 3:00 PM
- Book Group: 3rd Thursday of the month from 10:30 AM to Noon
- Observer Corp , Most Fridays, 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Check calendar for meeting that apply to you and to register..
You’re Invited--Apple Blossom Parade
Join us for a 0.6 mile walk in the Apple Blossom Parade. On Saturday, April 23rd a group of League members and members of other community groups, including AAUW and the National Women’s History Alliance will be walking in the Apple Blossom Parage to Protect Everyone’s Voting Rights. Please join us. We will provide the signs. League Centennial T-shirts will be available for free to anyone who walks in the Parade. We will be distributing our Government Guides, Voter Edge Bookmarks, Membership applications and candy to the children. Sign up today at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0945a4ae2aa3f49-apple1. For more information send an email to President@lwvsonoma.org. We hope to see you on the 23rd!
Debbie McKay, Sectreary
Instead of a regular Board meeting, the Board held a strategic Planning meeting in March. The Board is holding such meetings once a quarter to monitor our progress on meeting our annual goals. The following items were discussed:
Board Role Binders: Board members agreed to put together a binder of information about their role in the League to pass on to whomever assumes their role in the future.
Co-Sponsoring Candidate Forums: The Board decided that any candidate forum we are co-sponsoring will be listed on the events calendar on our webpage. Candidate forums we are not co- sponsoring will post on our Facebook page, in articles on our webpage and in email blasts to the members, but we will not include the forum on our events calendar, as it is not a League event.
GOTV Lawn Signs: The Board voted to purchase new “Your Vote Matters” lawn signs last month and they have arrived. If you know of a business willing to post a sign, please contact Linda Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to pick up and deliver a sign. (You will also need to pickup the sign after the election.)
Publications: We are updating our Government Guides, which list the contact information of all local elected Officials, and will be updating our Membership Application.
Voters Edge: The information provided by candidates may be more interesting soon. Sue Jackson is working with the CLWV to be able to ask more specific questions of local candidates. We hope to implement this change for the June primary candidates.
Webpage update: The Board decided to add a page called “What We Do” that would describe our Areas of Emphasis on our Webpage.
The next Board meeting will be held via Zoom on May 7th at 10:30 am.
Leona Judson, VP
We continue to follow key county & city committees reflecting our areas of emphasis. Some highlights this month are:
Housing- Several of our members toured a variety of publicly funded affordable housing projects for the city of Santa Rosa. Housing for families, previously unsheltered and seniors were part of the tour.
Transportation- Rick Luttmann reported that the SMART team are conducting a series of public “listening sessions” over the next few weeks on various aspects of train service. This is seen as a critical move to restore public trust in SMART. Details and dates are available on our website news feed. We encourage our members to participate in these sessions.
Smart Listening Session
SCA-2 Article 34
Legislation we are following is SCA-2 Repeal of Article 34. This racist constitutional amendment was passed by voters in the 1950’s primarily as a way to keep out Black families. Article 34 required governments to get voter approval before spending public money on affordable housing projects. This is one of many factors contributing to our current housing crisis. Because it is a constitutional amendment it can only be repealed by the voters. The California Senate has unanimously passed SCA-2 to place this on the ballot to repeal Article 34 this year. The Assembly has yet to vote on this measure. Our state league supports this legislation. Our advocacy committee voted to send letters to our local assembly members asking them to vote on the measure.
Learn with the League
Our first public forum of the year will take place on April 13th at 6:30 PM on Zoom. The topic is “What is the Role of the District Attorney?” Our guest panelists are retiring DA, Jill Ravitch and the current public defender, Lynne Slater. Our videographer, Alan Fitch, was not available on that date. So, our committee has had to learn all the ins and outs of putting on this virtual forum. Many thanks to members Judie Coleman, Lynn Dooley and Debbie McKay.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion-
Our league recently adopted our DEI statement, which is largely based on the state and national league statement. We added the word “belonging” to our statement, a good move. It is now posted on our website in both English and Spanish.
If you are considering energy efficient upgrades to your home, learn about what a heat pump might offer. The Sonoma Clean Energy Center offers information and education on ways to make your home more energy efficient. Check out their website and consider a visit there. https://scpadvancedenergycenter.org/education-hub There are rebates for heat pumps through BayRen, another interesting website. https://www.bayren.org/homeowners/heat-pumps
Youth Outreach Programs
Lynn Dooley, Coordinator
The Sonoma League youth program hosted a Making Democracy Work presentation in coordination with the Marin League featuring Dr David McCuan and his Sonoma State University students Haley Provencher and Will Stephenson. The topics they tackled were timely, interesting and professionally delivered. They included:
“Propaganda and the Restriction of Voting Rights;" and
“Misinformation in an Era of Suppression: How Misinformation Affects Voter Suppression Using COVID-19 as a Predictor"
Please look for the recording coming soon to the League YouTube channel.
We will be working with Dr McCuan’s students again during the fall semester. We hope to get the students involved in the Pros and Cons of the November ballot.
If you’d like to be a part of this important and exciting work, please contact Lynn Dooley at email@example.com.
April 21, Moderated by Karen Rust
Forget the Alamo, Rise and Fall of an American Myth, by Bryan Burroughs, Chris Tomlinson, Jason Stafford. 417 pages. 2021
Sometimes I would love to just forget Texas, but we don’t get to. Texas is at the heart of many current issues and this book examines how the stories people tell themselves influence their actions. What really happened at the Alamo? Who are the “heroes” and what brought them to the Alamo? What was the role of slavery? How do we whitewash history and teach that history in public schools? And what do British rockers Ozzy Osborne, Phil Collins and David Bowie have to do with the Alamo?
May 20, Moderated by Juanita Roland
The bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life
Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval--and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.
Lots to Watch --Check out YouTube
You may have noticed that we have been participating in more forums and presentations in the last couple of months. This is part of our strategic plan to be more visible in the community and to provide more voter education to both our member and the community. We are in our second year of our partnership with the LWV of Marin County on our Making Democracy Work presentations.
We are recording most of the presentations and, if you were unable to attend, you may watch the presentations on our League YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvppI3yS3Hcus_mTECDsbFA
One you won’t want to miss is Registrar of Voters Deva Marie Proto’s presentation on the changes to how we vote in Sonoma County. We are now both a Voter’s Choice and a Bilingual County. We are lucky enough to have recorded two presentations on these changes by Ms. Proto. Both are available on our YouTube channel.
Whenever possible we are now providing a simultaneous Spanish translation of our public presentations and forums. However, this is a new cost in our tight budget. If you would like to see the translations continue, please consider making a donation to the League at https://www.lwvsonoma.org/
LWV of Sonoma County Facebook Page
We are now broadcasting most of our candidate forums and many of our public presentations on Facebook Live. If you haven’t checked out our League Facebook page, please take a look at https://www.facebook.com/lwvsonomacounty. We are doing posts right now about the upcoming primary election. We are also looking for a new Facebook Page administrator. If you would like to learn more about posting on our Facebook page, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LWV of Sonoma County Website
You can find links to both YouTube and Facebook on our Website. You can also find past emails, so if you need information in a past mailing, you can go to News and Events, select Emailing. You will find past emails grouped by category, including past Newsletters and Candidate Forums.
Connect with the League
We want to hear from you!
LWVSC Board of Directors
Donna Roper, President
Lee Lipinski, 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
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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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