Paul George, Executive Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
Municipalities around the country are raising their local minimum wage. Is it time for Los Altos to join Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose? Paul George will explain what is happening nationally and explore the myths and facts about doing so. Come, learn and discuss this timely topic with us.
For the past 25 years, Paul George has served as Executive Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, the local area’s leading grassroots activist organization. Paul has been a grassroots activist and organizer for peace and human rights his entire adult life. He has worked on electoral campaigns, as a political organizer for labor, and on international solidarity campaigns. Paul hosts the award-winning monthly TV program, “Other Voices”. He is a frequent and popular public speaker on a broad range of topics.
Location & Time
Ristorante Bella Vita 376 First Street, Los Altos May 8th, 11:30am to 1pm
Cost is $27 per person. If you don’t wish to RSVP and pay online, you can RSVP by phone or email with Ellyn Corey at 650-559-1828 by May 6th with your choice of entree (Chicken Marsala or Vegetarian Ravioli with Tomato Sauce). Bring your payment check with you on May 8th. We look forward to seeing you there! Bring a friend.
MAP • Ristorante Bella Vita • 376 First Street, Los Altos
Our annual 2015 LWV program planning meeting had a new, snappier format this year. The attendees broke into sub-groups so that more issues could be covered by having members specialize.
We assumed that attendees had reviewed the League positions documents, so it was not necessary to take the time to read them aloud as a group. These changes really speed things up.
But before turning to discussion of issues, first the members had to attend to a bit of 501(c)3 paperwork. Just to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, the attendees had to vote to approve the renumbering of our articles of incorporation. [Amendments that implemented the 501(c)3 status were previously approved.]
After all the discussions and deliberations, the main assembly voted to recommend to LWVC a study on Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits. We voted to ask LWVC to focus its state advocacy programs and its state education programs on, in order of highest to lowest priority, money in politics, Prop 13 commercial property reform, and a fossil fuel extraction tax.
Sue Graham provided an overview of the Program Planning meeting agenda and process. Max Heckman-Bernard ran the meeting and voting processes.
The participants divided into three groups — Social Portfolio, Government Portfolio, and Natural Resources Portfolio — to discuss the LWVC’s state level positions. The task of each group was to decide are the current positions relevant, not relevant, or in need of being updated? In addition, each group was to determine what issues LWVC should focus on for the next two years (2015-2017), and if any new state study should be recommended. We included for consideration study recommendations from other Leagues: Minimum Livable Wage and Death with Dignity. One of our members, Steve Chessin, proposed a study on Alternative Electoral Methods. Another one of our members brought forward a Proposition 13 Commercial Property Reform recommendation.
The Government Portfolio group voted to recommend a LWVC study on Voting Alternatives to Settle Voting Act Lawsuits, (including cumulative voting) as presented by Steve Chessin.
Another group voted to reccommend that the LWVC advocate for Proposition 13 Commercial Property Reform in order to promote greater equity and that it advocate for continued education about the harm of money in politics.
The three groups — Social Portfolio, Government Portfolio, and Natural Resources Portfolio — re-convened into the main assembly, where the members voted to retain all LWVC positions on government, natural resources, and social issues.
Consideration of Several New State Studies
The main assembly of our chapter considered studies on the following topics:
— Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits (government)
— Death with Dignity (social)
— Kansas proposal on Minimum Livable Wage (social)
— Tax on Fossil Fuel Extraction (natural resources)
Our Vote to Recommend a New State Study
The main assembly of our chapter voted to recommend to LWVC a study on Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits.
Consideration of Areas for State Advocacy Focus
For advocacy, the main assembly of our chapter considered:
–Fossil Fuel Extraction Tax
–Prop 13 Commercial Property Reform
–Money in Politics
Our Vote to Recommend State Advocacy Focus
Our chapter voted and will ask LWVC to focus advocacy and education on, in order of highest to lowest priority, money in politics, Prop 13 commercial property reform, and a fossil fuel extraction tax.
We were asked to provide names of members willing to work on these issues:
Money in Politics – Katie Zoglin, Julie Cates
Prop Commercial Property Reform – Dianne Gershuny
Fossil Fuel Extraction Tax –Terry Terman
If you want to join the effort to work on one or more of these issues, please contact the above members. They are listed in your member directory.
In January 2016 we will be contributing to program planning for LWVUS, the national league. State programs vs. national programs are considered every other year. But when it comes to local positions, local advocacy programs and local education programs, we consider those every year.
And then there is Lunch
Members stayed after the meeting to enjoy the traditional soup lunch and tasty desserts prepared by the board and other volunteers.
Our October 2014 Lunch with The League speaker is Jeffrey Baier, Superintendent of the Los Altos School District. Jeff will explain LASD’s Measure N – a $150 million capital improvement bond for 1) accommodating enrollment growth with extra facilities and also 2) upgrading current campuses’ facilities. In addition, he will also present an update on the current school year’s plans for curriculum, teacher training, technology initiatives, etc.
Location & Time –
Ristorante Bella Vita 376 First Street, Los Altos Oct. 17, 11:30am to 1pm
Cost is $27 per person.RSVP and reserve your lunch by mail or phone.
If you don’t wish to RSVP and pay online, you can send a check made out to the League of Women Voters Los Altos-Mountain View. Please add attendee names, menu selections and a memo that the payment is for LWL 9/19/2014 so that we may process your check properly. Mail the check and your notations to the LWVLAMV League office at 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022. To RSVP by phone, call Ellyn Corey at 650-559-1828 by October 15 with your choice of entree, lemon chicken or vegetarian pasta and your payment arrangements. We look forward to seeing you there. Bring a friend.
MAP • Ristorante Bella Vita • 376 First Street, Los Altos
Jeffrey Baier, Superintendent in the Los Altos School District, inspires a passion for learning in students and staff. With more than 20 years of experience in education, Jeff has served students as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, spanning elementary through middle school, all within the Los Altos and Mountain View School Districts in California.
He is passionate about improving learning experiences for students and has challenged the status quo in a top performing public school district to ensure students are prepared for their futures. Jeff was among the first to develop blended learning environments with Khan Academy and has led the effort to bring numerous innovative programs to LASD.
When not focused on schools, you can find Jeff with his family, with his camera, at a lacrosse field, or all three simultaneously.
Pros and Cons: An explanation of three State ballot measures at Lunch with the League Friday, September 19th from 11:30am to 1pm . Cost is $27. Register at http://www.lwvlamv.org/league-news/nancy-cavagnaro-sept-19-lunch-with-the-league/
Ristorante Bella Vita, 376 First Street, Los Altos
Meet and Greet with the candidates for El Camino Healthcare District, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Superior Court Judge #24 Sunday, September 28th from 1pm to 3pm Los Altos Youth Center, 1 N San Antonio Road Co-sponsored by American Association of University Women Los Altos-Mountain View and the Los Altos Library
Candidate Forum for Los Altos City Council Wednesday, October 1st from 7pm to 9pm Eagle Theater at Los Altos High School 201 Almond Avenue, Los Altos Co-sponsored by American Association of University Women Los Altos-Mountain View, GreenTown Los Altos, Los Altos Community Foundation, Los Altos Forward, Los Altos Town Crier, and Los Altos Women’s Caucus
Candidate Forum for Mountain View Los Altos High School District and Mountain View Whisman District School Boards: Thursday, October 2 6:30pm to 8:00pm: Mountain View Los Altos HS 8:15pm to 9:15pm: Mountain View-Whisman Co-sponsored by American Association of University Women Los Altos-Mountain View
Pros and Cons: An explanation of the ballot measures Sunday, October 5th from 11:30am to 1pm Foothills Congregational Church, 461 Orange Ave, Los Altos
Candidate Forum for the Los Altos School District Wednesday, October 8th from 7pm to 9pm Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Rd, Los Altos Co-sponsored by American Association of University Women Los Altos-Mountain View and the Los Altos Library
Pros and Cons: An explanation of the ballot measures Tuesday, October 14th from 7pm to 8:30pm Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, Co-sponsored by the Los Altos Library
Candidate Forum for Mountain View City Council candidates, Co-sponsored with Google Wednesday, October 15th from 4pm to 6pm. Google Headquarters at 1600 Amphitheater Pkwy, Mountain View
Lunch with the League is back – with Ballot Propositions!
Our first luncheon speaker of the new 2014-15 season is Nancy Brewer-Cavagnaro, a practicing lawyer who has been following the California ballot propositions. Nancy will explain three ballot propositions for us – Prop 1, the water bond, Prop 45, health care insurance, and Prop 46, trial lawyers medical malpractice.
Location & Time –
Ristorante Bella Vita 376 First Street, Los Altos Sept. 19, 11:30am to 1pm
How to Reserve –
Sorry, ONLINE ORDERS NOW CLOSED
Cost is $27 per person.RSVP and reserve your lunch on this web page (preferred).
If you don’t wish to RSVP and pay online, you can send a check made out to the League of Women Voters Los Altos-Mountain View. Please add attendee names, menu selections and a memo that the payment is for LWL 9/19/2014 so that we may process your check properly. Mail the check and your notations to the LWVLAMV League office at 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022. To RSVP by phone, call Jan Letson at 650-941-5387 by September 15 with your choice of entree, lemon chicken or vegetarian pasta and your payment arrangements. We look forward to seeing you there. Bring a friend.
We are no longer taking online orders. Last Minute Orders: phone Jan Letson.
MAP • Ristorante Bella Vita • 376 First Street, Los Altos
Because of our booming tech sector, the greater Silicon Valley area attracts tens of thousands of newcomers. Many newbies are surprised that government really is organized somewhat differently here. The League’s new edition of “Guide to California Government” makes a great gift for a new neighbor from out-of-state or out-of-the-county. It can help them to learns the whys and wherefores of state, county and local and school government in our state. For example, many East Coasters are accustomed to the schools being governed by the town or city. It’s not so in California. The book’s author is Adele Fasick wearing the black and white sweater in the photo above.
Who is Creating the Easy Voter Guides?
On Sunday, August 17, 2014, Adele Fasick, the author of the new edition of the Guide to California Government and LWV San Francisco member, spoke about her continuing work on the Easy Voter Guide for the City of San Francisco. Her seven member committee simplifies and rewrites the language of city ballot measures at an eighth-grade level, publishing it in a booklet and also for the web as EasyVoter.com. The material is also translated into over a dozen languages.
The City of Oakland also has an Easy Voter Guide effort. Alec MacDonald of League Bay Area and Helen Hutchinson, President of LWVC (both are LWV Oakland members) contribute to the Oakland Easy Voter Guide. MacDonald said that this year 30,000 copies will be printed. The distribution plan includes insertion of the 24-page booklet into an alternative press newspaper in early October.
In our county of Santa Clara, most of our local Leagues serve municipalities that are not nearly as populated as San Francisco or Oakland. Thus, the economics of content creation and printing do not permit an Easy Voter Guide effort here in Santa Clara County…yet.
How to Get the State Easy Voter Guide
Individuals can get the State of California Easy Voter Guide information online here. Leagues desiring to purchase bundles of 50 of the State Guide booklets in various languages can buy them here.
Fourty-six people submitted 13 questions and submitted 99 votes online on the Google Moderator web application. As of Aug. 27, the most popular question to pose to Mountain View City Council candidates remains the one about how to get an LASD school located in North Mountain View. Why? Apparently news about the existence of the online question submission opportunity reached folks in Los Altos, but not in Mountain View?
Google Moderator software now helps power our Candidate Forums with some participatory democracy technology. The LWV of Los Altos Mountain View and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce are crowd-sourcing questions from the public online BEFORE the Aug. 27 Forum for Mountain View City Council Candidates 2014.
Aug. 27. Doors open 5:30pm. Forum 6-8pm. Reception afterwards. Microsoft Bldg. 1 at 1065 Avenida St., Mountain View. See this post for a map. Registration Required.
As usual LWV volunteers also will collect attendees question cards 30 minutes before and during the live forum. The final questions that are posed to the 9 candidates during the two hour Q&A are selected and prioritized by experienced LWV volunteers knowledgeable about City of Mountain View issues.
The online popularity of the Google Moderator questions submitted by the public will help shape the Q&A. You can go take a look without logging in.
To vote FOR a question or AGAINST a question you must log into google with a google gmail account. However, you can choose to cloak your identity with an alias, much like one can do on the MV Voice comments.
You also must be logged in to submit a new question. The software will try to detect duplicate questions and also will hold questions if they contain obscene or hot-button terms. But in general if you submit a new question, it will appear immediately.
GOOGLE MODERATOR –
VOTING CANDIDATE QUESTIONS UP OR DOWN
Last minute Walk-in registrations are now OK. Over 200 people pre-registered online using Eventbrite. The event has been moved to a larger auditorium to meet the demand. If you are a walk-in today, staff from Microsoft and the Chamber will help you register and make a name tag. Please join us for this much anticipated event.
The League of Women Voters and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce are jointly hosting an August 27 forum for Mountain View City Council Candidates 2014 from 6 to 8 pm. Many thanks to Microsoft Corporation for providing the venue for the forum and the reception which follows the forum.
The forum will be conducted following League Q&A protocols, but with Oscar Garcia, President & CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, acting as forum moderator.
This year, with 3 open seats and 9 candidates, the make-up of our Mountain View City Council will change significantly. In what is expected to be one of the most contested candidate races, your vote will influence the dynamics of Mountain View. Please join us and hear from the candidates directly on issues that will impact our community now and in the future.
** Question cards for the Candidates will be collected in the 30 minutes before the forums and also during the forum.**
DATE: Aug. 27. Doors open at 5:30pm. Candidate Forum begins at 6:00pm ends 8:00pm
Pre-register to avoid lines. People arriving without pre-registration will be asked by security to register upon arrival. In that case, please arrive 30 minutes early. If you have concerns about Eventbrite, you may email [email protected], and a volunteer will register for you.
Photo credits: Norma Schroder. The annual meeting was attended by about 40 members. Key votes were to approve the slate of directors for 2014-2015, raise dues to $75 for an individual and $110 for a household of two members, and to approve the 2014-15 budget
According to our luncheon speaker, Mary Hughes, only 20% of legislative leadership positions are held by women. Participation seems to be stuck at the level. Shouldn’t it be more like 50%? Mary believes such a body politic would be more collaborative, more productive, more civil and less polarized than the one we have now. See our article on her talk.
LWV-LAMV President Cathy Lazarus spoke on the themes from the National League Convention in Dallas that most resonated with her. Stagnant and declining membership needs to be turned around by new member recruitment methods that can attract the under 45 and non-white population. The more important political issues for voter engagement include money in politics, voter suppression and climate change. Read our article on Cathy’s full remarks here.
There was a surprise agenda item. Ellen Wheeler, representing the LWV California Board, awarded Extraordinary Service recognition for outstanding work to the Higher Ed Study subcommittee. Lucas Ramirez, Abby Longcor, Pat Showalter (and Ellen Wheeler) all worked for 6 months to craft the scope for that new State Study. Without their perseverance there would be no new study.
Pat Showalter introduced our speaker Mary Hughes. Thanks to Pat Showalter and Carol Kuiper for recruiting Mary Hughes to be our lunch speaker.
Time to Eat
Here is one of the luncheon tables at Michaels at Shoreline restaurant in Mountain View. Left to right, Shirley Reseck, Pat Showalter, Paul Gilbert, Natalie Elefant, Abby Longcor, Martha McClatchie.
Another table of guests at the annual business meeting luncheon. From left to right, Barbara Kyser, Marilyn Terman, Terry Terman, Judy Crates, Susan Graham, Linda Craig.
Time to Socialize
Donna Yobs, co-chair of the LWV-LAMV Housing committee chats with Mike Kasperzak about Donna’s favorite political issue – affordable housing. Katie Zoglin, LWV-LMV Director for Government listens on the left. Kasperzak suggested that the committee engage the Mountain View council in informal meetings, rather than just with formal “yellow card” statements/letters of League position addressed to the council.
Left to right, Donna Yobs, co-chair of the he LWV-LAMV Housing Committee listens as Margaret Capriles questions Mike Kaspernak. Steve Sherman, a LWV-LAMV Observer, volunteer listens.