Annual Meeting of LWV Los Altos Mountain View

Come and learn what your League has been doing, help us elect new officers and, once business is completed, we will be joined by State Assemblymember Marc Berman for a Q&A period. 

  • Virtual meeting, Saturday, June 19, 2021, 10:00-12:00pm
  • Marc Berman, Assembly District 24, to speak and Q&A
  • To register to attend: 2021 Annual Meeting

Download the Annual Meeting Kit   (includes revised agenda)

Bring your own tea or coffee. Doors open at 9:45 am for the virtual event. During registration you will be given the opportunity to suggest a question for Assemblymember Berman. 

 

2021 LWV Legislative Interview with Assemblymember Marc Berman

Each year Leagues across California conduct interviews with their local state Assemblymember and Senator.   These Local League legislative interviews are an opportunity for us to connect with our district representatives, expand our League’s presence, and heighten our collective impact. They are also an excellent chance to cultivate new leaders and build new relationships.

Our interview with Assemblymember Berman addressed land use and climate change; housing, homelessness, zoning, and affordability; and an equitable recovery from COVID-19.

Overall comments:  

The Assembly District 24 includes most of San Mateo County and the northern section of Santa Clara County.  As such, it includes urban, suburban, and rural/coastal areas.  Its population is diverse economically and ethnically.  The area within this district has the highest cost of living in the state.   

Assemblymember Berman’s legislative agenda is well aligned with League priorities:  Fair elections, voter protections, inequity caused by housing shortage and the impacts of COVID on low-income workers.  He was the Assembly’s lead for the 2020 Census and for the state to mail ballots to all registered voters in 2020. 

At the end of the interview, the Assemblymember commented that the issues raised during the call are interrelated.  They all must be addressed to accomplish overall goals of mitigating climate change, housing supply and inequities in our communities.    We need solutions to reduce carbon emissions, expand local denser housing, improve regional transportation while addressing inequities in our communities.  

Question 1:   Land Use and Climate Change. 

What do you see as the most important considerations and priorities in the effort to reach net drawdown from natural and working lands? How do we balance the many considerations? What are the funding priorities?

Summary of Assemblymember Berman’s response: The efforts to convert natural and working lands to lands that remove and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere is an area that the Assemblymember has not focused on.  He is supportive of the developments underway to sequester CO2.  These efforts could be implemented on San Mateo County coastal working farm lands.

Encouraging infill affordable housing in urban areas would preserve carbon sinks in the edges of urban growth.  He sponsored a law a few years ago which allowed infill development in unincorporated county land to be exempt from CEQA to achieve this purpose (AB 1804.)

Question 2: Housing and Homelessness, Zoning and Affordability.

What can be done to reform exclusionary single-family zoning in California? What reforms do you support to legalize and incentivize more affordable housing (both naturally occurring, and deed restricted) in high opportunity neighborhoods?

Summary Assemblymember Berman’s response: Housing, homelessness and the relationship and impact of zoning regulations is a topic that we need to address.   Much can be done to increase California’s overall housing supply.   He is following the work of cities such as Sacramento, Minneapolis, Los Angeles that have changed policies to allow denser housing.  The changes needed include changing single family residence zoning laws, encouraging accessory dwelling units, and allowing lot splits in R1 zoning areas.  

For his district, AD24, more housing is needed for homeless, low income and moderate-income residents. This year’s state budget is able to provide more funding for building affordable housing and homeless shelters, but that is not enough. 

To increase the housing supply takes multiple approaches.  The state has passed several laws to address bottlenecks in the development and permitting process for denser housing. Tax credits can incentivize affordable housing development.  We need to ensure that local governments approve denser housing.  We need to look for underused properties that can support temporary housing or even RVs and cars.  He continues to look for more ideas and approaches. 

Berman is interested to learn more about alternative financing approaches to expand housing.  He commented that “we aren’t going to publicly fund our way to affordable housing by building subsidized housing alone, but we need to encourage the market to build housing and encourage partnerships of public funding, private funding, philanthropic funding.”  All methods should be explored to determine how to locally expand affordable housing.  

Question 3: Equitable COVID-19 Recovery.

What can be done to ensure that California’s COVID-19 economic recovery is equitable and focuses on the needs of those most impacted?

Summary of Assemblymember Berman’s response: “Everything we do needs to be done with an equity lens.”  

Our region with its high cost of living driven by a housing shortage that has long suffered from inequities, which have been exacerbated by COVID.   The Legislature is working on the multiple areas to address equitable relief to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on our communities.   

  • Extend eviction moratorium from end of January to at least the end of June
  • Expanding and prioritizing access to COVID 19 vaccine:  
  • Expand child-care resources:  
  • Address food insecurity:  
  • Ensure that basic needs are met for community college students
  • House homeless college students and priced-out faculty

Question 4: Personal Priorities for Assemblymember Berman

    • Election reforms to expand voter participation.
    • increasing voter participation by under-represented groups by promoting voter education, awareness,  and support for multiple languages.  More state funding is needed to support these efforts.  
    • Housing:  
    • Transportation
    • Ban on sales of gas-powered small appliances
    • Additional Local Issue discussed:   Wildfire prevention and mitigation.  Need for affordable fire insurance.   

    2021 LWV Legislative Interview with Sen. Josh Becker

    Each year Leagues across California conduct interviews of their local state Assemblymember and Senator.   These Local League legislative interviews are an opportunity for us to connect with our district representatives, expand our League’s presence, and heighten our collective impact. They are also an excellent chance to cultivate new leaders and build new relationships.

    Our interview with Senator Josh Becker addressed land use and climate change; housing, homelessness, zoning, and affordability; and an equitable recovery from COVID-19.

    Question 1: Climate change and land use 

    What do you see as the most important considerations and priorities in the effort to reach net drawdown from natural and working lands? How do we balance the many considerations? What are the funding priorities? 

    Summary of Sen. Becker reply:
    Climate change is a big priority for Sen Becker and he has put forward several bills focused on clean energy. SB 67 would accelerate the state’s goal of having 100% of electricity provided by renewables or other zero-carbon sources 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Another bill is designed to speed the transition to electric powered buildings. He is in favor of the “30 by 30” initiative which Assembly Member Kalra proposed last session and which Governor Newsom took executive action on last October. Sen. Becker supports efforts in regenerative agriculture though he is not as familiar with California’s Healthy Soils initiative and invites the League to share information and resources with him. 

    Question 2: Housing and Homelessness, Zoning and Affordability 

    What can be done to reform exclusionary single-family zoning in California? What reforms do you support to legalize and incentivize more affordable housing (both naturally occurring and deed restricted) in high opportunity neighborhoods? 

    Summary of Sen. Becker reply: 

    Housing: The housing crisis has worsened during the pandemic and California needs a housing strategy. Sen. Becker will work to address strategy and to streamline affordable housing approval processes. He plans to address the crisis with bills this session to support additional rental housing, assist first-time home buyers and allow duplexes. While the state does this work, the local governments have to take the lead with the state supporting through funding, such as bonuses to cities that increase density

    Homelessness: The state is working to prevent evictions during the pandemic and provide more affordable housing. Mental health issues are important and we must look deeply at how to help with more supportive services for mentally ill people. 

    Question 3: COVID-19 recovery 

    As we look toward recovery, what can be done to move California to be a more equitable place for all of us? 

    Summary of Sen. Becker reply: 

    The pandemic has exacerbated the inequality in California, and it has exceptionally affected people of color and low income people. We must look deeply at how to make the state more equitable, especially for the vulnerable. A pathway to economic mobility is early childhood education and child care, and we have to help those workers, who are mostly minority, with vaccination priority and economic support. Early childhood education needs more funding. California’s education system is decimated by the crisis. There is learning loss, and problems with digital equity and inclusion. Education must prepare children for the jobs in this economy and mentor networks are necessary to help build skills too. This year it will be hard to make these issues a priority but there is a budget surplus and we are working on it. 

    Question 4: Personal Priorities of Legislator 

    What other major issues do you think the legislature must deal within 2021? What are your personal priorities? 

    Summary of Sen. Becker reply:
    The first priority is COVID recovery, including eviction protection, helping small businesses, and supporting family child care providers. Next is economic opportunity, including education and equality of education, especially early childhood education, including expanding access to higher education and criminal justice reform. Also climate and the environment, including pushing S.B. 67 and the potential for 24×7 clean energy. 

    Question 5: Trust in Government 

    These days there is a lack of trust in government. Democracy requires trust in facts and in government. How do you think we should combat misinformation while balancing freedom of speech? How do we build unity and engagement across the political spectrum? 

    Summary of Sen. Becker reply:
    Misinformation: Sen. Becker says this is in his priorities document, and he looks at the European social media policies as useful examples for his staff to analyze. In our area we have Facebook and Google and YouTube so we have a responsibility to look at radicalization and misinformation.


    Bipartisanship: Sen. Becker was surprised when joining the California Legislature that there are so many friendships in Sacramento and in Congress between Democrats and Republicans as well as bipartisan bills.  There needs to be more publicizing that legislators do work together. 

    Program Planning and Member Survey Outcomes

    Program Planning Outcomes

    League of Women Voters Los Altos-Mountain View met virtually on January 30, 2021 to discuss what local issues we want to work on and to emphasize during the upcoming year, 2021-2022, and what three issues we would recommend to LWVC to prioritize for 2021-2023.

    League program is the education and advocacy platform that we adopt to move forward our mission of promoting an active and informed citizenry.  Program planning is the tool for focusing and prioritizing our work to ensure that League’s human and financial resources are engaged where they have the most impact. Each year members are urged to attend this event to learn more about the League and offer their thoughts and suggestions about our priorities for the upcoming year.

    Locally, we decided to focus our efforts on Voter Services, Affordable Housing, and Civil Discourse Events Around Community Issues. These priorities were approved by the board at our February 1st board meeting and will be presented to the membership at our Annual Meeting for adoption as our 2021-2022 program.

    In addition to LWVC’s primary priority, Making Democracy Work in California, League members recommended that LWVC focus on Housing and Homelessness, Climate Change and Criminal Justice. Our League’s recommendations will be forwarded to LWVC by March 1, 2021 and voted on by delegates at the June, 2021 convention.

    LWVC requested a local volunteer to work on each area of emphasis that we recommended and to designate the type of work: legislative action, education or toolkits. Our results:

    • Climate Change: Donna Davies, focus on legislative action.
    • Affordable Housing and Homelessness: Sue Russell, focus on legislative action.
    • Criminal Justice: no representative.

    Member Survey Outcomes

    75 members responded to our survey about what local issues we should prioritize for the upcoming 2021-2022 year. This represented a 36% response rate of our 208 members.  The following graph represents the survey outcomes.  Please note, as Voter Service work is our core mission, we did not include it as an option.

    Program Planning on January 30th

    Join us for our virtual Program Planning on January 30th, 10:00am-12:00pm

    League program is the education and advocacy platform that we adopt to move forward our mission of promoting an active and informed citizenry.  Program planning is the tool for focusing and prioritizing our work to ensure that League’s human and financial resources are engaged where they have the most impact. We will discuss our local priorities and make recommendations to LWV California. 

    All  members are welcome to attend to learn more about the League and offer their thoughts and suggestions. Join us on January 30th. Come at 9:30 to sign in and chat, program begins at 10:00.

    Register to attend Program Planning

    League of Women Voters of the United States Calls for Immediate Removal of President Donald Trump

    1/8/2021

    WASHINGTON – Thursday night, the League of Women Voters board of directors met and voted unanimously to call for the immediate removal of Donald J. Trump from the office of the President of the United States of America via any legal means, including and in order of preference: impeachment with disqualification, the invocation of the 25th amendment, or resignation. Today, the League of Women Voters board of directors issued the following statement: 

    “Donald Trump must be immediately removed as President of the United States of America and banned from running for federal office ever again. 

    “The sitting president was the instigator of Wednesday’s domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five Americans dead and many more injured. He commanded an army of insurrectionists to forcefully overturn our free and fair elections in an effort to maintain power. These are the actions of a tyrannical despot, and they are in direct opposition to American democracy. President Trump continues to present a clear threat to national security as well as the safety and security of the American public.

    “For violating his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, Donald Trump must immediately resign or be removed from office by any measure possible in accordance with the law. Removing President Trump from the office of the president and swearing in Vice President Mike Pence to fulfill the duration of this presidential term will ensure our Constitution is maintained and upheld. 

    “The League of Women Voters calls on both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to immediately impeach President Trump with disqualification and remove him from office. Should Congress fail to impeach him, we call on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office immediately.”

    ###

    CONTACT: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]

    Contact your senator about impeachment:

    Send an action letter through LWV or by phone at (202) 224-3121.


    Vote with the League 2020

    The League of Women Voters takes positions on issues and will support or oppose ballot measures that align with our League positions. Once we have studied an issue and taken a position, we take action and advocate for or against particular policies or laws related to that issue. If we do not have a studied position on an issue, we will not make a recommendation.

    After careful study and analysis, the League of Women Voters of California and the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area offer these recommendations:

    League of Women Voters California recommends:

    NeutralProp 14: STEM CELL RESEARCH
    SupportPROP 15: SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES FIRST
    SupportPROP 16: OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
    SupportPROP 17: RESTORE VOTING RIGHTS
    SupportPROP 18: VOTING RIGHTS FOR 17-YEAR OLDS
    OpposePROP 19: PROPERTY TAX BREAKS
    OpposePROP 20: ROLLBACK ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
    NeutralPROP 21: LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & RENT CONTROL
    No PositionPROP 22: RIDESHARE AND DELIVERY DRIVERS
    NeutralPROP 23: KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS
    OpposePROP 24: CONSUMER DATA PRIVACY
    SupportPROP 25: END CASH MONEY BAIL

    League of Women Voters Bay Area

    Support Prop RR: PRESERVE CALTRAIN SERVICE

    Are you ready for the election?

    Here are some steps that you can take to be prepared.

    Be Informed:

    LWV Election Events 

    Attend LWV candidate forums and hear where the candidates stand on the pertinent issues. Do you have questions about our state and local ballot initiatives? Attend one of the LWV Ballot Initiative Pros and Cons or question answering sessions and get unbiased information and analysis.

    Voter’s Edge

    Look up your personalized ballot to find in-depth information about your candidates and ballot initiatives. Learn who are the endorsers and also see where the funding comes from. Start checking mid-September but check back as we will continue to add candidates’ information as it becomes available.

    Easy Voter Guides

    Nonpartisan information about why to vote, how to vote and synopses of statewide ballot initiatives. It is available in five languages.

    Encourage your friends and family to stay safe and vote by mail. 

     

     

    DEI Policy

    LWVUS President’s Message

    LWV’s Commitment

    We Resolve First:
    That the League advocates against systemic racism in the justice system and, at a minimum, for preventing excessive force and brutality by law enforcement.

    We also call for prompt actions by all League members to advocate within every level of government to eradicate systemic racism, and the harm that it causes;

    We Resolve Second:
    That the League help our elected officials and all Americans recognize these truths to be self-evident; that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law; and that we demand solutions for the terrible wrongs done, so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and gender identity or sexual orientation we may truly become a nation “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.

    League of Women Voters National Convention (June 27th, 2020)