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. 

 

 

Racial Equality

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)

Pre-registering Students at Los Altos High School

On September 17th,  Constitution Day, members of our Voter Services team went into classrooms at Los Altos High School helping to pre-register students to vote.  The 232nd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution was a good day to discuss with students the importance of voting and how every vote matters.

We went into 19 US History and US History AP classes and talked to 516 students about how a citizen’s vote is their voice in government and voting helps elect representatives who will work on the issues you care about. Volunteers helped students complete voter registration forms and we left with 246 completed forms and delivered them to the Registrar of Voters in San Jose.* * Students who completed the forms will be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18 and will receive a ballot in the mail for the next election. Teachers complemented our presentation, which included the history of the right to vote, evaluating ballot information, and the importance of civic engagement. 

The traditionally low youth voter turnout was demonstrated by having 20% of the class stand up, representing the 1 in 5 youth voters who voted in the 2014 midterm elections. Youth voter turnout increased almost 50%  with the student led Never Again MSD movement after the Parkland shooting which motivated young people to register and vote. LWV members engaged the students by sharing personal stories about growing up in a society with no representative government, choosing a political party preference for a first election, and the importance of choosing school boards. 

Constitution Day was a great success for our Voter Services team and the culmination of a year’s long effort that started with Claire Noonan and Claudia Hevel reaching out to the MVLA Superintendent about going into the classrooms to pre-register students and later collaborating with the teachers of the LAHS  History Department to make it happen.  The process has given us new ideas to take into the classroom next year.  We appreciate the support and collaboration with the MVLA School District and LAHS administrators and staff.  

** Some students took forms home to fill in missing information and others had already pre-registered, were too young (under 16) to pre-register, were not citizens, or chose not to participate.

Voter Service Highlights

In addition to pre-registering students at Los Altos High School, the Voter Services’ team has been very busy the last few months.  

New Citizen’s Ceremony: Seven League volunteers helped to register  522 voters from over 60 countries at the July 25th New Citizen Ceremony in Campbell where we also we also talked  to everyone about the upcoming Census and the Voter’s Choice Act changes to election procedures in Santa Clara County.

National Voter Registration Day: Seven LAMV League volunteers had tables at Mountain View, Los Altos and Woodland libraries on National Voter Registration Day, September 24. While most people were either already registered or non-citizens, we had something useful to say to all 89 people we talked to during our 3 hours at the libraries. In Mountain View, none of the non-citizens were aware they should fill out the census too.  They appreciated hearing that they can contribute to their communities by participating in the census. 

LWV Supports Foothill College’s Political Awareness Day: On October 9th, LWV LAMV members partnered with Foothill College’s ASFC Student Government Leaders to hold an information session and rally to register students to vote and plan to participate in the 2020 Census.   Students dropped by our table to ask questions, register and get a ticket for the free Taco Bar.  We collected over a dozen completed registration forms and several forms went with students to be completed later. 

Foothill’s President Thuy Nguyen visited our League tables and thanked us for supporting Foothill College’s students.  Daphne Small, Foothill’s Director of Student Activities has asked if the League will support more student focused events in the January-February timeframe.     

Update from Our Housing Committee

Our Housing Committee advocates for increasing the supply of affordable housing in Los Altos and Mountain View area. The team monitors new condo and apartment developments as well as the rent stabilization program in Mountain View. Read copies of their Action Letters. They also keep track of state legislation that will impact local housing regulations, such as, the 25 new housing bills recently signed by Governor Newsom, some described below.

Local News

Mountain View

Oversized Vehicle Ban and Safe Parking: We have written/spoken against the oversized vehicle ban because it includes so many of the city’s streets and is not tied to finding safe parking for these vehicles.  Additions to safe parking spots are moving very slowly.  We will continue to monitor these issues.  Action Letter re: oversized vehicles & Action Letter re: Safe Parking .

To learn more about this issue: MV City Living in Vehicles and Homeless Information

CSFRA (Rent Stabilization):  We also are monitoring the discussion about amendments to CSFRA (Rent Stabilization), as our LWV studied and then took a position supporting this charter amendment.  The Council and the Rental Housing Committee are continuing to discuss what issues might be included in a ballot referendum, presently targeted for the March primary election.  One of the major concerns we have is the possibility of changing the annual rate of increase in rent to a flat number such as 5%, or even higher, rather than tying it to the CPI, which we believe is fairer to all.  We are also looking for ways to mitigate displacement, which is becoming a major issue. This is mainly because there are so many rental units built over 50 years ago that may need major rehab and/or can be scraped and built at higher density and/or more profitably as market-rate condos, townhomes, or rowhomes. Action Letter re: CSFRA.

Los Altos

In Los Altos, we continue to advocate for denser housing along El Camino and inclusion of the maximum possible number of below-market-rate units.  Oct. 22nd the Council will hold a hearing on 5150 El Camino Real, a 196-unit condo and townhome development that includes 28 BMRs (19% of the total units). Action Letter re: 5150 El Camino Real.

New Housing Bills Signed by the Governor

In addition to what’s happening locally, 25 new State laws affecting affordable housing were signed by the Governor, including:

AB 1482 caps rent increases and requires just cause for eviction.  This law will not replace CSFRA in Mtn. View, but it expands rent control to post 1995 rentals that have been built prior to the last 15 years.  The 15-year exemption is to allow developers that time period to ensure that they make the profits they anticipated when they initiated their developments.  Due to this exemption, plus the fact that with vacancy decontrol (meaning when there is tenant turnover the landlord can charge market rent), developers will not be discouraged from building, according to our research. This law will also apply to condos and single-family homes owned by corporations, not individuals.  The rent caps are 5% plus inflation (CPI), so not nearly as stringent as the CPI cap in Mtn. View for the pre-1995 rentals covered by CSFRA.  Los Altos and Los Altos Hills do not have any rent stabilization, so all rentals in these communities will be covered by AB 1482. Equally important, AB 1482 requires “just cause” for eviction, so that landlords cannot evict tenants without a valid reason, then raising the rent to market rent for new tenants. (LWVC supported this bill.)

SB 330 – The Housing Crisis Act of 2019. For 5 years this will prohibit downzonings, housing moratoria, and caps on building permits. It prohibits cities from changing fees or other requirements after preliminary applications have been submitted and streamlines the permitting and approval process. It contains anti-displacement measures and many other measures designed to accelerate housing production but protect tenants at the same time. This bill is perhaps the most controversial bill signed into law from the cities’ perspective.

AB 68, SB 13, AB 881 all relate to encouraging more accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Impact fees are reduced, owner-occupancy requirements are limited, permitting is streamlined, parking requirements are reduced amongst other loosening of the requirements for ADUs. (LWVC supported AB 68 and SB 13).

AB 1763 gives 100% affordable housing developments a higher density bonus and reduced parking.

AB 1486 strengthens the Surplus Land Act and SB 6 creates centralized database of surplus and vacant land. Surplus land is to be made available for affordable housing; these bills will make it easier to identify.

AB 1487 establishes the San Francisco Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, which will be able to place affordable housing revenue ballot measure before the Bay Area voters. This was an outgrowth of the CASA Compact and many local cities oppose this (especially the smaller ones.)

SB 329 prohibits discrimination because a tenant is using a housing voucher, such as Section 8, or any other government subsidy. (LWVC supported this bill.)

To look up state bills:  https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billSearchClient.xhtml 

A House Divided – From Polarization to Collaboration – Bringing Back Effective Government Workshop Report

Sponsored by the Santa Clara County Council Leagues of Women Voters and the Santa Clara County Council of the American Association of University Women, the workshop, held on September 21, 2019 at the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, hosted 53 participants eager to use their civil discourse skills.

The background for this event focused on the situation that our country is having trouble making important decisions and solving problems in the United States. 

The workshop introduced a concept of the country starting out with diverse and competitive biases from their original countries and settled areas. 

 We progressed to discuss views about ways to bridge the divide based on

• Reducing dangerous, toxic talk

• Making and following fairer rules for politics

• Taking control and making decisions closer to home

Our conversation covered options, trade-offs, and agreements.

Participants completed a feedback form that included results covering:

  • 36 of 41 respondents felt the workshop was a valuable use of their time
  • Actions citizens could take to address this problem: increase participation in public and neighborhood meetings; get involved; hold local events to learn civil discourse; show support for transparency, participation & better outcomes; raise awareness; more civil discourse at city council meetings; grass roots community volunteering; be the change.
  • Future workshop topics: use of military funds; monetary reform in politics; global economy & outsourcing impact on Americans; local housing & transportation; climate change.

Interested in practicing how to converse with “the other side”? 

Join us Sunday, Oct. 20, 2-4pm in Cupertino to practice civil discourse and plan our 2020 program. Contact [email protected] to reserve a spot. 

Together we can revive civility. Our democracy depends on it.