Randy Tsuda March 21 Lunch with the League

Lunch with the League – Randy Tsuda

Headshot of Randy Tsuda, Mountian View Community Development Director

Development in the City of Mountain View

Randy Tsuda, Director of Community Development for the City of Mountain View is our speaker. He will be sharing his insights on balancing aspects of development — commercial & office development, affordable housing, preserving neighborhoods and transportation. He can address how city staff is implementing and influencing city council policy. His twitter handle is a cute one – @mvwreckingball. Cost is $25 per person. RSVP online now. Space is limited.

To prep for Q&A, check out the NEW Housing Reading List  here.

Ristorante Bella Vita

376 First Street, Los Altos
11:30am to 1pm


Make your selections using the form below. RSVP by 3/19. For questions contact Margaret Brooks, [email protected], or by phone, 650-941-8583.



 Glossary of Affordable Housing Terms

The Chair of our Affordable Housing Committee –Sue Russell– has just developed a draft version of a Glossary of Housing Development Terms you may want to refer to or print out before the lunch.

MAP • Ristorante Bella Vita • 376 First Street, Los Altos

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Naturalization Ceremony in Santa Clara February 20, 2014. About 200 people in an auditorium

League helps new citizens register to vote

Registrar of Voter staff with local league members from right to left, Sue Graham, Marya Shahinian and Natalie Elefant
Registrar of Voter staff with local league members from right to left, Sue Graham, Marya Shahinian and Natalie Elefant


Local League members assisted the Registrar of Voters with registering new citizens following their naturalization ceremony in Santa Clara on February 20. Welcome to citizenship!

Show on the left are the Registrar of Voters staff. They were joined  by local league members  –from right to left — Sue Graham, Marya Shahinian, and Natalie Elefant.

The auditorium was filled with between 100 to 200 persons enjoying their naturalization ceremony.

Our volunteers said it was very fulfilling to help new citizens register to vote.  The newly naturalized citizens came from scores of different countries.

Naturalization Ceremony in Santa Clara February 20, 2014. About 200 people in an auditorium
Naturalization Ceremony in Santa Clara February 20, 2014.
Image for Event - Understanding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Understanding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Flyer image for event - Understanding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan


Speaker Bios: Understanding The Bay Delta Conservation Plan

MARCH 1, 2014 • SATURDAY • 1:00 PM- 3:30 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Library  • 150 E San Fernando St. • San Jose, CA 95112

Deidre Des Jardins, Sierra Club of California Water Committee, California Water Research Institute

Deidre Des JardinsDeirdre Des Jardins has worked with world class research groups at the Santa Fe Institute for Complex Systems, the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Lab, and the Advanced Computing Laboratory at NASA Ames. Deirdre’s recent work focused on the extreme drought in the Southwest and Texas, and predicted that the drought could move to California. She has identified significant flaws in the climate change modeling for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan which could greatly underestimate the risk of increased frequency and severity of droughts in California and overestimate future water supply from the project.   Deirdre has worked with the Sierra Club California Water Committee on a portfolio of alternatives to BDCP which are more drought-resistant and cost-effective, including increased urban and agricultural water use efficiency, water recycling, and groundwater remediation and brackish groundwater desalination.

Joan Maher, Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply
Santa Clara Valley Water District

Joan MaherJoan Maher, Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply, Santa Clara Valley Water District, currently serves as a Deputy Operating Officer for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, providin g reliable water supply for the 1.8 million residents of Santa Clara County.  As Water Supply Division manager, her responsibilities include local reservoir operations, groundwater recharge and protection programs, water use efficiency and recycled water, state and federal imported water contracts, water transfers and banking.  In addition to representing the District in ongoing State-wide planning to restore the Delta, she serves on the boards of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the State Water Contractors.  Ms. Maher’s education includes a B.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University

Doug Obegi, Staff Attorney, Water Program,
Natural Resources Defense Council

Doug Obegi

Doug Obeigi is a Staff Attorney* with the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he has worked since 2009. His areas of focus include Water policy, San Joaquin River restoration, Bay-Delta, Endangered Species Act, agricultural water measurement and efficiency, California water rights, Public Trust and Reasonable Use doctrine. For the past several years he has represented NRDC in federal court litigation over protections for endangered species in the Bay-Delta estuary, as well as working on implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, and regulatory and planning processes regarding improvements in urban and agricultural water efficiency. In 2006, Mr. Obegi graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Richard Roos-Collins, Principal
Water and Power Law Group

headshot image of Roos-CollinsRichard Roos-Collins is Principal in the WATER AND POWER LAW GROUP PC.  He specializes in settlements in complex cases involving multiple parties, interests, and laws.   He has drafted and negotiated more than 50 such settlements.  These include: Klamath Basin Restoration and Hydropower Agreements, Mono Lake Cases, and the Land Conservation Commitment Stipulation for the bankruptcy reorganization of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco Law School (2010), he is also General Counsel to the Hydropower Reform Coalition (Washington, D.C.), Chairman of the Board of Directors (2001-) for the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (Portland, ME), and Chairman of the Board of Directors (1999-) the Agricultural Water Management Council (Sacramento, CA), which has a program for agricultural water supply for more than 5 million acres of land in California. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D., honors, 1986) and Princeton University (B.A., high honors, 1975). 

Curt Schmutte, Civil Engineer
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Consultant

Headshot image of Curt SchmutteMr. Schmutte is a civil engineer and manager specializing in water resources and environmental planning. He is currently a consultant to the State and Federal water contractors. Prior to his association with the water contractors that began in 2006, he worked for the California Department of Water Resources for 21 years.  Mr. Schmutte has led multiple programs and projects involving the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta and Suisun Marsh, including levee improvement programs, land subsidence research, economic risk analyses, dredged material reuse projects, water quality studies and environmental restoration projects.  Since 2006, he has been managing large scale ecosystem restoration projects, analyzing and implementing seismic flood risk mitigation strategies, planning emergency actions to protect Delta smelt and advancing policies to achieve a sustainable Delta for both water supplies and the ecosystem.

Highlights of Bay Area League Day 2014

LWVLAMV members at Bay Area League Day 2014 in Oakland. Read the Monitor newsletter!
Our members subscribe to the free LWV Bay Area Monitor. Do you?

Four members of LWVLAMV chapter attended Bay Area League Day Feb. 1, 2014, in Oakland.  In the photo – are Cathy Lazarus, Alec MacDonald ( Bay Area Monitor editor), Max Harned-Beckman, Sue Graham – holding their copies of the Bay Area Monitor, a bimonthly publication that focuses on regional issues concerning the environment, open space, transportation and development.  Get a free subscription here.

About 100 people attended BALD 2014. Image of the audience as seen from back of the room.
About 100 people attended BALD 2014

Keynote Address

Speakers on A New Vision for Open Space, Bay Area League Day 2014, gave outstanding presentations according to those who attended the February 1 event. Videos of the speakers are now available at the website listed below. They include

Keynote Address
Wendy Pulling, Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy – San Francisco


LWVLAMV members - Cathy Lazarus, Max Beckman-Harned, Sue Graham, Crownie Billik, all sitting in a row
LWVLAMV members – Cathy Lazarus, Max Beckman-Harned, Sue Graham, Crownie Billik

Panel 1 – Preserving Open Space

Panel 1: Progress in Preserving Open Space
• Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance
• Sam Schuchat, Executive Director, California State Coastal Conservancy
• Beverly Lane, Board Member, East Bay Regional Park District


Panel 2 – Economic Benefits

Panel 2: Economic Benefits of Open Space
• Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
• Karen Gaffney, Conservation Planning Program Manager, Sonoma County Ag. Preservation and Open Space District

3-D Terrain map of of Bay Area showing floodplain
Open Space, especially wetlands, can ameliorate flood risk to the Bay Area flood plain

Panel 3 – Future Challenges

Panel 3: Future Challenges
• Matt Brennan, Senior Engineering Hydrologist, ESA PWA
• Nat Seavy PhD, Pacific Coast & Central Valley Research Director, Point Blue Conservation Science
Jenn Fox, Executive Director, Bay Area Open Space Council

Max Brennen speaking at Bay Area League Day 2014
Max Brennen advocated for smaller levees that extend wetland habitat and can amerliorate flooding

Additional video at LWV BayArea Youtube channel

Crownie Billik manages the annual LWVLAMV League-a-thon

League-a-thon 2014

Help us to keep democracy working
in our community, state and nation. 


The Gold Standard for Unbiased Election Information needs your help

League of Women Voters at all levels, local, state and national, provides unbiased information on critical issues to voters via our websites, SmartVoter and public forums. Locally in Los Altos and Mountain View, we produced a dozen public candidate forums in October and November 2012 and shared them on Youtube.

The LWVUS worked to protect and engage voters, to reform the excessive influence of money in politics, to defend the environment and to fix fiscal policy. Locally our volunteers help staff precincts in high-need neighborhoods.

On the state level, the LWV supported the Disclose Act (California Clean Money Campaign). Locally the LWV gave over a dozen live presentations on the pros and cons of the state ballot measures.

In 2011 we started Lunch with the League, a forum that brings local speakers, such as mayors, school superintendents and policy experts, to talk about issues of community interest. We need your help to continue these popular forums.

Our ongoing Local Voter Education events need your support

Recent events include–

* Meet Your Local Officials, Sunday, March 3 at Los Altos Youth Center. Over 20 officials and 80 members of the public attended our successful event. Read our League’s “interview with Rich Gordon.”<+RichGordonInterview.html> And see photos and a “transcript of Gordon’s and Hill’s remarks at the political mixer.”<+http://lwvlamv.info/rich-gordon-and-jerry-hill-draw-a-crowd-of-over-100-in-los-altos/>

* Excess and Hubris: How Money Is Killing Democracy, on March 14 at Michael’s at Shoreline was sold out with 100 attending. “Photos of the interactive dinner forum”<+Ann_Ravel_Mar14.html>.

If you believe in civil discourse and action, please donate

We believe that sensible, responsible civil discourse and action based on substance rather than partisanship is essential for civic improvement. We believe that with supporters like you, we can make democracy work.

If you are not yet a member, please “join us”<+join.html> and be part of the solution!

It’s easy to help. Donate via Paypal using the button below.

Thank you!

* Donations to the League of Women Voters general fund are not tax deductible.
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Bay Area Anti-growth & Pro-growth Voices

Our local members suggest these articles:

Residents express outrage. Source: abclocal.go.com


A Threat to Planning? 

The opponents of Plan Bay Area, both Bay Area pro-growth and Bay Area anti-growth are undercutting the role of regional planning as a tool to manage long-term growth according to this article from SPUR.


modern condo housing complex
SPUR website – courtesy of Flickr user mark.hogan


The Uneven Housing Recovery

‘The biggest challenge to addressing the Bay Area’s housing costs is political. There is a great policy paradox in regional planning — namely, the places with the greatest demand are anti-growth and the places that are pro-growth don’t have enough market demand to support new construction. Add to this the fact that some of the tools to create affordable housing, such as inclusionary housing (in which municipal and county planning ordinances require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes), are under attack, and you have the conditions for a perfect storm. We need to change some of these dynamics if we are ever going to address the extraordinary cost of housing in our increasingly unaffordable region.’


ABAG Region Map
ABAG Region Map


Prioritizing Conservation: Authorities Angle for Funding

“Let’s also think about the areas we want to conserve.” Laura Thompson, Bay Trail project manager at the Association of Bay Area Governments  (ABAG), remembered how this idea developed into a key strategy in creating the region’s new Plan Bay Area. As a result, in addition to Priority Development Areas, the plan contains more than a hundred Priority Conservation Areas submitted by counties and approved for inclusion by her agency. The goal is to retain and enhance the value the region receives from its rural areas, including agriculture and parks. Counties may also apply to have additional areas receive the designation. By Leslie Stewart.


Click here to subscribe to the LWV Bay Area Monitor, a  free bi-monthly review of regional issues.



Bird - Egret resting in Delta

Forum – Bay Delta Conservation Plan

[Updated March 25, 2017 to remove active comment section and point to BDCP Summary Site. The proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), is a complex, expensive program which its proponents claim will restore the ecosystem of the fragile Sacramento Delta, protect endangered species, assure State water system reliability, protect Delta communities from levee failure and much, much more. Whether or not the BDCP will achieve these bold objectives is the focus of the statewide review of the draft plan and the companion environmental documents.

It is easy to dismiss the BDCP as yet another chapter in the long history of the California water wars that divide Northern California and Southern California, environmentalists and Delta farmers, urban areas and rural communities; this plan claims to be different and should be carefully reviewed and considered by an informed public. While stakeholders debate the “right solution” to the Delta’s problems, most agree the current conditions of the Delta and the State water system are unsustainable.

Much of Santa Clara County relies on water from the Delta and will be affected by the outcome. For this reason and because the BDCP, as proposed, will be one of the boldest and most expensive projects in the history California, the Leagues of Women Voters of Santa Clara County are sponsoring a forum to understand the scope of the plan and the various perspectives with pros and cons on issues such as governance and financing.

Join us on March 1 to hear the points-of-view about the BDCP, understand the elements of the plan, how it will be implemented, how much it will cost and who will pay. Speakers will be announced soon.

Martin Luther King Jr. Library
Main Meeting Room
150 E San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95112



2. Read more about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan at the website.

Terrain map of Delta

Myth: The BDCP doesn’t include financing costs or debt service payments over the 50-year term of the project.

Myth: Major public works projects always far exceed initial cost estimates.

Myth: The water exporters don’t want to pay for the conservation measures they need to get the project permitted, so they are expecting taxpayers to fund them with a water bond.

Myth: The BDCP cannot guarantee reliable water supplies….etc.

The following .pdf file lists some of the people and agencies involved in the BDCP Governance Working Group.  The Delta Stewardship Council, the Delta Protection Commission, CA Dept. of Water Resources, US Dept of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, and the CA Natural Resources Agency are also involved in the planning.

3. This website is a good read –  Mavensnotebook.com  It offers encylopedic coverage of a couple years worth of news flow about the politics of water, drought and  the BDCP,   plus maps and analysis. She updates it everyday!

The Draft BDCP and BDCP Draft EIR/EIS are being made available to the public in accordance with the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCPA), Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA,) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a 120-day [plus 60 day extension] review period.

Twelve public meetings will be held throughout California in January and February 2014 to provide more information on the contents of the draft documents and to accept public comments.

The Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) including public comments can be accessed on this Page.

Keep calm, the moderator is here

Moderator Training for Our Election Forums

Keep calm, the moderator is hereHave you always wanted to be a moderator of a candidate forum? Are you a moderator and want to brush up on your skills? Are you a Voter Service Chair and want to know how you should support your moderators? Then this moderator training session is for you. It’s Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Presbyterian Church of Sunnyvale, Fellowship Hall, 728 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, near the corner of Hollenbeck and Fremont.

According to the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) publication, Handbook for Moderators of Candidates Nights, “The moderator presides, referees, restrains, and exercises a moderating influence over the proceedings. She or he has the authority to call the meeting to order, recognize speakers, call people out of order, banish them from the hall, call a recess, adjust the ground rules to meet unexpected circumstances, and even to adjourn the meeting if things are petering out or have gotten out of control.” Does this sound daunting? Don’t despair. You will learn everything from the basics, such as how to seat the candidates, to how to handle a disruptive audience member.

This training has been developed by a committee of county League members who are experienced forum participants as planners and as moderators. They will share their expertise and experience with you.

Providing an opportunity for candidates to present themselves and their positions on issues to voters is one of the features of Voter Service that is key to the League’s citizen education mission. Come and learn how you can be part of your League’s service to the community.

Directions: From the north, 101 South, 85 South, take Fremont Avenue exit, left on Fremont, Church is on right. From the south, north on 85, Fremont Avenue exit, right on Fremont.

For further information, contact Roberta Hollimon, [email protected]

headshot Tomi Ryba

Tomi Ryba Feb. 21 Lunch with the League

Banner ad with Ryba headshot


The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Hospitals

Tomi Ryba, CEO of El Camino Hospital since 2011, is our speaker. She will be sharing her insights on healthcare, speaking on multiple topics including the impacts of the Affordable Healthcare Act on hospitals like El Camino Hospital. Cost is $25 per person. RSVP online now. Space is limited.

Ristorante Bella Vita
376 First Street, Los Altos
11:30am to 1pm



Make your selections using the form below. RSVP by 2/19. For questions contact Margaret Brooks, [email protected], or by phone, 650-941-8583.



MAP • Ristorante Bella Vita • 376 First Street, Los Altos

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