Minutes of Annual Meeting of LWV of Los Altos/Mountain View Area

June 2, 2018

The meeting was called to order at 10:25am.

Welcome and introductions

Sue Graham, president, introduced herself.  Crownie Billik was introduced as the parliamentarian and Sally Ahnger as the secretary for this meeting

Crownie reported that there was a quorum (10% of our membership or 21 people meets our quorum requirement). 

Number of members present: 26

The quorum report was adopted.

Adoption of Rules (majority)

The rules of the Annual Meeting as found on the inside cover of the Annual Meeting Kit, which determine how the meeting is conducted, were adopted. No proposals were made to change the rules.

Adoption of the Agenda (majority)

The agenda as found on page 1 of the Annual Meeting Kit was adopted. No proposals were made to change the agenda.

Accept 2017 minutes (no vote)

The minutes at the 2017 annual meeting were taken by Abby Longcor and reviewed by Bill Lambert, Emily Ramos, and Susan Younkin.

2018 Minutes

The members who will review the 2018 Annual Meeting minutes are:

Pamela Baird, Susan Younkin and Gary Hedden. Once reviewed they will be included in a summer issue of the Voter.

Treasurer’s report (no vote) Page 3

Presented by Sue Graham on behalf of the treasurer, Natalie Elefant.

Finances were stable this past year, with income increased by some very generous contributions from non-members.  The League-a-thon fund-raiser was not held due to ample reserves in the Leopold Fund.  The Board donated $5,000 from the Leopold Fund to the LWV US for the 2018 Youth Voter Registration Project. 

The financial reports for the end of the fiscal year 2017-2018, will be submitted for a financial review by the board after June 30 and will be sent out to the members within 120 days in our Voter.

Budget Committee Report (majority)

The proposed budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year as found on page 2 of the Annual Meeting Kit was developed by the budget committee, consisting of Pat Kassner, Natalie Elefant and Sue Graham. The committee’s comments are on page 3.

The League-a-thon fund-raiser will not be held next year because there are ample reserves in the Leopold Fund.  Dues will remain the same next year.  Expenses will be higher next year due to the 2018 election.  Convention expenses can be paid from the Leopold Fund, or cut back if necessary.


The Leopold Fund is invested through Fidelity, in investments balanced by risk.  It has grown substantially over the last 20 years.

Is there an identified level in the Leopold Fund when we would resume the League-a-thon fund-raiser?  No, the treasurer will monitor the health of the fund.

A motion was made by the Board to adopt the budget for 2018-2019 as printed on page 2 of the Annual Meeting Kit.  A second is not required since the budget is recommended by the budget committee and the board.

The budget was adopted.

Program planning

League members met January 26 at our annual program planning meeting to discuss what issues we want to work on or to emphasize during the coming year.  A summary of our decisions can be found on page 4. 

We reaffirmed National League priorities and declined to add anything new.

Locally, two priorities emerged: growing membership and elevating our public profile.  We agreed to continue our focus on housing and transportation.

A motion was made by the Board to adopt the 2018-2019 Program Plan. It does not need a second as it has been recommended by the board. The program was adopted. 

Overview of new Rent Stabilization Position

Donna Yobs presented the new position, described on pages 4 – 5, which was developed over 9 months with 18 people involved.  There are 26 different rent stabilization policies in effect throughout California.  The position is to support rent stabilization and just cause programs that are fair and reasonable to landlords, tenants, and the community.  The position was approved by the Board in April.

Affirm existing local positions (majority)

A motion was made by the Board to approve the retention of our local positions, found on pages 5 – 8 in the Annual Meeting Kit, including the Rent Stabilization Position. It does not need a second as it has been recommended by the board. 

Local positions were affirmed.

2017-2018 in review

Sue urged members to read the reports from the portfolio directors on pages 10 – 16 as they describe in some detail our work during the past year. Some highlights were:

We launched several new teams in response to new members’ interests. We have teams that deal with Civil Discourse, Advocacy for League positions, Social Forums, Voter Services including registering voters, Climate Change, Technology, Housing, Education, Juvenile Justice and a Book Club. If you want to get involved, there are many ways to do it. There was a signup sheet at the reception desk where members could leave their name and email.

We formed a study committee to determine what effects Measure V might have on the city of Mountain View, with regard to rent stabilization and just cause eviction. The study was completed in March and approved by the board in April. We now have a position on rent stabilization.

In addition, our housing committee worked tirelessly for affordable housing in our towns. While affordable housing has always been important to us, it is now even more urgent.

And finally, our observer corps attended board and council meetings to represent the League and to report back to us on matters of importance. Sue recognized the observers:

Los Altos City Council – Claire Noonan

Mountain View City Council – Lucas Ramirez

MVLA High School Board – Sally Ahnger

MV Whisman School Board – Devon Conley

Bullis Charter School – Ellen Wheeler

Board Recognition

Sue thanked the board that she has had the pleasure of working with this past year: 

Carol Kuiper – VP Program

Merrian Nevin – VP Action

Abby Longcor – Secretary

Natalie Elefant – Treasurer

Lisa McLain– Voter Production Editor

Catharine Vonnegut – Data Manager

Gary Hedden – Natural Resources Policy Director

Vicki Gilfix -Voter Service Director

Ellen Wheeler – Social Policy Director

Katie Zoglin – Government Policy Director

Max Beckman Harned – Tech Team Director

Nominating Committee Report

Crownie Billik, chair of the nominating committee, presented the slate of officers and directors for 2018-2019 as seen on page 9 of the Annual Meeting Kit: 

Sue Graham – President, Membership

Carol Kuiper – VP Program

Merrian Nevin – VP Action

Martha McClatchie – Secretary

Natalie Elefant – Treasurer

Lisa McLain– Voter Production Editor

Catherine Vonnegut – Data Manager

Gary Hedden – Natural Resources Policy Director

Vicki Gilfix -Voter Service Director

Ellen Wheeler – Social Policy Director

Katie Zoglin – Government Policy Director

Max Beckman Harned – Tech Team Director

Katherine Campodonico – Director at Large

A question was asked about whether an Audit Committee would be elected or appointed.  The Board appoints the Audit Committee.

There were no nominations from the floor.

A motion was made by the Nominating Committee to elect the nominees for officers and directors.  No second was needed because the motion was from a committee.  The slate was elected as proposed.

Nominating Committee

A motion was made by the board to elect Crownie Billik and Gary Hedden for 2019-2020 nominating committee, with Crownie as the chair. No additional nominations were made from the floor.

No second was necessary because the motion was made by the board.

The nominating committee was elected.

Welcome to the new board

Sue welcomed our new and returning board members. 

Direction to the Board:

Sue told the attendees that this is a time when the board would like to hear from our members and asked that people make suggestions.

Sally Ahnger suggested taking a position opposing the deceptive petition drive for the anti-rent-stabilization initiative being run by a group called “Measure V Too Costly”. Petitions are due on June 5. Sue asked people to sign up to work on this over the summer if the initiative qualifies for the ballot in November.   Members were interested to learn that there is a process for people to remove their name from the petition.

Cathy Remson-Lazarus talked about an issue in Los Altos. A draft plan has been released for the future of downtown, including housing and increased density downtown. In response, a citizen initiative (deceptively called Save our Parks) has qualified for the ballot in November to require a vote by residents for any sale or lease of city property, which would prevent any development. City Council has requested an analysis.  The league will examine the analysis and determine how to proceed.

Lucas Ramirez brought up a potential issue of voting rights in at-large elections, in which the city council members are not elected by districts. There have been lawsuits brought against other cities on the peninsula for at-large elections of their city councils.

Gary Hedden raised a question about the elementary school district proposal to develop teacher housing on their property next to Cooper Park playground and tennis courts.  The school district has backed off in the face of neighborhood resistance, but has not ruled it out.  That led to a discussion of affordable housing.  Teachers have said they love the community and want to live here but can’t afford it.  A discussion of the issues around tall buildings ensued. A video called “Los Altos – A Place to Call Home in Silicon Valley?” is available from Marie Young.  It explores the difficulties that people who work in Los Altos encounter when trying to live there.   The league could possibly post it on our website.  Katie Zoglin suggested we could provide a public program to show the video and lead a discussion. 

Max Beckman-Harned mentioned that Los Altos Hills has been named the wealthiest town in the US based on median income and even though our league nominally includes them we don’t have any information about what their issues are.

Cathy Remson-Lazarus recommended having different people present league positions to the public so the same people aren’t always doing it.

Pamela Baird was recently purged from the voter rolls, although she has been voting from the same address for 20 years.  The county is using a service to clean up voting rolls.  The league should put something in the Voter as a notice to voters.   Marie Young attended training for working at the polls and said they are emphasizing allowing everyone who shows up to vote.  We should post something on our website and Facebook, and Catherine Vonnegut will send out a new eblast, letting voters know that if they are not on the list they can vote provisionally.

November election is coming up.  We need to work on voter information and getting people registered.  Our mission is to get more people involved in the election process.  We will have candidate forums, ballot measure presentations, and efforts to encourage people to vote.   

Karin Fitzgerald asked a question about what will happen with the ideas brought up today.  Sue said they would be considered by the board.       

Sue announced the end of the business meeting and the plan to reconvene at noon for lunch. Our speaker, Maya Perkins of Bay Area Forward, began her talk at 12:45.


Hearing no objection, the Annual Meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Los Altos/Mountain View Area was adjourned at 11:47am.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Ahnger, Temporary Secretary