October/November 2019

President's Message
October, 2019
Dear Fellow Leaguers:

It’s fall already and this year feels as if it is speeding by even faster than the previous one!  The 100th Anniversary Celebration Committee has been busy planning the January 26th and February 23rd celebratory events!   On January 26th, you are all invited to attend a private showing of the movie of the suffrage movement starring Hillary Swank, Angelica Huston and Julie Ormand: The Iron Jawed Angels.  The film captures the tremendous obstacles faced by the suffragists in their fight for the right to vote for women.  It’s an important film and we will be showing it at the historical Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and Edison Theater in Fremont.  Please check our website for details on how to rsvp as space is limited.

I am especially excited about our Community Celebration event on February 23rd.  We wanted to hold an event which was for the community as a whole to join us in celebrating 100 years of non-stop efforts by the League of Women Voters to keeping the wheels of democracy oiled. The event is free and open to the public and will be at the Artist Walk off of Fremont Blvd.  Check our website for more details and updates on how you can participate.

Meanwhile, we have two important upcoming community meetings.  The first one is in October on the Census count and why it’s crucial for us to county everyone! In November, we will be hosting a presentation on climate change and what each one of us can do to help possibly prevent utter disaster for our planet.

We look forward to your presence at these and all upcoming events.
In league,

Syeda R Inamdar

“We will be counted!  Census 2020”

Monday, October 28, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Fremont Main Library,

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont.

The U.S. Constitution requires a Census every 10 years of all residents.
This census will be primarily digitally based for the first time.

 Learn about the 2020 Census at the League’s next meeting on Monday, October 28 from 7-8:30 pm at the Fremont Main Library. The meeting is co-sponsored by the County of Alameda, the Alameda County Library and our League. Representatives who will speak are Alessia Simmonds from Alameda County, Barbara Hanze from Alameda County Library and Syeda Inamdar from our League. An interactive discussion from Ms Simmonds and the audience will precede presentations from the other speakers. The three representatives will present FAQs about the Census, outline the challenges it presents and how we can work together to get a complete and accurate count.

From LWVC – The Census
Join in LWV’s national effort to educate Americans about the importance of the Census. The Census offers fantastic opportunities for Leagues to engage with our communities by hosting forums, workshops, and to partner with other organizations. Please join Complete Count Committees in your counties to partner and develop plans for outreach, education, and census counting activities. Talking points and League plans, flyers, information on confidentiality of gathered data and a plethora of other information is in the Census Action Toolkit.

Learn about the ‘Hard-To-Count’ (HTC) Communities in California.  Your county might contain one.
LWVUS offered a webinar on the national efforts.  It provides a timeline and answers general questions.  A Google group on the Census is up and running.  Contact Jenny Avina to join the group.

Board Briefs
  • The Board of Directors of the LWVFNUC held its regular meeting on Monday, September 23, 2019 and discussed the following:
  • The 100th Anniversary Committee continues to firm up details for activities in 2020.  Media communications will begin in January.
  • The October 28, 2019 program will be on the US Census and the meeting will be held at the Fremont Main Library.
  • The Youth Voter Movement website is in test mode and Board members committed to offering feedback before it becomes live.

Kudos And Thank You
About 2 years ago I transitioned my LWVFNUC Publicity duties to Judy Chong and Shirley Gilbert. I have been truly impressed with the work of these two members. They have taken Publicity to a new level of quality and professionalism. Hats off to Judy and Shirley!

Sam Neeman
Former Publicity Chair

Parkland Voter Movement Becomes Youth Voter Movement

Take a look at the new web site for Youth Voter Movement. Let us know what you think.Thanks to a generous donation by a League member YVM was able to hire a professional to update the web site. She gave YVM a huge discount because she believed so much in the youth voter outreach goal.  Many thanks to Mary Miller for her referral and to Lori Vandermeir for doing such an outstanding job.

Welcome to Our New Members

Aziz Akbari

Antoinette Coplan

Nisreen AkbariDennis Godden

Kathi Bayne

Leona Jay

Kristy Boer

Valerie Stewart

Jeanne BurkeCaroline Xin

A Primer For New Members And A Reminder For Continuing Members

            We hope to add a feature to each Voter that will reinforce League principles and methods of deciding goals and ways to achieve those goals. The first subject we will address is Speaking with One Voice from LWV California.

From LWV California - Speaking with One Voice, LWVC Advocacy Policy Explainer

Once a League position on a particular  bill, proposition, or ballot measure has been announced at any level, it applies for all Leagues within the jurisdiction. A local League may choose to remain silent, but it may not take a position opposing a state,  national or regional League position. The League speaks with one voice.
League members can speak as individuals on any issue. The only limitations are on a few key board members who are directly impacted by the nonpartisan policy. Every League board should review its nonpartisan policy once a year to ensure that board members are familiar with its rules.

Levels of League: Who Does What

Each level of League – local, regional, state, national – is responsible for action within its geographic bounds. A local League may act independently only within its own boundaries – whether city, county, or another region. A state League is responsible for action in the state legislature and state agencies. The LWVUS acts for all of us on the national level.
This means that a local League may not act on a state issue without working through the state League. Likewise, any action that goes beyond the state must be taken in consultation with the LWVUS.

Regional Leagues:
There are some regional Leagues: Inter-League Organizations (ILOs) and County Councils. ILOs can cover any region in which there are multiple local Leagues. The 3 ILOs in California are:
  • Bay Area ILO, covering the twenty local Leagues in the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Los Angeles County, covering the thirteen local Leagues in Los Angeles County
  • Orange County, covering the three local Leagues in Orange County.
ILOs are official Leagues, and action decisions are made by their boards.

County Councils are a way for all local Leagues in one county, to coordinate work. County Councils each have their own rules for action at the county level.

Coordinating Action with Other Leagues:
A local League should coordinate any action with other Leagues that are affected: all Leagues within a county for county action, all Leagues within a region for regional action. If there is a League organization that covers the region, that League should do the coordination. For action that spreads beyond any local or regional League, the LWVC is the coordinating League.
Requesting Action on State Bills
If a local League would like the LWVC to act on a specific bill, it should send a message to advocacy@lwvc.org, citing the bill and the reason for the request. This could be a state bill that applies specifically to the local area, or it could be on an issue that is of particular interest to the local League.
You can find a list of bills of interest to the LWVC on the members only website. Under “Action”, click on “Bills of Interest”. This list includes bills on which the LWVC already has a position, as well as bills under analysis, or being followed.
Acting on Bills on Which LWVC Has a Position

Acting as a local League:
If a local League wants to act on a bill on which the LWVC already has taken a position, it is free to do so, with the following caveats:
  • Your action should be limited to contacting legislators representing your local League.
  • Please let the LWVC advocacy team know about your action (advocacy@lwvc.org) 48 hours before you act. In some cases, we may ask you either to hold off on taking action, or to focus on a particular message.
  • If the LWVC is in the leadership on a bill (sponsoring or cosponsoring), you need to have explicit permission before you act; on other bills, if we haven’t responded within the 48 notice period, you may act.
  • Keep your message consistent with that of the LWVC.  Our messaging is usually reflected in our advocacy letter(s) which can be found linked to the LWVC Bill Status Report.
Acting as Individuals:
League members are encouraged to be active politically, including letting their representatives hear their views on issues. When acting as individuals, please do not do anything (like announcing your affiliation with the League)  that would give the impression that you are speaking for the League.
Responding to Action Alerts:
The LWVC periodically sends action alerts to local Leagues and to League members. These include a suggested message. If you are responding as an individual, you are always welcome to edit that message, to make it more personal. If you are responding in the name of your local League, we ask that, if you edit the message, you keep it consistent with the suggested wording.

From LWV California - Interested in Homelessness and Housing?
Three of our Board of Directors will begin to assemble a committee on homelessness and housing.  The purpose of the committee will be to help assemble education materials, to be the source of information to local Leagues, and to monitor legislation related to the issues.

From the National Women’s History Alliance
Since March 2015 the online journal and database, Women and Social Movements in the United States (WASM), has been working on an Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States. So far they have identified more than 3,400 grassroots suffrage activists and have secured sketches for about 2,400 of them.

They are seeking volunteers to help complete this project in time for the centennial of the adoption of the 19th Amendment in August 2020. Contributors will receive author credit as the work is published online.

Volunteers will be asked to research and write one or two 500-word biographical sketches of grassroots woman suffrage activists in the next four months. They also need volunteers to copyedit and fact check completed sketches, as well as genealogists who may be interested in finding vital information about suffragists for whom they already have sketches.

You can check out published sketches posted to date to get a sense of what they are looking for.

If you would like to contribute to the project, please email Tom Dublin for more infoinfo: tdublin@binghamton.edu.

League Bookshelf & Easy Chair Viewing
Recommendations from League members of books, movies, tv shows, etc.
From Mary Miller:

In her 2017 book, DEMOCRACY, Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offers her insights and experiences working around the globe with nascent democracies.  She reflects on our own countries’ beginnings as well as analyses the end of the cold war and democratizing movements in Poland, Ukraine, Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East.  A firm proponent of democracy as the only way for the world’s nations to become or remain stable, she directs the reader to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.  She asserts that “Even with all of its flaws, democracy is thus a necessary and worthwhile enterprise.  It is a hard slog full of contradictions and compromises on the way – hopefully to something better.  Its successes and failures must be addressed over history’s long arc, not with reference to today’s headlines.”  

13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States;" Streams on Netflix...Oscar nominated. Critic Choice -- 13th won three awards for Best Documentary (TV/Streaming), Best Political Documentary and Best Director (TV/Streaming) for Ava DuVernay. Stunning film provoking lots of thought and discussion.