Dear League friends,
I love the LWVDV. Unfortunately, I have to step down from my role as chair or assistant chair of the Pros and Cons presentations of CA ballot measures which take place each general election season. The next presentations will be early fall of 2024. I hope one or some of you will consider taking on my role, which is one of many in our Voter Services Committee.
Below is some background about the job and a summary job description. The past two general election seasons we’ve produced great videos with St. Mary’s. This could be continued, or not, depending on the chair’s willingness to do so. I am willing to offer guidance in all aspects of the job. A bonus is that you become an expert in explaining and understanding ballot measures that are often very confusing and misleading.
For more information, please contact Janet Thomas at pros.cons [at] lwvdv.org.
The LWVDV prides itself in offering expert, well-researched information about ballot measures to its members and the broader community. As such, it provides a program, Ballot Measure Pros & Cons, to educate voters about California’s ballot propositions during general elections. The Pros & Cons explanations are nonpartisan, with supporting and opposing arguments from many sources that go beyond the Official Voter Information Guide. The information includes how propositions are funded and the names of organizations supporting and opposing the propositions. The California League offers two important documents that are the basic source of this information; one is the LWVC Pros and Cons document, which the state League issues first, and then a little later the LWVC In Depth document, which has been a “members-only” document.
In 2020 the election occurred during the COVID quarantine and so the chairperson at the time, Kay James, and I worked with a film professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga to produce a 5–7-minute video presentation of each proposition given by a student actor, accompanied with power point, “B-roll” and music. These videos were usually presented in the Zoom format to audiences from 10-250, with hosts from the LWVDV facilitating the viewing and answering questions.
This past 2022 election season, 5–6-minute scripts were written by our team describing background, pros and cons, and financial backing for each proposition. These were turned into videos and shared with other local Leagues and shown in a number of presentations, including one of our Community Conversation webinars. They were also presented by LWVDV volunteers to civic and community groups with accompanying power point slides.
These of course could be modified, should the new chair and membership wish. Please note that LWVC will be offering additional videos and PowerPoint support for the 2024 election.
- January of the election year: Join the state Voter Service listserv to receive information about what resources will be available from LWVC for presentations. Contact St. Mary’s College about their level of involvement in once again creating videos. Discuss funding needs.
- March and April: Secure funding, if St. Mary’s College students will be involved in creating videos (check with LWVDV Treasurer on budget). Begin getting information about ballot propositions. Information can be found on the Internet and from any number of news outlets. Our local Bay Area newspapers, such as the East Bay Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, generally print excellent information on ballot measures. Additionally, the Los Angeles Times and various other organizations present excellent information.
- April: Form a team of LWVDV members wanting to be involved in presentations. Identify pairs who may want to work together. Continue gathering information about ballot propositions.
- May through September: Continue gathering information about ballot propositions. Communicate with team. Presentations will be from mid-September through mid-October. Outside organizations will actively request presentations. Organize schedule of presentations.
- August and early September: Begin writing scripts for the ballot propositions. The LWVC Pros & Cons publication is usually completed by September 1st. This is our primary resource, as well as the In Depth, which follows a little later. Complete scripts and power points for videos by September 4th and complete videos by September 14th.
- Late August and early September: Have one or two Pros & Cons team meetings. Share scripts with teams and discuss presentation format and schedule.
- Late-September – End of October: Complete presentations and get feedback.
Janet Thomas, Pros and Cons Chair