Christina Soto-Maynez -- LWVC Convention 2019 notes

Christina Soto-Maynez -- LWVC Convention 2019 notes

I’m new to the League and just became active within the last 6 months or so.  I feel so lucky and grateful to have been chosen to be a part of this amazing event.  Below are some notes on the highlight moments for me:

Schools & Communities First: This was a presentation / discussion on the devastating impact Prop 13 had on education in CA. Our public schools went from ranking 7th to 41st in the nation. Commercial properties are only taxed at the time the property is purchased, while residential is taxed each year. This equals a tremendous tax for the wealthiest of CA and the largest corporations.

                Solution: Restore the commercial and industrial property tax assessment at fair market value. Will continue to protect residential and agricultural property. Commercial properties will still enjoy the Prop 13 tax limits already in place.

                Who Pays: Large commercial property owners

                Who Doesn’t Pay: Residential properties

                Obstacles to reforming Prop 13: Distrust of Government; Visceral homeowner opposition; Very powerful opponents in the wealthiest and largest corporations

                Who Benefits:   Our schools! Over $11 billion a year for schools and services. $4.5 billion of the tax revenue would go to K-12 and community colleges; the rest would go to local government for local services (emergency response, health care, libraries, etc).

Guest Speaker PaKou Her: Building racial equality.

  • Listen to understand before speaking.
  • Equality is not equity. We can’t be equal when we have unaddressed social and historical deficits
  • Institutions are real good at coding normal. Systems of oppression are supported by institutions, they work best when you don’t know you’re on it.
  • You can’t change someone’s intention. It’s about impact.
  • Disrupting the status quo by applying a Borderlands based racial equality analysis.

*Referenced the book Borderlands / La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

Workshop: Unlocking League Secrets

                Levels of League are separate and independent but connected

                ILO = InterLeague Organization


                                Water Quality


League is and always will be nonpartisan. Nonpartisan does not mean nonpolitical. We control what we mean by being nonpartisan. We do not oppose or support parties or candidates. We DO advocate around policy / issue.

A big part of the League is building and strengthening the community. Democracy is strongest when more are involved, all levels of local up to the highest level of government.

We advocate on issues = Direct lobbying for changes in legislation (at all levels of government), advocacy with agencies, or promote a point of view through media, forums, policy papers, etc.

Coalitions = How we get things done.

To build success we need the ally.

A formal “League Study” = Develop a position so we can act:

  1. Define issue that we want to work on – no conclusions yet!
  2. Research, a ton of research
  3. Member discussions and consensus
  4. Adopt position when member consensus is reached
  5. Start acting on that position

Act on active legislation

Help to Develop Bills

FPPC = Fair Political Practices Commission

Legislative Analyst (I’m very interested in this): People who analyze bills. Training this summer through webinars

Hot button issues in CA tend to be around voting

National Hot Button issues tend to not be CA Hot Button issues

Ballot Measures – Legislative committee makes recommendations to the Board

Coalition & partnership for voting as well as advocacy

Always refining material

Younger and more mobile people is focus to get out there and vote.

Easy Voter Guide (I’m very interested in this):  Always looking for new people. A lot of research and writing. Must be willing to handle edit. Summer of 2020.

Community education:

  • League puts together fact sheets
  • Forums
  • Panels
  • Working with local reporters and community colleges

Guest Speaker Manuel Pastor; Professor at USC – Integrated Voter Engagement

  • Who are the new & occasional voters. Go to people that don’t vote, build relationships & get them to not only vote, but also become more involved in community.
  • Prop 30 – Progressive Income Tax
  • Shift in rhetoric – Try to move the middle. Don’t move to the middle.
  • Geography – Can only make change where change is an option. Areas where it is not predominately one party.
  • More than voting, it’s about civic education to make communities better

Workshop: Great League Ideas

  • Florida & Texas = Gun Safety
  • Alameda =
    • Campaign Finance Review = Educate Community on campaign finance (where is the $$ coming from)
    • Money = Put in excel to graph
    • High School Civics Scholarship Program = Civics education missing from school & needed (Girls Inc)
    • Handouts need to be available online
  • Los Angeles =
    • Yes in
    • Learn how to facilitate difficult meetings
    • Partnership with developers (low income housing only)
      • Did not accept funding from developers
      • Did not accept any support from developers
      • Mainly info seeking
  • San Juan Capistrano
    • Mentoring new members:
      • Mentor assigned to all new members
      • With a mentor they become part of the League
      • Contact new members
        • How active do they want to be
        • What are they willing to do

Guest Speaker: Virginia Kase; CEO of LWV United States

  • Sharing power doesn’t mean giving up power, it means expanding the power