History of the LWV Eden Area
This year marks our Chapter’s 70th anniversary. For seventy years, LWVEA diligently carried out its mission through voter education and services. LWVEA has conducted studies and/or educational forums on mental health, health care, energy, the education system, juvenile justice, transparency in government, voting systems, state and local finance, land use, parks and open space, and boards and commissions, water, transportation, and housing issues in CA. Members of the Eden Area League have given thousands of hours to their communities with these forums, voter drives, and other services.
The League has conducted hundreds of candidates’ forums, distributed more than 100,000 of the highly respected Pros and Cons on ballot measures in several languages, registered thousands of voters, maintained over 80 voter affidavit distribution sites, and provided speakers at various forums and debates. The Eden Area League has also participated in national, state, and county studies on important issues such as reapportionment, state constitution amendments, employment and education issues, foreign policy, civil rights, and land use in the Bay Area.
Currently, there are about 120 active members in our chapter and fifteen board members. LWVEA is proud to be part of our community and is committed to serving the people of the Eden Area.
Eden Area Highlights
Accomplishments of the League for the past fiscal year.
LWVEA HIGHLIGHTS, July 2019-June 2020
As one can assume, many of our Spring 2020 events were cancelled due to Sheltering in place, including our participation in International Women’s Day, the Castro Valley Reads program, and other outreach and educational events. The national convention in Washington, D.C. was cancelled, but LWV will be holding a virtual convention later this Spring. We hope some of our members can attend that virtual conference.
Community Outreach and Voter Service
-Voter Registration Events: Richard Maurer led our voter registration outreach efforts, with a booth at the Castro Valley Fall Festival, Women’s March, the Lake Chabot Peace Walk, and appearances at local farmers’ markets, BART stations, and libraries. Several high school voter registration events coordinated by Marian Handa were also held. Thanks to all our volunteers who assisted in this vital service.
-Candidate Forums: On January 30, 2020, our league held a forum featuring all of the candidates running in the primary for the Assembly District 20 seat. Jo Loss was our moderator. Thanks to everyone who assisted and to the staff at Hayward City Hall for their help. We also held a candidate forum for the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association board; only one candidate attended (although two others had committed to attend). It was very well attended.
-Chris Selig worked on the “Voter’s Edge,” reaching out to candidates to encourage them to post their information to this website, assisted by new members Margaret Rott and Ronna Jojola. Our league donated $200 to “Voter’s Edge.”
-Our annual party and fundraiser was held in December at the San Leandro Senior Center, earning approximately $1445 from the silent auction.
-League Centennial Event: We held an Open House at the Castro Valley Library in February, featuring information on the 19th Amendment, history of the League and history of African American voting, a trivia contest, a performance by Terry Guillory, and more! Several people interested in becoming members attended the event.
-Library bulletin board displays on the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters, with information on our league, were put up at the Castro Valley and San Lorenzo libraries in March 2020, in celebration of Women’s History Month. These displays are scheduled for August 2020 at the Hayward and San Leandro Libraries.
-Marian Handa and Aiwa Zelinsky interviewed Assembly member Bill Quirk as part of the LWVC’s legislative interview program. The interview will be in the June VOTER.
-In November 2019, the board voted to endorse the parcel tax Measure I for the Castro Valley School District, which was defeated at the March 3 primary election. There were complaints that because it was on the back page of the ballot, many voters skipped that item.
-Proposition 13 reform efforts: LWVC asked all local leagues to circulate petitions for the Schools and Communities First proposition set for November 2020. This would institute reforms to the Proposition 13 tax regulations. Our league offered these petitions at our voter registration events.
-The board voted to support Measure AA proposed for the November 2020 ballot – this would redistribute funds from Measure A so that St. Rose Hospital would be allotted 10% of those funds.
-Program Planning Survey: We did this recently at our Open House celebration on Feb. 11th, as part of our Centennial of the League event. Members were asked to name their three top priorities for League attention; the results were Climate Change, Health Care, and Voting Rights. It was very clear that Climate Change, which some now call the Climate Crisis, was a top priority for the majority of our members. We hope to hold a Climate Crisis program in the near future.
-A letter was sent to our federal legislators (Senators and House of Representatives) and to the California Secretary of State advocating that the November 2020 election not be postponed (due to Covid 19); thanks to Jewell Spalding for writing the letter.
-The board voted to endorse the letter to the Registrar of Voters written by Helen Hutchison concerning the lack of transparency about recent county measures.
Member Services and Outreach
-Several Membership Socials were held throughout the year at the home of our membership chair Carolyn Darcey. A Sips and Civility event on Climate Change was held in November 2019 at Carolyn’s home, featuring our member April Oquenda, who is the LWVC Legislative Analyst on Climate Change.
-Our VOTER newsletter continues to be popular and was published regularly. Penny Peck took over editing January 2019, pairing the newsletter with our website updates.
-Our membership brochure was updated, reflecting our new dues and website address.
-Our league, led by Sue Kleebauer, administered the Palomares HOA Election again this year, which earned our league $850.
-Treasurer Hank Hansen has worked diligently on several areas of our finances, including updating our information on the national database, maintaining our membership roster, and investing in Certificates of Deposit. Our website now takes credit cards for membership and donations.
-The board voted to obtain Directors and Officers insurance.
-Marian Handa received the volunteer award for her leadership on teen voter registration at the October 2019 Volunteer Dinner sponsored by the City of Hayward. One of her initiatives involved a grant for high school voter registration at Tennyson High School in Hayward.
-Lynda Foster was appointed to the Alameda County Measure A1 Oversight Committee.
Penny Peck, LWVEA President
Other League Organizations
Our members are also members of:
- League of Women Voters of the Bay Area ILO,
- League of Women Voters of California, &
- League of Women Voters of the United States.