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Hello League members,
Wow! This is quite a time to be a League member. A milestone anniversary, a national Fair Maps campaign, the Schools and Communities First initiative, the Census, and two elections all happening in the next 12 months. All of these are great opportunities to fulfill our mission to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy!
SAVE FEBRUARY 14, 2020! Set aside the daytime hours to participate in a National Day of Action. California Leagues will join with Leagues all over the country to visit the district offices of state legislators and Congress people to advocate for fair redistricting and/or voting rights legislation. Please volunteer to help with the organization and scheduling this day. Let’s honor the past by advocating for our core values… and then have cake in the evening to celebrate 100 years of making democracy work.
Signature gathering for the revised Schools and Communities First ballot initiative has begun. This proposition will provide $12 billion to California’s schools and local communities by assessing commercial and industrial properties on a regular basis. The petitions for signing are now available. Join us to get this important initiative on the ballot!
As we work through voter service activities please be sure to include discussion of the Census, the Voter’s Choice Act if your county is using it, and no need for postage on vote-by-mail ballots.
Many Leagues are already doing Census related work with the local officials. I commend them and encourage everyone to talk about it.
Please take some time to review the contents of this update. There is important information on an upcoming tax filing deadline; the request for volunteers to work on the National Day of Action; the Voter’s Choice Act toolkit; and upcoming legislative interviews. Also take a look at the good news in the Legislative Wrap-up.
Finally, this is a time when Leagues attract new members because of League’s highly visible presence. As you come into contact with the general public and potential new members, keep in mind nonpartisanship and issue based advocacy that LWV is founded upon. Be welcoming and take pains to avoid leaving mis-impressions of LWV and its members. See this personal story of a casual comment that led one life long Leaguer to avoid her local League. Don’t let this happen.
Enough reading! Time to get to work!
Thank you for all your work and dedication to LWVC.
As part of the LWVUS Fair Maps campaign, Leagues all over the country will be participating in a National Day of Action on February 14, 2020. In California, we will be lobbying our state legislators and members of Congress in their district offices. To make this happen, we need a few people to help organize the work: to help promote the event, and recruit and coordinate local League volunteers. If you’re interested – or just have questions – contact Helen Hutchison.
In 2020 and 2021, Californians will be redistricting at all levels: for federal, state, regional, and local offices. Are you interested in helping create a toolkit that will provide local Leagues with the information we all need to be fully informed and engaged? Contact Helen Hutchison to help or for more information.
Schools & Communities First
LWVC’s policy recognizes that a representative democracy only works when all are represented. The League is most effective and impactful in voter service and advocacy work when the League looks like California.
The LWVC Board of Directors has been educating itself on issues. Here is a list of what has been covered thus far:
White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
1. Ten Things Everyone Should Know About White Privilege Today
2. White Lies
3. 10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism
4. Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist isn’t one of them.
5. The Definition, Danger and Disease of Respectability Politics, Explained
6. LWVUS suggestions
League Supports $15 billion School Facilities Bond Measure - Schools throughout California need funding to both maintain and improve their facilities, and this bond measure will address some of those needs. Of the amount, $9 billion will be for PreK-12, and $2 billion each for the state’s Community College, California State, and California University systems. The measure addresses a number of equity-focused provisions, provide technical support for smaller school districts and for the first time, proves facilities funding for public Pre-K, and address lead in water concerns.
A busy Legislative Session in 2019. The League addressed issues around government, natural resources and social policy — and we were out in force. We took action on numerous bills and co-sponsored four bills, two which passed, and one, ACA 6 is now a two-year bill so we will continue to act on that legislation that will restore voting rights to 50,000 Californias. You can view a full wrap-up of our key legislative actions here.
Legislative Interviews coming up - deadline extended to April 15 for completion. Staying in touch with our local state legislators is a key activity for local Leagues and an important opportunity for information gathering and some advocacy as well. Due to the early primary election in March, the deadline for completing the interviews will be extended to April 15. The Legislative Interview packet will be distributed sometime soon after Thanksgiving so Leagues can start to schedule time with their representatives now. See the new Members Only site for the updated Legislative Directory. When jurisdictions overlap, local Leagues should coordinate among themselves to determine who takes the lead on the interviews.
Our State Advocacy Team, led by Dora Rose, has developed a helpful and informative Advocacy Dashboard to provide an understanding about how our State League takes action, and the many steps to lead us to advocacy and action. We welcome and encourage League members throughout the State to become active members of our advocacy efforts. This is an internal document. Do not share it with non League people.
Just a reminder that we have a new Criminal Justice Position and have a committee formed and available to be a resource and provide guidance to local leagues on use of the position. Questions or to find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The team is headed up by Ashley Raveche and Carolina Goodman.
Changes in voter registration and vote-by-mail ballots
Election Day Registration is about to become a reality statewide. Starting in 2020, EVERY polling place in the state will allow voters to register and vote all the way up through Election Day. This means that voters can register after the February 17, 2020 deadline for the primary election. It is still better to register by the deadline so that the voter receives the Official Voter Information Guide and the county voter guides. Plus on time registration avoids the use of a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots will be counted after elections officials verify the voter's registration and confirm that they have not already voted.
In Voter's Choice Act counties, voters can register and vote at any Vote Center in their county. In counties using polling places, voters can register and vote at their polling places, preferably at the polling place they are assigned to so they can receive a complete ballot. Voters can register at any time at their county elections office.
Vote-by-mail ballots will come with postage-paid return envelopes - no stamp is necessary. The envelopes will still be pink.
Plans for LWVC material for March 2020
The Easy Voter Guide will only be available online for the primary election. It will be downloadable as a one page, two sided document that covers the basics of the primary election, how to register, and the single ballot measure.
Nearly 50% of Californians will be voting under the Voter’s Choice Act model, many for the first time. That's why we are designing a separate page that Leagues in VCA counties print and distribute.
We're recruiting! Voter’s Edge is run by a network of League volunteers that gather data about candidates in their local elections officials and then do outreach with those candidates to get their information onto the site and to help voters get in-depth information about their ballot. If you want to join the Voter's Edge team or learn more about the project, send an email to email@example.com.
We're currently developing two candidate forum webinars. One addresses the nuts and bolts of organizing and staffing a forum. The other focuses on moderator training.
Remember Tax Filings are Due
Most local Leagues’ fiscal year is July 1 – June 30. This means your federal and state tax filings are due November 15. Please take a moment to review the reporting requirements to the IRS, Franchise Tax Board, Attorney General as Secretary of State requirements in the League publication How To Manage the Money in the Twenty-First Century.
Welcome to Local League Treasurers
As I missed adding a message to the last update, I want to extend my warmest greetings to all returning and new local League treasurers. The treasurer’s job is very important to the organization, and I thank you for your dedication to the League.
State League Volunteer Opportunities
Did you know that there are opportunities to volunteer at the state level? Below are a few that are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Treasurer – Serves on the Executive Committee. Chairperson of the Finance Committee. Provides updates to the board on the financial position of the LWVC/LWVCEF.
- Nominating Chair – Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
LWVC/LWVCEF Boards of Directors Meetings
October 20, 2019 – San Jose, California
IMPORTANT DATES TO CALENDAR:
- November 5, 2019 – Election Day in some California jurisdictions
- January 31, 2020 – Local League Membership Counts due to LWVUS
- March 1, 2020 – LWVUS Program Planning Forms due
- March 3, 2020 – Presidential Primary Election
- June 25-28, 2020 – LWVUS Convention in Washington, DC
LWVC MEETING SUMMARY
The LWVC Board of Directors acted as follows:
GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Ratification of Special Meeting Actions
- August 20, 2019 – Approved joining the LWVUS People Powered Fair Maps Campaign
- September 21, 2019 Executive Committee – Approved an Amendment to the Contract for Interim Executive Director Services.
LWVC Nonpartisan Policy
- The Board reaffirmed the Nonpartisan Policy, Governance G-1 of the Policies & Procedures.
- The Board authorized President Carol Moon Goldberg to enter into negotiations to hire an Executive Director.
- LWVC Board of Directors Resolution in recognition of Cal Channel and its President John Hancock.
- Janis R. Hirohama (LWV Beach Cities) – Reappointed to the California Commission on Access to Justice (CCAJ) through July 2021
- Maxine Anderson (LWVC Board and LWV San Francisco) – Appointed to the LWVC Legislation Committee.
- The Board approved the dissolution of the West Sacramento MAS/MAL Unit.
BUDGET AND FINANCE
- The June and August 2019 Financial Reports were received and filed
- The Board approved increasing the operating revenues by $10,649 to a total of $115,000 for the 2018/2019 fiscal year
- The Board approved a contribution of $15,734 to the LWVCEF for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
PROGRAM AND ADVOCACY
- Approved a support position on the Public Preschool, K-12 and College Health & Safety Bond Act of 2020 (AB 48)
- Authorized LWVC intervention in a lawsuit against the Secretary of State and Department of Motor Vehicles alleging violation of the National Voting Rights Act in handling voter registration at the DMV.
LWVCEF MEETING SUMMARY
The LWVCEF Board of Directors acted as follows:
GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
BUDGET AND FINANCE
- The June and August 2019 Financial Reports were received and filed.
Caroline de Llamas