Leaders Update

Leaders Update

The Leaders Update is a publication generated after each LWVC board meeting to inform our members about LWVC activity. If you are not yet subscribed to receive Leaders Updates, please contact the LWVC office. To view past Leaders Updates, please visit the Leaders Update archives page.

Leaders Update header

March 2020

Table of Contents
Voter Service
Schools and Communities First
Advocacy
LWVC/EF Post Board Summary

President's Letter

Hello League members!

We knew 2020 would be an action packed, exciting year. We just didn’t know that it would involve sheltering in place, mass cancellation of events and meetings, and general disruption of our lives.  So let me first say, please take care of your health, your family and friends, and your communities. By taking care of ourselves, the League can continue to advance the mission to empower voters and defend democracy.   

Even in the midst of the tumult, League has things to celebrate and work to do! The Schools and Communities First campaign gathered over 1.6 million signatures to qualify the proposition for the November ballot.  Our local Leagues collected approximately 7,500 signatures for Schools & Communities First! This is a full 50% over our goal! This shows what we can accomplish together!  

Now it’s time to tell personal stories about the impact of schools and community services on our lives and those of others. Learn about this part of the campaign to pass Schools & Communities First here. Let’s tell our own stories 

Second, another celebration, the March 2020 Primary Election is over!  Kudos to all League members who worked so hard to register and educate voters and to get candidates on Voter’s Edge for what was seen by many as an unusual election. We persuaded 58% of candidates for office to appear on Voter’s Edge.  Well done everyone!  

The November election is coming. Just what the election will look like is a bit in flux. See here for information about the upcoming November election.  

Now that the 2020 Census forms are arriving at houses and apartments, attention turns to “Get Out the Count!” Look to the California Complete Count, and your county and local partners for information on how to motivate and educate Californians to fill out those forms online or on paper.   

Along with the Census comes redistricting; the re-drawing of election district lines.  This happens, not just with state level offices, but also with local government districts.  Leagues that are in jurisdictions which have citizens’ commissions for redrawing local districts are already at work seeking and supporting applicants. Hats off to them! 

Redistricting work can be done by Leagues that don’t have citizen’s commissions. Check out the brand new FairMaps California Local Redistricting Toolkit.  It gives local Leagues all they need to advocate for fair redistricting in their counties and cities.  

As you can see, League life goes on as it did when the early League weathered the Great Depression and World War II.  Work is not grinding to a halt; it is continuing, perhaps changing in method or emphasis depending on what the future brings.  We have work to do and technology gives us ways to do it even when we cannot meet face to face. Let’s work together to keep League strong, flexible and resilient.  

One final word… League annual meetings are in the near future.  At this time LWVC recommends delaying them by one month.  This should be authorized by vote of the Board of Directors.  We are seeking advice from nonprofit law experts on how to handle things further.  As soon as we receive recommendations we will forward them to you.

Take care of yourselves,

Carol

Carol Moon Goldberg

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Voter Service

As of this writing the usual Voter Service election related activities are expected to go forward. Voter registration and education of voters about how to perform the act of voting will continue. Further, LWVC intends to continue Voter’s Edge, the Easy Voter Guide, and Pros & Cons of the Ballot Propositions.  However, there may be changes as to how voter service work is done, what is emphasized, and to the deadlines that affect the production of our publications.  It is too soon to know what will happen. LWVC will keep Leagues apprised as we learn and as plans change.  

Voter Registration and the Election 

The Secretary of State convened a task force that includes LWVC and a variety of other organizations, academics, elections officials, and representatives from the legislature, and governor's office. The task force is working to provide recommendations to the legislature, Governor Newsom, and Secretary of State Padilla in order to build a plan to manage the November election.  

LWVC staff is playing an active role on this task force and several of its subcommittees. The goal is to make sure the election is safe and accessible for all voters, with an emphasis on ensuring that the needs of underrepresented voters are met. Once the plan is in place, we will ask local Leagues to join in the crucial task of educating our communities about the changes and promoting a robust turnout in the fall.

Ballot Proposition Publications

It is difficult to predict how many propositions will appear on the statewide ballot in normal times.  It is more difficult now because propositions currently circulating for signatures are hampered by the close down of county elections offices that verify signatures. 

It is not known if the Legislature or the Governor (by executive order) will attempt to change the signature submission dates or the ballot qualification date.  If dates are delayed, then the editorial deadlines for League publications may need to be delayed as well. As things evolve, LWVC will be reassessing and adjusting the publications and  will keep Leagues apprised.  

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Schools and Communities First

Attention now turns to the “Vote Yes on Schools & Communities First” campaign. A large component of the campaign will be the age old act of storytelling-- something to help voters connect with and understand why Schools & Communities First will benefit them. The stories illustrate how schools and community services impact the lives of everyday people, make the case for investing in public health and schools, and inspire Californians with the message that “we are all in this together.”  

Here is where League members can help.  Tell your own stories about your contact with local services and education and why you support Schools & Communities First.  Find others who can tell stories. Ask them to participate. 

The campaign has set up a toolkit to help us.  Take a look at the what, why, and how of storytelling in this context.  Here are some sample stories and more samples using a COVID 19 theme.  As you see, the stories are short and personal.  They can be written or on video. Check this site to see how it’s done.

Contact Helen Hutchison with any questions. 

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Advocacy

Legislative hearings on bills are suspended until April 13.  It is not known if hearings will resume after that. If they do, it is not known if the legislature will take up all bills or only bills that relate to the handling of COVID 19, upcoming elections, and the state budget.  

Just before the hearings were suspended, the California Racial Justice Act, cosponsored by LWVC, was introduced. It prohibits racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination in convictions and sentencing and creates a process for challenging discrimination at trial or following conviction.  To follow this bill and all others that League has taken a position on please consult the Bill Status Report.

Don’t forget the Advocacy Dashboard is available for all.  It addresses how Leagues form positions, takes action, and how to understand and analyze legislation.  This page contains advice on forming coalitions with other groups that is applicable in both advocacy and voter service activities. A section also discusses local League advocacy. Keep scrolling down to see all that is offered. 

Redistricting

Now that the primary election is behind us, we can turn to the redistricting in our local jurisdictions that must be done after the Census is completed.  Some cities and counties formed local citizens redistricting commissions. If this is the case in your area, use social media and contacts to urge League members and residents to apply for those commissions. 

Even if your jurisdictions do not have local commissions, there is opportunity for Leagues to participate and to urge others to participate in the line drawing.  State law now provides a floor - a base level of requirements for line drawing and for public input to the process.

Beyond ensuring that each local government complies with the rules that apply to it (which Leagues definitely want to do!) Leagues and local groups can advocate for more transparency and more representative districts. We can advocate for a better process than merely complying with the law.  Attend public meetings, use social media to urge electeds to take redistricting seriously and to get word out to the public, and work with other organizations to expand outreach.   

This brand new Fair Maps California Local Redistricting Toolkit explains the laws and ways to participate to make sure that voters are not gerrymandered into insignificance in local government. 

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March 2020 Post Board Summary

LWVC/LWVCEF Boards of Directors Meetings
March 21, 2020 – Electronic Meeting

IMPORTANT DATES TO CALENDAR:

  • April 1, 2020 – US Census Day
  • April 15, 2020 – LWVC Legislative Interview Reports – Forms are due
  • June 25 – 28, 2020 – LWVUS Convention in Washington, DC

(Check LWVUS website for ongoing updates about this event).

LWVC MEETING SUMMARY

The LWVC Board of Directors acted as follows:

GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Ratification of Special Meeting Actions

  • February 12, 2020 – LWVC Board of Directors - Discussion of future events
  • February 26, 2020 – LWVC Executive Committee – Discussion of future events.

Resignations

Local League Coaches

  • Accepted the resignation of Barbara Hopkins (LWV Sacramento) as Local League Coach for the Leagues of Placer County, Redding Area, and San Joaquin County.

 Appointments

Finance Committee

  • Fran Carrillo (LWV San Diego).

Local League Coaches (formerly known as MTAs)

  • Carol Burr (LWV Butte County)
  • Nancy Mahr (LWV Palos Verdes)
  • Kay Ragan (LWV San Diego)
  • Fran Shermet (LWV Orange County)
  • Sharon Wallace (LWV Butte County)
  • Phyllis White-Ayanruoh (LWV Oakland).

BUDGET AND FINANCE

The January 2020 LWVC Financial Report was received and filed.

LWVCEF MEETING SUMMARY

The LWVCEF Board of Directors acted as follows:

GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Ratification of Special Meeting Actions

  • February 12, 2020 – LWVCEF Board of Directors - Discussion of future events
  • February 26, 2020 – LWVCEF Executive Committee – Discussion of future events.

Appointments

Finance Committee

  • Fran Carrillo (LWV San Diego).

BUDGET AND FINANCE

  • The January 2020 LWVCEF Financial Report was received and filed.

Caroline de Llamas
LWVC/EF Secretary
cdellamas@lwvc.org

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