The Grapevine, November 2023
This is news from your League committees. You are always welcome to join or just sit in. Committee membership is both rewarding and fun, and it does the good work for which the League is known. Committees are meeting either virtually or in person, depending on pandemic conditions and current safety guidelines. Please continue to check with your committee chairs to learn the latest on meeting status.
Advocacy. The Committee exists to promote awareness and action on League positions and issues. This is achieved in numerous ways. When applicable, action alerts from national, state, and local Leagues are published on our website and in the monthly Voter newsletter. An advocacy component on relevant topics, issues, and/or current events is featured at every League Day. In addition, we collaborate with the League committees to educate them on the legislative process, identifying effective ways in which to advocate and develop target messaging skills.
—Karen Roberson, Chair (advocacy [at] LWV-PA.org)
Communications. Communicating is at the heart of what the League of Women Voters does. The work of our committee is to communicate to Leaguers and to the public at large what they can do to make democracy work. The Communications Committee is called upon to “get the word out.” We do this in multiple ways:
- We produce the Voter newsletter in electronic and print formats. All are invited to submit articles for publication, using the guidelines at https://my.lwv.org/california/pasadena/article/share-your-insights-voter.
- We manage the LWV-PA website, www.lwv-pa.org, a dynamic and regularly updated resource for finding out the latest on what’s happening at the local and national levels. Our webmasters post information on League events, with links to sign up for them, and upload the Voter newsletter in both print-friendly and digital forms for easy access.
- Social media postings on X (Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram will have postings, thanks to Amy Majeski, who has joined the Communications Committee as Coordinator of Social Media.
- We also prepare and send the email blasts that inform members of current legislation at the state and national levels and serve as reminders to participate in League activities.
- We work with committees to create, edit, email, and post promotional flyers. We issue press releases to newspapers and e-news outlets on what LWV-PA is doing in the community to advocate for civic engagement.
So what does this mean to you? It means that you can have an impact on the message of our League by joining in the work of any or all of our efforts. Committee members: Voter Team: Chris Moose, Dawn Dawson, Gayle Oswald, Laurie Barlow, Ann Hunnewell, Dorothy L. Keane. Website: Peter Zavala, Laurie Barlow. Social Media: Amy Majeske. Press Releases: Vacant. Email Blasts: Marcia Baldeschwieler, Jody Kenney.
We usually meet the first Wednesday of the month, 7:00–8:30 p.m., via Zoom and conference calls. We have a great committee. Come and join us! Contact us for a link to our next meeting.
—Dorothy L. Keane, Chair (communications [at] LWV-PA.org)
Development. The Development Committee develops and implements comprehensive and long-term fundraising plans for the League of Women Voters Pasadena Area. Fundraising contributions made as a result of our annual fundraising letters and special events help our League meet its annual fiscal needs. Our long history of bequests and memorial gifts made by League members and community supporters helps our organization to enhance the communities we serve. In spring 2024 we will hold a lunch with an informative, entertaining speaker. All fundraising contributions, bequests, and memorial gifts given to LWV-PA are tax deductible to the extent the law allows. We welcome new members with fresh ideas for fundraising. We typically meet online in the evening. Contact us for more information.
—Marilynne Wilander, Chair (development [at] lwv-pa.org)
Education. The role of the Committee is to use League program positions to help ensure that all schools in our member communities provide an excellent education to all students. It promotes awareness and skills for political participation within the schools. We welcome new members interested in learning about topics that affect the policies and practices in our LWV-PA area school districts, including those who may wish to help us develop focused projects. We are seeking members who are interested in getting involved in this important area. Please email us at office [at] lwv-pa.org or call (626) 798-0965 to learn more.
Events. The Committee organizes and produces monthly Thursdays with the League, League @ Nite, and other major membership meetings and public forums, working together with the sponsoring LWV-PA committees and the LWV-PA president. We work to provide interesting and compelling presentations on timely topics of interest via individual speakers, panels, and other formats. A relevant advocacy activity is part of each event. This gives members a good insight into all the varied education and advocacy work of the League and enhances LWV-PA’s visibility in the communities we serve. Check the LWV-PA website and watch your email in-box for blasts announcing informative and timely events. In 2023, events are both in-person and via Zoom. Our committee members include Katherine Gavzy, Jean Buennagel, Vali Cowan, Mia Rodriguez, and Martha Zavala (ex officio). We meet via Zoom on the second Monday of each month at 9:00 a.m. Meetings are relaxed and include lots of enjoyable conversation—we warmly welcome drop-ins (no commitment!). Contact us to learn more.
—Katherine Gavzy, Chair (events [at] LWV-PA.org)
Immigration/LWVC Interest Group. Since the options for effective League action and advocacy on immigration issues are at the state and national levels, it was decided to blend the LWV-PA Immigration Committee into the LWVC Immigration Interest Group and the LWVUS Immigration Interest Group. Both these Google Groups are currently very active and focused on working for legislation and government policies to advance immigration reform. LWV-PA members interested in learning more are encouraged to contact us.
—Katherine Gavzy, Chair (katherine.gavzy [at] lwv-pa.org)
Membership. The Committee manages new member recruitment, membership support, and dues collection. We are also the liaison with LWVUS on the membership database. With our members’ participation, the League supports our thirteen service-area cities by offering education and advocacy to make democracy work for all. Our LWV-PA members are our most important asset.
- The Committee welcomes new members with a letter, as well as a personal phone call or an email. Before most of our meetings, we extend a personal invitation to attend. If you are new to LWV-PA and for some reason we haven’t been able to reach you, please email us or call the LWV-PA office at (626) 798-0965. We will be sure to get in touch with you.
- Renewing and new members, please take time to let us know your interests, and we will connect you with an appropriate committee chair. We know that not everyone can join a committee, but getting to know others who share your passions and interests makes LWV membership so much more interesting and rewarding.
- Share the good news about LWV-PA with a friend. All members can become LWV ambassadors by letting friends, family, and colleagues know about our voter registration, education, and advocacy missions. Thanks!
—Vicki Thompson, Chair (membership [at] LWV-PA.org)
Natural Resources. The Committee develops educational and advocacy activities as well as forums related to environmental issues. We actively review issues related to climate change. We meet on Zoom the second Friday of each month, 1:00–3:00 p.m. If you would like to join the Committee or just sit in, please email us to receive a link.
—Cynthia Cannady, Chair (naturalresources.com [at] LWV-PA.org)
Social Justice. The Committee has two active subcommittees, Policing Practices and Housing. Those who wish to work in these areas are encouraged to get in touch!
Social Justice: Housing. The Subcommittee educates about homelessness, advocates for affordable housing, and supports efforts to achieve housing security for tenants. We meet on the third Friday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Locations vary, so please contact us in advance.
—Anita Mackey, Chair (socialjustice [at] LWV-PA.org)
Social Justice: Policing Practices. The Subcommittee addresses education and advocacy issues related to civilian oversight to ensure transparency and accountability in policing activities.
- We will be meeting soon with the Chair and Vice Chair of Pasadena’s Community Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) regarding their recommendations to the Pasadena Police Department regarding PPD’s practices related to pretextual traffic stops, as reported by the Office of Independent Review. The focus will be on PPD’s stop for a missing license plate and eventual killing of passenger Anthony McClain. We have asked to meet to understand PPD’s plans and to share our research on pretextual traffic stops. Our goal is to support the CPOC’s work and to end PPD’s use of such stops on minor violations.
- In November, we will meet with Pasadena City Councilmember Jessica Rivas on her concerns about pretextual stops.
- We invite all LWV-PA members who are interested in seeing more equitable and accountable law enforcement in California to join us. Our meeting dates vary, so it’s best to contact us to learn the next meeting date and how to attend.
—Kris Ockershauser, Chair (socialjustice [at] lwv-pa.org or kmopas [at] earthlink.net)
North Special Interest Group. Operating under the auspices of the Board, special interest groups gather to engage and inform community and League members about the work of the League.
- The goal of the North Special Interest Group goal is to learn, in depth, about important, often contentious, public issues, using the best available natural and social science. Our special interests cover a wide range of local, state, and national issues.
- Since 2020, our highest priority has been to understand the existentially dangerous partisan political divide. We use excellent social science about the moral systems of liberals and conservatives, the development of today’s “win at any cost” partisanship, and ways to avoid demonizing other-side members. Obviously, increased understanding and tolerance is a prerequisite for successful bipartisan efforts to reduce partisanship and preserve our democracy.
- We also discuss League Day topics and often invite involved committee members. As always, small-group meetings provide opportunities to socialize with friends.
- The North Group meets the third Friday of every month, 10 a.m.–noon. Recent meetings have been in person (and are in Altadena when so), but we sometimes meet by Zoom. Contact us for details.
—George Null, Leader (georgenull [at] aol.com)
Voter Services. The Committee continues to advance the League’s core mission of expanding voter registration and voter education. It’s a year-round mission that intensifies as we approach upcoming elections in our service area. Get involved! Future local, state, and national elections—including the Presidential Primary and General Elections of 2024—will be upon us sooner than we think, so we continue to need members to register and educate voters!
—Susan Sosin, Chair (voterservices [at] LWV-PA.org)