LWVC President's Letter
I offer my gratitude to all of you. Typically the late winter months following an election are a quiet time for League work, but I know your Leagues are busy planning for your future work and participating in LWVC activities too. Thank you for attending the webinars related to Program Planning and Legislative Interviews. And thank you for attending the webinar on Interest Groups. It’s wonderful to see and hear the thoughtful questions raised in these events.
Thank you all for participating in the Program Planning Process and conducting Legislative Interviews. Both these exercises provide valuable information that feeds and informs the overall work of the League. Click here to learn of the Program Planning Results. The Legislative Interviews are being collated and analyzed.
The LWVC Board of Directors adopted Legislative Priorities for this legislative session. Under the umbrella of Making Democracy Work, the League is cosponsoring four pieces of legislation. This means that the League, in coalition with other organizations, are shepherding the bills through the legislative process. Two of the bills, one on recall elections of statewide elected offices and one that refines the FAIR MAPS Act on local redistricting were informed by input from Leagues over the past few years. For further information on those bills and others that the League is taking positions on please click here.
The LWVC Board also approved two action policies. One is an update of the existing Climate Change Action policy. The other is new, the Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Action Policy. These policies are not new positions. They are compilations of all LWVC and LWVUS positions that touch on the complex issues that climate change presents. These policies can be used for local level advocacy. Your Leagues may have local positions that are implicated in these issues as well.
Please remember that the League speaks with one voice when it comes to communications about legislation. Take a look at the Speaking with One Voice policy. If a piece of legislation is of interest to a particular League and or has direct impact on the League’s location please consult with the LWVC before any communication, whether that is submitting testimony, responding to a reporter’s questions or sending a letter to the editor. Please use the Action Request Form which is found in the Program and Advocacy section of the MyLO Members Only site. The League is stronger and more influential when speaking as one.
Mark your calendars for the 2023 LWVC Convention May 19-21. Please join your fellow League members as we explore Power and Possibilities in the League. This convention will feature a convention-wide panel discussion titled “Driving Impact: the Importance of Collaboration” during the Friday morning general session. You will be enlightened and inspired by the panelists. The official convention workbook will be released in mid April, but don’t wait for it to learn of details you need to know. We have a great website that describes delegate and hotel registration, workshops, and general scheduling information. This site will be updated as planning is finalized. Click here for more information: https://lwvc.wordpress.com/.
Also happening during the time we are gathered in San Francisco is Drag for Democracy, our celebration of people exemplifying the values and strength of our democracy through their work in advocacy and activism for LGBTQ+ people, rights, and equality. People who are not part of the dominant culture show us how to build power, create possibility and expand our democracy to include all people. Check out the website to learn about our honorees’ work. It is inspiring. Join in the celebration at the Commonwealth Club with a view of the Bay Bridge – tickets are now available!
Finally, a salute to the League of San Luis Obispo County! The League closely monitored the redrawing of supervisorial districts, offered testimony, and ultimately intervened in a lawsuit challenging the final maps. Recently, the League and other litigants reached a settlement to repeal the final map and to adopt a map that complies with the FAIR MAPS Act. Click here to learn more and when you see SLO League members at the Convention, congratulate them!
See you in San Francisco!
Program Planning Responses
As a grassroots organization, local Leagues help shape our actions for the next two years. Thanks to input from 44 local Leagues throughout the state, a wide range of issues were identified as issues of concern that Leagues felt needed local and state focus for 2023-25. Many Leagues took the opportunity to share specific details and aspects of issues which were viewed as important for League to look at.
Local Leagues were asked to identify their top three issues — so we can prioritize and focus on issues shared statewide. As reports came in, we compiled the data, using a weighted system. As we reviewed the data, it became clear that the vast number of Leagues wanted to continue to place continuing strong emphasis on:
- climate change/sustainability,
- housing and homelessness, and
- criminal justice — the three top issues that garnered the strongest votes. Juvenile Justice or Youth Justice also was listed by many local Leagues, and we will add that to our work on Criminal Justice as a program.
Making Democracy Work, which is core to League work, and has been identified by LWV US as a national priority, will also continue to be one of our state program priorities for 2023-25. Various aspects of MDW were listed by many Leagues.
Some Leagues listed DEI, our work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a top program recommendation. DEI is integral to all of our work and not a project, program or separate issue, but something that is central in our work in both principle and practice and not a stand-alone program.
LWVC Board will make these recommendations at convention, as well as note that while a few Leagues did recommend studies or updates, none rose to a high level of interest by more than the individual Leagues making those recommendations.
Sacramento is back in business, and a record number of bills have been introduced. To guide the League’s work in advocacy, the LWVC board, upon recommendation of our staff and our volunteer advocacy team’s Legislative Committee, identifies Legislative Priorities for each session. These priorities often reflect our program priorities, but also reflect legislation likely to be introduced, “hot items” and areas in which the League will have impact. The Legislative Priorities approved by the board are:
1. Making Democracy Work
- Voting Rights
- Voter Protection and Service
- Election Reform with a focus on expanding the electorate and making it more representative - ACA 4 (to expand voting rights to those incarcerated) and SCA 1 (recall of the gov error)
- Money in Politics
- Local Redistricting Legislation - Fair Maps and Independent Redistricting Commissions bill)
- Housing supply — availability, affordability, and production
3. Climate Change
4. Criminal Justice
Other Legislative Issues as time and resources permit:
Support requests from local Leagues and ILOs for advocacy on bills of specific interest to their jurisdictions
Act as appropriate on other core issues, like the Initiative and Referendum Process and Open Government
Consider Program Director recommendations for action on this highest priority bills in their program areas.
Other Advocacy Work
To date, we are receiving rich information and data which is still being reviewed and will help us in our advocacy work. These legislative interviews, conducted by teams of League members and other volunteers, help to remind our representative of the work of the League and League members in their constituent districts and lets them know of some of our concerns.
Check the Bill Status Report to see what bills we have taken positions on. Letters are in the process of being submitted. See also the attached fact sheets on three of our co-sponsored bills.
Water Webinar: The Water Interest Group is holding a special webinar on “Rebuilding Water Resilience from the Bottom Up” on Thursday, April 20 at 5 p.m. This is a look at how water infrastructure is being impacted by climate change and how water agencies struggling to ensure water quality and availability. Click this link to sign up.
Updated Climate Change Action Policy & new Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Action Policy
The LWVC Board in January also approved an updated Climate Action Policy that recognizes changing priorities and needs in climate change action needed in California, and also adopted a new Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Action Policy addressing climate change impacts on agriculture and on food security.
Book your hotel room for convention before they sell out! There are limited rooms with double beds. The deadline to make your hotel reservations is April 17.
You can view this report if you’re interested in knowing how many delegates your League is allowed, or who is currently registered as a delegate. The spreadsheet is manually populated by staff, so please be patient with updates after business hours and on the weekends!
A list of workshops, caucuses, and speakers will be posted on the convention website next week!
Your League deserves to be recognized for the amazing work you do! Nominate your League for a convention award. The deadline for nominations is April 21.
March 2023 Post Board Summary
LWVC/LWVCEF Boards of Directors Meetings
March 18, 2023 – Electronic Meetings
IMPORTANT DATES TO CALENDAR:
• See LWVC Convention 2023 Website for registration, hotel, and awards deadlines
• April 22, 2023 – Earth Day
• May 18 to May 21, 2023 – LWVC Convention 2023, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Downtown SOMA
LWVC MEETING SUMMARY
The LWVC Board of Directors met virtually and acted as follows.
GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
• Approved the dissolution of the Santa Clarita MAS/MAL Unit
LWVC Program and Advocacy
• Adopted Legislative Priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session. See Legislative Update for details.
LWVC CONVENTION 2023 RELATED ITEMS – See Convention 2023 Website for more information
• Adopted the 2023 Proposed Rules of Convention as presented.
• Approved the LWVC Budget for the 2023-2025 biennium and directed that it be forwarded to the Convention 2023 delegates with a board recommendation for approval.
• Approved the 2023-2025 Recommended Program based on program planning results from the membership for consideration by Convention 2023 delegates
• Received and filed the Nominating Committee Report for the 2023-2025 term of officers, directors, and three members of the nominating committee. The slate will be voted on by Convention 2023 delegates.
• Received and filed the LWVC Balance Sheet as of January 31, 2023; Budget by Class July 2021 to January 31, 2023; and Budget vs. Actuals July 2021 to January 31, 2023.
• Amended Fiscal Management Policy M-1 of the Policies and Procedures, as recommended by the Finance Committee.
LWVCEF MEETING SUMMARY
The LWVCEF Board of Directors met virtually and acted as follows:
• Received and filed the LWVCEF Balance Sheet as of November 30, 2022; Budget by Class July 2021 to November 30, 2022; and Budget vs. Actuals July 2021 to November 30, 2022.
• Adopted LWVCEF Resolution No. 2023-1 regarding the acceptance of a Bequest to the Education Fund.
• Amended Fiscal Management Policy M-1 of the Policies and Procedures, as recommended by the Finance Committee.
• Approved continuing the use of Voter’s Edge and partnership with MapLight, contingent on the President and Executive Director approving an appropriate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with MapLight.
Caroline de Llamas
cdellamas [at] lwvc.org