Message from League President Gloria Chun Hoo
The League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara has entered the frenzy of the fall election season. Our League calendar is filling up with many service events - candidate forums to moderate, voter registration and education, and holding "Pros and Cons" League information sessions on the many ballot measures. I hope that you will join us and participate in these informative events.
Good news: Our league has received a grant from the State League to work with the Northern California Islamic Council (NCIC) to provide training, resources and education to assist member organizations to fulfill their goals to galvanize greater and more effective civic participation by the Bay Area Muslim community. We are reaching out and working with a local mosque and its community to provide Voter Registration and information at key events.
Plus, this fall "LWV Presents: Insights and Perspectives" will premiere on CreaTV, extending our reach in San Jose and providing information on key issues affecting the community. Thanks to Carol and Jim Lathorp and their hard-working committee.
Our goal is simple: we carry the torch for good government. It's an exciting goal. Join in. Elections 2012 - an important time for the League!
These are certainly interesting and challenging times with the current political climate and the national and global economic problems surrounding us.
In such highly charged and emotional times, I find it comforting and fulfilling to be a part of the League of Women Voters. The League brings me into contact with smart, compassionate, thoughtful and hardworking women (and men!) who want to make a difference in the political process. We do this by promoting political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and take action on issues which we have studied.
I like the company of people in the League: people who have ideas, who listen, who have open minds, enjoy learning, have strong sense of morality and ethics, who want to improve our community, and who are inclusive and supportive of good government for all, and who realize that making our democracy work requires real effort.
And because I think so much of the League, I'm truly honored to have the opportunity this year to serve as President. I hope I will have a chance to thank each of you individually sometime during the year.
Now that summer has come to close, our work resumes. Our monthly Lunch with League (third Thursday of each month at 11:30am) kicks off again in September. Over the summer, the Education Study Committee headed by Rosaleen Zisch, has been meeting and looking at the role of the Federal Government Role in Public Education. I hope you'll attend the Sept. 20 event in Palo Alto which our league is co-sponsoring.
I co-authored with past president Martha Beattie an article calling for open calendaring which was prominently featured in the Op-Ed pages of the San Jose Mercury newspaper on June 18. We have a meeting with Rep. Nora Campos to discuss this and will continue to advocate and work on this issue and work with the State league on it.
Another study on trends toward Privatization headed by Martha Beattie has just begun and its first meeting is on September 16. It's a fascinating look at trends/practices of transferring local, state and federal government services, assets and functions to the private sector (generally intended to reduce costs). Contact Martha if you'd like to join in.
At the State level, we have two interesting opportunities for members: an update study on the Initiative and Referendum process in California, and a State and Local Finance Community Education project. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in either of these projects, each of which will be fascinating to dig into!
And while this November will be relatively quiet for us in San Jose, there's much going on now in Santa Clara City, which has just created a City Charter Election Review Committee.
We'll also want to celebrate our successes. In mid-August, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission submitted, and the Attorney General approved, the new maps; this is an important step for transparency and accountability, and was the result of Proposition 11, which the League strongly supported, that took redistricting out of the hands of legislators and into a grassroots, citizens committee. And also, in August, California became the eighth state to pass legislation for the National Popular Vote, again a position the League supports. (See related article).
Questions? Thoughts and ideas that you'd like to share with me? I would love to hear from you.
Gloria Chun Hoo
A New Year once again - sometimes these are SO welcome. I think this one is. This past year was so difficult, politically, with glaring incivility, partisanship, and lack of transparency. Let us hope that the New Year brings more harmony, more civility, and more bipartisanship to our state and nation. In LWV-SJ/SC we are able to look forward to harmony (aka consensus), celebration (aka winning the vote), and civic awareness, among other things.
We will start off the year, after learning more about Single Payer health care at Lunch with League, with our annual Program Planning general meeting. Rod and Alice Thorn have again volunteered to host this event, which this year involves review of state positions as well as county and local ones. This is your chance to provide your input into what League advocates and what they will emphasize for the year, not only here in San Jose/Santa Clara but more broadly in the County and State. Just as you take the time to vote in local, state, and national elections to decide your political future, you can provide input into what will be the League's future. We are lucky to be part of a grassroots organization!
In February we will have another stimulating Lunch with League, featuring Ed Clendaniel of the San Jose Mercury News. Just a week later, we will have an exciting celebration, of the 100th anniversary of women winning the vote in California. Robert Cooney, author of "Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement" will speak, and we will present copies of his book to five local organizations. We are co-sponsoring the event with the San Jose State University's Special Collections division at MLK Library, viewing their special exhibit celebrating both the California anniversary and the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. Come join us for hors d'oeuvres and this celebratory occasion!
Looking ahead, we are excited to have the authors of "California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It" speak at our Annual Meeting in May! Joe Mathews and Mark Paul have written an insightful review of the past and propose how it can be fixed. It will be intriguing to hear what they have to say after the first few months of the new administration.
Happy New Year, all! Be sure to include League activities as you make your New Years' resolutions!
We are certainly entering into a no-slacker time of the year! In addition to our program planning, study committees, observing the Water Board redistricting process, and Lunch with League we will soon be starting full-tilt into preparing people to be informed voters in the upcoming June election.