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Making Democracy Work

In this Issue:

Black History Month

Defending Democracy Speaker 2/10: Ranked Choice Voting
Bay Area League Day 2/19: Housing & Climate Change

Redistricting Update: Done?
Election 2022: Volunteer Opportunities with LWVO
Sheriff Office Oversight

LWVC Advocacy Wrap-Up

LWVUS News: Voting Rights/Money in Politics
LWVO Book Club 2/17

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Presidential Proclamation on
National Black History Month 2022

Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America — our faults, our struggles, our progress, and our aspirations.  Shining a light on Black history today is as important to understanding ourselves and growing stronger as a Nation as it has ever been.  That is why it is essential that we take time to celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans, honor the legacies and achievements of generations past, reckon with centuries of injustice, and confront those injustices that still fester today. Read More HERE.

Save the Date

Defending Democracy Speaker Series

Leveling the Playing Field Through Ranked Choice Voting

Rob Richie, Pres/CEO FairVote

Thursday, February 10, 4 pm

Register for Zoom link HERE

It’s easy to see that something is broken in American politics. It’s harder to figure out why – or how – to move forward. Rob Richie, president and CEO of FairVote, will answer your questions on Ranked Choice Voting and other election reforms. Here’s a chance to learn more about solutions that give voters greater voice and choice in their elections.

Rob Richie has helped to develop, win, and implement ranked choice voting in many states and cities, fair representation voting systems in numerous Voting Rights Act cases, the National Popular Vote plan in 16 states, and voter access proposals like voter preregistration and automatic voter registration. He has been a guest on media outlets such as CNN, CNBC, NPR and Freakonomics. His writings have appeared in major national publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post

The free talk will be live on Zoom and YouTube and will include Q&A. It is co-sponsored by local Leagues including LWVO, and hosted by the Piedmont League. Learn more about this series HERE

In Case You Missed ItThe Defending Democracy series launched January 11 with a discussion on Voting Rights by LWVC President Carol Moon Goldberg. Her presentation covered the history of voting rights in the U.S. and California, voter protections in place in California, the League’s successes in securing voting rights, federal voting rights legislation, and what we can do to support voting rights. If you were unable to attend, you can watch the 1-hour recording or read a short summary HERE

Next UpThe US Supreme Court, Voting Rights, and Threats Ahead, featuring Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Berkeley Law School, Tuesday, March 1, 4 pm. The Supreme Court may wield enormous power in deciding future elections, particularly if the vote is close.  Learn about the scope of SCOTUS power in our elections, and threats to voting rights, including racial and language discrimination. Register HERE for Zoom link. 

Bay Area League Day

Solving for Housing Webinar

Saturday, February 19, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm 

Learn More and Register HERE for Zoom Link

Experts estimate that California is short over 3.5 million homes. Solving for Housing tackles how best to increase housing supply while combating the existential threat of climate change. 

Hear  Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (Chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development) and Senator Dave Cortese (Senate Housing and Transportation Committees) discuss legislative actions to increase housing affordability and availability in a climate challenged state; and  state and regional expert Thomas Silverstein (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) discuss Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

Melissa Breach, COO of YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) and former LWVC Executive Director, will moderate a panel including Sarah Karlinsky (SPUR author of Housing as Infrastructure), Amanda  Brown Stevens (Greenbelt Alliance Executive Director and author of Resilience by Design - Resilience Playbook), and Graciela Castillo-Krings (Sacramento Advocates and advisor to Alliance for Housing). 

Redistricting Update

Oakland Redistricting (almost) Done! On January 26 the Oakland Redistricting Commission, by a vote of 9-3, approved a final map showing new district lines drawn to account for the 2020 Census data. This map will be available for public comment for 14 days, until February 14. You can view Draft Map F5 and submit feedback HERE.  The Commissioners will then meet one last time to certify the final map. 

State Redistricting Tool Available: Boundary lines shifted for hundreds of thousands of voters. You can use this cool CalMatters tool to look up which of the 52 congressional, 80 state Assembly, and 40 state Senate districts you have been in — and which districts you’ll be voting in for the June 7 primary and November general election. Just type in your address to  find who your current representatives are, as well as party registration data on old and new districts. 

Volunteer Opportunities with LWVO

Thinking you’d like to get involved with the upcoming election? It’s not too early! Whether you have a day, a few hours, or would like to be engaged on a regular basis, LWVO has lots of volunteer opportunities. Many volunteers start by working with a League committee. You can check out our committee listing HERE. Note the many types of activities sponsored by Voter Service: candidate forums, publications, presentations, voter registration, etc. Interested? Contact voterservice@lwvoakland.org. A complete committee contact list is HERE

Sheriff Office Oversight Meetings

As we have reported, AB 1185 provides for a community-based Oversight Board and an Inspector General with subpoena power to help supervise the Sheriff’s Office and jails. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has held several public input meetings and will be developing a proposal to bring change to County law enforcement and improve conditions in the County jail. Learn more and watch videos of all community engagement meetings HERE.

LWVC 2021 Advocacy Wrap-UP

Read highlights of the State League's hard-earned victories, some lamentable delays and a preview of our goals for next year, including:

  • More equitable voter registration at the DMV

  • Bills to increase the housing supply and expand the availability of affordable housing

LWVUS News

This Fight Is a Marathon: Faced with recent painful losses in the Senate, LWV will continue to advocate for federal voting rights long term. We will not stop running until we succeed because defending democracy is our mission. Watch and be inspired by this short video by LWV President Dr. Deborah Ann Turner describing our efforts past, present and future. 

How Money is Influencing the Midterm Elections: Our election system prioritizes the interests of corporations and other wealthy special interests. Because of “dark money,” campaign spending whose sources are secret, we may not even know who these super-influencers are. In 2006 dark money accounted for approximately $5 million in election spending. Since then it has ballooned.  The League works with coalition partners, grassroots organizers, and everyday Americans to promote policies to make our campaign finance system more transparent and less entangled with dark money. We're also dedicated to pursuing campaign finance reform through the courts. Read how Citizen’s United will impact 2022 elections and what you can do to increase transparency and reduce the influence of dark money and wealthy special interests

LWV Has a New Look: The website redesign showcases LWV even more powerfully, highlighting focus areas, recent news, and voter tools in time for the upcoming election. Take a look. We think you’ll be impressed!

LWVO Book Club

These Truths: A History of the United States

(Chapters 14-16/Epilogue) by Jill Lepore

Thursday, February 17, 6-7 pm

RSVP to lwvobookclub@gmail.com 

to receive the Zoom link with 

"LWVO Book Club RSVP" in the Subject Field

Even if you didn’t attend prior sessions examining this illuminating single volume history of the United States, please join this final session examining the years 1846-2016. Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, examines how today’s controversies reflect themes that carry through our history: racism and the legacy of slavery, federal versus state sovereignty, immigration, our role in the world, the place of women, fights over the franchise, defining citizenship and more. 

Next Up: Join us March 17 at 6 pm to discuss The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, by Heather McGhee (2021). According to Ms. McGhee, racism is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy, and accounts for the spiritual and moral crises that grip us. Read how our public goods—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and how this country, unique among advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. How did this happen? Is there a way out?
Copyright © 2021 League of Women Voters of Oakland, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P. O.Box 71838, Oakland, CA 94611

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Copyright © 2021 League of Women Voters of Oakland, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P. O.Box 71838, Oakland, CA 94611

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.