Participate in Our Local Program Planning

Saturday, April 2, 10 am – Noon

The LWVO serves the community in a variety of ways – voter education at  election time and nonpartisan community education and advocacy during the year. This  upcoming Program Planning Meeting will focus on community education and advocacy. As local advocates, we are working  to influence governmental policy decisions  with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Unified School District.

Here’s your chance to help set LWVO's  priorities for  2022-23.  What do you think LWVO should focus on? Is there a policy area in which the local League should be more active, or become active? Or perhaps our positions need an update?  All community members are welcome.
Background info: 
Register for Event

Dr. Fiona Hill on the Future of Our Democracy

Wednesday, March 30, 4 pm

Dr. Fiona Hill, now with The Brookings Institution and formerly Senior Director for European & Russian Affairs at the National Security Council, will give us an International Perspective on US Democracy and Election Subversion. Since 2016, foreign meddling in US elections has become a cause for concern.  If we cannot trust our own institutions, what does that mean for our democracy?  Will Vladimir Putin succeed in pushing a new international security order?  Learn about the parallels Dr. Hill sees between what has happened in Russia and what could happen here, and the actions we can take to avert the worst outcomes. Sneak peeks: “Putin Has the U.S. Right Where He Wants It”, The New York Times, January 24, 2022; “The War Putin Is Really Fighting”, The New York Times, March 8, 2022.

The Piedmont League is hosting this free event co-sponsored by local Leagues including LWVO.  Dr. Hill’s talk will be live on Zoom and YouTube (click at 4 pm) and will include Q&A. 

Register for Speaker

Raising Awareness About the Equal Rights Amendment

Saturday, March 19, 5-9:30 pm

In person event

Across the world, 168 Constitutions guarantee gender equality - but not ours. Come to the kickoff of the nationwide Artists 4 ERA traveling show in support of the ERA. The show includes pieces by 25 artists, including some from Oakland. It will benefit the non-partisan non-profit VoteEquality, whose mission is to inspire support for adding gender equality to our Constitution. Join us March 19 at Oakstop's Broadway Gallery, 1721 Broadway, opening at 5 pm, reception from 7- 9:30 pm. Stop by LWVO’s voter registration/membership table. 

Register for Event

Vote Your Power
Community Meeting

Saturday, March 19, 11:30 – 1 pm

Here’s your opportunity to talk with local officials and candidates about public safety, housing, education, economic development, employment, and more. This virtual event is sponsored by Allen Temple Public Ministry and community partners including the LWVO. 

Register for Event

Stream “Coded Bias”: What's Fair in Facial Recognition Technology?

 Explore Digital Rights With ACLU Attorney Matt Cagle  

Thursday, March 24, 5-6 pm

The documentary CODED BIAS, first in the Appreciating Diversity Film Series, is available free March 17-24 at the link below or on Netflix. It explores the fallout from MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini's finding that the algorithms employed in facial recognition technology do not scan dark-skinned or female faces accurately.  Yet we’re allowing algorithms to decide who gets hired, gets health care, gets stopped by police. Join the conversation about digital rights and potential remedies with ACLU Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney Matt Cagle, March 24, 5-6 pm. LWVO co-sponsors this series.

Register for Speaker and Streaming Link

“Power to Heal”: The Struggle for Health Care Access
Thursday, March 24, 6:30-8 pm

Join the screening of POWER TO HEALnarrated by Danny Glover, the poignant story of how Medicare was used to desegregate thousands of hospitals across the country. Before Medicare, less than half the nation's hospitals served black and white patients equally. In the South, 1/3 of hospitals would not admit African-Americans, even for emergencies. Learn how grass-roots volunteers worked with the federal government to achieve justice and fairness for African-Americans.  The Berkeley League is hosting this screening and Q&A session, co-sponsored by LWVO.

Register for Event

Help Oakland Plan for 2045

General Plan Town Hall #1

Saturday, March 26, 10 am-Noon

Attend the first of several Town Halls on Oakland's 2045 General Plan, a once-in-a-generation opportunity for all Oaklanders to work together to create a visionary blueprint for the future of our City. Once approved in 2025, it  will guide the development of our City for the next 20 years while focusing on creating an equitable and just city. Virtual meetings will include a presentation as well as fun, interactive activities to gather community input. What issues do you care about? Learn more!

Register for Event

Next Up in Defending Democracy Speaker Series  

Election Subversion
and Disinformation

Tuesday, April 5, 4 pm

Rick Hasen, co-director of the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at UC Irvine Law School, will speak about election subversion and disinformation. Professor Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation and appears regularly on CNN. Sneak peek: “How to Keep the Rising Tide of Fake News From Drowning Our Democracy”, The New York Times, March 7, 2022. 

Register for Speaker

In case you missed it...

Defending Democracy SeriesWatch the recording of Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s informative presentation on the US Supreme Court, Voting Rights, and Threats Ahead. Learn about the state of election law, partisan gerrymandering, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Supreme Court justices and reform, and what we can do to protect our democracy. The video is formatted so you can directly access the subject matter that interests you. 

Women’s History Month
: Hear a panel of women from the LWVUS, Black Voters Matter, SuperMajority and the League of United Latin American Citizens discuss getting out the vote, fighting voter suppression, and how we can build a more inclusive, empowering democracy. Watch the March 3 recording and be inspired. 

Democracy Dollars: Who are the large donors influencing our local elections? Learn more about this innovative campaign finance program that empowers all voters to move money to candidates they like and relieves candidates of the need to rely on wealthy funders. Help break down barriers to running for office and getting things done in Oakland. 

Housing: Learn how Assembly member Buffy Wicks, State Senator Dave Cortese,  and leading environmental and housing advocates hope to address housing affordability with nature-based solutions. Watch the recording  of the Bay Area League Day 2022 – Solving for Housing policy event.

How LWVO Helped Make Oakland’s First
Citizen Redistricting Commission Succeed

The League, like any craftsperson, knows that assembling the right tools is key to success. That’s true even when the project is as lofty as building a vibrant democracy. Helping put into effect independent redistricting is a recent addition to Oakland’s toolbox, since 2021-22 was the first time citizens representing Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods replaced elected officials as the deciders for new district lines based on the latest census data. However, the  League has been honing its expertise in citizen redistricting for much longer and has now applied its skills to the challenging reality of implementation in Oakland. Gail Wallace, LWVO’s Vice President for Action, explains: 

  • The important role we are playing in helping local citizen redistricting succeed and bring about the more representative democracy our residents deserve

  • How LWVO influenced the process

  • What lies ahead

piring Stories: Demonstrating the Power of Women

Lifting up stories of the past:

Making a difference right now:

Inspiration for the future:

                             LWVUS News and Action Items

Action Alerts 

Voting Rights Blog:   In 2006 the US Senate reauthorized the Voting Rights Act by a vote of 98-0. In 2013 the US Supreme Court held 5-4 that a critical section of the VRA was unconstitutional. Almost immediately, states and local governments began to roll back voting rights protections and pass laws designed to suppress voting rights. Since then, the LWV has been at the forefront of lobbying for legislation to reauthorize and modernize the VRA. Unfortunately we’ve hit a roadblock in the Senate. Especially confounding is that 17 of the senators now standing in the way voted for the 2006 VRA reauthorization! Read the details in How the US Has Shifted Away From Pro-Voter Legislation. 

Collection of Race/Ethnicity Data: The ways in which the people in the United States self-identify their race and ethnicity have evolved since the last revision of the race and ethnicity standards in 1997. To ensure that measures of race and ethnicity remain relevant for Census and policy making purposes, LWVUS joins its partners in asking the federal government to revise standards for collecting such data. 

             LWVO Book Club
             “The Agitators”
       Thursday, April 21, 6 pm

Join us for a discussion of The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights, 416 pages, by Dorothy Wickenden, Alicia Simms.

The Agitators tells the story of three women: Harriet Tubman, who rescued enslaved people from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and shepherded them north along the underground railroad; Martha Coffin Wright, a Quaker mother of seven who worked side by side with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to organize women’s rights and anti-slavery conventions across New York; and Frances A. Seward, wife of Lincoln’s secretary of state, who hid her radicalism in public while privately pressing her husband to persuade the President to move immediately on emancipation.

Get to know many of the most prominent figures of the era - Lincoln, William H. Seward, Frederick Douglass, Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner, John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison – through the discerning eyes of these three remarkable women. Follow the explosive political debates of the era about the civil rights of African Americans and women, the enlistment of Black troops, and opposing interpretations of the Constitution. Better understand their lasting effects on our country. 


RSVP to to receive the Zoom link.

Volunteer Opportunity: Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities. Applicants should live or work within the City of Oakland and demonstrate relevant professional and/or personal expertise to advise the Mayor and Council on matters affecting the rights of persons with disabilities in Oakland.

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