Making Democracy Work

January 2018 Newsletter

The January 2018Voter was mailed to members who have chosen to receive a hard copy.

General Meeting: Climate Crisis 2018

Tuesday January 16, 2018

1-3 pm

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

1300 South El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94402

The news is full of stories about climate change. California governors, past and present, and business and banking leaders attended the recent gathering of global leaders in Paris. Are the recent fires in California a sign of what's to come?

Join the League for a timely discussion of climate change by Gary White. Mr. White, who was trained by former Vice President Al Gore, incorporates material from the award winning film, The Inconvenient Truth, to discuss three questions about climate change. Do we have to change? Can we change? Do we have the will to change?

The presentation will include current data on climate change, visuals of extreme climate events and materials on renewable energy, what is available today and what is coming next.

Gary White is a climate activist who informs organizations on the perils and solutions to climate change. He holds a M.S.W. from UC Berkeley and an Executive Education Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Harvard University.

The meeting is open to the public.

See the calendar for directions.

See the article on page 1 of the January Voter.

President's Message

President Ann Kuchins reminds members and the public about the importance of involvement in the political process.

She reminds us that the success of the League's mission statement, Making Democracy Work, rests on the involvement of each American citizen in our political process. League members are in a position to promote education and advocacy on a wide range of issues.

She urges members to consider how they can assist the League in its efforts. The jobs range from serving as a board member to helping as a greeter at one of our events.

The League's primary focus during this winter and spring will be educating voters in San Mateo County on the new voting system implemented through the Voters Choice Act (VCA). The VCA committee is targeting groups with which to partner and to provide education.

See page 2 for her complete article

Civil Discourse Training: Focused Discussion Method

Saturday, January 20, 2018

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

League office, 444 Peninsula Ave, Suite 1, San Mateo 94401

The workshop is a follow-up to the October meeting on civil discourse and will be conducted by the LWV Santa Clara County Council Civil Discourse Committee.

Focused Discussion Method is a progression of questions that takes a group on a journey of consciousness. It is useful for reflecting on experiences such as a movie, a project site visit, a planning session, a work day, a story, or any common or extraordinary life event.

See the full article on page 3.

Get Us Moving San Mateo County

A coalition of regional leaders, transportation experts, employers, nonprofit groups, and others has been brought together to find a solution to San Mateo County's transportation issues. The League does not have a position on any solution, including a possible sales tax measure in 2018, but is represented on the Stakeholder Advisory Group.

The community is an important part of the process. Recently you may have received a brochure with a survey seeking input from residents on their top priorities for improving transportation in San Mateo County. Take time to fill it out and return it promptly.

If you can't find the brochure or prefer to do it online, take the survey. A plus for taking the survey online: it allows everyone in your household to express an opinion in case you have different opinions. It is important to do it now. The Stakeholder Advisory Group will review the responses as well as potential project proposals in February and we want your voice to be heard.

LWV Bay Area League Day: Winds of Change

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Laney College, 900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607

9:30 am Registration|Networking| Continental Breakfast

10:00 am - 3:00 pm Panels and Roundtable Discussion

Registration: $35 advance; $40 at the door(includes continental breakfast and lunch)

Panel I: Impact of Regional Government on Local Government and Community ~ Intersection and Interconnection

Panel II: Cross Currents of Local Government, Community, Urban, and Regional Planning

Panel III: Today's Microclimate and Head Winds: Micro-Climate of Regionalism, Regional Governance, and Today's Head Winds

Regional Roundtable

Regional Climate Forecast ~Today and Tomorrow

To register

Big News on Make it Fair!

LWV California President Helen Hutchison issued this letter about possible reform of Proposition 13:

After almost 40 years, the LWVC is seizing the moment to close the corporate loophole in Proposition 13 that keeps too many companies from paying their fair share.

Since 2015, the League has been a part of the Make It Fair coalition--which today filed an initiative to do just that. The League campaigned against Prop 13 in 1978, and we're excited to continue our leadership and help pass this critical reform.

Californians deserve world-class schools and universities, quality healthcare, safe neighborhoods, and affordable homes. That is what our taxes should pay for. It's past time to close this loophole and stop letting big business rob our schools and local communities, impoverish future generations, and endanger California's economic future. The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018 is the responsible, fair, and long-overdue tax system to ensure California can thrive now and in the future.

The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018 will create a "split roll"; non-residential, non-agricultural commercial property will be reassessed on a regular basis. This will lead to an estimated increase in property tax of over $11 billion per year--revenue that will go directly to schools and local governments.

We are excited about this legislation; it's long overdue. We'll be talking about the campaign in the coming months and reporting updates on the legislation.

Other Articles

See the January 2018 Voter for other articles.

Board Highlights, p. 2

Meeting Sites Needed, p. 4

Calendar, p. 4