Making Democracy Work

May 2017 Newsletter

The May 2017 Voter is available and was mailed to members who have chosen to receive a hard copy.

General Meeting: Right Type, Right Place

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1 - 3 pm

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

1300 South El Camino, San Mateo CA 94402

Speaker: Colleen Kredell, Next 10 Director of Research

The Leagues of Women Voters of San Mateo County have selected housing and transportation issues as our areas of interest for the last several years. Housing has become an even more critical issue as rents and purchase prices have skyrocketed upward and no one seems to have an answer on how to resolve our housing crisis. Maybe what we need is a well-researched analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of housing and transportation to provide guidelines.

Join us to hear from Colleen Kredell, about Next 10's new report, Right Type, Right Place - Assessing the Environmental and Economic Impacts of Infill Residential Development through 2030. Next 10 commissioned the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment (CLEE) at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley to analyze the environmental and economic impacts of housing production as a means of reaching the goals of SB32 greenhouse gas reduction.

The report looks at three housing development scenarios for the state through 2030:

  • Business as usual (baseline), following the same patterns as in 2000-2015
  • Medium infill
  • Target infill The report also defines four types of housing: compact single-family housing, detached or 2-4 unit buildings, multi-family low to midrise buildings, and multi-family high-rise buildings. The baseline comprises mainly single family detached units on small lots near transit so residents do not need to drive long distances, while the infill scenarios contain mainly multifamily buildings. The report finds that encouraging new development in infill areas would spur economic growth, reduce monthly household costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. See the Executive Summary.

The meeting is open to the public.

For more information.

For directions, see the calendar.

Annual Meeting, June 10, 2017

Mark your calendars! The LWVNCSMC's annual meeting will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

See the flyer with details and make your reservation.

The Annual Meeting Kit, will be mailed soon to all members. It includes the agenda and business to be acted on at the meeting.

See the Annual Meeting page for more information and to make a reservation online.

President's Message

President Kathee Tyson expresses her thanks to those who planned and attended the April 7 luncheon. They were inspired by Congresswoman Jackie Speier's comments. She also is grateful for the response to the fund drive.

See her full message on page 2 of the May 2017 Voter.

Plan Bay Area 2040

Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 is a regional plan that addresses how the Bay Area will grow over the next two decades and identifies transportation and land use strategies to enable a more sustainable, equitable, and economically vibrant future. It was released for public comment on March 31.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) examines the proposed Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 and four alternatives and the range of potential environmental impacts that could come for implementation of Plan Bay Area 2040. It was released on April 17, 2017.

The Draft Transportation-Air Quality Conformity Analysis for the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 and Amended 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is an analysis that determines whether transportation investments are consistent with goals to improve air quality. It is scheduled for release on May 1.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are soliciting comments on the documents now and are providing several ways for the public to provide input including open house events throughout the region and public hearings.

You can share your ideas on Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 at an open house on Thursday, May 4, 6:30 + 8:30 p. m. at Sequoia High School Multi-Purpose Room, 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City. Displays and staff will be available at this event.

You can also view the Draft Plan Bay Area and comment online. Submit written comments. The comment period for all documents closes on June 1, 2017 at 4 p.m.

League Action Report

As California residents consider the actions proposed by the federal government, many think that some do not meet California values. The LWVC asks us to become activists by signing up for-- and reading--action alerts and learning more about how the League takes action.

The League makes this easy to do.

Visit the site regularly to stay well informed about what is going on in the state and the League's views.

The LWVUS is asking members to contact their representatives to discuss the termination of the Election Assistance Commission (NO!), protection of Medicare under the AHCA, and the Ozone Standards Implementation Act. This act weakens the Clean Air Act without a single improvement and undermines Americans' 46-year right to healthy air based on medical science as well as delaying life-saving standards already years overdue. Congress will be picking at these issues for a while, so reminders about how voters feel will be needed beyond the recess.

Some states are discussing whether to hold a constitutional convention to require a balanced federal budget. The League is opposed to this. Because the agenda cannot be limited, any issue might come up and there are no checks and balances.

The League also opposes a mandated balanced budget as it limits the federal government's responses to critical infrastructure needs and responses in moments of crisis.

Observer Corps: Observing Your Government in Action

The League has been a champion of government transparency since its founding in 1920. Government transparency is one of the League's core principles and a vital part of its mission. Efforts in this area reinforce the League's reputation of fairness, nonpartisanship, and trust.

The Observer Corp program is one way for our League to ensure "sunshine" or government transparency regulations are followed in the communities we serve. The Observer Corp is a structured way for individuals to exercise their right to know, and it provides a valuable service to the community. It helps ensure that citizens are aware of the decisions that impact their lives, and it promotes government transparency and accountability.

Read the full article on pages 4 & 5 of the May 2017 Voter and find out how you can get involved.

Legislative Interview with Assemblymember Kevin Mulllin

Each year, the LWV California asks local Leagues to interview their representatives in the State Legislature on matters of specific concern. On February 10, the League interviewed Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, who represents Assembly District 22 in San Mateo County.

The questions provided by the LWVC dealt with funding of elections, public higher education, and water resources.

For this interview our Leagues asked about health care and the effects if the ACA is dismantled.

Read the responses on pages 5 & 6 of the May 2017 Voter.

Legislative Interview with State Senator Scott Wiener

On March 10, the Leagues interviewed State Senator Scott Wiener who represents Senate District 11.The local Leagues' added a question to those provided by the LWV California, asking whether Senator Wiener whether he supports single payer health care.

Read his responses on pages 6-8 of the May 2017 Voter.

Other articles

See other articles in the May 2017 Voter.

Board Highlights, p.2

Welcome to our new members, p. 3

Membership Renewals, p. 4