The 2017 Gala dinner is over! Last Thursday, nearly 100 members and guests in festive attire meandered through Spinnaker's gorgeously set dining room, enjoyed stimulating conversation, and heard a fabulous presentation from our keynote speaker, Audrey Cooper.
The very next day, hundreds of students at Drake High School in San Anselmo swarmed the school's Earth Day celebration. Many students stopped by the League's table and signed postcards asking our state legislators to support two environmental bills.
The League's Board meeting on March 8 was exceptionally energetic. We've expanded our meetings to two hours to allow time to cover a wide variety of topics and actions. Here are just a few:
- The Board appointed President V-Anne Chernock and Director Suki Sennett as delegates to the League's Regional Biennial Council, to be held in Sausalito on April 29. Other League members may attend as non-voting delegates.
- The Board reviewed the draft budget for 2017-18, discussed recommendations to be presented to the membership at our June 5 annual meeting, and approved a $1,000 donation to Voter's Edge California.
- The Board received an invitation to start a dialogue with Common Cause about possible collaborations. League members who wish to comment or participate in this effort may contact President Chernock for more information.
- The Board heard another (monthly) in-depth report from Director John Eells about national voting laws. This month's report was largely based on an article by the Brennan Center for Justice. It's worth perusing!
30 League members and a couple of guests gathered in our monthly members' meeting on March 6 to hear a fascinating presentation by a respected community leader. Jessica Colvin, Wellness Director at the Tamalpais Union High School District, gave us all hope for the future of our high school students who have access to coordinated care at Redwood and Drake High Schools (Tam HS to follow soon).
Jessica attempted to share with us a video explaining the Wellness Program. Even though our computer connection prevented us from watching the video then, we've obtained a link for all of us to watch NOW. It's well worth viewing!
Wow – what a great meeting we had on Monday! The rain held off long enough to get us all in, through and out without the need for umbrellas or boats, and almost 50 people packed the League conference room for a solid two hours.
If you attended the meeting, you know that we introduced two visitors from the Sonoma League; said hello to four brand new members; and greeted at least three long-time members who’ve been out of action for a while. Our regulars – about 30 – were gracious and welcoming to everyone who attended.
One of our new members, Dee Dee Butori, brought four friends and reported on her extraordinary experience marching in Washington, DC on January 21. A dozen others who stayed closer to home shared their marching experiences in San Francisco and elsewhere around the Bay.
Then we moved on to Program Planning, which focused on (1) announcing our committees’ plans for 2017; and (2) reviewing and choosing focus areas to recommend to the California League.
The Marin League’s committee plans for 2017 are way bigger than we can report here. Watch our website, newsletters and the Voter for updates in the coming months.
We were then asked to select three areas of interest to recommend to the State League for further action. The three we selected – by a large margin – were
- Affordable health care: ensure California maintains and expands affordable health insurance programs
- Public employee post-employment compensation: update League's position on state and local finances to clarify impact from defined benefit pensions and retirement health benefits
- Immigration: protect immigrant communities throughout California
Following close behind: charter schools and voucher programs; criminal justice; and housing. If any of those three are your passion, never fear: we have solid education, justice and housing committees working on these issues.
Finally, we were asked to weigh in on how we use our positions to advocate for a cause. Should we, the State asked, continue to rely on specifics in each position, and require update studies to change these details? After a short, lively but cordial debate, the members voted to recommend continuing this long-time practice.
Now, if you didn’t attend Monday's meeting, look what you missed!
A statement from Chris Carson, LWVUS President: The LWV supports cities, towns, counties and states that make a decision not to cooperate with federal deportation and enforcement actions that include non-criminal undocumented immigrants. Moreover, the Trump Administration’s orders are of dubious legality.
It is simply wrong, and a perversion of the American system of justice, for the Executive Branch to refuse to obey federal court orders.
The LWV is opposed to discrimination, including discrimination in immigration, based on religion. The Trump Administration’s orders appear to be targeted at Muslims and immigrants from majority-Muslims nations.
We would like to remind all our members that we are faced with many challenges to our positions and the League is involved in serious efforts to address them. Among these, we spent last weekend anticipating the issuance of an Executive Order investigating ‘voter fraud’. We continue to monitor this situation and are ready to issue a statement if that occurs. We also continue our efforts to lobby on ACA in Congress. Everybody in the country is scrambling to keep up.