Wednesday, March 13, 6-7:30 pm
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 2
Syeda Reshma Inamdar, a board member of the LWVC and active with several other civic
and governmental organizations, will share her experience as an American Muslim woman in
a democratic society.
Samina Sundas: the founder and the Executive Director of American Muslim Voice. She is engaged in the interfaith/inter-community dialog. Her focus is in fostering friendships among all Americans by bridging the cultural and religious gap and to walk on the path Dr. Martin Luther King has paved for all of us.
Aisha Wahab, Alameda County Human Relations Commission and the Health Commission.
Kathleen Cha, a member of the LWVO, is participating as a NGO delegate at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
"The fight to keep our elections free, fair and accessible for all eligible voters goes on. Already, in the states, legislation to require proof of citizenship and voter photo ID as well as to repeal same-day registration is being considered. Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, a case in which we filed an amicus brief. The hope we held out for bold presidential action was all but dashed when President Obama's State of the Union Address reaffirmed his belief that voting is our most fundamental right and then announced the creation of a commission headed by lawyers famed for representing politicians, not the people.
"But the League is standing strong. We are finishing the fight in courts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas. We are standing up for the Voting Rights Act, quite literally, on the steps of the Supreme Court as oral argu-ments are heard. We are working in state houses to oppose restrictive voting legislation and we are speaking out nationwide for real reform of our voting process by calling for repair of our antiquated registration proc-ess, expansion of early voting and more equitable distribution of polling place resources.
"Protecting the vote was our mission when the League was founded 93 years ago and has remained at the core of our mission ever since. That emblem of our equality gives us the power to demand elections that work for every citizen and we are using that power well."
Like many of you, when engaging with our brave new world of social media I sometimes feel like Lady Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess on Down-ton Abbey, in her reaction to post-World War I society: a combination of fas-cination, mild distrust, bafflement, anxiety, and finally reluctant acceptance. It is clear and imperative: the League must learn how to reach out to new people and communities, for members and for partners in action, or we will become relics like Lady Violet.
With that idea in mind, two articles in this VOTER are especially relevant. The launching of our new Communications Committee (see page 4) is an ex-citing step forward. The support of all our members will help it to succeed: Chair Leslie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) wants to hear from you if you have contacts with your neighborhood list serve or with any of the many online news media and blogs springing up all over Oakland.. Look for (and open) regular news bulletins in your inbox from LWV OAKLAND. And please visit our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/lwvoak), to add your comments and share our stories. We have even opened our very own Twitter account and welcome ideas for how best to use it. The informal roundtable discussion format of our monthly Hot Topics gatherings is another good way to reach out. The program on Urban Farming and Community Gardens in Oakland (see page 6) filled the room with enthusiastic people, many of whom had never come to a League event before. Upcoming Hot Topics include: March 26th, the Army Base project and its impact on the Bay Trail, which should appeal to those concerned with development and environmental is-sues; April 22nd, technology and democracy in Oakland, which we hope will bring in folks from the city's vibrant "hacker" community.
Like the Dowager Countess, we do not hesitate to speak our mind. Action Committee continues to make LWVO's voice heard in city government, sup-porting open government and effective public access. Follow our Action ini-tiatives on the LWVO website and Facebook page.
Join the discussion led by Sandy Threlfall
Tuesday, March 26, 6-7:30 p.m.
California Federation of Teachers office, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1601
Also invited is Leslie Pritchett, the Executive Director of FOG (Friends of Gateway Park). Friends of The Gateway (FOG) is an expanding community of artists and innovators who champion the creation of a unique public space at the foot of the new Bay Bridge. Using the arts as the organizing principle, we envision a space that integrates engineering, infrastructure, landscape, economic and community development, creating a vibrant regional asset and international destination.
Bill Threlfall, administrator for the Measure DD Coalition, will talk about the Bay Trail, it's growth, thanks to DD, and it's barriers.
With her husband, Kokomon Clottey, Aeeshah founded Attitudinal Healing
Connection, Inc., a nonprofit
whose mission is "to
eliminate violence by offering
creative and educational
programs that transform the
human spirit and build peaceful loving communities
for all humanity." AHC uses transformational tools
such as racial healing circles, mindful drumming, art,
and education. Her office is alive with children's
paintings on every wall.
AHC is a founder of ArtEsteem, an art and literacy
program that helps build knowledge and emotional,
social, academic and intellectual skills. A wide variety
of classes is offered at and after school. Aeeshah
believes in full service community schools that provide
for all the needs of children and their families,
not just academic skills.
One of ACH's projects is the Oakland Super Heroes
Mural Project, which creates murals in public spaces
in West Oakland to beautify and uplift the West Oaklandarea. It also organizes large Martin Luther King
Jr. celebrations on the Martin Luther King holiday.
This year several hundred participants filled McClymonds
High School auditorium for the event.
Working with the community has also meant being involved in political issues. She joined the League because we supported ranked choice voting, and because of our efforts to register voters. She would like the League to be more diverse. She says that AHC is deeply rooted on the community and she feels LWVO should also be rooted in the whole Oakland community. She encourages our efforts in that direction.
Current membership of the Communications Committee includes Leslie Smith, Chair, Katherine Gavzy, Bev Solo (Web Master), Sandy Venning (VOTER Editor), Rosalee Schubert, Kathleen Cha, and Shinal Lakshman (Social Media and Media Outreach Intern) with Miranda Perry acting in an advisory capacity and Kathleen Russell assisting in media placement of events calendars. We are actively recruiting members who have ex-perience in marketing and communications. The Committee does not meet regularly in-person, but does sig-nificant communication via email.
The Communications Committee will evaluate all LWVO outreach activities to determine their effectiveness. We look forward to hearing from you.
After growing up in Fiji, Shinal came to the United States at the age of 16 and became a senior in high school. At Holy Names she majored in Business Management and International Business; she picked up her media skills from her studies and, even more, from friends. She was a Resident Assistant at Holy Names and was involved in Event Planning as part of her responsibilities. She learned about the League while in college.
Shinal hopes to benefit from the internship by increasing her understanding of the practical problems non-profits face and by gaining hands on experience. She admires the League and is inter-ested in public policy. After a year or so of exploration she expects she will go to grad school. She hopes that her experience with the League will help her hone her vision of what she wants to do with her life, and will perhaps provide some contacts that will help her on her way.
Monday, March 4, 6-7:30pm
229 Broadway at 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Ellen R. Shaffer, Co-Director, EQUAL Health Network
Co-sponsored by several other organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Oakland
Ellen R. Shaffer is Co-Director of the EQUAL Health Network, a project of the Center for Policy Analysis, which cam-paigns for Equitable, Quality, Universal, Affordable health care. The EQUAL Health Network provides both popular and technical analysis of health reform proposals, a listserve for progressive news and debate, and a speakers' bureau. Dr. Shaffer was the senior health policy advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone from 1992 to 1995. She has since consulted widely on national and state health reform proposals, on women's health and single payer policies including with the Obama campaign, and with U.S. Representatives Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee. Dr. Shaffer is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a regular guest host on KPFA's Livingroom with Kris Welch. She earned a Ph.D. from the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley.
Please plan to arrive by 6pm so you can order your dinner before the program begins.
For more information contact Program Co-Chair Ellen Augustine 510-428-1832, email@example.com; or Co-Chair Miriam Rokeach 510-658-3805, mirIamrokeach@gmail.com.
Help prepare the mailing of our invitations on Wednesday, March 20. Spend an hour or two (or more!) chatting with other League members as we place invitations, response cards and return envelopes in outer envelopes which then get labeled. We gather from 10 AM to 6 PM in the Common Room at Swan's Co-Housing, 930 Clay Street.
On the day of the Luncheon, Wednesday May 1, volunteers
place flowers and League handouts on the tables
direct guests to the registration tables, rest rooms, parking validation machines
staff the registration tables
help Luncheon guests find their tables
Lend a hand to help make the luncheon go smoothly. Call or email Kathy Collop if you'd like to volunteer (510) 339-2796, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your invitation should arrive late in March, but put it on your calendar now.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this week's discussion about Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens. It was a wonderful cross-section of people representing the types of support and community involvement that's needed to further the movement of food justice, community building, and resilience in the city of Oakland. At VGF we believe that knowing how to grow your food is a survival skill and growing your food at and near your home should be a right supported by the city of Oakland.
I hope the LWV members received enough information (in our short time) to trigger support, more questions, ideas and actions about how we can best serve our communities about this topic. I believe LWV would be a wonderful educational catalyst to spreading the word to the city residents to let them know what's happening in their communities and how to get involved in the food justice movement.
Let me know how we may assist in the future. And, thanks again!
Wishing you the Best!
Victory V Lee, Founder/President - Victory Garden Foundation
Among the actions the Board has recently approved are for the Action Committee to meet with all the city council members to request that the level of discourse at meetings be more civil. We also approved sending a letter to the City Administrator in support of the Public Ethics Commission, asking that the PEC be given staff so that it can do its work.
As reported in February's VOTER, the Board sent recommendations to LWVUS on priorities for legislative
advocacy. We are happy to report that those recommendations are reflected in LWVUS priorities for 2013.
(See story above)
The Board meets on the second Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 in a conference room at St. Paul's Towers. If you are curious about the issues we discuss and the decisions we make, attend a meeting. All members are welcome. A preliminary agenda is sent to Board members a few days before the meeting; contact any Board member for details.
Your statement as a League member will be that you are committed to providing non-biased, well-researched information to voters, and that the issues your League follows are those that affect every area in Oakland: schools, public safety, local government, parks, our economy, and more.
Join the League, one of the nation's most trusted, nonpartisan grassroots organizations where "hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement."
A Loss in the LWVO Family
Rosemary Springer died February 1, 2013. Rosemary joined through LWVUS in 2008. Though not an active member, she was a loyal supporter of the League. We extend our sympathy to her family and friends.
Thank you for your support!