Making Democracy Work

LWVO Committees

Action Committee

The Action Committee is where our League decides how to take "action" to make democracy work best in Oakland. We follow important civic issues and entities in Oakland, such as the new Police Commission. When appropriate, we speak out, addressing the City Council or meeting with the Mayor and City Administrator to inform them of the League's position and to inquire about how the League can have an impact. We follow and inform our members about pending legislation that supports League values and which we believe will make a positive difference in our city. Currently, we are re-establishing the LWVO Observer Corps which monitors and sits in on Oakland's Boards and Commissions. We are also gearing up for the 2018 election and will be working with other leagues to make sure that "Oakland Votes Informed." Redistricting is yet another important topic, as districts will be redrawn as part of the 2020 census. Check out our action items!

This committee meets the Tuesday before the second Monday at 5:30 PM in Room 710 of the League's office building 436 14th Street, Oakland 94612. Contact us at for more info!
Helen Hutchison, Chair         
Louise Anderson
Louise Rothman-Riemer
Mary Bergan, Legislative Analyst
Sandy Threlfall
Allene Warren
Deborah Shefler
Gen Katz

Speaker Series Committee

The Speaker Series Committee (formerly Programs) connects with Oakland individuals and organizations and calendars speaking engagements for monthly LWVO Speaker Series events. We actively lift up the work of Oakland organizations, often bringing panels together for discussion on different issues affecting the city of Oakland. Speaker Series events are followed up with Hot Topics discussion event for members and the public. Past topics include:
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals and their rights
  • Housing
  • Oakland as a sanctuary city and having a sanctuary school district

    This committee meets as needed. Contact us at for info!
    Ernestine Nettles, Chair
    Jane Klein
  • Membership Committee

    Our goal is to promote a civically informed and engaged Oakland. We share League membership information, voter education and voter registration materials. We work hard to bolster member retention and renewal, as well as leverage members' interests, skills, and desired participation level. We conduct activities such as new member small dinners, intimate discussion salons, tabling at Oakland events. Help us spread the word about the LWVO!

    This committee usually meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6pm. Contact us at
    Phyllis White-Ayanruoh, Chair
    Annmarie Hallin
    Kathleen Cha
    Madeleine Nelson
    Bonnie Hamlin
    Katherine Gavzy
    Meg Bowerman
    Louise Rothman-Riemer

    Development Committee

    The Development Committee's purpose is to raise funds to help LWVO fund its major election projects:
  • Oakland Easy Voter Guides in multiple languages
  • Pros and Cons Videos explaining Oakland and Alameda County measures on the local ballot.
    The primary fundraiser is the Annual All-City Luncheon, held each spring, requiring months of advance planning and promotion and featuring a high-profile speaker. Additionally, the Committee executes the annual year-end appeal to members as well as specific targeted fundraisers.

    This committee meets the first Monday of each month from 6pm - 8pm. Contact us at for info!
    Lori Lieneke, Chair
    Kathryn Moir, Co-Chair
    Bonnie Hamlin
    Louise Rothman-Riemer
    Dawna Williams
    Rosalee Schubert
    Amy Lyons
    Carolyn De Vol
    Judi Bank
    Mary MacDonald
    Sue Veit
  • Voter Service Committee

    Voter Service coordinates voter education and registration for the league, and is especially active during election season. Activities include:
  • Planning, executing, and recording Candidate Forums
  • Tabling at Oakland events, schools, and housing complexes to encourage individuals to register to vote
  • Producing and distributing the Easy Voter Guides in multiple languages
  • Pro/Con Speakers Bureau regarding ballot measures
  • Pro-Con Video Production and distribution on YouTube
  • Assist in maintaining new Voter's Edgewebsite
  • Capacity building grant application, Alameda County Probation Department, enhancing LWVO's ability to provide community services.

    This committee meets as needed.
    Deborah Shefler VP
    Stephen Shefler Coordinator
    Judy Merrill VP Emeritus
    Louise Anderson Candidate Forums, EVG Distribution
    Mary Weinstein Candidate Forums (onsite coordinator)
    Joey Hansell Candidate Forums (forum assistants)
    Allene Warren Speakers Bureau (Contacts)
    Helen Neville Speakers Bureau (Training and Assignments)
    Kathleen Cha Pro-Con Videos
    Bonnie Hamlin Voter's Edge
    Sandy Venning Voter Registration
  • Communications: PR, Social Media, Website

    The Communications Committee was formed in 2016 to provide consistent, more innovative forms of outreach regarding League work in Oakland. We are planning a website upgrade in September 2017 and have expanded our social media use (Facebook, Twitter, President's Blog on Medium, YouTube). We have re-introduced our Voter Newsletter with a new magazine format and created a YouTube channel for our Voter Service presentations.
    This committee usually has a conference call every Wednesday at 12:30pm.
    Kathleen Cha Chair
    Erin Burns Consultant, Social Media
    Eleni Hub Webmaster
    Erin Burns Social Media
    Renea and Rachel Davis-Leathers VOTER Editors
    Bonnie Hamlin Resource Person
    Louise Rothman-Riemer Resource Person

    Education Committee

    We follow the Oakland Unified School District, making sure they attend to the needs of all students, encouraging their success and focusing on balancing the budget. Specific projects include:
  • Production of report, The Challenge: Equal Opportunity of Education for Latino Students, detailing issues OUSD needs to address
  • Monitoring of the OUSD budget deficit Oversight of the Oakland bond measures J, N, and G1
  • Following OUSD's developments for Early Childhood Education
  • Conducting mock elections for Oakland's three Boys and Girls Clubs in October 2016, holding civics lessons with real voting booths
  • Working with a reporter who is developing an online database of OUSD Board decisions/actions

    This committee usually meets the third Monday of the month at 10am.
    Yolanda Schonbrun, Chair
    Emma Roos
    Allene Warren
    Yolanda Schonbrun
    Diane Lewis
    Jane Klein
    Kathleen Cha
  • Office Volunteers

    Bonnie Hamlin, Office Volunteer Coordinator

    Nominating Committee

    This committee meets as needed.
    Helen Neville, Chair
    Annmarie Hallin
    Michael Coleman
    Julie Waldman
    Sandy Venning

    Budget Committee

    This committee meets between December and March.
    Amy Lyons, Chair
    Louise Rothman-Riemer
    Davis Riemer

    Civic Engagement Committee

    Louise Rothman-Riemer, Chair
    Sandy Venning