The second reason for observing public meetings is to watch for issues on which the League should be taking action - speaking out. If an item that is being discussed is related to one of LWVO's positions then include that in your report. We'll look into it and see whether it's something that the League should be speaking out on.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, observing makes a statement that the community is watching the process of government. The League observer is the representative of the public at these meetings.
What to do when you observe:
Go to the meeting, wearing your League of Women Voters button. Get a copy of the agenda (if possible, check whether it is available in advance online) and any other reports that are available. You don't have to read them all! You may not speak for the League at the meeting. Outside of the meeting you can ask questions of staff and officials.
If you can't be at the meeting in person, then watch it online. While the officials may not see you, you can still monitor the meeting.
As the meeting progresses, fill out the "LWVO Observer Report". Submit your report to the LWVO.
Resources for observers:
Observing Your Government in Action: Protecting Your Right to Know, League of Women Voters, 2007, pub #2080, also available on the website for download: http://www.lwv.org
LWVUS National positions
LWV California State positions
LWV Bay Area Regional positions
LWV Oakland Local positions
Observer Coordinators - Gen Katz and Trisha Gorman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Action Chair - Helen Hutchinson, email@example.com
President - Louise Rothman-Riemer, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT AGENCIES TO OBSERVE?
CITY OF OAKLAND
Oakland City Council
Oakland School Board
Oakland City Council Committees:
Finance and Management
Community & Economic Development
Oakland City Boards, Committees and Commissions:
Port Commission Board
Budget Advisory Commission
Children's Fund Planning and Oversight
Citizen's Police Review Board
Housing, Residential Rent and Relocation Board
Oakland Housing Authority
Measure Y Oversight Committee
Public Ethics Commissions
These are just a few of the boards, committees and commissions - if you are interested in something else, we can find it for you.
Observers for these agencies report to LWV Bay Area rather than to LWV Oakland. If you go to at least one meeting a month and report to LWV Bay Area, LWV Oakland will be paid $25 for each month that you observe. Contact the LWV Bay Area office for more information about which agencies need observers at the current time, (510) 839-1608 or email@example.com.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Metropolitan Transportation Commission