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A VOICE FOR CITIZENS, A FORCE FOR CHANGE
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Wednesday, March 16 Community Forum
Goleta Development: What is There Now
And What Will the Future Bring?
Noon-2 p.m. Louise Lowry Davis Center

For 18 years the League's Sustainable Communities Committee has met monthly to discuss the long range impacts of various land use and energy decisions on the South Coast. We have often commented to government bodies about the League's recommendations. On Wednesday the Committee is hosting a discussion of recent and pending developments in the city of Goleta. We have asked five people with special expertise to speak.
 
First, the League's long time member and friend, former mayor and council member Margaret Connell will talk about how the city of Goleta was formed, and the vision behind its initial General Plan. She will be followed by 27-year Goleta resident George Relles, convener of the Goodland Coalition, who will talk about how the General Plan has evolved over 11 years, the Goodland's own role in amending it, and some of the challenges and opportunities that have arisen.
 
They will be followed by a presentation of two separate issues causing new concerns. The executive director of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, Cherie Topper, will explain why a new coalition is forming to resist the rezoning of the Shelby Project from agriculture to residential. Cecelia Brown, an
experienced county planning commissioner, will discuss Goleta's plan to adopt a completely new Rezoning Ordinance, and the problems the public is having understanding it.
 
Finally, there has been an outstanding success of a public effort by the Westside Goleta Coalition to change the location of a new enlarged California Highway Patrol substation in Goleta. Robert Miller, who led the public action to achieve that, will explain how they did it. It is rewarding that the public here can be heard all the way to Sacramento!

The forum is free and open to the public. Bring your lunch and friends. Beverages will be provided. Parking at the center is free during the forum.
 
Connie Hannah, Chair, Sustainable Communities Committee
Message to Members
From Co-President Amanda Pelch 

The 2016 Directory has arrived. I hope you noticed in the Policies for Program Action the changes we made under the Government Section; these were approved at our Annual Meeting June 2015. They were an outgrowth of the Local Study on District Elections in 2014-15. Upon conclusion we knew we had to update some policies to be in alignment with our principles. To me this is democracy growing over time as new perspectives come into focus.

Of course the Directory lists our membership and contact information. If you see any errors please  email me. Joanie Jones and Denise Frey, our database team, will make the changes. Through these messages members only will be notified. For those without email you will receive the information in the mail.

Earth Day is fast approaching on April 16-17. We will participate, but only on Saturday, April 16. We can use a few more volunteers. Please contact me if you can help.
 
Voter Service can use more volunteers too. The June Primary Season is upon us with much to do. Again, contact me to volunteer. 

Linda Kropp, Environmental Defense Center attorney, left, with LWVSB Co-President Amanda Pelch. Linda was honored as "woman of the year." EDC is a coalition partner of our League.

 LWVSB is a co-sponsor of this event
LWVUS News
 
The LWVUS has filed a Temporary Restraining order (TRO) and injunction enjoining the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and Executive Director Brian Newby from enforcing the decision granting state requests to amend the national uniform mail-in voter registration form to require documentary proof of citizenship. This is part of a filed suit in federal district court to stop the recent illegal action by the Executive Director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that allows these states to restrict voter registration.
 
The League joined other partner organizations on a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The SENSE Act (H.R. 3797) and the BRICK Act (H.R. 4557) would weaken health safeguards for Americans on behalf of special interests and result in more air pollution and health hazards.
 
The League of Women Voters joined an amicus brief in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, a challenge to the contraception accommodation in the Affordable Care Act. The amicus brief argues that the contraception accommodation for employers who object to providing contraceptive coverage is the least restrictive means of advancing the government's compelling interest in protecting women's health and promoting women's equality. The League has long standing positions in support of equal access to health care and equal rights for women as well as the right to privacy in reproductive choices. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on March 23, 2016.
 
The LWVUS Board set federal legislative priorities for the second session of the 114th Congress at its January board meeting. The League has many positions from which to take action but establishing a focus for our national advocacy is a critical responsibility of the LWVUS Board as it is for every League Board. In setting priorities, the Board considers a number of factors, the most important of which is focusing League effort where it can have the greatest impact.

For 2016, the LWVUS legislative priorities are ranked in two tiers. The first tier priority is Representative Democracy, which includes voting rights and election administration, money in politics, redistricting reform and work on a constitutional convention. The second tier is Climate Change [emphasis added]. And we continue to watch action on several issues including immigration, health care, reproductive rights and environmental protection.
 
State News: Concern for Coastal Commission Activity
The LWVC sent a letter to the Coastal Commission reflecting continuing support for their protection of our coastline and stating that, while we are not privy to personnel matters and cannot comment on them, we do want to see strong protections maintained and are concerned about current news. A copy of the full letter is here.
We hope to see you soon!
 
Sincerely,

Amanda Pelch and Lindsey Baker
Co-Presidents
League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara 


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