League of Women Voters of Santa Monica
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Our Mission
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Diversity Policy
The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica in both its values and practices, affirms its belief and commitment to diversity and pluralism, which means there shall be no barriers to participation in any activity of the LWV on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

May 26, 2015  

Santa Monica delegates:  Joanne Leavitt, Ann Williams, Thea Brodkin  at the reception before the Saturday evening program.

This convention, as conventions are supposed to be, was full of new and exciting ideas along with the traditional business of adopting a budget, updating bylaws and electing officers and board members.  Of most interest to our readers are the areas where we will focus our attention state wide for both community education and advocacy during the next two years.  They are not in any priority order:
  • Money in Politics
  • Climate, Sustainable Water, and Protecting the Environment 
  • Election Reform and Voting Rights
  • Minimum/Living Wage

These are broad areas and supportive materials will be forthcoming over the next few months.  However they do provide general focus for local planning.  If you are interested in helping with local activities in any of these areas, let us know


Notes from Convention

It's been a week since the 2015 League of Women Voters of California Convention in San Diego, and my mind's still awhirl with information coming from many sources - invited speakers, League leaders, including State President Helen Hutchinson and LWVUS President Elizabeth MacNamara, and most of all representatives from Leagues throughout the state.


A few highlights:


Berkeley Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla gave us an in depth look at California's changing electorate and the opportunities it represents for our organization;


News from Secretary of State Alex Padilla, including information on a proposal to make Moter Voter an "opt-out" procedure that might add as many as 6 million new voters to our rolls;


Two rousing speeches by MacNamara, which included reflections on Carrie Chapman Catt's goals - still pertinent after all these years - and an analogy with engaging new members to courtship. For example, you don't start assigning the chores on the first date!


And interesting workshops, two of which were noteworthy to me because they featured great work by local leagues that we can piggyback onto, if we choose:


The Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville League has buckled down on climate change, becoming a good source for all of us. They urge us to support SB 32 (already supported by LWVC) which increases and advances energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals to 2030 - the bill will be on the State Senate floor the first week of June; and


The San Diego League has done exemplary work on creating a Civil Discourse program - there's much I want to share with you on that, so I'll write an entire piece on it next week.


'Til then,


Ann Williams

The LWVC Convention's Voter Service Workshop discussed strategy and resources, but the highlight of the half-day session was their practical discussion and demonstration on how to  form meaningful partnerships with community groups to reach our goals. Voter recruitment and education requires many volunteers; it is more effective if local Leagues partner with groups with constituencies that do not mirror our League membership. It is an essential step to reach young, new and unengaged potential voters if we are to have a meaningful impact on voting in out communities.
It was inspiring to hear the new Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, talk of how he intends to increase voter turnout in California.  Listing just a few:  automatic registration at the DMV, vote by mail strategies, flexible voting locations, and  early voting.  

Thea Brodkin 

At last week's Convention, our Director of Communication Joanne Leavitt was elected Vice President of Program and Legislation for the League of Women Voters of California. The State League is lucky to have someone with Joanne's intelligence and skill on board.


LWVSM's Second Vice President of Program Barbara Inatsugu was honored last week with a Golden Oak Award from the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council. Barbara's dedication to education in our community is second to none!

June 1, 6:30p.m. 
Board Meeting
Board meetings are open to all members.  Call for location. 
June 20, 10:00a.m. 
Annual Meeting,     
Ken Edwards Center
1527 4th St. Santa Monica
June 29, 9:00 a.m.-4:00p.m
The Promise of Higher Education
Downtown Central Library
630 W. 5th St. Los Angeles
Save the date-much more to come
July 18, 10:00a.m.  
Popovers in Pasadena   Pasadena Women's City Club 
The traditional Summer County League Day 
Guest speaker, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
Save the date and reserve early.  This will be a sellout! 
What is Community Choice Aggregation?

Is this right for Santa Monica? Learn more at  a Climate Action Santa Monica meeting Sunday, May 31, 1:30p.m. at The Church in Ocean Park. More information and free registration here. 

League of Women Voters of Santa Monica
P. O. Box 1265
Santa Monica, CA 90406
Phone: 310-692-1494


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