Making Democracy Work

Make Democracy Work

Who are we? We are the League of Women Voters, an organization of women and men who want to make a difference in the political future of our country. We are a diverse, non-partisan, political group with a long-standing tradition of educating voters.

Upcoming Programs at City Hall!!

On Thursday, September 10, LWVO will have its kickoff Program of the fall, and the topic will be Human Sex Trafficking in Oakland. The US Human Trafficking Position allows the League to oppose all forms of trafficking.

Our panel will include Jennifer Madden, Alameda Assistant District Attorney, Sgt. Holly Joshi of the Oakland Police Department, Adela Rodarte, Transition Age Youth Services Coordinator at West Coast Children's Clinic, and Genice Jacobs, anti-trafficking activist and consultant.

Ms. Jacobs works with community organizations, government agencies and corporations to raise awareness about human trafficking and child exploitation. Information about domestic child sex trafficking and prevention education resources for teachers, parents and journalists can be found at her website

Come and hear information on measures and other efforts in legislative public policy to prevent human sex trafficking.

What are the statistics on prosecution and penalization of traffickers and abusers?

What type of essential services for victims is Oakland providing?

For more information from Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney, on her office's H.E.A.T. Watch (Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking) web page, click here.

For some statistics on children at risk, compiled by the office of Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney, click here.

For a short clip, "Bought & Sold: Sexually Exploited Children on the Streets of Oakland," click here.

On Thursday, October 8, LWVO will hold a Program on Money in Politics. To kick off our Money in Politics national study this fall, and in conjunction with the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville, we will show clips from a compelling new documentary Pay to Play: Democracy's High Stakes, introduced by its award winning producer Holly Mosher.

There will be plenty of time for audience questions and discussion!

Put them on your calendar! To see the LWVO Calendar for details on this event and others, click here.

Happy Birthday, 19th Amendment!

The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote, turned 95 this month--and it still stands as a shining moment in America's ongoing journey to meet the ideals of our country's founding.

The League of Women Voters was born in the fight for the 19th Amendment's ratification.

Take a quick minute to enjoy this nostalgic look back at the last 95 years.

Stand with the League as we continue today to defend the voting rights of all Americans from fresh attacks.

Women's Equality Day is August 26! Ready to Celebrate?

Women's Equality Day--August 26--is the 95th Anniversary of Women Winning the Vote.

People often forget that women could not vote throughout the U.S. until 1920. This August 26th is the 95th anniversary of women winning the right to vote through passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Both women and men owe a great deal to the brave suffragists who persevered over seventy years until they succeeded. They were led by outstanding American patriots like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul, and many others. We remember them all - speakers, field workers, political organizers, strategists, demonstrators, and prisoners - and honor their love of democracy on Equality Day, August 26.

This 95th anniversary also marks the start of the drive to recognize the final five years of this great civil rights movement, leading up to its centennial in 2020. New efforts like the campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill and placing statues of suffragists in New York and Tennessee show that exciting activities have already begun.

Since women in every state were involved, it can be very rewarding to learn about that part of local history. This year, celebrate women's vital victory for democracy by

  • Plan a 95th Anniversary event or a party for Women's Equality Day-August 26th
  • Make sure your local paper is aware that August 26th is the 95th anniversary of U.S. women winning the vote
  • Make copies of the Women's Equality Day Brochure for your own celebration or to distribute to you local library or bookstore.

Remember, women won their political independence with the help of supportive men and their success made the U.S. a more complete democracy. Like the Fourth of July, Women's Equality Day is a day for all of us to celebrate.

For celebration and educational materials related to women and democracy, visit Women's Rights and Women's Equality Day Resources.

To learn more about the National Women's History Project, go to their website.

LWV Ca awarded The James Irvine Foundation Grant

The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund received a multi-year grant from The James Irvine Foundation. This funding will support work to increase voter participation in underrepresented communities and improve voter information in state and county elections. Read more about the grant.

LWVO at Oakland Art & Soul Festival!

LWVO was at Oakland's Art & Soul Festival this past weekend, registering voters and informing people about the League!

LWV Table at 2015 Art and SoulLWV Table at 2015 Art and Soul

Left: LWVO members Marisel Brown, Phyllis White Ayanruoh and June Grant at our booth.

Right: Marisel Brown registering voters."

LWV Oakland In the News, Largest League in California!

Inside Bay Area News published a story in June of 2015 about the challenges of attracting and retaining League members while maintaining focus and relevance in conducting the League's mission.

Great news! The Oakland league is the largest in the state at 372 members, and a model for using technology to attract young women. Read more in the article here.

LWVO Working Closely with Make It Fair

Our league is working closely with Make It Fair, a powerful coalition of labor, faith, housing, and community organizations dedicated to closing commercial property tax loopholes in order to continue to invest in strengthening important local priorities such as education and housing. The Make it Fair Coalition believes that it's not fair for a few large corporations and wealthy commercial property owners to shortchange California's ability to serve its communities.

If successful, the Make it Fair Coalition's commercial property tax reforms could bring a whopping $9 billion (including $633 million for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) in additional tax revenue for local services.

To learn more about Make It Fair, and to see Robert Reich's video release on commercial property tax reform, see their website.

SPUR Joined Annual Meeting to Discuss Oakland Development

At LWVO's Annual Meeting on June 3, we heard about the future of urbanism in our city--specifically downtown--from Robert Ogilvie, the Oakland director of renowned civic planning organization SPUR. Check out their website, click here.

Mr. Ogilvie is the director of SPUR's newly-opened Oakland office. Over the past 20 years he has worked extensively in community development and planning to help improve low- and middle-income neighborhoods.

Photo of Robert Ogilvie, Director of Oakland SPUR
Robert Ogilvie, Oakland SPUR Director

LWVO Held Annual All-City Luncheon, featuring Keynote Speaker Dr. Sylvia Earle

More than a luncheon, more than a fundraiser, this year's annual All-City Luncheon really felt like a celebration! Dr. Sylvia Earle spoke inspiringly about the importance of our oceans.

Read more about the Luncheon and see more photos here!

2015 Luncheon Sylvia Earle
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Luncheon Keynote Speaker, Marine Biologist, Author and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence since 1998

2015 Luncheon John Sutter, Sandy Threlfall, Katherine Gavzy
Making Democracy Work awardee Sandy Threlfall, between EBRPD Board Member John Sutter and Katherine Gavzy

Collage of 15 Luncheon

2015 Luncheon Rose Jellison, Katherine Gavzy, Lori Fogarty
Making Democracy Work awardee Rose Jellison, President of the Oakland Museum Women's Board, Katherine Gavzy, Lori Fogarty

2015 Luncheon Scottish Rite
2015 All-City Luncheon at Scottish Rite Auditorium

Oakland Rocks the State League Convention!

2015 State Convention Photo
LWVO delegates Mary Bergan,Ernestine Nettles, Louise Rothman-Riemer, Katherine Gavzy, Judy Merrill, Amy Lyons, Deborah Shefler, Bonnie Hamlin with LWVUS President Elizabeth MacNamara and LWVC President Helen Hutchison. May 2015.

The Bay Area Monitor

The LWV Bay Area Monitor provides coverage of transportation, air quality, water quality, open space, and land use issues in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Here is the link

The LWV Bay Area Education Fund distributes the Monitor both online and in print at no cost to interested readers. To receive email notification for when new issues of the Bay Area Monitor have been published online, please use this link:.

Tax-deductible donations in support of this free publication are greatly appreciated, and may be made through their website using the "donate" tab.

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