Come and learn more from:
Devan Reiff Planner, City of Oakland Strategic Planning Division
Doug Johnson President, National Demographics Corporation
Sharon Cornu Coordinator, Oakland Votes Redistricting Coalition
Plan Bay Area calls for transit-oriented residences in parts of cities to be designated as Priority Development Areas. Oakland has six priority development areas. Our conversation will focus on the Broadway/Valdez District where plans issued in September are available for review and comment until November 4. Come to talk about it.
"Wednesdays with the League" continues
on Wednesday, October 23 with a Hot Topics
roundtable discussion on the recently-adopted Plan
Bay Area and its impact on Oakland development.
Future Wednesday speaker programs and Hot
Topics discussion meetings will cover subjects including public safety and civil liberties,
Measure Y and citizens oversight, dark
money in politics, how to be an effective
involved citizen, immigration reform,
and health care reform. Have we missed
something important? Is there an issue
you want LWVO to address? Send your
ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org -- we
need to hear from you!
The report from our annual board
retreat and the profiles of our wonderful new board
members on pages six and seven should tell you why
I am especially excited about the upcoming year in
League. We have a group of passionate, dedicated,
and interesting people on the board, supported
by so many capable and energetic members. We
continue to reach out to different segments of the
community to broaden our membership and develop
our leadership. LWVO is becoming known as a
"powerhouse" organization in Oakland and within
the state League: our power is in our people.
- Katherine Gavzy
"I need that message to go out," he told the
audience at one point, echoing a frequent refrain.
In recent years, the district has struggled with budget problems, absenteeism, and racial disparities, and has felt added pressure in serving large populations of low income, special needs, and English-learning students. While acknowledging these challenges, Yee and fellow speaker David Kakishiba, OUSD school board president, remained focused on the positive. They discussed the district's strategic plan, "Community Schools, Thriving Students," launched under former superintendent Tony Smith, who resigned from the post earlier this year for family reasons.
The strategic plan has just entered into its third
of five years, as it seeks to support students not only
academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
This means providing more comprehensive health
services, promoting greater parent and guardian
involvement, and encouraging all Oakland residents
to play an active role -- to take "collective responsibility
for schools that are struggling," as Yee put it.
How can people assume such responsibility? It starts with merely paying attention. One opportunity to do so will come on October 9, when the OUSD board will hear a presentation on new School Quality Review data, an important assessment tool in the strategic plan. The presentation should allow members of the public to "see if we're going in the right direction," Yee said.
- Alec MacDonald (story and photo)
Deborah Shefler, Marion Taylor, and Helen
Hutchison have been pulling together information on the workings of Measure Y. How are violence
prevention projects selected and evaluated? How
can the oversight committee be given the capacity
to do its job?
Katherine Gavzy is following the Public Ethics
Commission, which is undertaking initiatives to
expand its enforcement authority and to develop
a code of ethics for city officials (see below).
LWVO is supporting the special tax to extend
the Wildfire Prevention District and is signatory to
the ballot argument in favor. This is a mail ballot
for property owners within the district.
- Mary Bergan
We do this by presenting our Making
Democracy Work awards to two such individuals
and/or organizations that have, in the League tradition, helped to make Oakland strong, vibrant,
and fair. Nominations
are open to any Oakland
resident or organization
that is contributing or
has contributed to our
community in a significant
and meaningful way.
You can print the form by clicking here.
It may also be obtained
by calling our office at
You have until
December 15 to submit the nomination, but there's
no time like the present!
- Bonnie Hamlin
It should take you only a few minutes and your responses will be anonymous unless you would like us to have your name and contact information for follow-up.
These are all issues that the League has been
promoting within the city for years, so we were pleased to be invited to seat a representative on the
working group. In addition to the "official" LWVO
representative, three of the remaining eight people
on the working group are also LWVO members!
The group includes private citizens from a variety of
public interest groups and backgrounds, including
Fumi Sugihara of LWVO, whose experience and
knowledge of good government will be immensely
There will be many public opportunities in the
fall and winter to provide input; the ultimate goal
is to go to City Council with proposed ordinances
in early spring 2014. We will keep our members
posted on the group's progress via our website and
Facebook page, and hope that you will all chime
in often. Please send your ideas and reactions to
- Katherine Gavzy
You're in luck, because we are about to start an
agriculture update study with other East Bay Leagues
to explore these and other issues such as antibiotics
in livestock, accurate food labeling, and the use of
herbicides/pesticides. The study is sponsored by the
LWVUS Education Fund, but we will explore the
key issues as they relate to California. And we'll go
on two field trips: one day to several "conventional"
farms, and another time to organic or smaller farms.
This fall, we will meet for informal study, with the official Consensus process starting in January
2014. Although we may study together with different Leagues, each League will come to its own conclusions regarding the Consensus questions.
To get us off to a good start, we are joining the
LWV of Piedmont on Wednesday, November 13
from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for a program related to this
topic. We will hear a talk by Adam Scow, California
Campaigns director for Food & Water Watch.
Mark the date, with more details to come closer to
the time of the event.
If you are interested in joining the Consensus
process to update the LWVUS Agriculture
Policy, please contact Trisha Gorman via e-mail at
email@example.com, and join other Leaguers
in discovering what's behind the food we eat.
- Trisha Gorman
"The League of Women Voters of Berkeley,
Albany, and Emeryville gratefully acknowledges
Peralta District's success in restoring all our campuses
to full accreditation. ... Strong leadership and public
progress reports rebuilt the trust that had crumbled
under the years of covering up failing accountability
systems. ... We look forward to continuing public
involvement in discussions of Peralta's future. Our community needs to hear what the colleges can
provide and we hope that we too can help bring
people young and old to fulfill their ambitions with
the skill sets and career counseling the District
We at LWVO join LWVBAE in congratulating
our community college district on this success.
- Katherine Gavzy
Thanks to the intervention of Dawna Williams,
a new member and co-chair of the Development
Committee, we were able to meet in the beautiful
and historical Bender Room of Carnegie Hall at
Mills College. Almost all of the board members
and two off-board leaders, Jane Klein and Trisha
Gorman, were able to attend the session which went
from 9:30 to 3:00.
The meeting began with a recommitment to our Covenant in which we agreed to execute and
advance the League's objectives and to actively work
to preserve democracy, with honesty and to the best
of our ability, while conducting ourselves with civility
and appreciation for the differences among us.
As the day progressed, we approved our Executive Committee, appointed two members to the Nominating Committee, and discussed other committees' vacancies and leaders' needs. We discussed outreach, leadership development, and studies planned for 2013-14. We reviewed our financial situation and discussed how to strategically use our surplus. We wrapped up our day with vigorous brainstorming about the next year's work.
- Rosalee Schubert
Dawna's life is full of community service and
activism. In addition to her work with the League,
she is a member of the Mills College Board of
Governors, the AAUW, and POWER, which produces the annual Ms. Delilah Beasley Tea.
In her professional life she works for
Shelter Inc., a non-profit that helps
find transitional housing for those who
need it, with an emphasis on those with
mental health issues, veterans, and
those newly released from prison.
Since joining the board in June,
Dawna has joined the Development
Committee, and is chairing the All-
City Luncheon with Bonnie Hamlin.
Her fundraising experience and connections are
already proving valuable. Dawna is also eager to
expand the outreach of the League to attract a
younger and more diverse membership.
In response to a comment that her community
involvement was impressive she said, "I enjoy my
activism; it keeps me grounded."
Since retiring from being an administrator with the Port of San Francisco in 2010, Louise,
educated as a librarian, has devoted a lot of her
time to volunteering in the library
at Juvenile Hall. She is particularly
interested in the topic of restorative
justice and is involved with the Alameda
County Juvenile Justice--Delinquency
Prevention Commission. She hopes to
engage LWVO in these topics while
on the Board.
Louise lives with her husband in
the Glenview neighborhood. They
have three children and the youngest just left for
college at Macalester in St Paul, Minnesota.
- Sandy Venning (both profiles)
Our ability to serve depends upon your annual renewal. Our membership year is July 1 to June 30, so if you have not yet done so, please send in your renewal as soon as possible. Send a check, or use Pay Pal on our website if that is easier for you. Thanks to those of you who have already renewed and thanks in advance to all of you who are renewing now. Renewal details and an interest survey are here. Members who renew by December 1 and complete the survey will automatically be entered into a raffle with exciting prizes, including gift certificates and a ticket to our 2014 Luncheon.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!