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.

September Program and Hot Topic: Human Sex Trafficking...in Oakland?

Program: Thursday, September 10, 6pm - 8pm

LWVO announces its kickoff Program of the fall, and the topic will be Human Sex Trafficking in Oakland.

Come hear our panel provide information on measures and other efforts in the public policy arena to prevent human sex trafficking in our city.

Who are the at-risk populations? What are the statistics on prosecution and penalization of traffickers and abusers? What type of essential services for victims is Oakland providing?

Our panel will include:

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

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

Hot Topic Discussion: Monday, September 21, 6pm-7:30 pm

Join us for a follow-up to our Program with discussion about issues surrounding human sex trafficking in our community.

How are the Oakland school district, Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils (NCPCs), and local law enforcement working on solutions to address the problem? Who are the community based organizations working on this issue, what resources are out there, & how can we support their efforts?

Resource experts Falilah Bilal, Executive Director of MISSSEY and Nkauj Iab Yang, Program Manager at Banteay Srei will be there to help us sort through these difficult issues.


For more details on this topic as well as background information on our panels, click here.

See the LWVO Calendar for information on this event and others.

League of Women Voters Studies Money in Politics and a potential Amendment!

To kick off our Money in Politics national study this fall, LWVO is partnering with LWV Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville to host a film showing and discussion. Film producer Holly Mosher We will show clips from a compelling new documentary Pay to Play: Democracy's High Stakes, introduced by its award winning producer Holly Mosher, pictured at left. Holly's previous films on related subjects included Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety and Free for All! on the topic of election fraud.

Two local non-partisan leaders against hidden campaign contributions, Jay Costa, Executive Director of CounterPac, and Miriam Marks, Data Director of Maplight, will illuminate some of the questions League members we'll be wrestling with in the new national study on campaign finance.


For details on the event, see LWVBAE's website.

See the LWVO Calendar for information on this event and others.

October Program: Money in Politics

Is our democracy in danger of corruption by uncontrolled political spending?Politician carrying a large bag of money

With a major election just a year away, the League of Women Voters is focusing on Money in Politics with a series of public events. The first event on October 15 will be a Forum cosponsored with the Public Ethics Commission. Come hear about Money in Politics: how does it work, what is legal and what isn't, what can we do about it?

Join our discussion with:

-- Ann Ravel, Chair of the Federal Election Commission, former head of California Fair Political Practices Commission

-- Paul Ryan, Senior Counsel, The Campaign Legal Center

Click here for more details on the Money in Politics Program.

See the LWVO Calendar for information on these events.

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.

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.

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."

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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