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LWVO: 1924 to 2024

Highlights from Across The Years


Oakland Forum (predecessor to LWVO) founded
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Founded as the Oakland Forum with the mission as described in Oakland Outlook article announcing formation of Forum: "... giving women of the Eastbay an opportunity to hear speakers of the country discuss timely topics without having to cross the Bay; to encourage local women to take greater interest in government, education, child welfare; and to give helpful cooperation in the improvement of all public institutions."

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League Endorses Council-Manager 
Form of Government

Following a four-year study, the League endorses the council-manager form of government for Oakland. The study found that more than 200 U.S. cities had adopted that structure since 1920.  


Since then LWVO has studied the question of Oakland’s form of government at least thrice, mostly recently in 1993.

The Eastbay League changes its name to Oakland League of Women Voters
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The Eastbay League of Women Voters changes its name to the Oakland League of Women Voters.


“We feel that from every standpoint it is better to give our league the name of the community in which most of its work and membership is concentrated,” said league president Mrs. F. L. Burckhalter.


Milk Ordinance
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LWVO advocates for and celebrates the city council’s adoption of a milk safety ordinance hailed as one of the most sweeping in the nation.


“Our organization stands for the protection of the health of our children,” said Mrs. W. L. Forward, a league officer and leading proponent of the new safety guidelines.

School for Voters
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Invites the public to an all-day School for Voters devoted to a full discussion of measures on the November ballot.  


Over the years LWVO’s Speakers Bureau has continued to make pro/con presentations on ballot measures, fostering an informed electorate.


Report on Oakland's Government

Published its first report on the Oakland Government. 


Over the years, LWVO produced and updated a  “Guide to Local Government”, which was used as a reference in Oakland schools. 


Currently, the League publishes “Who Represents Oakland?” after each election.

Please click on the image on the right to see the latest version of "Who Represents Oakland?".

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Report on Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex Proposal

Concerned about the proposed method of municipal financing, LWVO distributes pro/con report on the Coliseum plan.

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Publishes Oakland Housing Bulletin

LWVO publishes a report on Housing for Low Income Families and Individuals in Oakland, with recommendations for future services. The League supports building 2500 public housing units.

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Response to Proposition 13

In 1978, California voters enacted Proposition 13 which reduced local property tax revenues by approximately $6.1 billion (53%) virtually overnight by capping property tax rates at one percent and rolling back property values for tax purposes to the 1975-76 level.

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Oakland Moved to District Elections

Oakland moved to District elections, from a system of "at-large" elections that forced anyone running for City Council to earn votes across the entire city.

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ERA Quilt

A beautiful quilt created by LWVO members to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

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LWVO and KTVU partner for Election '82

Instead of holding Candidates Nights, LWVO presented interviews with candidates on KTVU. These eventually evolved into our candidate forums.

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Public Ethics Commission Established

Oakland’s Public Ethics Commission is established by a voter approved charter amendment largely inspired by the League.

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Please click on the image above to see our latest blog on PEC.

Transparency in Government

Oakland’s Sunshine Ordinance: The League tackled this issue starting in 1995-96, and brought it  to a successful vote of the City Council this year.


It recognized that:

"Commissions, boards, councils, advisory bodies and other agencies of the City exist to conduct the people's business. This Ordinance is intended to assure that their deliberations and that the City's operations are open to the public".


Local Voter Guide

The Oakland Easy Voter Guide was first published in English, Spanish and Chinese.  Hundreds of thousands of copies have been distributed since then.

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Ranked Choice Voting

LWVO advocated in support of Alameda County Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the election of city/school board.  RCV was implemented for the 2010 election.



First Voter Registration Drive in HS

First registration drive in Oakland High Schools.  Since then, we have registered thousands of students through our YOUth Decide committee.


Supported an independent redistricting commission and participated in writing the 2014 Oakland ballot measure that voters approved.  Has since closely monitored the work of the Redistricting Commission.

First Videos of Pros & Cons

First videos of the pros & cons of local ballot measures.  About 50 have been created since then.

Below is recent example of a pros & cons video:


Campaign Finance
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Oakland voters approved the Fair Elections Act (FEA) to introduce Democracy Dollars to Oakland - an innovative approach to campaign finance reform that LWVO strongly advocated and supported.

LWVO Celebrates 100 Years

2024 marks 100 years that the League of Women Voters of Oakland has empowered voters and defended democracy.


Over the last century, we’ve strongly advocated for transparency, accountability and responsiveness of government — all while maintaining our commitment to nonpartisanship and fostering an informed electorate.


We look forward to another hundred years of serving our community, building power for the next generation of women leaders and inspiring voting rights activists


Please join our league!

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