LWV-PA Annual Meeting 2015
June 4, 2015
Women’s City Club
Photos are here
Speaker Highlights from Annual Meeting: Voting Trends
Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute at CSULA, was the speaker at our Annual Meeting on June 4, offering insightful, unique, and often humorous observations on voting trends and the political climate. Here are a few highlights from his very stimulating talk:
•Groups with the greatest stake on government policy are least likely to vote, including youth under the age of twenty-five, communities of color (except African Americans who have a higher level of engagement), immigrant communities, and unmarried women.
•Voting rates surge for all groups in presidential election years, but a different set of voters (older, white, more rural) participate in off-year elections, leading to a different set of policy decisions by state and national elected officials.
•We need to build understanding that voting isn’t just in presidential years, and that off year elections make a real difference in policy.
•Improving voter participation is a year-round activity, and should not be limited to election times.
•Money in politics is an even greater problem than commonly recognized: big money is now going into low visibility but strategically important elections such as judges’ races. Transparency is the best attack against money in politics.
Dr. Sonenshein promised to come back on a future occasion, and when that happens you won’t want to miss it!
Annual Meeting Lays Out Ambitious Plans for 2015-2016
Our June 4 Annual Meeting covered all the standard actions—approving the budget, affirming local positions, electing officers—but it also engaged members in lively table discussions about how we can implement priorities identified at the January 2015 Program Planning meeting. Having committees take ownership of carrying out LWV-PA priorities for education and advocacy will create greater impact in our communities in the coming year. Kudos to all who participated and signed on for the following actions!
ECONOMIC JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Priority: Minimum/livable wages
1. Participate in Pasadena coalition, “Fight for $15”
2.League Day forum on pro/con consequences of raising minimum wage. Form specific local position regarding nonprofits and small businesses
3. Advocate for state and national minimum wage increases and adjustment in budget allocations to cover wage increases
4. Advocate for the local position that we formulate
5. Reform Prop. 13
6. Form Economic Justice committee
7. Include affordable housing
Priority: School Libraries
1. Keep school libraries as a priority
2. Create a survey of school libraries
3. Commit to visitation of at least 3 school districts
4. Collaborate with other agencies
NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Priority: Education to Reduce Carbon Footprint
•Continue education to reduce carbon emissions and water use
•Conduct 5th annual forum on environmental concerns for League, community, schools
•Educate and advocate climate change issues at state and national levels by writing and League Days
•Work with Pasadena DWP to expend solar energy deployment
VOTER SERVICES COMMITTEE
Priority: Engage underrepresented groups in the voting process
•Outreach to ethnic groups, low income groups, ex-felons
•Establish planning committee to focus on: ethnic and low income groups, youth, ex-felons
•Outreach for partners: ACLU, churches, Mother’s, NAACP
•Kick-off National Voter Registration Day: register voters at diverse sites: e.g. Costco, Home Depot, supermarkets (particularly in low-income areas)
Priority: Establish planning committee to focus on engaging youth
•Plan outreach partners: schools, YMCA, church youth groups, including young people as members of the planning committee
•Plan mock election in selected schools
•A subgroup will focus on use of social media in reaching youth
PASADENA POLICE OVERSIGHT GROUP
Priority: Promote a civilian police oversight commission
•Attend Public Safety Committee meetings
•Participate in CICOPP (Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police)
•Co-sponsor public forum on constitutional policing in October by nationally recognized authority on civilian oversight of police, Samuel Walker
•Hold a League Day program on constitutional policing with Brian Buchner, president of NACOLE (National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement)
•Review how PPD policies compare with best practice examples in other cities
•Explore PPD’s budget for where money goes, especially for surveillance technology
1. Update website to focus on general public, not just members
2. Have an advocacy component at every League meeting including League Days and Unit meetings
3. Automatic download of state and national action alerts to our website
4. Voter should be more prominent on website
5. More League letters to the editor, blog entries, and social media postings