Seeking Solutions to Climate Change

Nov. 2, 2017
Women’s City Club

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Hurricane Harvey illustrated what a serious threat global warming is to a developed nation. Much warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico, a result of the increasing greenhouse effect, strengthened Hurricane Harvey resulting in a tragedy in Texas. Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida and Hurricane Maria decimated the US territory of Puerto Rico, producing a human catastrophe which will take months to resolve. The energy released by a hurricane is estimated at the equivalent of a million atomic bombs of the Hiroshima type – per day. Extreme weather will only worsen as the planet warms. Human civilization is dependent on energy sources. Can we mitigate global warming and if so, how can we do so without creating social and economic chaos?

We have two excellent climate change related presentations for the November 2 League Day. Dr. John Odell is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at USC and a Senior Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He will discuss Practical Remedies for Climate Change with an emphasis on economic implications.

Our second speaker is Bill Carnahan from the Los Angeles County Office of Sustainability. Mr. Carnahan is the interim Executive Director of Los Angeles County Community Choice Energy (LACCE). He will explain the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. This program separates the purchase of energy sources from the transmission and billing functions administered by the utility company. Local jurisdictions will be able to control their energy sources by creating a local board which will choose the energy source and be able to move to renewable sources of energy more quickly. The CCA program will also have financial control of these purchases and with the profit will be able to invest in new renewable energy sources.

The Natural Resources Committee members believe that moving to renewable energy sources as soon as possible is a significant and necessary first step toward saving the environment in which we live. We look forward to an interesting and informative morning with great speakers. Please join us!

Make It Fair Town Hall on October 7

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Prop 13 Reform – Make It Fair Town Hall on October 7

Featured Speakers: State Senator Holly Mitchell and Torie Osborn, Deputy to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

October 7, 10AM – Noon
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
2215 S. Grand St., Los Angeles, CA 90007

Did you know that the land that Disney Headquarters sits on is assessed at $5.49/square foot, while the land for a house across the street is assessed at $39.12 per square foot? And that as long as Disney Corporation continues to own that land, that assessment will increase only by 2% per year?

People who voted for Proposition 13 probably never expected that large corporations would be the biggest beneficiaries. Non-residential commercial property now accounts for only about 28% of property tax revenue in the state of California. If commercial property was reassessed on a regular basis, that would mean more than $9 Billion per year in additional revenue for school districts and local governments.

The League of Women Voters of California is part of the Make It Fair Coalition, which is advocating for Proposition 13 reform by establishing a “split roll” requiring regular reassessment of commercial properties.

Come find out more about this effort by attending the Town Hall on October 7.

The Cost of Healthcare

PeterMendelHeaderOctober 5, 2017
Women’s City Club
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Our morning speaker will be Peter Mendel, PhD, a Senior Sociologist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research institute based in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Mendel is no stranger to healthcare topics. His research has focused on change and improvement in healthcare systems, from evaluations of national programs (such as the National ActionPlan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections) to local initiatives (such as engaging low-income communities in Los Angeles to improve access and quality of depression care). He has also conducted international research comparing the experiences of leading hospitals in the United States and Europe on sustaining efforts to improve quality and safety. A common interest throughout his work is to understand how local providers of healthcare and related services respond to broader changes in policy, industry, and social trends, and how those responses affect both the quality and value of health services on which we rely, as well as the health and well-being of communities.

 

So They’re Registered

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September 14, 2017
Women’s City Club

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The dismal rate of voter turnout in non-presidential elections is a major concern to the League. 84% of eligible voters in LA County are registered, compared to 75% in California. LA County voter turnout was 67% in the 2016 presidential election, but was only 14% for the June 2017 special congressional election (Becerra). We can get voters registered, but what new strategies can promote active participation in elections?

To kick off our 2017–2018 program year, we’ll hear from one of our favorite speakers, Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein. We have asked him to speak about voting trends and causes of low voter turnout, as well as possibilities for improving voter turnout rates.

Dr. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at CSU Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Princeton, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. In addition to his award-winning academic work, Dr. Sonenshein has chaired Los Angeles City government Commissions, and received numerous honors for excellence in teaching.

At the September League Day, we will also hear about committee activities, Constitution Day presentations, and National Voter Registration Day. It will be a great start for our year, and you’ll want to be there!

Future of Wild and Urban California Forests

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Nicole Molinari

The May 4 League Day program will examine the interaction between climate change and California’s wild and urban forests, both now and in a warmer future. There will be two speakers.

Nicole Molinari, USFS Provincial Ecologist from Santa Barbara, will speak about “Climate Change and the Future of the Wild California Forests.” California is experiencing an unprecedented “die-off” of more than 100 million Sierra Trees and this environmental disaster will have decades-long effects. How did the die-off occur, and what is its likely outcome? How do climate change and the forest affect each other? How is the forest likely to change in the future? What are the most important long-term USFS forest management challenges and opportunities? The speaker will address these issues.

Linda Eremita, Forestry Education Manager and Lead ISA Certified Arborist at TreePeople, will present “Preparing for a Warmer Future: Urban Tree Species Selection and Care.” She will discuss how trees react to warmer, dryer conditions and how to select climate-appropriate trees and care for them.
Tree canopy can lower temperatures in shaded areas by 3̊ to 4̊ F. and absorb CO2, benefiting both an individual homeowner and the community. We have all experienced the sense of relief that comes from moving from sunlight into dense shade on a hot sunny day.

Just as many homeowners today benefit from previous owners’ decisions to plant shade trees more than fifty years ago, our current tree planting can benefit future generations. To paraphrase an ancient Greek proverb, “Society grows great when the old plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

—George Null, Natural Resources Director