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!

The Cost of Healthcare

PeterMendelHeaderOctober 5, 2017
Women’s City Club
Slideshow is here

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


September 14, 2017
Women’s City Club

Video is here
Photos are here

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!

Make Democracy Work!


As our official business meeting for the year, the Annual Meeting on June 8 followed a formal agenda but with some additional special elements. The meeting was dedicated to Ray Bennett, our dedicated volunteer office manager, who we miss so much. A memory book was circulated for comments and presented to his daughter, Laura Bennett, who made moving comments about her dad — and who has joined our League.

Key elements of the Annual Meeting included:

– An Annual Meeting Kit, with the material for the meeting and also informative 2016 – 2017 Committee that reports biographical information on board members.
– Our membership is 317, and like many Leagues, we have had a surge of new members.
– We reviewed the past year’s budget and adopted the 2017–2018 budget.
– Dues barely cover our expenses, so fundraising is very important for program activities.
– We voted to add Arcadia, Bradbury, and Duarte to our service area, and this has been
authorized by the state and national Leagues.
– We received nominations and elected the new Board of Directors.
– We heard observations from our delegates to the California LWV convention.
– We spent an hour in table discussions for each committee, discussing plans and priorities for the 2017–2018 program year. These priorities will appear in the annual Members Yearbook mailed to all members in September.
– Our guest speaker offered observations on the rise of women’s activism.
– We recognized Fifty Year member Susan Caldwell.

Our guest speaker was Désirée Zamorano, who spoke on “The Rise of Activism in our Community”.  Ms. Zamorano taught in PUSD and now runs the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College as well as being part of the Teacher Education program at CSULB.  She is also an accomplished author and activist.  She shared her resources and thoughts, and discussed various grassroots political action groups, such as Indivisible and Huddle, that have appeared over the past several months. We will also form groups to plan actions for next year based on committee priorities discussed in January.

— Marge Nichols