Dr. Shirley Weber, California’s new Secretary of State (SOS), spoke to delegates at the opening of the LWVC Convention Business Meeting on Friday, June 11, 2021. She expressed appreciation for the League’s continued support of HR 1, the For the People Act of 2021, which will safeguard and expand voter access. [Note that HR 1 has recently moved to the Senate.] Weber thanked the League for its work to promote Prop. 17 which restores voting rights to those on parole.
Weber invited LWVC collaboration on the following: First, she said, the recall process needs to be rewritten as the law currently requires signatures from only 12% of voters to initiate a recall. Also, whoever receives a majority of votes will win so that a candidate in a crowded field could win with a very small number of votes. Second, limitations on timing of a recall are needed so that it does not begin close to a scheduled election. Set close to an election, it could become a form of intimidation and drain resources, since it is a very expensive process. Weber also suggested that justification for a recall might best be limited to commission of a crime and that impeachment proceedings might be an alternative to costly recalls.
Other goals of the new SOS had to do with education and advocacy. “We must expand the franchise of voting to every Californian,” Weber said. Another step forward, she said, would be to require an ethnic studies course in high school. Weber has been a tireless advocate for teaching ethnic studies, so all Americans can learn about the histories and cultures of oppressed peoples, and the social movements that promote equity and inclusion in the United States.
LWVC President Carol Moon Goldberg ended the informative session by saying she looked forward to accessing the materials that Weber’s office will create on voter education.
–Christine Wenrich, Criminal Justice Team Leader
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