LWVC Convention: Big Wins and High Visibility for LWVBAE

Diz at ConventionThe LWVBAE website–THIS website–won the prize for top California League website among Leagues who have created their own websites.  Congratulations to Diz Swift*,  our outstanding web editor, and to web manager Linda Carothers, to Adam Schwartz, Sam Morris, Hart Farrell Hedberg, Beth Hamilton and rest of the team at Computer Courage who helped us create the site and who keep it running. Bill Chapman, who created and ran our first webpage for many years, was our trusty advisor.

Many of the design elements on our page were borrowed from LWVUS and LWVC, which also created a special widget so we  receive the LWVC News posts automatically.  Scroll down to the bottom of the League News page to read them.  We are honored that two other leagues have asked to use our design to create their own webpages– LWV San Francisco and Los Altos Mountain View Area— of course we were glad to share.

L-R Back Jill Martinucci, Christine Wenrich, Barb Singleton, middle Carol Stone, Nancy Bickel, Li-hsia Wang, front Janice Blumenkrantz, Gail Schickele

L-R Back Jill Martinucci, Christine Wenrich, Barb Singleton, middle Carol Stone, Nancy Bickel, Li-hsia Wang, front Janice Blumenkrantz, Gail Schickele

“Big Money Crushes Democracy,” a 4 panel comic strip and potential animated message, won the award for the most effective idea in the “Communications: Messages that Move” workshop. Nancy Bickel*, inspired by the discussions with a team  working on creating an effective message about money in politics, came up with the idea. Other team members, above from left, were Bonnie Hamlin, Alice Fried, Max Beckman-Hained, and Gloria Anderson. Mony Flores-Bauer, LWVC Director, drew the charming cartoons. [We’ll save the details of the message until we have the final version.] The team was participating in a two part workshop led by Sara Diefendorf, Director, LWVC, and Elizabeth Leslie, Communications Manager. The Team hope to work with Elizabeth Leslie, and others at LWVC.  SeePolitical, which animated LWVC ballot measure videos, could be a possible partner.

Winners l to r: Elizabeth Leslie, Sara Diefendorf,  Mony  Flores-Bauer,LWVC;  Bonnie Hamlin, Alice Fried, Nancy Bickel, Max Beckman-Hained, and Gloria Anderson.

Winners l to r: Elizabeth Leslie, Sara Diefendorf, Mony Flores-Bauer,LWVC; Bonnie Hamlin, Alice Fried, Nancy Bickel, Max Beckman-Hained, and Gloria Anderson.

League Teams proposed and ran 4 caucuses at the Convention.

Carol-Stone-head-web-2Crude Oil By Rail: What can Local and State Leagues do to protect our communities?” — a “pop-up caucus” during the Saturday lunch break–was organized by Carol Stone•, LWVBAE Action Coordinator, and Linda Phillips, LWVC Consultant on Hazardous Materials. About 50 Leaguers discussed examples in their communities of risks and efforts and possibilities to control them through, for example, land use hearings. Railroad safety overall is controlled by the federal government.  State League Hazardous Materials Policy Positions may provide a tool to speak to local land use agencies and others. Part of the excellent slide show by Leslie Stewart shown at an Environmental Concerns meeting was shown at the meeting.

Jan Meslin & Li-hsia Wang Health Care Caucus

Jan Meslin & Li-hsia Wang Health Care Caucus

“California Immigrants and Access to Healthcare” caucus drew more than 30 Leaguers to discuss whether California could be the first state to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s discrimination against undocumented immigrants. As a good first step, State Senator Ricardo Lara’s bill, SB4, also referred to as #Health4All, will increase immigrants’ access to care via MediCal and insurance exchanges. LWVC has endorsed SB 4. Li-hsia Wang,* leader of the health care committees for LWVBAE and LWVC. who organized the caucus with Jan Meslin, suggested how Leagues can work to support this bill and why they must continue work toward LWVC’s ultimate national goal of universal and affordable healthcare.  Check the Team’s meeting times and activities here.

pat kuhi “Raising Minimum Wage/Living Wage” caucus was able to celebrate the national League’s recent announcement that Leagues can lobby to support raising local or state minimum wages or to endorse living wage goals. Immediately after that decision LWVC recommended Education and Advocacy regarding Minimum/Living wage as one of four Issues for Emphasis for State Program for 2015-2017. During Program Planning many Leagues in California asked for a state study on raising the Minimum Wage or Support for a Living Wage.  Barb Singleton,* represented LWVBAE in lobbying for raising the minimum wage in Emeryville–which adopted a goal of $15 by 2020. Barb reported that the League was much more effective in lobbying on this issue because we had been so visible and effective during the recent election. Nancy Bickel,* LWVBAE President, and Barb stood in for Pat Kuhi, who led LWVBAE and other Leagues in campaigning for Leagues to support minimum wage raises and living wage goals at last year’s national convention. See earlier stories. About 40 Leaguers shared information and suggestions for research, education and advocacy on this crucial issue.  Our Web page provides links to many resources.

Leagues were urged to lobby for California Climate Legislation by members of our energetic Climate Change Team.  SB 32 and SB 350, two bills now in the California Legislature, are critical to our continued efforts to mitigate climate change. California’s ground-breaking climate change legislation – AB 32 and the Renewable Portfolios Standard – only extend to 2020. SB 32 and SB 350, recently introduced, would increase those goals and extend them to 2050 and 2030 respectively. The LWV-California supports SB 32 and supports in concept SB 350. The caucus will review the bills, discuss the challenges facing us to get them passed, and review ways to educate and lobby effectively for the
bills. Janice Blumenkrantz,* Ruby* and Bob MacDonald, Carol Stone, Diz Swift and Gail Schickele* and LWV Bay Area President Linda Craig, who helped develop the caucus program, joined the presentation.

Christine Wenrich cuThe six LWVBAE delegates also included board nominees Christine Wenrich* and Jill Martinucci.* Our four observers  were able to join the delegates in votes and remarks on the floor of convention by represented other Leagues whose delegate quotas weren’t full.

*The names of all LWVBAE members who attended convention are in bold and are followed by an asterisk.

A Leaguer with a Tattoo? Temporary Tatoos were included in the Convention Packet. Gail Schickele models one that recalls the World War II poster often called Rosie the Riveter, but uses Past President Jenny Waggoner as the model–and there is Jenny herself.Gail Schilckele & Jenny Waggoner crop strong women

To learn more about the decisions made at Convention, go here.


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