Amending the Constitution Study Consensus Sat. Nov. 7, 9 am

capital building made of moneyIf you, as a League member,  want to be part of the decisions about LWVUS policy on amending the constitution–come to the Consensus Meeting Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 am to 1 pm 436 14th St, Oakland Conference Room 710. It is the only meeting when LWVBAE members can contribute to the LWVBAE consensus. Members from each league present will record separate results for filing with LWVUS.

To learn more before the consensus meeting on Sat, come to the  discussion Wed. Nov. 4 6 pm -a free-flowing discussion with  expert Jonathan Stein from the ACLU & Common Cause  to answer your questions and respond to your comments.

Watch the League calendar for additional meetings which are being planned.

Purpose of the Amending the Constitution Study:

to study the process and evaluate the potential usefulness of the process for achieving public policy goals. The Study is closely connected to the Money in Politics Study described below.

Purpose of the Money in Politics Study:

Is our democracy in danger of corruption by uncontrolled political spending? Does public apathy and cynicism about the undue influence of big money cause low voter turnout? How can we balance free speech rights with equal access rights? Is a Constitutional amendment the answer? The Money in Politics Committee is conducting an update of the League’s position on campaign finance to address whether financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment. The campaign finance position will be updated through a study and consensus process to consider:

1) The rights of individuals and organizations, under the First Amendment, to express their political views through independent expenditures and the finance of election campaign activities.

2) How those rights, if any, should be protected and reconciled with the interests set out in the current position.

The ultimate goal is to have a robust and relevant position that the League can use credibly and effectively to act against the corrupting influence of money in politics in the post Citizens United environment. Tools to be considered included contributions limits, spending limits, public financing, and exposure.

A related and separate study aims to arrive at a position on “whys and hows” of amending the Constitution.

Who is doing the study?

The study was proposed to the League of Women Voters of the United States by Local Leagues around the country and adopted by delegates at the last National Convention. Study materials and the consensus questions were prepared by a national committee of member-experts and approved by the national board. Study questions and materials have been distributed to the California League and Local Leagues. In our East Bay Area, the Oakland League, the Alameda League, and the Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville League are working together. Although work began in August, it is not too late for you to participate. The meetings below are all open to the public.  At the “consensus meetings”, when League members decide on their recommendations to the national League on these policy positions, non-members may attend, but may not participate in the decision-making.

And please volunteer to help run the meetings: time keepers, question collectors, etc are still needed. Sign up by emailing

Role of the Study Committee

1) Inform ourselves using resources provided by LWVUS committee and other relevant resources

2) Inform members and the public , through public programs with invited speakers and audience discussions. Committee volunteers will fill tasks such as publicity, question preparation and gathering, timekeeping, etc. as needed.

3) Plan, organize and conduct the Consensus meeting to arrive at local League consensus on questions provided by LWVUS .


LWVUS Study website:

Completed Meetings:

Money in Politics Forum
Thu., Oct 15 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
City Council Chambers, Oakland City Hall One Frank Ogawa Plaza

Confirmed speakers:
Ann Ravel, Chair of the Federal Election Commission,
former head of California Fair  Political Practices Commission
Paul Ryan, Senior Counsel, The Campaign Legal Center
Denise Barber, Managing Director,

photo Ann Rave Chair of the Federal Election Commissionl

Ann Ravel

photo Paul_Ryan Senior Counsel, The Campaign Legal Center

Paul Ryan

photo Denise Barber Managing Director,

Denise Barber








Upcoming Meetings:

Hot Topics Roundtable Discussions
Wed., Oct 28 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
436 14th St, Oakland Conference Room 710

Amending the Constitution, How and Why
Wed., Nov 4 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 3, One Frank Ogawa Plaza

League Members Consensus Meeting on Constitutional amendment Process
Sat., Nov 7 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
436 14th St, Oakland Conference Room 710

Watch the League calendar for additional meetings which are being planned.

All League News