Making Democracy Work

President's Message

President's Message Fall 2017

Welcome to the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara website. I am honored to be this year's president.

Our league has been busy since summer. The Voter Service committee spearheaded National Voter Registration Day, September 26th at two community colleges, Evergreen and San Jose City, and three high schools, Lincoln, Yerba Buena and Notre Dame. Plans call for additional meetings throughout the year. Let us know if you would like to participate.

The Coyote Valley Update Committee has scheduled a tour of Coyote Valley as part of our update study. Andrea MacKenzie, general manager of the Open Space Authority, will be leading us.

Members monitor the Santa Clara Valley Water District's consideration to support opposition to the California Waterfix plan.The LWV California state president wrote an editorial explaining League opposition, Read More. Contact your district director to vote no on the plan. Your action is needed before the District Board decides on October 21st.

We attend the City of Santa Clara Charter Revision Committee's meetings and are following its recommendation to the City Council for district elections starting in 2018 (after a vote on Charter Revision). We have also worked successfully on the Santa Clara affordable housing ordinance, which will be reviewed by the City Council October 24th at 7pm at the City Council Chambers (1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara). Observers are welcome. More information HERE.

The Palo Alto League is sponsoring a talk about the current state of immigration with Ali Noorani and Evelyn Rengal-Medina, and moderated by Raj Mathai on October 18th. We are a co-sponsor and hope league members interested in the topic will attend. Additional information is in this Voter.

On a historical note: October is United Nations Month, and I think it is timely to review our history with the United Nations. From its inception in 1920, The League of Women Voters called for an international organization to secure international cooperation and a lasting peace. During World War II the League, aware of the isolationist tendencies of the American people, launched a campaign--Take It to the People--to mobilize public opinion to support United States participation in the United Nations. The League trained more than 5,000 speakers across the country to present forums; published more than a million brochures and questionnaires; encouraged lobbying of Congress. Over a six-month period, thousands of letters a day arrived from members to their senators in support of the United Nations.

At the United Nations Charter conference in San Francisco in 1945, the League was invited by President Truman as one of the consultants to the United States delegation. Also, the League was one of the first groups to receive the status of a nongovernmental organization (NGO) representative to the United Nations. It still maintains official observer status and has special consultant status with the Economic and Social Council. You can view a four minute video of this history on YouTube: 'The League of Women Voters and the United Nations. See the viedo HERE.

As we carry out the League mission in our local communities, we can be proud of the wide range and influence of our predecessors.

Thank you for your support of our League.

Mary Collins
League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara