Making Democracy Work

President's Message

President's Message Winter 2016

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

January began another eventful year for our League. Thinking we might have some respite, I was wrong. Already there have been opportunities for education and action in our community!

SEIU Local 521 invited us to moderate a candidate forum for the election of their CEO (Chief Elected Officer). This was a stimulating as well as educational experience. It also reminded me of our expertise and our reputation for a fair and excellent election process.

At Lunch with League Melissa Breach, executive director of League of Women Voters California, spoke to us of challenges to League policy issues in California that may be impacted by the new political landscape: voters rights, women's rights, immigration reform, and climate change efforts. In all of these areas LWVC has strong policies which we can use for advocacy. The challenge remains of how to be strong advocates without supporting or opposing candidates, officials, or parties. As Melissa said, however, other people's interpretation of partisanship cannot paralyze us to inaction.

On Saturday, January 21st many of our League members participated in the San Jose Women's March. The League of Women Voters United States had studied the march organizers and their agenda and decided to encourage Leagues to participate in the DC and local Women's March. The climate was festive and a joyful exercise of our democracy. All ages, sexes and genders were evident. The challenge now is to continue our work in concrete actions in our communities.

By the time this issue of the Voter is published, two other League activities will have concluded: Bay Area League Day, January 28th and the first 2017 County Naturalization Ceremony and voter registration on January 26th. Thank you to all who were able to organize and participate in these vital actions.

This February we celebrate the League's 97th birthday. To celebrate we will chart our year at our annual Program Planning meeting Saturday, February 11th. Here we will set the priorities for the next year(s) and make recommendations for LWVC and the County Council of leagues for their actions. Come and make our League more vital.

Thank you for all your support. We welcome all levels of membership activity. Join us and find the action that you wish to take to Make Democracy Work. Happy New Year.

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