What a summer! We coped with the virus by staying at home, learning how to Zoom, and learning how to protect ourselves and others by wearing masks and limiting contact with other human beings. And then came the dry lightning strikes and fires.
I hope all of you and your family and friends are well.
November 3 Election
We are working hard to support the November 3 election in this new virtual world. We are presenting online candidates forums and doing many Pros & Cons events to provide voters with information they can use to decide their vote. VotersEdge.org will open very soon to help you find in-depth information about what's on your personal ballot. Thank you so much to our very hardworking volunteers led by Sara Nicolson (Voter Service Director), Sandy Mory (Candidates Forum chair), Martha Beattie (Pros & Cons chair), and Judy Conner (Voter’s Edge chair).
During the past few weeks, we have closely watching several critical issues considered by the San Jose City Council. We analyzed the issues, researched and applied our positions in order to decide whether and how we might take action. We contacted the Mayor and City Council advocating on the following issues:
Strong Mayor Initiative: On July 1, the City Council voted 6-5 to place a measure on the November ballot that would give more powers to the mayor. We submitted a written letter prior to this meeting asking them to slow down this important decision and have it studied by a Citizens Review Commission before sending it to voters. Before the Council was scheduled to finalize wording of the measure at its July 28 meeting, the League sent a second letter (as did other individuals and organizations) to urge them to reconsider. We were pleased when the Council agreed that it needed to be delayed. A Citizens Review Commission is now being formed instead of placing it on the November ballot.
Independent Police Auditor (IPA): We strongly support expanding the review authority of the IPA and supported the San Jose City Council in placing the issue on the November ballot. It is now part of Measure G along with two other proposed changes to the city charter.
Community Plan to End Homelessness: We wrote a letter strongly supporting a resolution to proceed with the plan to continue and enhance services for our most vulnerable residents. It passed and we will continue to watch this issue.
Commercial License Fee: We sent a letter to the City Council asking them to vote for a fee which will provide funds for affordable housing necessitated by the development of new office and commercial space. We also issued a "Call to Action" to all members who live in San Jose asking them to call their City Councilmembers.
These are just a few examples of the many activities underway by League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara. Thanks especially to Roma Dawson and Gloria Chun Hoo for leading these advocacy projects along with many others who helped. Are you interested in working with us?
Stay safe and healthy!