July 2014 Newsletter



July 2014

League of Women Voters San Francisco

Annual Meeting

On June 14th, League  members gathered to hear a fascinating discussion on privacy  in the digital age. Panel speakers included Brian Hayden Pascal, UC Hastings Privacy and Technology Project, Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Justin Raveche, Director of Analytics and Digital Marketing. After  the lively discussion, committee Chairs presented on the  progress of their committees and hopes for the coming year.

The meeting then turned bittersweet as we said our goodbyes  to the three Board members who are stepping down, and wished  them well on their new endeavors. Ellie Gonzalez, Megan Kell Ingraham, and Fran Finney- thank you, again, for all your work  and dedication to the League. We hope to keep seeing you at  League events!

Due to a bylaw requirement, it was  decided that, for clarity and transparency sake, we would  hold a meeting on June 30th, which would count as  the official Annual Meeting. At this meeting, we voted on a  bylaw change, approved next year’s budget and Program, and welcomed  new Board members to the team.

Meet Your New Board!

Britta Mason, Membership Co-Chair, currently works in revenue recovery for a health care consulting firm in San Francisco. She came to the position after spending a year working for a health, youth and technology focused non-profit in southern Africa. Britta earned her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, and studied global health communication for her Masters degree from the George Washington University. She comes to the League with a broad range of professional, academic and volunteer experiences focused on empowering youth, minorities and women with the tools they need to make informed decisions. Britta has contributed to organizations including Planned Parenthood, the World Health Organization, the American Public Health Organization and Refugee Transitions in San Francisco. In her free time, she likes running and doing arts and crafts.

Faye D’Alessio, Candidate Forums Chair, has exceptional experience in social services which allows her to have a copious amount of experience from around the world. Her travels have allowed her to interact with various ethnic groups. Additionally, she is always eager to further her education in various types of environments, which has allowed her to keep an open mind in every aspect of her life. She has excellent abilities to assess community needs and to build trusting long lasting business relationships. Born in Meridian, Miss and reared in Baltimore, MD and Philadelphia PA, Faye’s curiosity grew tremendously. During her early years she had developed a love for travel through reading which is still one of her many passions. My travels have taken me too many cities, countries and byways. Through my travels I have met many people including; the rich and famous, the poor and not so famous, celebrities and just everyday people. Through life’s journey I have become a lifelong learner, and have many stories to share.  I am a voracious reader and a deeply spiritual person, who looks for ways to gain new knowledge and understanding. Have an extensive background in interfacing with the public.  I am extremely dependable and can be a stickler when it comes to detail and follow- up, and have no problem delegating and being a team player.

Jarlene Choy, Advocacy Co-Chair, is new to the Bay Area but already hopes she can stay for a while. She is excited to learn more about local public policy issues and share that information with the community. With a passion for cross-cultural collaboration, youth and education, she has taught in China since graduation. This includes two years as a Teach For China fellow in rural China. To her the privilege of teaching is: guiding young people to realizing their own potential and then inspiring them to use their interests, knowledge and skills to become engaged, informed, and empowered community members. Currently as a Recruiting Manager for Teach For China, she shares her experience with college students by providing them with the opportunity to also serve as a U.S.-China bridge and advocate for youth in under-resourced areas. For fun she enjoys salsa (dancing), foreign films, hiking and running.

Cheryl Harris, Treasurer, is originally from Chicago, Illinois and moved to the Bay Area 10 years ago. She worked in the accounting departments at several top law firms in the Bay Area. She is currently working for Flexible Funding as Operations of Payment Processing where she is responsible for writing operation procedures and applications for the past five years. She also supports the  Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly organization which help her engage the community where she lives providing her with a greater sense of family. Although she remains close with her large family in Chicago, she prefers California weather and the San Francisco environment which is more conducive to her further spiritual studies as Women Division District Leader of SGI-USA, Nob Hill District.

LWVSF Convention

Early in June our Program Manager, Nati Oron, represented the San Francisco League at the 51st National Convention of the League of Women Voters in Dallas, Texas with 700 attendees from around the country helping make this one of the most successful and energetic meetings yet! At Convention we re-elected Elisabeth MacNamara as President for a third term, passed the proposed 2014-2016 budget, amended the Bylaws, adopted National Program for the biennium, heard from numerous interesting speakers, and spent time in workshops and caucuses on a variety of topics. You can catch up on all of the action by reading the daily action reports.

Supreme Court Votes in Favor of Hobby Lobby


On June 30th, the US Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to women’s right to equal health care in America.

Elisabeth Macnamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., said in a statement: “Some argue that this is a narrow decision, applying only to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage provision. Given the other cases likely to come before this Court, it would be unwise to allow today’s decision to lull us into into complacency. The Hobby Lobby decision is an ominous sign for what may be to come on this vital issue.”

“For decades, the League has worked tirelessly for comprehensive health care coverage, including a woman’s right to make her own health care choices,” concluded MacNamara. “We will continue our work to ensure that the impact of this decision doesn’t get in the way of equality of care for all.”


League Opposes Latest Effort to Derail Carbon Pollution Standards

The League joined a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Senators to oppose S. 3214, Senator McConnell’s newest attempt to derail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon pollution standards. The legislation would block the nation’s ability to address climate change and alter the Clean Air Act’s health based focus.

League Urges EPA to Move Forward with Regulation of Methane Emissions

The League joined a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the agency to expeditiously move forward with regulations to cut methane emissions.

We’re Looking for Volunteers!

  • Voter Services – The most important mission LWVSF carries out is informing voters and the November election already promises to have many propositions on the ballot. LWVSF is looking for members who can help with researching and writing the Pros and Cons Guide as well as members for the Reading Committee. We also are looking for individuals who can speak on the propositions to the many groups that look to us for guidance.
  • Membership Comittee – we are looking for volunteers to help organize and attend membership drives at local schools and community events.
  • The Meet & Greet, in October, is an opportunity for the public to meet with local candidates running for office. Volunteers are needed for publicity, community outreach and event planning.

For more information on the volunteer opportunities listed above and more, email lwvsf@lwvsf.org or call (415) 989-8683.

Welcome New Members

LWVSF is thrilled to welcome the following new members! We look forward to meeting you and sharing with you all that LWVSF has to offer.

Jarlene Choy

Britta Mason

Leuwam Tesfai

Faye D’Alessio

Cheryl Harris

Ashley James

Considering joining the League? Click here to learn more!

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Upcoming Events  

Advocacy Committee Meeting
When: July 9, 6:00 – 7:00pm
Where: The LWVSF office at 582 Market Street, Suite 615
Membership Committee Meeting
When: July 19 , 5:30pm
Where: The LWVSF office at 582 Market Street, Suite 615
August Tea, Membership Event
When: Sunday, August 10, 3:30-5:00pm
Adele Fasick will be updating us on her work with the Ballot Simplification Committee.
For location information, RSVP to lwvsf@lwvsf.org or (415) 989-8683.


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