California League’s Convention in Ventura

During the week of May 13-15, the League of Women Voters of California held its “Grow the Future” convention in beautiful Ventura.  Dinners and lunches were held in a room on the top of the hotel where you had a 360 degree view of the ocean and the hills behind Ventura. The Convention passed a proposed update study to the Initiative and Referendum process position and as issues for Education and Advocacy: Redistricting Implementation, State and Local Finances including education about California’s financing of education, and Initiative and Referendum: Community Education. A new State Board was elected which includes Jennifer Waggoner, who is a LWVSF member, as President. LWVSF is so proud of Jenny and of our award for having the best enewsletter.

There were workshops on growing membership, Smartvoter, leadership, redistricting and many others. One workshop that was very interesting was on the National League Study:  “The Federal Role in Public Education: Making it Local”. Professor Lawrence Picus from USC, who is an expert on school financing, talked about how the financing is done now and what the challenges will be in California with millions of dollars being cut from education in the new budget. The plenaries and meals had distinguished speakers like Congressperson Fiona Ma, Professor Beverly Merrill Kelley, who gave a fascinating speech on the Centennial of Woman’s Suffrage in California, LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara, among others. Before and after the events of the day, many caucuses were held until late into the night on such topics as healthcare, election systems, water, and adopting a California Criminal Justice Position. By Sunday afternoon, we were all exhausted and ready for the long drive home.

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