September 2014 Newsletter



September 2014

League of Women Voters San Francisco

Candidate Forums 

The candidates for State Assembly District 17, Board of Supervisors District 6, Board of Supervisors District 10, and the San Francisco Community College Board will answer questions from the League and the public during comprehensive candidate forums. The events are free and open to the public. Please join us on the following dates:

Board of Supervisors District 6 Forum

Friday, September 19, 6:00pm

Reception hosted by the ACS to follow

In partnership with Golden Gate University

Location:        Golden Gate University School of Law

536 Mission Street, Room 2201

San Francisco, CA 94105

Community College Board Forum

Tuesday, September 23, 6:30pm

Hosted in partnership with EATV

Location:        City College of San Francisco,

50 Phelan Avenue, Room MUB 140

San Francisco, CA 94112

State Assembly District 17 Forum

Thursday, October 2, 6:30pm

Hosted in partnership with University of California San Francisco

Location:        University of California San Francisco – Mission Bay

600 16th Street, Genentech Hall

San Francisco, CA 94158

Board of Supervisors District 10 Forum

Monday, October 6, 6:00pm

Hosted in partnership with Bayview Multipurpose Senior Center

Location:        Southeast Community Facility

1800 Oakdale Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94124

For more information or to sign up to volunteer in these forums, please email or call (415) 989-8683. No RSVP is necessary, and we hope to see you all of you there!

You’re Invited: the Official Election Observer Panel

The LWVSF members have been invited to participate in the Official Election Observer Panel for the November 4, 2014, Consolidated General Election.

The Panel provides an avenue for public observation, input, and involvement in election processes. Prior to each election, the Department invites representatives from political parties’ central committees, the Civil Grand Jury, League of Women Voters, advocacy groups, and the media to join the Panel. Panelists are invited to observe various election processes, such as Logic and Accuracy testing of voting equipment, processing of vote-by-mail ballots, poll worker training classes, voter outreach presentations, Election Day activities, Election Night ballot tabulation and reporting, and post-election Canvass, including the 1% manual tally of ballots cast.

After the Panel is formed, the Department will host an introductory meeting to provide Panelists an opportunity to learn about the Department and the observation process. At the initial meeting, Panelists will receive a copy of the Observer Guide, poll worker training and voter outreach materials, a calendar of observable activities, and a form that may be used to provide the Department with descriptive and meaningful feedback concerning election processes. Panelists will also receive a copy of a memorandum authored by me, addressed to polling place Inspectors. This memorandum introduces Panelists to Inspectors and clarifies observation process.

If you are interested in participating in the Panel please contact LWVSF Education Chair Christy Corrigan at (415) 494-7027 or email her at

Join Our Voter Services Team!

The Voter Services team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming November Election. Would you be interested in getting involved in our exciting voter services programs? Then we would love to hear from you! Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Pros & Cons Guide:  help research and write the Pros and Cons Guide. It is the goal of the League to provide analysis of the local ballot measures that is easy to read and informative. The Pros and Cons Guide is a public service that will focus on the key measures for San Franciscans.

  • Pros & Cons Guide Formatting Volunteer: A volunteer to help draft pros and cons for our Reading Committee to review by Tuesday, September 9. As well as a volunteer to help update and format the guide with the Reading Committee’s edits by Thursday, September 25.

  • Candidate Forums: The League is moderating Candidate Forums for State Assembly District 17, Board of Supervisors District 6, Board of Supervisors District 10, and The Community College Board.  We are looking for volunteers to act as time keepers, question vetters, and work the membership table.

  • Speaker’s Bureau: LWVSF offers free presentations to local community groups and organizations on local ballot measures before each election. We are always looking for great public speakers to participate in these presentations and inform the public! All members are invited to help and all efforts will be greatly appreciated.

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

Daytime Unit

Joe Bodovitz will be speaking on climate change and its effect on water and salt water intrusion. Mr. Bodovitz brings a long list of qualifications to speak on many issues in California. He was the first Deputy Director of SPUR, the first Executive Director of BCDC, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the first Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. Parking is available in the building, with an entrance on Austin off of Franklin. Identify yourself as being with LWV or a guest of Joyce Friedman.

When: Monday, September 15, 3:30pm

Where: The Towers at 1661 Pine Street

To RSVP please email Heather Sterner at

Video Series on Voting Rights Barriers

On September 8th, the League of Women Voters of San Francisco and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) will jointly release Voting Rights Barriers in California Today, a five-part digital media education series addressing contemporary voting rights barriers and discrimination in California. This digital video series is designed to educate and inform all Californians concerned about voting rights and is based on Voting Rights Barriers & Discrimination in Twenty-First Century California: 2000-2013 (Joanna E. Cuevas Ingram and Rachel Evans, LCCR, March 2014).

Learn more about the video series here.

Welcome New Board Members!

Denzil Sikka – Fundraising & Grants Chair

Denzil is a recent graduate of MIT. She majored in Computer Science and minored in Finance, and has a deferred acceptance to Harvard Business School. She is currently a a program manager on PowerPoint at Microsoft. Denzil is quite excited to be joining the League of Women Voters San Francisco. Having always wanted to be a part of the local politics while also giving back to her local community, Denzil hopes to make a positive impact with her work on LWVSF. In her free time, Denzil enjoys reading, writing, & going on adventures.

Whitney Watts – Communications Co-Chair

Whitney, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is a Marketing Manager for a media technology company that specializes in B2B events in the information technology space. She received a B.S. in International Affairs with a Minor in History from Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.A. in Sociology of Education from the University of Georgia. After working in education and women’s health non-profits, Whitney moved to San Francisco in 2010. She is ecstatic to join the Board as Communications Co-Chair and brings a wealth of experience regarding marketing strategies and implementation. Whitney also enjoys volunteering for Reading Partners, a mentorship-based tutoring program, and supporting the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. In her spare time, she attends live music concerts, goes for runs in Golden Gate Park, and plays music at local venues around the Bay Area.

Voting Rights Act Turns 49!

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was created to provide equal access to the polls, to protect individuals from discrimonatory practices such as poll taxes and literacy tests, and to ensure that no one will be denied the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

However, after 49 years, the Voting Rights Act is in danger of being permanently stripped of Section 5, a crucial part of the act that requires jurisdictions that have a history of discriminatory voting practices to get federal government approval before changing any of its laws relating to the election process. Legislation to repair Section 5 from the damage that the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder has made is currently stalled in the U.S. House.

Show your support! Tell your Representative to stop stalling and move the Voting Rights Amendment Act forward! Use the League’s online contact form to send a message to your Representative.

National Voter Registration Day!

For National Voter Registration Day 2014, LWVSF is proud to be partnering with SFSU’s voter registration club, Students Vote! Leagues and other like-minded organizations around the country are getting ready for this year’s National Voter Registration Day, which will fall on Tuesday, September 23. Would you like to help make LWVSF contribution to this important day meaningful? Come volunteer and register voters! Please email or call (415) 989-8683 for more information.

Pre-Election Membership Breakfast

Please join us for a breakfast hosted by the LWVSF Voter Service team, for an overview of the local ballot propositions for this coming November 4th election. The Advocacy team will also review the League’s proposition positions.

When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 9:30am – 12:00 pm

To RSVP, please contact the League office before Thursday, September 25 at (415) 989-8683 or email to get location and program details.  Space will be limited.

Story Bank

Leuwam Tesfai

I joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco in the summer of 2014. After being out of law school for a few years I was missing the civic extracurricular activities I used to be engaged in through school. I started looking into San Francisco commissions and committees with vacancies that needed support and then one of my mentors, a past President of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, recommended the organization and told me about the League’s work with the Sunshine Ordinance Taskforce.  I had used resources created by the League to inform myself before past elections and knew membership in the League would be a great way to start giving back to my community. I have since been selected for the League’s Board of Directors as a Communications Committee co-chair and I have started to shadow the chair person of the Sunshine Ordinance Taskforce, a League member, to transition into her seat after her term. I am very excited about all of the opportunities I have gained to give back to the City of San Francisco.

Check out Leuwam’s and other member’s stories here.

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.

Tracy Giuong

Nancy Harris

Sunaina Seeelam

Elysa Yanowitz

Considering joining the League? Click here to learn more!

Sign Up for Amazon Smile

Help the League without spending a dime!

Sign up for Amazon Smile so that with every purchase you make on Amazon, you support the League! By registering with Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate .5% of the price of eligible purchases to LWVSF.

Click here for more information:

Upcoming Events  

Daytime Unit 

When: Monday, September 15, 3:30pm

Where: The Towers at 1661 Pine Street

Pre-Election Breakfast, Membership Event

When: Saturday, September 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

LWVSF’s Voter Services and Advocacy Committee’s will provide updates on local ballot measures

Save the Date: Meet & Greet 

When: Thursday, October 23, 6:00-8:30pm

Where: Nissan/Infiniti San Francisco

The Meet & Greet is an opportunity for the public to meet with local candidates running for office.


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