August 2014 Newsletter



August 2014

League of Women Voters San Francisco

You’re Invited: August Tea

Come join the LWVSF Team at the next membership event – The August Tea! It will be a great opportunity to meet new members and catch up with old friends. Guests are welcome. We will also have a longtime League member and a member of the San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee, Adele Fasick, who will share with us her experiences on the committee and the importance of this process. The Ballot Simplification Committee works in public meetings to prepare a fair and impartial summary of each local ballot measure in simple language.

Event Details:

When: August 10, 2014 3:30-5:00pm

Where: Please contact the League office for location, or 415-989-8683.

Meet Your New Board!

At the July Board Meeting, the Board voted Leuwam Tesfai as the new Communications Co-Chair. Leuwam is excited to contribute to the LWVSF important work in the community, and is looking forward to meeting more League members. is an attorney and serves as the Communications Co-Chair of the League of Women Voters San Francisco. Originally from San Diego, she moved to San Francisco from Atlanta, where she attended Emory University. Leuwam is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and works in the utility regulatory industry at the California Public Utilities Commission, with a focus on energy matters. Besides the League of Women Voters, Leuwam is on the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team with the San Francisco Fire Department, mentors high school students with the California Law Academy, and coordinates volunteer work for her office at the San Francisco Food Bank. In her free time she trains for triathlons, gardens, and enjoys live performances. She supports the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Blood Clot Alliance, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Take Action!

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a proposal to set the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. This week, the EPA will hold public hearings in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington, D.C. to obtain feedback on this historic regulation.

The EPA’s proposal will protect future generations from unchecked climate change. Power plants are responsible for 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the United States—making them the single largest source of that pollution in the country. The unlimited dumping of carbon pollution is the chief cause of climate change. Reducing the amount of carbon pollution from power plants is a life-saving measure that will protect our children, our nation and the world from the devastating effects of climate change. 

Raise your voice! Tell the EPA you support limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

Video Project

Photo Credit: Kathryn MacDonald

LWVSF was proud to partner with Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCRR) to produce an educational segment titled, Voting Rights Barriers in California Today. The segment discusses LCCR’s recently published report on voting barriers and discrimination in California, available online. Co-authors Rachel Evans and Joanna Cuevas Ingram had presented their findings at our May Wine & Cheese event. After the successful presentation, and the expressed interest from our members, LWVSF and LCCR agreed to partner on this important community project.

The image above was taken on recording day at the studio. It features Joanna Cuevas Ingram, Esq., Equal Justice Works Voting Rights Fellow, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Other guests, in order of appearance include:

  • Rachel Evans, Esq., Georgetown Law Fellow, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Co-Founder, All of Us or None
  • Michelle Romero, Director, Claiming Our Democracy, Greenlining Institute
  • Ted Jackson, Community Organizing Director California Foundation for Independent Living

 LWVSF’s own Karen Clopton, past League president and Chief Administrative Law Judge at the California Public Utilities Commission, moderated the discussion. The video will air on San Francisco and Palo Alto public access television and be available in segments online by the end of August. Stay tuned!

Thank You!

LWVSF was lucky to have summer volunteer Tracy Giuong assisting in the office for the past two months. Tracy is an incoming junior at Lowell High School, and chose to volunteer with LWVSF in order to give back to her community. Her organizational skills, along with her dedication and strong work ethic, were invaluable and we thank her for her time and efforts. Tracy, you’ll be missed!

We’re Looking for Volunteers!

The most important mission LWVSF carries out is providing non-partisan information to prepare voters for elections. We are already gearing up provide the highest quality of voter programs for our community. However, we need the help of our members to ensure all programs run smoothly and successfully. There are many ways to get involved, and we hope everyone decides to contribute in their own way. As a contributing member you can:

  • Help organize the televised Pro/Con Discussions
  • Volunteer at one of our Candidate Forums
  • Help publicize our voter services programs
  • Sign on as our Smart Voter Coordinator and ensure non-partisan election information is available online for all
  • And help prepare for our Meet & Greet, where candidates are invited for a social evening with the community

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

Celebrating 166 Years Since Seneca Falls


The Seneca Falls Convention, held July 19-20, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. The 300-person gathering on women’s rights is responsible for making the first formal demand for women’s suffrage in American history.

One hundred sixty-six years after the Seneca Falls Convention, we continue to fight to ensure that each and every eligible voter is treated fairly at the ballot box and has an equal right and equal access to vote. The League has been instrumental in advocating for an urgently needed update to the Voting Rights Act in order to modernize and restore key voter protections. Join us and tell your Representatives to act swiftly to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

Story Bank

Susan Carpenter

It was 1975 when we moved to my hometown, Oak Ridge, TN with 2 toddlers. We knew the schools and community were solid and would be good for our children. After a few months I saw a notice that the League of Women Voters had a program about development that included the developer of our subdivision on the panel. There were some minor problems in the neighborhood so I wanted to attend.  I was a bit tentative because in the south ‘The League’ usually conjured up ‘Junior League’ and I wasn’t a member. I think I actually called someone to see if I could attend.


Thus began a lifelong commitment to the League and a wonderful education in citizenship and community organizing. I think I have held just about every office except secretary and treasurer either in Oak Ridge, Montgomery County, MD, or Washington, DC Leagues. I was very fortunate to help with a few National LWV projects from a statewide natural resources education project to being the chair of the ABCNews/LWV project to cover national election returns for several years and an AAAS/LWVUS project that studied girls’ access to education in the sciences. I think I need to take a statement back from above: I stepped down from VP to secretary of the State Board when I was also LWVOak Ridge president. The big local League project that year was a contentious (and ultimately raucous) debate between the Congressional candidates Marilyn Lloyd, incumbent, and challenger Jim Golden.  Second to that debate, the most fun meetings were any Candidate Forum that included the county road commissioners–you could almost guarantee a shouting match.

Besides the great memories, the best thing I got from the League was an education in how to get things done. When we moved to a boat in Washington, DC, there was a push to organize those who lived aboard their boats to address coming development along the waterfront. I was in the mix as countless proposals to organize from the men in suits came and went with no success. It wasn’t until I was in a position to implement League-type principles (openness, democracy, Roberts Rules, bylaws, etc.) that we took off and became the Gangplank Slipholders Association (GPSA) the day before the Pentagon, a mile away, was hit by the plane on 9/11/2001. Currently the GPSA is the official negotiating arm of marina slipholders with the new developers of the DC Southwest Waterfront. A GPSA spin-off organization I’m very proud of, also, is the Port of Washington Yacht Club that is now 14 years old.  Jimmy Buffet lives!!

This was all about the League. From a personal note, my husband and I (Joe Carpenter, Jr.) celebrated 50 years of marriage this summer and our children, Keri and Tim, are successfully living in CA. Keri and 2 yo grandson Langton (named after our street here in SF) are in San Francisco.  Tim and his 2 yo granddaughter are in the LA area. I consider Granny as my new and best-ever title. We still spend a few months every year in DC or traveling but it’s hard to be away from the grandchildren.

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.

Whitney Watts

Jay Costa

Karen Rolph

Jenny Shao

Considering joining the League? Click here to learn more!

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Upcoming Events  

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 or (415) 989-8683.

Membership Committee Meeting

When: Monday, August 11, 5:30 – 7:00pm

Where: The LWVSF office at 582 Market Street, Suite 615

Daytime Unit

When: Monday, September 15, 3:00pm

Where: The Towers at 1661 Pine Street

Details coming soon.

Save the Date: Meet & Greet 

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

Where: Nissan/Infinity Building

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


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