June 2013



Supreme Court Update



Action-packed. Monumental. Historic.


These three words describe the flurry of significant Supreme Court decisions from June 2013. We have a lot to celebrate and a lot more work ahead.


First, let’s consider some the wonderful news that broke this month:

  • Freedom from Proposition 8: Californians are FINALLY free from this discriminatory law, and we can welcome a new era of marriage equality in this state. We deeply appreciated the efforts of League members in the fight against Prop. 8. Find a statement from the League of Women Voters of California on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Prop. 8 decision here
  • Defense of Marriage Act (Section 3) Overturned by U.S. Supreme Court: The Supreme Court’s ruling to scrap Section 3 of DOMA is a sign of great progress in the struggle for marriage equality. Jennifer Waggoner, President of the League of Women Voters of California, said: “We are gratified that the Court invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denies federal benefits to legally-married same-sex spouses. Striking down this discriminatory provision is an important step in ensuring equal treatment for all couples.”

While we are thrilled with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on marriage equality, we strongly oppose the Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act. As LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara notes, the Court’s decision on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 “erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years. Only strong action from Congress can fix this huge mistake made by the Court.” Go to the #protectvra page on the LWVUS website to learn more. 


New LWVSF Board Members 



We want to welcome Cynthia Foster to her new role as LWVSF President. Foster, the former First Vice President, replaces outgoing LWVSF President Patricia McGovern.


Thank you for your service, Patricia!


Here are the bios of new board leaders approved at the LWVSF annual meeting on June 8:


Sumaya Abdurrezak is our League's new Vice President of Development. Abdurrezak is a Washington, D.C. area native with a unique background in government, media and business. A political scientist by training, Abdurrezak worked on Capitol Hill and BBC News prior to joining CEB, the world's leading member-based advisory company. A recent transplant to the Bay Area, she is a Senior Account Executive with Keas, a San Francisco-based health startup.


Jaime Contreras is the new LWVSF Gala Co-Chair/TV Production. He is a Program Director with The Junior Statesman Foundation and holds a master's degree in International Relations from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. He also serves as Community Advisory Panel Chair for KQED Public Media.


Jo Elias-Jackson is a native San Franciscan and the new Secretary of LWVSF. Jackson, a systems analyst at SFGH, recently received her MPA/HAS from the University of San Francisco. 


Yumi Nam is the new Membership Co-Chair of our League. She is an attorney at a boutique San Francisco law firm, specializing in intellectual property and matters in the entertainment and wine industries. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and her bachelor's degree from New York University. 


Melissa Wuschnig is the new TV Production Chair for LWVSF. Wuschnig, a Bay Area native and small business owner, has worked as a professional photographer for the past eight years. She also has experience in corporate marketing and sales. Wuschnig is an active member of the LGBT community, focusing on policy issues such as marriage equality and employment protection. 


Several existing board members are continuing to serve on the board. Stay tuned for an updated LWVSF website page with the complete board member list and photos.

Upcoming Events


League Summer Membership Tea

Sunday, August 4, 2013 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to lwvsf@lwvsf.org or (415) 989-8683 for location.


Pre-Election Breakfast

October 19, 2013 | 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Please RSVP to lwvsf@lwvsf.org or (415) 989-8683 for location.





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The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, multi-issue organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


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