While we know no League members are guilty, the 2011 San Francisco County election had relatively low voter turnout, with 39% of registered voters casting a ballot. Despite all the media coverage and a smorgasbord of both fresh and veteran candidates, this was the lowest turnout in a mayoral race in 35 years. We all wondered if ranked-choice voting would turn this election on its ear, but at the end of the day, incumbent Ed Lee won the Mayor's office with a fairly wide margin of victory, despite some heavy-handed tactics from his competition.
Modest turnout not withstanding, LWVSF was out in force as always this election season working to support our mission to encourage informed and active participation in government and to increase understanding of public policy issues. Here’s a taste of what we provided this election:
Pro/Con Guides in English, Chinese and Spanish, also taped version on SFGTV
Published Pro/Con Guide in SF Examiner, Sing Tao and El Mensajero
Taped candidate statements for all City races, also broadcast on SFGTV
Candidate forums for all City races with over 500 voters in attendance.
Voter registration drives leading up to the election.
25 Speaker’s Bureau presentations discussing ballot measures with over 500 voters in attendance.
Partnered to expand election coverage and reach a broader audience: KQED, SFGTV, SF Public Library, UCSF, SF Bar Association, SF Junior League, ABC-7, SF Department of Elections
In-depth election information on our website, blog and Facebook page.
Review election results on the League’s website or check out our commentary on our LeagueVoice blog. If you want to get involved in the next election, contact us. Member volunteers are essential to the League’s work.
What is a League Study?
Studies are central to the League’s development of positions which are used to advocate for changes in public policy. A League study is a formal process whereby a committee of members researches all
sides of a chosen issue, drawing on resources from independent experts, to elected officials, to text, both contemporary and historical.
Studies take place on every level: national, state, and local Leagues may elect to launch studies on important – and often contentious – issues for which they would like to develop, or reevaluate, an official position. Once fully immersed in the history, facts, possibilities, and nuances surrounding the selected issue, the study committee presents local Leagues with written material and a set of consensus questions, with which all members are asked to engage in order to reach consensus. Upon consensus, the responsible board may form a position on the issue, at which point the League may begin its advocacy efforts which are so central to its mission.
At present, the League of Women Voters is involved at varying stages with a manifold of studies. Follow the links below to learn about three critical studies going on right now:
Mark your calendars for the LWVSF annual gala. This year we will be recognizing local women who could be president. The 2010 election brought the number of women representatives to an all-time low at the national level and even San Francisco has a minority of women making up the Board of Supervisors, judicial benches and boardrooms. Especially this year when we honor 100 years of women's suffrage in the golden state, the League feels it is important to honor women who are making a difference as leaders in our community. This year's award champions five women who have the will, drive and vision to create better communities.
DATE: Thursday, February 9, 2012 TIME: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. LOCATION: City Club, 155 Sansome Street, San Francisco
TICKETS: $100 for League members, $155 for non-League members
2012 honorees of Women Who Could Be President:
Rachelle Chong, Regional Vice President of Government Affairs for California of Comcast, formerly a Commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.
Mary Huss, President and Publisher, the San Francisco Business Times since 1991.
María Antonieta Mejía, the Managing editor of El Mensajero newspaper; part of ImpreMedia.
Pam Moore, award winning television news Anchor on KRON 4 since 1991; recently inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle.
Janet Reilly, President of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District; board president and co-founder of Clinic by the Bay - a free health clinic for the working uninsured.
My first contact with the League came more than 40 years ago during the 1960s in New Jersey. As a suburban mother of young children, I was very interested in the local public schools, which were struggling with the problem of de facto segregation. I went to a League of Women Voters meeting because a friend told me it was a group of women interested in local issues. And indeed they were. It was a stimulating meeting and I was quickly put on a committee for which I was supposed to get some information from the school board and call and report to other members. I was given a list of our membership and went home eager to get started. Read more.
WHEN: Saturday, December 3, 2011, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Details provided upon RSVP
WHY: Meet old and new friends at the League’s annual holiday gathering.
Vote-by-Mail: Accessible? Secure? What do Voters Gain? What do we lose?
WHEN: Monday, December 6, 2011, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall, Room 408
WHY: Everyone loves the idea of voting by mail but how does it perform? Is it more accessible to everyone? Is it secure? How does our San Francisco Department of Elections process these votes? Our expert panel will discuss these questions and more. Elizabeth Bergman of California State University, East Bay and co-author of How Does Vote-By-Mail Affect Voters? (Pew Center Making Voting Work); San Francisco Director of Elections John Arntz; Eva Waskell, Co-Chair and presenter, MIT Summit on Electronic Voting 2011.
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.