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October 24, 2022
Hello League member,
Fall in San Francisco is upon us, with ballots in our mailboxes and what may seem like a mountain of voter education materials. Our volunteers had quite a busy year, providing resources in four elections this year. We also worked closely on local redistricting with our partners, participated in reproductive justice rallies, and called for fair policing practices.
After a long two years, we were able to gather our members at our spring fling picnic and enjoy a sunny day in the park. It was a treat to see so many new and familiar faces in person.
This year I also had the honor of representing LWVSF at the LWV national convention in Denver, CO. In the wake of the unsettling news about Roe v. Wade, it was appropriate to be in company with fellow Leaguers, deciding where our organization will be heading in the years to come. I look forward to hosting the next statewide convention in San Francisco in May 2023. We’ll be sure to show our fellow Californians all the wonderful things San Francisco has to offer. Look forward to exciting announcements in the coming months!
Image: LWVUS convention, June 2022
I’m pleased to submit the 2021–2022 year-end financial report to our members. Despite changes in the economy, the League of Women Voters of San Francisco remains financially stable. We provided nonpartisan resources to voters for all four 2022 elections, and we’re establishing diverse partnerships, building our programs, improving our operations, and translating materials into additional languages to reach even more San Francisco residents and voters. This would not be possible without your continued support and the strength of our members and volunteers.
Image: Spring Fling, May 2022
At our annual meeting in June, LWVSF members approved our new board members. We also heard from each of our committees on the work being done around voter services, advocacy, and education. Our membership committee continues their great work on growing and supporting our members. None of this would be possible without the support of the communications and development committees that keep everything running smoothly.
With our partners, LWVSF was extremely vocal on local redistricting and the controversial board of supervisors map that was approved in April. After a shortened and tumultuous process, LWVSF with our partners wrote a joint letter to the Redistricting Task Force with our recommendations to improve the process in the future, which is already being discussed in City Hall.
With your support, we were able to provide unbiased voter information for all of our 2022 elections. We educate voters about the people running for office through our candidate forums and statements, and about local ballot measures through our Pros & Cons Guide (of which there were two in 2022!), speakers bureau presentations, and pros and cons discussions. LWVSF continues to support Voter’s Edge, a website where voters can view nonpartisan information about the candidates and propositions on their ballot.
We launched our door-to-door voter registration program in partnership with State Voices and knocked on the doors of over 1,000 voters this year! I heard a story about how one of our League volunteers registered a young woman who had just turned 18, who then took a dozen voter registration QR code stickers to give out to all of her friends to put on their laptops! And, we distributed information at local high school graduations so 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register and vote once they turn 18.
In addition to providing voters with election-related resources, LWVSF has also advocated on issues aligned with our core values. We advocated for paid sick leave for domestic workers which the Board of Supervisors passed unanimously. LWVSF also endorsed the Compassionate Alternative Response Team, also known as CART, which seeks to establish a community-based alternative to police response to homelessness. We continue the work of our Observer Corps, training volunteers how to observe government meetings and keep them accessible and accountable. I’m excited for the role our League plays in important issues like these, and I know that our voices will continue to be heard at City Hall and beyond.
Image: Canvassing for Women's Equality, August 2022
In September, we worked with the LWVC Water Committee to host the first of two spotlight events on California’s water future. This first event, which you can watch a recording of online, covered the demands on our state's water systems and visions for responding to future water use challenges. Our guest speaker was Dr. Newsha Ajami, chief development officer for research at Earth and Environmental Sciences at Berkeley Lab and member of the SF Public Utilities Commission. It was a very engaging and informative session and I look forward to future events!
LWVSF Board Member Ann Merrill holds our seat on the city’s Ballot Simplification Committee, which is critical for ensuring that voters have information about ballot measures that is clear and easy to understand. Member Jennifer Wong continues to serve on the city’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, which ensures that transparency in government is upheld. I greatly appreciate their work on behalf of the League and in service to all San Franciscans.
LWVSF remains committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we continue to offer DEI trainings for leaders and members. While our work on DEI is not done — nor will it ever be — I hope we will be able to make informed decisions using a more equitable lens.
This year our membership committee also launched our book club. Members have so far read “Thank You for Voting: The Maddening, Enlightening, Inspiring Truth About Voting in America” and “The 1619 Project.” I’m excited to see members gather to discuss topics that are important to all of us, and to have honest and compassionate conversations with each other as a League community. I can’t wait to see which book they’ll discuss next!
Our website and social media channels are a strong presence in the local community. Many times in this last year, especially during the redistricting process, partners, organizations, and media were looking to us as their trusted, nonpartisan voice.
As always, if you’re interested in getting more involved with our League, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re able to accomplish all that we do thanks to the many hands that pitch in every year.
On a personal note, last year I welcomed the birth of my first child and took some time to recover and take care of a newborn. From the bottom of my heart, I thank the LWVSF board of directors, staff, and volunteer leaders for making sure that the work went on while I was away.
Thank you for your support of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. As always, we welcome your input, comments, and feedback, and hope to see you soon at an event!
League of Women Voters of San Francisco
Image: Women's March, May 2022
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