Making Democracy Work

Political Responsibility through Informed and Active Participation

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The Piedmont League Celebrating 70 years in 2017

LWVP Fundraiser on Sunday, March 12th from 3-5:00pm

Please join us and bring your friends to the League of Women Voters annual fundraiser. Keynote speaker will be Berkeley Professor Steven Raphael discussing "Crime and Punishment in California: Recent Trends and Reforms"

Dr. Raphael is an adjunct fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and professor of public policy at UC, Berkeley. His research focuses on the economics of low-wage labor markets, housing, and the economics of crime and corrections.

He is the author of The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record and Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? He is editor in chief of Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society and a research fellow at the University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany. He holds a PhD in economics from the UC Berkeley.

Date: Sunday, March 12, 2016

Time: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Refreshments from 3-3:30pm

Location: Piedmont Community Center, Highland Ave.

Tickets for the event are $25.00 per person in advance and $30.00 at the door. To purchase tickets

or make a tax-deductible donation

or send your check payable to LWVP in care of Ward Lindenmayer, 40 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

LWVC Leadership Academy: "Next Level Communications" Workshop

The Piedmont, Oakland, Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville and Eden Area Leagues are hosting a leadership communications workshop led by Sarah Diefendorf on Saturday, February 18th from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the James Irvine Conference Center (Plaza A), 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland 94612.


LWVC has developed this workshop is part of a Leadership Academy to accomplish two goals: (1) to increase the impact of local Leagues and (2) to build local partnerships and attract new members. Sarah Diefendorf, a member of the LWVC Board of Directors has founded and managed numerous nonprofit organizations throughout her career and has specialized in building financial, communications and leadership capacity in the US and abroad. Understanding that we can all be leaders, she has honed and implemented a wide variety of capacity-building tools in her professional and training life to enable individual and community growth and success.

Since the 2016 elections, many Leagues are seeing their membership numbers grow. We've received a lot of attention for our work in voter empowerment and against voter suppression. The key to making the most of these developments is communication, : being able to tell our story and inspire engagement. Our own Melissa Breach, Executive Director of LWV California, was a speaker at the recent Women's March in Oakland. Her vivid reminder of the 100-year history of women marching and her call to join in and become involved was a wonderful and inspiring example of how we can stir people to commitment and action by our words.

The goal of this workshop is to help League leaders and their community partners learn new approaches to presentations and outreach and to become just as dynamic in their communications.

The cost for members will be $35; the cost for non-members will be $65, which includes a year's League membership. We are reaching out to our community partners to share this workshop opportunity.

To register go to

BAY AREA WOMENS MARCH, Saturday, January 21st

Women's March Bay Area-Oakland

The League of Womens Voters from Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany and Piedmont joined together at the Women's March. Others League members joined the march individually.

Tracy Kirkpatrick and Cathie Geddeis in Action Alley before the rally
LWVP at the March

Marching past the Cameron Stanford House mid-route

League of Women Voters California Executive Director, Melissa M Breach, KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK with her address at the rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza after the march. Watch it here:

Breach said, "So let's all give ourselves in whatever way we can. Let's organize to preserve affordable health care, stand up for our immigrant and refugee neighbors, and demand action on climate change. Let's agree right now that we will all resist the transparent attempts to divide us and that we will wholeheartedly reject any attempt to normalize white supremacy, misogyny, or xenophobia."

Background: The Women's March is a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all.

ACTION ITEM - Sign the LWVUS Petition on Voters Rights

The League is gearing up to take a stand in Congress, statehouses and courtrooms nationwide to ensure no voters are left behind. Stand with the League in our fight to ensure our elections are always free, fair, and accessible.

Click here to sign the petition: I stand with the League to ensure that elections are always free, fair and accessible. I will work with the League to stop voter suppression tactics that threaten our democracy and the right to vote.

Join over 10,000 people who have already signed the petition!

HOLIDAY LUNCHEON with Senator Loni Hancock - December 2nd

Delaine Eastin, Loni Hancock, Katy Foulkes
Outgoing State Senator Loni Hancock was our guest speaker at the Piedmont League of Women Voters Holiday Luncheon on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Delaine Eastin, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, introduced Loni as a "tigress about the environment" and a "warrior for good government." After terming out (just a few days prior) Loni came to our group passionate about state of our country and seemingly with much regret that with term limits is leaving the state legislature. She emphasized that this is an uncertain and unstable time in our nation. Loni had great praise for the LWV and said that groups like ours need to be even better organized and be louder than ever before. In fact, she called on the League to do a study on the movement to change the electoral college.

Senator Hancock spoke for an impassioned 45 minutes on the issues that she felt were the most important during her 15 year tenure in state and local politics, some accomplishments, and what we can do now. Her emphasis was on the corrections system and the state of our democracy.

Speakers were followed by a festive and delicious lunch catered by Ann's Catering and supplemented by volunteer league bakers. Great thanks are due Marj Blackwell for securing Senator Hancock as our speaker as well as chairing the luncheon committee, and arranging all the party rentals, caterer and table decorations. Wow! Marj in turn thanks all of her helpers: Claudia Harrison, Marlene Sakol, Betsy Andersen, Joannie Semitekol, Tracy Kirkpatrick, Linda McClain.

PIEDMONT THEN AND NOW - A Series of Piedmont Walks

Look for these popular walks to continue in the Spring. The Then and Now Walks are sponsored by the Piedmont League and the Piedmont Historical Society.


The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 5 (due to Monday, 4th of July holiday) beginning at 7:30 p.m. Regular agenda, Item 10, is election of an interim Vice Mayor to serve until the results of the November 8, 2016 are certified in mid-December.

Our current Vice Mayor, Jeff Wieler, became Interim Mayor when Mayor Fujioka resigned effective June 21. Although the charter does not say the Council has to appoint an Interim Vice Mayor, the City Administration recommends appointing one. Our new position on Local Elections was presented to Council at their last regular meeting by LWVP member and former mayor, Al Peters, who was a member of our local study committee looking into how our mayors and vice mayors are chosen.

Attending this meeting provides an opportunity to speak on the subject of selecting a Vice Mayor, which is the key to a person eventually becoming Mayor. Although these are only "Interim" (6-month) positions right now, it is assumed that our Interim Mayor, Jeff Wieler, will become Mayor for two years when the Council reorganizes in December, and that (if tradition is followed) the person who got the highest number of votes 4 years ago, (and if re-elected in November) will start a two-year term as Vice Mayor at that time.

Tuesday is an opportunity to encourage the Council to spell out for the public their Vice Mayoral selection process.


Ann Chandler receiving Proclomation of appreciation from Mayor Margaret Fujioka

Ann Chandler was recognized by Piedmont City Council for faithfully presenting Agenda Insight on KCOM for the past fifteen years, providing residents of Piedmont with a detailed summary of the matters before the City Council at each meeting. Council's Proclamation further praised Ann's "assiduous preparation for each Agenda Insight broadcast by studying the reports prepared for the Council and community, sometimes peppering staff with questions, in an effort to present an accurate and thoughtful report to Piedmonters."

Council members took the opportunity not only to thank Ann for her service to Piedmont, but also to recognize the important role that the League of Women Voters plays in our community.

To cap it all off, Mayor Fujioka declared June 20, 2016, as ANN CHANDLER DAY!

Congratulations and thank you, Ann.

2016 Civics in Action Award Recipient Heather Wilson

Cathie Geddeis, Healther Wilson, Katy Foulkes

Heather Wilson took time out of her very busy day on June 8th to attend our League's annual new board member luncheon. She came over right after her Chemistry final and later dashed off to her graduation ceremonies at Millennium High School. Each year, LWVP presents the League of Women Voters Civics in Action award to a Piedmont high school student who shows dedication and interest in the areas of civics and politics.

Heather impressed our board members with her commitment to helping women in need in her community. She volunteers at the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, an organization providing support centered on alleviating homelessness. There, she led a drive to collect donated feminine hygiene products to be available to women clients.

Heather is also Vice President of the Alameda County Junior Commission. The Junior Commission is a project established by the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women to develop leadership ability, to build high self-esteem, to show how government works and to demonstrate how young women can become empowered by advocating on policy related issues. Heather organized a benefit concert featuring all-women bands to raise money for the program.

Even with all of her ambitious activities, Heather maintains a calm demeanor, is well spoken with a quiet confidence and charming personality. It is no surprise that she has her next two years at Berkeley City College meticulously mapped out to be followed by a transfer to the University of California system.

Heather received the Civics in Action plaque at the Senior Awards Night on May 25th and received a well-deserved $500 check of appreciation at the luncheon, along with our very best wishes for her continued success.


The League's pocket map of Piedmont has been updated. It shows not only streets, public buildings and recreation sites, but also the secret paths that cut between streets in Piedmont, so useful for pedestrians. No newcomer, nanny, or house guest should be without one.

It is available at City Hall along with the 2010 edition of the League of Women Voter's booklet "Piedmont Our Town."

Maps maps and booklets are sold individually for $3 each, or two for $5. Cash is accepted, or checks payable to League of Women Voters of Piedmont.