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


For months, President Trump has made unsubstantiated claims that millions of illegal votes were cast in November.

Without proof + he continues to perpetuate that voters crossed state lines to illegally vote in the 2016 election. It's time for President Trump to produce evidence of his claims.

Today Federal Election Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub has sent a letter to President Trump insisting the president produce evidence to back up his outlandish claims that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election.

That's why the League is joining with allied organizations and calling for the President to produce evidence to support his unlawful voting claims + or put these claims to rest.

We know that wide-spread voter fraud is a myth perpetuated to push election laws that restrict voting. We cannot allow false claims to drive policies that will limit participation in our election process.

If you agree, click here to add your name as a co-signer of Commissioner Weintraub's letter now.

Tell President Trump it's time to stop spreading misinformation and undermining voter's faith in our elections.

Sincerely, Chris Carson, LWVUS President

Appreciating Diversity Film Series - MIND/GAME

Mind/Game intimately chronicles the struggle with depression and bipolar disease experienced by star basketball player, Chamique Holdsclaw. She was hailed as the "female Michael Jordan" and seemed destined for a spectacular professional career as a 3-time NCAA champion and number one draft pick in the WNBA.

When her long-suppressed battle with mental disorders became apparent and began to affect her playing, she decided to go public with her condition, and in the process became a mental health advocate. She went on to face dramatic, unexpected challenges to her own recovery.

Mind/Game, produced by Rick Goldsmith and narrated by Glenn Close, tells her powerful story of courage, struggle, and redemption.

As unique as Chamique's journey is, it reflects the challenges faced by millions of individuals and families who are dealing with similar issues. The Appreciating Diversity Film Series presents this important documentary that explores the intersection of athletic stardom and mental health.

FREE screenings in both Piedmont and Oakland: Wednesday, March 15 Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont Reception at 6:30 PM, screening 7 + 8 PM followed by community discussion

Sunday, March 19 New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland Screening 3 PM, followed by community discussion


Piedmont Then and Now Walks Resume With Tour of Lower Piedmont

The popular "Piedmont Then and Now Walks" will resume on Thursday, March 30, with a tour of one of Piedmont's earliest neighborhoods that dates back to the 1890s near Beach School. The walk will be repeated on Saturday, April 1. Both will begin at 10 a.m. and last approximately two hours. The walk will cover two-and-a-quarter miles with some moderate ups and downs.

A combination of transportation, houses and schools attracted residents to Piedmont. This walk will follow early streetcar lines that provided public transportation to and from downtown Oakland and to San Francisco ferries. We'll walk past some of the first houses built near these lines and see examples of outstanding Queen Anne and Craftsman architecture. We'll also hear the history of today's Beach School, built in 1913 to accommodate the first families living in this neighborhood and rebuilt in 1940.

Oakland Avenue Bridge 1910

To sign up for the walk, email by Tuesday, March 28 for the Thursday, March 30 walk and by Thursday, March 30 for Saturday, April 1 walk. Details of where to meet will be sent to those who sign up.

The Then and Now Walks are co-sponsored by the Piedmont League of Women Voters and the Piedmont Historical Society.

April Courthouse Tour - Space Still Available!

The Piedmont League is sponsoring a guided tour of the James R. Browning United States Courthouse in San Francisco on Friday, April 7, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The courthouse, located at the corner of Seventh and Mission Streets, is a National Historic Landmark. Opened in 1905, it is considered one of American's most beautiful public buildings. Today, it is the headquarters for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears appeals from lower court decisions in the federal courts of nine Western states.

This tour is limited to 25 persons and is open to Piedmont League members only. Information on transportation and where to meet will be sent to the first 25 who sign up. To sign up, send an email to: Questions: email

Appreciating Diversity Film Series - 13th

13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States;"[2] it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime).

DuVernay's documentary opens with the facts that today the US has 5% of the world's population but 25% of the people in the world who are incarcerated. She demonstrates that slavery has been perpetuated in practices since the end of the American Civil War through such actions as criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing; suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings and Jim Crow; conservative Republicans declaring a war on drugs that weighed more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial complex, demonstrating how much money is being made by corporations from such incarceration.

Special one-time showing in Piedmont on April 21, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. with discussion following. Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Avenue.

Appreciating Diversity Film Series - The Homestretch

Three smart, ambitious teens in Chicago challenge our stereotypes about homelessness as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today.

"An amazing and important film with the potential to change the way we think about the problem of youth homelessness." Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here

FREE screenings in both Piedmont and Oakland: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont Reception at 6:30 PM, screening 7:00 pm followed by community discussion

Sunday, April 29, 2017 New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland Screening 3 PM, followed by community discussion

LWVP Annual Meeting, Friday, May 5th - Save the Date

LWVP Annual Meeting - Save the Date

Friday, May 5th, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

40 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

Speaker: David Silver, Director of Oakland Promise - Cradle to Career

The Oakland Promise is a cradle-to-career initiative aimed at tripling the number of college graduates from Oakland within the next decade. Read all about it at Oakland Promise

* * * * ARCHIVED EVENTS * * * *

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

Hope you enjoyed the League of Women Voters annual fundraiser. Keynote speaker was 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.

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.

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.


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.