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 Annual Meeting, Friday, May 5th - Make Your Reservation

LWVP Annual Meeting - Agenda & Meeting Packets will be sent out by April 15th

Friday, May 5th, gathering at 9:30 a.m. Business meeting begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Speaker at 11 a.m. followed by lunch

LOCATION: 40 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

GUEST SPEAKER: David Silver, Director of Oakland Promise

The Oakland Promise is a cradle-to-career initiative aimed at tripling the number of college graduates from Oakland within the next decade. Programs include "Brilliant Baby" and "K2C."
The Brilliant Baby program is a resource for parents during the first critical year of their baby's life. Brilliant Baby helps parents raise thriving children by offering a supportive community, reducing financial stressors, and establishing a college savings account as an early investment in their baby's bright future.
K2C, or Kindergarten to College, Kindergarten to College (K2C) opens an early college scholarship seeded with $100 for all Oakland public school kindergarten students and supports families to open their own 529 college savings account. Through activities, field trips, parent engagement, and early college scholarships, K2C aims to instill a college-bound mindset in all students and families.

Read all about it at Oakland Promise

Business meeting is for members, speaker and luncheon open to the public. Luncheon cost is $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

TO MAKE YOUR LUNCH RESERVATION: Send check payable to LWVP to Ward Lindenmayer, 40 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611, or to pay by credit card Click here


David Silver, Director of Education to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

David works in partnership with students, families, educators, community organizations, philanthropy, the city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), and Mayor Schaaf to realize a vision of educational equity for all students in Oakland. In particular, David leads the Oakland Promise, a cradle-to-career initiative with the goal of tripling the number of college graduates from Oakland within a decade and instilling a college-bound identity in all students. The Mayor's Office, OUSD, East Bay College Fund, the Oakland Public Education Fund, and other implementing partners, champions, and ambassadors work together to realize the Mayor and Superintendent's bold vision of every Oakland public school student graduating high school with the expectations, resources, and skills to complete college and be successful in the career of his or her choice. This year, every Kindergarten student who entered an Oakland public school will have $100 towards an early college scholarship by the time they leave elementary school and we sent 300 students to college with scholarship and persistence support through the East Bay College Fund. In addition, we have partnerships with over 20 colleges including the Peralta Community College District which will provide all Oakland students with the first semester free.

Prior to his current position, David served as the Chief Executive Officer of College Track, a national non-profit whose mission is to empower students from underserved communities to graduate from college. He led the organization through significant growth + from serving 900 students to more than 2000 including expansion to Colorado, Sacramento and Los Angeles; and raising the four-year college acceptance and matriculation rates to 94% and 89% respectively.

Prior to College Track, from 2003 to 2011, David was the founder and principal of Think College Now, a college-focused elementary school in OUSD whose mission is to ensure all students have an opportunity to graduate from college and pursue their dreams. The school received several honors including becoming the first California Distinguished School and Title I Award-Winning School in the Fruitvale neighborhood. David is an alumnus of Teach for America, where he served as a second grade teacher in Compton, California, and went on to become the TFA Program Director and School Director. David currently serves a Vice-President of the Board of the National Equity Project and as an advisory Board member of Youth Law Academy. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Sociology and earned his M.ED from Harvard University. David lives in Oakland with his wife and young son.


Please join other Bay Area Leagues for the People's Climate March on Saturday, April 29, cosponsored by LWVUS. We gather starting at noon at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater in Oakland. League members will rendezvous at the northwest end of the amphitheater shown below. We will have a banner to recognize us. If you have a LWV shirt, hat, or other paraphernalia, plan to wear it. Signs and banners are welcome.

Bay Area League MONITOR

The April/May 2017 Issue of the Monitor is now on line at:

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

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

* * * * ARCHIVED EVENTS * * * *

April Courthouse Tour, April 7th, 2017

The Piedmont League sponsored a guided tour of the James R. Browning United States Courthouse home of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco. 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.

Our group seated in the judges' seats

The building was completed in 1905 and included a post office. It suffered some damage in the 1906 earthquake and fire but was repaired and the post office was back in service in two days. An addition was added in the thirties but the 1989 earthquake put the building out of commission for eight years. Repair and reconstruction included up to date electrical, plumbing and heating along with the technological upgrades for computers and communications. The upgrades were done in such a way as to preserve the historic character of the interior and exterior finishes.

LWVP Fundraiser on Sunday, March 12th, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2016

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.