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.

Join Us for the LWVP Annual Holiday Luncheon!

Dr. Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley professor and prominent energy efficiency expert, will be the guest speaker at the Piedmont League of Women Voters annual holiday luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. The event will be held at the Piedmont Community Hall from 11:30 am to 1:30 p.m. Click here to find out more information or to register for this event.

Womens March Oakland 2018

JOIN LWVP in the Women's March on Saturday, January 20th. LWVP participants in the march last year found it to be a moving and powerful experience. Let's keep the energy going! Email Joannie Semitekol, Action Chair, at to attend with our league or register at Womens March 2018

The mission of Women's March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.

Women's March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women's March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.

Details will follow as we get closer to the event date.

LWVP Celebrates 70 years!

The Piedmont League of Women Voters celebrated 70 years with a packed house and a healthy helping of both history and previews of what lies ahead.

Vice Mayor, Teddy King, presents a proclamation to Katy Foulkes, the current president of LWVP, proclaiming this month as LWVP month
View the full text of the City of Piedmont Proclamation.

past presidents of LWVP
Seated: Tam Hege, Hope Salzer, Marlene Sakol, Cathie Geddeis; Standing: Carole Levenson, Deborah Van Nest, Mary Ann Benson, Katy Foulkes Honored Past Presidents
Keynote speaker, Melissa Breach (Executive Director of the California League of Women Voters) gave an inspiring and informative speech about the current role of the League of Women Voters and what lies ahead

LWVP Marches in the Piedmont 4th of July Parade Celebrating its 70th Anniversary

LWVP President Katy Foulkes
Men are members too

Victoria Hou - 2017 Recipient of LWVP Civics in Action Award

Victoria Hou, center, with her parents after receiving the award
Victoria Hou has been selected as the 2017 recipient of The Piedmont League of Women Voters' Civics in Action Award which, along with a check for $500, is given each year to a Piedmont High School student who shows dedication and interest in the areas of civics and politics. Among the many activities in which Victoria has been involved during her years at PHS were serving as an intern in the Legislative Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, as a Congressional Intern at the District Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and as Student Advisor to the Chinese American Political Association Community Education Fund. In addition, Victoria was Founder and served as President of the PHS Model United Nations for two years, was a PHS Mock Trial Team Captain and Prosecution Attorney for two years, participated in the World Affairs Council Summer Institute for two years and served as a Student Fellow in World Affairs 2016. And, as if this were not enough, Victoria is Founder, Website Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Sprout Magazine, an online literary magazine which publishes and edits creative media pertaining to social and political issues crafted by young artists. Following graduation, Victoria is headed off to Columbia University where she is considering, among other possibilities, a joint major in political science and economics. Congratulations to Victoria on receiving this award and our best wishes for her continued success at Columbia and beyond. It is on the shoulders of future leaders such as Victoria that the continued strength of our democracy rests.

LWVP Annual Meeting, Friday, May 5th 2017

LWVP Annual Meeting

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


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:

* * * * 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.