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.

Piedmont League's Annual Soup & Salad Lunch

Join Us for Piedmont League's annual Soup & Salad Lunch and a lively discussion of our National League's program and priorities for 2018.

As a grassroots organization, the LWV wants to hear from us, the members, through local chapters across the nation. Reports from local chapters will be presented at the National League Convention in Chicago on June 28, 2018.

The League's work to champion voting rights is more important now than ever, which makes this annual Program Policy review a critical one for all of us to take part in. At the local, state and federal level, League leadership on voter protection and mobilization, election reform, campaign finance/money in politics and redistricting is at the heart of the League's mission and our future.

Please join Piedmont League members to learn about and discuss these important topics and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Piedmont League board members. Don't miss this one!

LWVP Needs You!

Are you concerned about the health of our democracy? Frustrated by the lack of equal access to the ballot box? Ready to take action and make your voice heard? If your answer is YES, then the League needs YOU!

Like any volunteer organization, the success of our local League depends on the commitment of numerous volunteers - people like me and you - who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

If you are interested in stepping up into a board or board support position for the 2018-19 year, or are curious to learn more, please contact Betsy Andersen at by February 7, 2018. Once-in-a-while and year-round positions available. Current and not-yet LWVP members welcome!

Join the Great Decisions Discussion Group

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Each year, eight topics are chosen by a panel of experts. This year we'll be digging into the following eight topics:

1. The waning of Pax Americana?
2. Russia's foreign policy
3. China and America: the new geopolitical equation
4. Media and foreign policy
5. Turkey: a partner in crisis
6. U.S. global engagement and the military
7. South Africa's fragile democracy
8. Global health: progress and challenges

Click here for more information on any topic.

SCHEDULE: Meetings are roughly twice per month. Participants choose which of the following time slots to attend: Tuesdays from 10-11:30, Thursdays from 1:00-2:30, or Mondays from 7-9pm.

SIGN-UP: If you are interested in receiving more information or to sign up to participate in 2018, please email Jen Cavenaugh at Meetings will start in mid/late January. Cost for materials is $25.

Womens March Oakland 2018

LWVP joined an estimated 40-50,000 people in Oakland for the Women's March on Saturday, January 20th.

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.

2017 Holiday Luncheon

Members of the League and their guests gathered at the Community Center to take part in our annual Holiday Luncheon. Guest speaker, Dr. Daniel Kammen addressed a full house with an informative and engaging talk on the importance of renewable energy and what we can do to help minimize climate change. Dr. Kammen is a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and heads the Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Labora­tory based at UC Berkeley, which focuses on designing, testing, and disseminating renewable and appropriate energy systems. Margaret Ovendon, a member of the Piedmont Climate Action Task Force, also gave an update on the proposed Climate Action Program and the city's current Climate Action Plan, which is available on the city website.

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

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.


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.