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Redistricting Affects All Napa County Residents
By Bernie Brooks 

Redistricting, which will have an impact on all Napa County residents, is currently underway. The redistricting process has been triggered by the 2020 US Census results, which were released in September. Maps are now scheduled to be redrawn based on the demographic data that was collected, organizing California and Napa County into new public agency, political, and school board districts.
Redistricting will not take place again for ten years, so community input over the next several months will have a lasting impact. For instance, there is a concern that the state commission might try to move American Canyon out of Napa County, as was proposed during the 2010 redistricting process. Many Napa groups, including LWVNC, have reached out to the state commission to express support for keeping Napa County intact. To follow the state level process, click here.

Confused about how all the pieces in the redistricting process 
will come together to impact Napa County?

Concerned about how your Community of Interest (COI)
have a fair share of the voice in planning the new districts?

A multi-agency kickoff held in September offered an overview of Redistricting plans and an introduction to the mapping tool. Five Napa County agencies are working together to provide maximum opportunity for public engagement. They include: City of Napa, Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa County Board of Supervisors, Napa County Board of Education, and Napa Valley Community College. Click here to learn moreView kick-off video.

For the City of Napa specifically, beginning October 26th, there will be a series of five county-level public hearings and five community workshops. We encourage you to submit your comments online, and join in the meetings, the map drawing exercises and the reviews. For City of Napa meeting information click here.
Shortly after the new maps are approved, there will be elections based on the new districts. Statewide and county races will be determined by a primary election in June and a general election in November. LWVNC is working with the Napa County Elections Office to support outreach and education on Redistricting along with voter education.  That work is in progress and will continue throughout the next election cycle (November 2022).
Looks like this will be an exciting time to learn more about Napa County, and we have lots of opportunities for members to get involved!    


Reducing Inequities and Addressing Disparities
Wednesday, October 6th, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm (ZOOM)
Featured Speaker Dr. Susan Rogers, President, Physicians for a National Health Plan

The Napa League is proud to co-sponsor an exclusive event made possible by the LWV Davis Area. Dr. Susan Rogers will present an overview of the U.S. health care system through a social justice lens. The discussion will highlight disparities resulting from our nation’s current policies and opportunities to improve inequities through health reform.
This forum aims to educate voters about our current healthcare model and how it impacts local care access, affordability, quality and equity. Dr. Rogers will provide insights into how health reform can improve each of these issues to optimize community health and wellness. 
Becoming an informed voter is fundamental to affect meaningful reform. The future of our community health and healthcare systems will rely upon votes cast by those with a better understanding of current needs and resources and the determination to enact needed change.
The forum will conclude with an audience Q&A. To best address concerns, questions, and issues, we encourage attendees to submit them via email before October 4th at
Learn How To Draw Maps
Wednesday, October 13th, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
Napa Valley College, Room 1760, McPherson Library
Get involved and let your voice be heard during the Redistricting process! Learn hands-on how to use the mapping tool and to understand the standards required to create and propose maps. Design new district maps the way you would like to see them.
Maps must be drawn for Napa City Council, Napa County Board of Supervisors, NV College Trustee Districts, NV Board of Education and NV Unified School District. Communities of Interest (COI) are allowed to submit maps that meet the overall criteria.
Sign up for the training session today. Simultaneous translation into Spanish will be offered. We encourage all Napa County residents to participate.
Napa Police Chief’s Perspective
Thursday, October 14th, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm (ZOOM)
Featured Speaker Jennifer Gonzales, Napa Chief of Police
Meet the City of Napa’s newly appointed chief of police, Jennifer Gonzales.
Join the League of Women Voters of Napa County as we get to know how Chief Gonzales’ extensive career in law enforcement and her academic accomplishments have influenced her perspectives on policing.  
Learn about the challenges and opportunities Gonzales sees for the law enforcement profession and the City of Napa during this era of growing bipartisan calls for criminal justice reform.  We are pleased to provide this Zoom event both in English and simultaneous Spanish translation.
California Recall Election Results
By Connie Wolfman
The recall election results are in. Governor Gavin Newsom will retain his position for the remainder of his current term ending in 2023, with unofficial returns indicating 62% NO votes (do not recall) versus 38% YES votes (recall). 
Many people did not understand the California recall process and were baffled by the ballot. To help clear up the confusion, our Napa League offered several educational options: 
  • Hosted a virtual Recall tutorial on September 8th featuring LWVNC President Bernie Brooks and John Tuteur, Napa County Registrar of Voters
  • Accepted an invitation from the student government of Napa Valley College to provide resources on campus on September 9th for registering students to vote and answering their questions about the Recall
  • Posted Recall information on our website
  • Provided candidate information on the LWV website
Despite the importance of this issue, voter turnout in Napa County shows that about 65% of those registered cast a ballot. Although this is a high turnout percentage for a special election, we still have more work to do to Get Out The Vote (GOTV).
This special election cost California taxpayers about $276 million dollars. Proposals are currently being developed for possible changes to the recall rules in the future.
Status of California Legislation Supported by the League
By Joyce Kingery
As the California legislative session draws to a close, here is a look at the status of some of the bills LWVNC has advocated for this year. We base our advocacy on action policies and issues supported by LWV California and LWVUS.
Climate Change
SB 27 (Skinner) PASSED The Legislature unanimously passed SB 27 (Skinner), and it is now on the Governor's desk for signature. This bill sets CO2 sequestration targets for natural and agricultural lands, which are essential to identifying the scope of work needed to reach carbon neutrality. It creates a registry to track the funding and efficacy of carbon removal projects and integrates CO2 drawdown targets into long-term planning for land use, population growth, urban expansion, and open space preservation. Click here to view the bill

AB 9 (Wood) PASSED This bill passed the Legislature and is also awaiting the Governor's signature. It establishes the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program and is designed to build local and regional capacity that will create fire-adapted communities by improving ecosystem health and wildfire preparedness and resilience. The bill requires the Department of Conservation to provide block grants that establish governance structures, identify wildfire risk and foster collaboration among regional entities.  Click here to view the bill. 
Housing and Homelessness
SB 10 (Weiner) SIGNED INTO LAW SB 10 allows cities to adopt resolutions to rezone neighborhoods for increased density of up to ten homes per parcel in transit-rich areas and urban infill sites. This is a new tool, allowing for gentle, middle-income density ordinances to move forward in an expedited manner, bypassing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). SB 10 allows local governments to retain control by giving them this new option for rezoning without requiring them to use it. The legislation does not change local height limits, setbacks, and objective design standards.  Click here to view the bill.
Criminal Justice
AB 256 (Kaira) SUSPENDED
AB 256 (Kaira) has been suspended; however, it may be acted upon in January 2022. This bill would provide a mechanism for relief for those whose convictions or sentences were based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. California took a profound step forward to address institutionalized racial bias in our criminal courts with the passage of the Racial Justice Act of 2020. That legislation empowers defendants to object to charges, convictions, or punishment if they can show that anyone involved in their case demonstrated bias during the process, or if they can show statistical evidence of demographic inequities in charges, convictions, or sentences for the same crime. However, the 2020 legislation excludes those harmed before January 1, 2021.  Click here to view the bill.
If you are interested in following State legislation, we invite you to join the LWVNC Action Committee. To learn more about it, please contact Joyce Kingery.  
Wildfires—Building Climate Resilience in California
by Sheri Thomas
Californians are bearing witness to the devastating impacts of climate change. In 2020 and 2021, we experienced five of the six largest fires in California history. Only two wildland fires have ever crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains in our state, and both occurred in August of this year.

In the wake of these climate-driven disasters, Governor Gavin Newsom has called for accelerated efforts to combat climate change through Executive Order (EO) N-82-20. This EO brings several agencies together to promote healthy forestry practices with both short- and long- term solutions. In addition to building resilience across our state, climate-smart land management is needed to achieve carbon neutrality, sustain our economy, protect food and water security, and support our unique biodiversity.

How did we get here? Wildland fires play an important part in California’s ecology, according to Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management at California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA). During a September webinar sponsored by LWVC, Morse outlined the history of forestry management in California. The state’s fire-adapted ecosystem was managed early on by native tribes conducting prescribed cultural burns. During the goldrush, 97% of California’s forests were clear cut by logging. Nearly all old growth, fire-resistant trees were removed and subsequently replaced by densely packed new-growth forests, which are now over 170 years in the making.
President Teddy Roosevelt understood the importance of preserving our natural resources, so he proposed a forest conservation agency. In 1910, Congress approved the creation of the US Forest Service, but only as a fire suppression agency. For the next 100 years, the densely packed forests were allowed to mature without proper ecomanagement.    
A fire-suppressed forest produces less water downstream of the watershed; it also produces more particulate emissions and stores less carbon after burning compared to an ecologically managed forest which burns at a lower intensity leaving mature trees alive and causing less damage. A heavy growth of trees fights for water, nutrients, and sunlight. This situation, combined with warmer winters, weakens the trees and leaves them susceptible to pine beetle infestations, hastening the death of mature trees that burn at extreme temperatures during a fire.

Where do we go from here?  Wildland Urban Interface—community and house hardening, defensible space, shaded fuel breaks and landscape scale strategies—assists in easing the damage caused by wildfires. Reducing the fuels around your home AND your community are keys to keeping fires at manageable temperatures. Lowering the heat by reducing the carbon fuels helps prevent extreme fire behavior.
Structural reforms, including regionally driven, science-based management, and oversight efficiency, including forest thinning, are focal points of the CNRA.  In 2018, the California Forest Management Task Force was established to introduce a more holistic, integrated approach toward forest management and to develop a framework for establishing healthy, resilient forests that are able to withstand wildfire, drought and a changing climate. Click here to see the 2021 California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.

September Highlights
Compiled from September 17th Board Minutes
by Ingrid Swenson, Secretary
  • The treasurer reviewed the August report and noted that dues and donations to the League are tax deductible.
  • The President welcomed Connie Wolfman, a member of the Communications Committee, as a guest
  • Considered guidelines for non-league member participation on committees and what types of issues should be brought to the board as opposed to being decided within committee
  • Discussed the various functions of the membership committee: data management, retention, new member outreach and mentoring. Yolanda Schonbrun proposed that the Voter Service and Membership committees be merged. The Board agreed to this structure on a temporary basis.
  • Proposed and/or approved the following events:
    1. co-sponsoring and promoting a health care forum with the Davis League
    2. in-person meeting sometime in the fall for new members
    3. information/outreach booth at Napa Farmers Market
    4. postponement of the “Miss Representation” program in November with possibility of rescheduling at a later date
  • The Housing and Homelessness committee reported that the Napa Housing Coalition is working on an “inclusionary” ordinance for affordable housing in commercial development.
  • The Climate Change committee reported on wildfire mitigation efforts.
  • The Criminal Justice committee will invite the new Napa police chief, Jennifer Gonzales, to speak to the League.
  • The President congratulated Robyn Orsini, Kim Farmer and Sheri Thomas for assuring our inclusion in the Give!Guide again this year. The possibility was raised of receiving donations from Amazon if LWVNC registers as non-profit with AmazonSmile. 
Dolores Huerta: Legendary Civil Right Leader
Inspired Farmworkers to Believe 'Si Se Puede'

By Connie Wolfman
Dolores Huerta was the first Latina to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Her achievements in the fight for workers’, immigrants’ and women's rights span seven decades, and she is not finished yet! At 91 years of age, she continues her work through the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF), which she founded in 2003.

Huerta was raised by her mother, Alicia Chavez, in Stockton, California, following her parents’ divorce. Chavez worked hard to become the successful owner of a restaurant and a 70-room hotel that catered to low-wage workers.

After graduating from college, Dolores briefly tried teaching; however, after observing many undernourished and barefoot students, she decided to take a different path. She found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During that time, Dolores established the Agricultural Workers Association, and it was there that she met César Chávez. The two shared the common vision of organizing farm workers; they subsequently resigned from the CSO and launched the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, which eventually became the United Farm Workers (UFW). 

n 1965, Huerta directed the UFWs’ national boycott during the Delano grape strike, taking the plight of the farm workers to the consumers. It was estimated that 17 million people stopped buying grapes during that boycott, which resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the UFW in 1970. Huerta was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This groundbreaking law granted farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

Huerta has been arrested twenty-two times for participating in non-violent civil disobedience activities, and she once suffered a severe beating. In spite of these hardships, Huerta’s commitment to civil rights has never wavered, and she has received countless awards for her dedication.

In 1998, Ladies' Home Journal recognized Huerta as one of the '100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century', along with Margaret Thatcher and Rosa Parks. In 2015, the Mexican government presented Huerta with their prestigious Ohtli Award to recognize her fight for fair employment practices for the Mexican community in the United States.

In 2012, Huerta was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. When President Obama placed the medallion around her neck, he told the audience that the memorable chant from his 2008 presidential campaign, ‘Yes We Can’, was borrowed from Dolores Huerta’s motto: ‘Si Se Puede’.
Top photo: Dolores Huerta organizes marchers in California in 1969. George Ballis/Take Stock/The Image Work. Bottom photo: Dolores Huerta receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. 
Joining the League of Women Voters is a great way to get involved in your community and play an active role in our democracy.  Be part of a nationwide community of League members in over 700 nationwide League, 40+ California Leagues, 20 Bay Area Leagues in 9-Bay Area Counties.  Click here for more information on how you can become a member today!
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