|PO Box 128, Sacramento, CA 95812
Voice for Democracy
Newsletter of Californians for Electoral Reform
In this Issue
FROM THE ANNUAL MEETINGS. THE
I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that our previous newsletter editor resigned, so there
hasn't been a CfER newsletter in about a year. The good news is that, with the infusion of new people into the
organization, we have a new editor and a good plan for staying on track to keep
it quarterly. But I get ahead of
First, let me tell you what happened at the
Annual General Meeting on May 14.We
had an excellent presentation by State Senator Debra Bowen (D-28) on the future
of election reform in California. (Senator
Bowen is the chair of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, and
Constitutional Amendments Committee and the author of SB 596, which would allow
all cities, counties, school districts, and special districts to use either IRV
or choice voting in their elections.) Her goal is to create a system where people have
confidence in the voting system.
We also elected our new board at the meeting.
Elected were (in alphabetical order) Steve Chessin, Rob Dickinson, June
Genis, David Holtzman, Dave Kadlecek, Paula Lee, Pete Martineau, Bob Richard,
and Gabrielle Weeks. We continue to
have two members from Southern California (David Holtzman and Gabrielle Weeks),
and now have a member from the North Bay (Bob Richard).
We continued the tradition we started last
year of giving out three Wilma Rule Memorial Awards.
These are given to those persons whose work has contributed most to the
advancement of proportional representation in California.
The first, in the statewide category, went to Senator Bowen, for
sponsoring and authoring SB 596. The
second, in the municipal government category, went to Chris Jerdonek, for
the members of the City of Davis Governance Task Force to recommend to the City
Council that they be elected using choice voting.
The third, in the non-governmental organization category, was given to
Steve Willett, for overseeing CfER's own choice voting elections since 1998.
At the retreat on May 15 we elected our officers. I continue as President, Paula Lee and Rob Dickinson are our two Executive Vice Presidents, Dave Kadlecek continues as Treasurer, Bob Richard took on the job of Secretary, and Chuck O'Neil is our Chief Financial Officer.
appointed Vice Presidents are Dave Heller (Chapters), Bob Richard
(Communication), Rob Dickinson (Development), Dave Robinson and Jeffrey
McKnight (Information), Pete Martineau and Paula Lee (Legislation), and June
Genis (Media Relations). Bob’s
portfolio includes the task of newsletter editor, which is why you are reading
We are looking for folks to take on the Membership and Outreach portfolios (see the job descriptions elsewhere in this issue).
I was going to talk about the very successful San Francisco IRV election, the (slow) progress towards IRV implementation in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, and "tease" the rest of the articles in this newsletter, but I've run out of space. We'll have to talk about the first two next time, and you'll just have read the rest of the newsletter for yourself.
President, Californians for Electoral Reform
The university community of Davis is well on its way to becoming the first U.S. city since the late 1940s to adopt choice voting for municipal elections. On May 24 the City Council voted unanimously to take the first step toward placing two measures on the June, 2006 ballot--one to adopt a city charter and a second on choice voting for city council elections. Read the whole story here.
that would allow all cities, counties and districts to adopt ranked voting is
alive in the state legislature.
Senator Debra Bowen (D-28) introduced SB 596 on February 18.
CfER worked closely with her and her staff to craft the
language in the bill, and is working statewide to promote its passage. Get
the details here.
of the people, by the people and for the people” should refer to legislatures
whose members represent all voters, not just the group who voted for the winning
candidates. When existing institutions fail to meet this standard,
shouldn’t “we the people” be actively involved in redefining the electoral
process? The Canadian province of
British Columbia has created a model for giving citizens exactly this kind of
responsibility and authority. Many
activists in CfER think this model could work in California, too. Find
out why here.
L.A. VoteFIRE has started! A new group, Los Angeles Voters For Instant Runoff Elections (L.A. VoteFIRE), has become the CfER chapter for the City of Los Angeles and other communities in Los Angeles County that do not have their own CfER chapters. Read more here.
Our chapter roundtable this summer
provides a whirlwind tour of the state, from Humboldt County in the north to San
Diego, with stops along the way in Mendocino, Alameda, El Dorado, Fresno, and
Los Angeles. Before we depart,
however, we must give brief notice of two statewide developments. Take
the tour here.
CfER currently has vacancies in two appointed positions, Vice President for Membership and Vice President for Outreach. Here are the job descriptions.
Californians for Electoral Reform (CfER) is a statewide citizens'
group working for election reforms to ensure that our government fairly
represents all voters. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with members
from across the political spectrum. Our primary purpose is to promote the
implementation of election methods such as instant runoff voting (IRV) and
Since our founding in 1993, we have grown from two dozen members to
hundreds of activists and supporters participating in local chapters
across California. We have
participated in successful campaigns for IRV in San Francisco, Berkeley,
and Santa Clara County. Members
who are students have helped their colleges adopt instant runoff and
choice voting. We speak frequently to organizations and at public forums.
more information about CfER, please visit
CfER was established by citizens like you who think that our government should be representative of the people. A lot of progress is already being made, but the future depends on you.
To join CfER, or renew your membership, please visit
To find a CfER chapter coordinator in your area, please visit
for Democracy is published by
Californians for Electoral Reform
P.O. Box 128
Sacramento, CA 95812
Contents copyright Ó 2005 by Californians for Electoral Reform. Signed articles are the responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Californians for Electoral Reform.