Making Democracy Work

Educating Voters and Empowering Citizens to Have an Active Voice in Government

Welcome to the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County, an organization of both women and men who encourage informed and active participation in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy. The League does not support or oppose candidates or political parties.

Located in California's Capitol, LWV Sacramento is uniquely positioned to participate in the study of political issues at both the local and state level. Members of LWVSC meet monthly throughout the county. We study governmental issues and provide a variety of voter education services to help voters make informed decisions at the polls.

Please see our Calendar of Events for upcoming events.

Action Alert! from League of Women Voters of California president, Helen Hutchinson, regarding support for SB 10: "46,000 Californians are sitting in county jail right now simply because they cannot make bail. While wealthy defendants can easily secure their own release, poor defendants cannot. Nearly two-thirds of the people housed in county jails cannot afford bail, which averages $50,000 -- almost five times the national average. Poor Californians who have not been convicted of a crime are sitting in jail for weeks, months, even years awaiting trial -- all the while at risk of losing their jobs, homes, and even their children.

SB 10 seeks to fix this broken bail system that penalizes the poor and does little to protect the public. Urge your Assembly Member to vote YES on SB 10, the Bail: Pretrial Release bill. This bill will do the following: * Instruct counties to institute a risk assessment protocol to determine if an individual is a threat to society or a flight risk; * Release low-risk suspects without conditions or with non-monetary conditions (like home monitoring); and * Maintain the use of bail when appropriate -- but set bail at the lowest rate that will ensure a return to court. SB 10 prioritizes public safety over the size of a defendant's bank account. This will also help lessen the burden on our jails, keep families from falling deeper into poverty, and ensure that defendants who want to plead "not guilty" at trial are not pressured into pleading guilty to a low-level felony, just so they can return home.

The League of Women Voters Sacramento County held our 2017 Annual Meeting this summer. We were lucky enough to welcome Sister Libby Fernandez RSM, Executive Director of Sacramento Loaves and Fishes, as our guest speaker. Her speech detailing how she serves the Sacramento area's homeless community was inspiring! Remembering her talk will be a good reminder that perseverance and dedication are needed to keep creating positive changes in our community!

Sr. Libby began her service to the poor of Sacramento as a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes after serving seven years in the U.S. Air Force. With a desire to learn to fly jets, she had been appointed to the USAF Academy by Representative Robert Matsui. She remarked that this experience instilled in her a sense of commitment, esprit de corps, and leadership. She left the Air Force and earned her Masters degree in Social Work at California State Univeristy, Sacramento.

In 1990, she joined the Sisters of Mercy. As a Mercy nun, she spent six years at Mercy Housing providing housing services to the very poor. She continued to volunteer at Loaves and Fishes and in 1999, was hired as a social worker at Maryhouse, a day center for women and children.

She created and directed Loaves and Fishes' Genesis Mental Health, a program serving the homeless with psychiatric needs. In 2006, she was asked to lead Loaves and Fishes, and now leads 85 employees, over 1000 volunteers, and oversees twelve unique programs.

Sr. Libby said she believes that her most important duty is to be present to the most vulnerable, disabled, poor and homeless. She will be leaving Loaves and Fishes in just a few days to undertake a new mission. She is continuing to serve the vulnerable population living on the streets with the newly developed ministry aptly named Mercy Pedalers. She will, along with a number of other volunteers, ride a bicycle throughout town and visit homeless folks on the street. The Pedalers will provide water, coffee, referrals as appropriate, but most importantly they will build relationships. She will be cycling to bring mercy, care, love, and dignity to the homeless in the streets.