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National Voter Registration Day at the Law Library

NVRDlogoThis year the Law Library is participating in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), the only holiday that helps register people to vote. It’s celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of every September, so we’re a few weeks away, but leading up to September 24th we will have a series of posts related to NVRD and elections. Be sure to check for new posts, and also stop by or tell people you know to stop by the library on September 24th to register to vote!

Our first post features information on important dates for the upcoming November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal Election:


Are you Registered? Are you sure?

Yes, it’s true, all eyes it seems are pointed towards November 2020 for the General Election that stars the Presidential contest. But first, there’s more: the Presidential Primary coming up in March 2020—the very first time California will have an early primary, so that CA voters will be in play to help determine the opposition candidates.

But before that, it’s local. And as they say—all politics is local. Next up is the November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal Election. If, in the bluster of national and international news, this one has so far this one has escaped you, we are voting for the San Francisco Mayor’s first full term, for a new District Attorney, a new Public Defender (San Francisco is the only county in the state of California that elects its Public Defender) and a few other local offices, all which affect our own civil society.


Key Dates:

Next Election: November 5, 2019
Register To Vote By: October 21, 2019

Registration to vote ends 15 days prior to the election, so this is the moment to check your current registration status with the San Francisco Department of Elections, and do a full update for this election and those just ahead on the political horizon.

  • To check if you are currently registered to vote in San Francisco, use the Voter Registration Status Lookup tool.
  • To update or makes changes to your Registration, as for example, change of address, choice of party affiliation, or request to go green for an online version of the Voter Information Pamphlet instead of the bulky paper version, some changes can be done online and others by mail. Take a look at Make Changes to Your Registration Record.
  • Or, Registering for the first time (old ways or new): If you have a signature on file with the CA DMV, you can register online using the California Secretary of State’s Online Registration Application or by requesting a paper application, through the SF Department of Elections contact form or by calling (415) 554-4375.
  • Or, if none of this is working for you, plunge ahead and just email the San Francisco Department of Elections: SFVote@sfgov.org or give them a call at (415) 554-4375

And for those who may love San Francisco and wish it all good civic fortune, but live in another California county, take a look at what elections may be brewing in your own backyard this November, and how to sign up for this one—and everything that comes in 2020: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/county-administered-elections/


Look for upcoming posts, as well as a lunchtime program that will help make sense of San Francisco’s new voting system.


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Free Environmental Law MCLE

PDF iconTuesday, July 25, 2017, Noon to 1:00pm, California’s Maligned Environmental Law:
An Overview of the California Environmental Quality Act, its Public Impression, and its Ongoing Importance, with a Focus on Large-Scale (and Controversial) Projects
Presented by:
Tom Engels, PhD, Principal, Horizon Water & Environment
Rob Peterson, PhD, CEQA Project Manager, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
Jonathan Koltz, Legal Counsel, CPUC
1 hour free Participatory MCLE Credit
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s premier environmental law, and a model for similar laws across the country.  Although it’s revered by many, it’s also often derided as a boondoggle that gives undue leverage to NIMBYs and special interest groups.  Governor Brown, for example, has called attempts to ease its restrictions “the Lord’s work.” CEQA requires consideration of environmental impact on the development of “projects,” and requires the consideration and screening of a wide range of alternatives.  It has been controversially invoked as a drag in a wide range of situations, from creating new bike lanes to building large-scale utility projects.

In this hour-long program, Tom Engels, PhD, a principal at Horizon Water and Environment; Rob Peterson, PhD, a CEQA project manager at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC); and Jonathan Koltz, a lawyer with the CPUC, will provide a brief overview of the CEQA process, discuss why CEQA’s policy goals can be poorly perceived—and why those perceptions might not be entirely accurate—and explain why CEQA remains a vital tool for informing both the government and the public about the projects subject to the law.  They will provide examples from their work at the CPUC, with a focus on how staff have approached the complex process of reviewing, and finding alternatives for, large utility infrastructure projects with price tags that typically exceed $100 million and that affect thousands of Californians.

July 25, 2017 CEQA MCLE Flyer


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New LibGuide: The SFLL Guide to Immigration Law

The San Francisco Law Library Guide to Immigration LawJust in time for Immigrant Heritage Month, the Law Library has a new LibGuide: Immigration Law. In this research guide you will find resources free to use in and out of the library – books, databases, and links to useful sites related to immigration matters at the local, state, and federal levels. Looking for an immigration lawyer? See Legal Services & Community Resources. Curious about Sanctuary City information, or trying to find the closest Asylum office in California? Take a look at Government Resources. And to find out what treatises we have in our collection, either in print or online, check out Library Resources. We will update the Guide regularly so be sure to check in, and don’t forget to take a look at our other research guides too!


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Book Review: A Guide to Pesticide Regulation in California—2017 Update

SFLL May Book ReviewSpring is here and Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with the bountiful harvest of California produce and foods. We are fortunate to live in a state that places high value on healthy food and environmental safety, but what exactly is all this talk of pesticides and how are they controlled? The California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation has an updated guide to help you understand pesticides and how they are regulated in our state. A Guide to Pesticide Regulation in California—2017 Update begins with a review of the department and the role it plays in ensuring safe pesticide use through federal, state, and local agencies. Further chapters explain and define pesticide registration; assessing pesticide risks to human health; risk management; protecting workers and the public; and protecting the environment. Handy appendices provide simple guides to code sections, acronyms, and the history of pesticide regulation in California. Written in plain English, this guide is useful to both attorneys working on a pesticide matter and California citizens wanting to understand pesticide regulation in our state. This resource is available both in print in our library and free online.


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Proposed Cannabis Regulations Now Posted

4.28 Cannabis

The California Bureau of Medical Cannabis (BMCR) is the lead agency regulating the cannabis industry in California. Today the BMCR has posted its proposed licensing regulations for medical cannabis and the 45-day public comment period is now underway.

There will also be four public hearings on the proposed regulations. You can review the regulations and come to a hearing near you to provide feedback. The hearings are being held in June in Eureka, LA, Sacramento, and San Jose. For full details, see the BCMR’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

If you can’t attend one of the sessions, you can still get involved by following the steps on this website: http://www.bmcr.ca.gov/about_us/documents/17-065_public_comment.pdf.

If you’re interested in reviewing the medical regulations for licensing dispensaries, distribution, and transporters, you can visit the new Cannabis Web Portal. This new site also has cultivation regulations and manufacturing regulations for medical cannabis.

For more cannabis law info, check in with this blog and stay tuned for a Cannabis LibGuide from the Library. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the rest of our excellent research guides!