VOTER Newsletter – May 2014 - League of Women Voters of

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VOTER Newsletter – May 2014 - League of Women Voters of
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May/June 2014 B R O W A R D
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Volume 63 Number 5 President’s Message Happy New League Year! The 2013-­‐2014 year ended in April with our 61st Annual Meeting and Luncheon held at the Deer Creek Country Club. Attendance was good and our meeting this year was fantastic, thanks in large part to the meeting planning co-­‐chairs, Jane Gross and Shaheewa Gelin. We presented our first LWVBC Opportunity Scholarship to Caitlyn Seavey, a Nova High School senior who will be attending Broward College in the fall. The chapter’s first Good Partner Award went to AARP for their work with the League to provide 31 information sessions on the Affordable Care Act last fall. The award was presented to Terry Elder, AARP Field Coordinator Broward, Boca and Delray, who recognized in turn, League members and AARP volunteers, Carol Smith, and Gloria and Ken Reinhardt who provided outstanding leadership to the project. Shaheewa Gelein, also, served as planning committee chair. Our keynote speaker was Somy Ali, founder and president of No More Tears, a non-­‐profit organization whose mission is to provide survivors of domestic abuse with individualized assistance. Her charity is unique because it runs solely on funds from donors; there is no staff, and everyone involved is an unpaid volunteer. Their first rescue took place in 2008, and since then they have rescued over 300 adults and almost 700 children. On behalf of our members. I want to express our appreciation and gratitude to outgoing Board members Kate Decker, Jane Gross, JoAnn Maggied, and Kristine Judiekis. You have been dedicated League members and we thank you! The new Board welcomes brand new members. John Kent will serve as treasurer, Scherry Donato will chair the membership committee, and Joanne Aye, whose passion is voters service, has agreed to coordinate this year’s election regional site volunteers. An existing board member stepping into a new role is Bernadette Revicky, who will act as Speakers Bureau Chair. Other continuing Board members are Shaheewa Gelin, Elyane Garver, Secretary, Jane Koszoru, VOTER editor, Harriet Mathis, Public Relations Chair, Donna Meyers, Hot Topics Chair, and Laura Simon, Voters Service Chair. All in all, I think we’ve built an absolutely brilliant team, with a good mix of League experience and new ideas and I’m really excited to see where we’re headed. The new Board meets for the first time this month, and we intend to hit the ground running! LWV Broward County VOTER 63(5) May/June 2014 Lynne Joshi -­ President, LWVBC 1 L W V
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Above: Somy Ali; President of No More Tears – keynote speaker Award -­‐ Right: Good Partner AARP – Ken & Gloria Reinhardt, Terry Elder, Carol Smith eeting Below: Business M
LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 2 L W V
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LWVUS 2014 Convention The 51st National Convention of the League of Women Voters is scheduled for June 6-­‐10, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. It is a great opportunity to learn about issues of importance to all Leagues and the nation. The theme is Power: Our Voices, Our Votes. If you think you may be interested in joining national, state and local League leaders from around the country for this lively biennial event, call the League office at 954-­‐735-­‐1311 right away. We have two local members who have already registered and have rooms reserved at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The online registration deadline is May 23, 2014. The registration fee is $335, which includes the banquet. Registrations after that date will be $385 at the Convention site. Sea Level Rise Program a Success On April 4, LWVBC sponsored its brown bag open forum “Sea Level Rise: County & City Solutions” which featured presentations by a Broward County official and two environmental experts on how and why certain populations are at greater risk, what can done, and how these action plans can be implemented. Keren Bolter, a Geosciences Ph.D candidate at Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies discussed how lower-­‐income areas in Broward County face the greatest risk from a rise in the sea level. Jason Liechty, Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management, presented an action plan for Broward, Miami-­‐Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Tara Bardi, senior scientist for the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, discussed how methods used in Everglades restoration can be applied as a counter measure for sea level rise. The event was held at FAU’s Broward campus and was co-­‐sponsored by the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades and the Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches. Media coverage before and after the event was excellent, thanks largely to the efforts of the FAU public relations staff. LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 3 L W V
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Scholarship Winner: Caitlyn Seavey The first annual LWVBC Opportunity Scholarship was awarded to Nova High graduate, Caitlyn Seavey. Caitlyn, who will attend Broward College, is dedicated to the environment and has an enormous love for animals. She plans to earn a Masters Degree in Environmental Science for Zoology and her goal is to travel the world studying animals and our environment to better the world as a whole. Caitlyn spends most of her time volunteering with her school’s Environmental Club and helping out behind the scenes for Nova High School’s Drama Club. When she isn’t volunteering, she is probably studying for her six AP classes or arranging study groups with her peers for upcoming exams to maintain her A Honor Roll status. Upon receiving the award, Caitlyn said, “I was more than excited and so grateful to have such an awesome scholarship awarded to me. Thank you so much for giving students such a great opportunity to help pay for school.” Left: Caitlyn Seavey with Lynne Joshi, LWVBC President Help Make Democracy Work It’s 3:00 a.m. and you can’t sleep. It’s 3:00 p.m. and you’re bored. How about joining the VOTE411 team? VOTE411 is a non-­‐partisan on-­‐line one-­‐stop shop for all election information any citizen might need. For instance, it provides information both general and state-­‐specific on many aspects of the election process such as: • Polling place locations • Build your ballot • Early voting options • Election dates • Compare candidate’s positions • ID requirements • Amendment pros and cons • Registration deadlines You might think this sounds like an overwhelming project, but it’s not. The VOTE411 system does most of the work, but it requires some behind the scenes set-­‐up. Here’s where you come in. It’s easy and training is available all along the way. The League’s enduring vitality and resonance comes from its grassroots nature, with members operating at all League levels working towards the goal of “making democracy work.” If you are interested and want to learn more about VOTE411, send an email to [email protected] Join in. It’s fun! LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 4 L W V
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Thank you to all the members who recently took and passed the LWVFL Voter Registration training and test. Thanks to efforts of Carol Smith, the test has been updated and is much improved. In conjunction with the recent push to “Double the Leagues Membership,” this year’s Voters Service goal is to double the number of our members approved to register voters. A second objective is to register voters at TWO venues a month until the SOE closes its books for the general election October 6th. We are off to a good start with a registration event scheduled for Pride Center May 6th. We will be looking for volunteers as soon as venues are scheduled; please check your email. Candidate Forums • We are already scheduling fall candidate forums and will need volunteers to assist speakers and distribute league information. You will be seeing emails about these dates soon. State Amendments • As of May three State amendments will be on our ballots this fall. In addition to the Land and Water legacy and Medical Marijuana amendments, the Florida House of Representatives signed-­‐off on a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the next governor to appoint three justices for the Florida Supreme Court. The measure now heads to voters for approval on the 2014 ballot. Our speaker’s bureau will be busy addressing these amendments along with county and city issues. National Voters Registration Day • LWVBC will participate in the National Voters Registration Day Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Last year eight LWVBC members registered voters at four sites throughout the county. This year we hope to have at least twelve members at six sites. Regional Site Committee Chair • Joanne Aye is our Regional Site Committee Chair for the 2014 election. We know it's early, but we are asking that you please "save the date" for: -­‐ August 22: noon -­‐ 7 p.m. -­‐ August 26: 6 -­‐ 10 p.m. -­‐ October 31: noon -­‐ 7 p.m. -­‐ November 4: 6 -­‐ 10 p.m. We hope all members will consider volunteering. More information will follow as we get closer to election time. Laura Simon -­ Voters Service Chair (h) 954-­‐430-­‐5234 (c) 954-­‐668-­‐4763
LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 5 L W V
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Members Attend Florida LWV Legislative Summit and Council of Leaders The League of Women Voters of Florida's annual Legislative Summit brings members from all across the state to Tallahassee to advocate on our issues before state leaders, ensuring that a strong and united League voice is heard. Broward League members Joanne Aye, Lynne Joshi, and Carol Smith attended both Summit and Council of Leaders from April 9-­‐11. Held biennially during even-­‐numbered years, Council of Leaders is a one-­‐day League conference for local League members from around the state. Participants have the opportunity to receive leadership training as well as vote on League business, including budgets and policy statements. Our first afternoon was spent in LWVF issues briefings and lobby training. It was a short, but intense. session to introduce and explain the bills members would focus on when they met with legislators. Attendees were coached on how to conduct a good legislative interview before departing for the House Chamber, where Leaguers were introduced and recognized from the floor with a standing ovation. It was a proud moment! On the second day, members heard from various officials, including Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Secretary Wansley Walters of the Juvenile Justice System, Senator David Simmons and Representatives Lori Berman, Bobby Powell, Karen Dentil and Heather Fritzenhagen. Then it was off to do more lobbying. Council of Leaders commenced on Day 3, with discussion and approval of League budgets. The two major policy decisions this year were reaching consensus on the charter school study and deciding on whether LWVF should take a position on the proposed Medical Marijuana constitutional amendment. The decision to not take a position on the Medical Marijuana amendment won a majority. In her concluding remarks at Council, state president Deirdre Macnab called for the League to continue working for affordable healthcare, strong public schools, protection of natural resources including springs and wildlife habitat, access to voting, repeal of the stand-­‐your-­‐ground law, and increasing our membership. Intermixed with all the trainings and meetings were fun events like the Old Capitol Gala held on Wednesday evening and a barbeque held at the state League office on Thursday. Then there were a few more meetings as League members made fact-­‐based presentations on extending healthcare coverage to Florida's uninsured, the threats facing Florida's precious springs, and the need to stop the expansion of private school vouchers. Whew! We were busy from early morning until late at night, but a very informative (and fun) time was had by all. LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 6 L W V
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Date
Saturday May 17 9:30 am Friday -­ Tuesday June 6-­10 Friday June 13 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Saturday June 21 9:30 am Friday July 25 Event
Board of Directors Meeting -­‐ LWVBC Office 5101 NW 21st Avenue, Suite 450 Fort Lauderdale, FL 51st National Convention of the League of Women Voters Dallas, TX Brown Bag Luncheon 2014 Legislative Decisions Regarding Water Issues in Southwest Florida Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches 3151 N Military Trail West Palm Beach, FL Board of Directors Meeting -­‐ LWVBC Office 5101 NW 21st Avenue, Suite 450 Fort Lauderdale, FL 2nd Annual Sea Level Rise Symposium Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches 3151 N Military Trail West Palm Beach, FL LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 7 L W V
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WANT TO GET INVOLVED? CALL OR EMAIL A BOARD MEMBER
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The membership committee needs a
3 more volunteers to help kick-­‐
Welcome New start the first phase of our n
membership drive. We are Members! targeting various neighborhood d
and interest groups and we need Carla Coleman -­‐ Pompano Beach your help in contacting them. We Valerie Dieters -­‐ Pompano Beach are asking for a commitment of 5 Evelyn Perez-­Verdia -­‐ Weston hours a month, mostly on your Teresa Hadjipetrou -­‐ Tamarac own schedule. If you're interested F
Margery Marcus -­‐ Coral Springs please contact Scherry Donato at 240-­‐603-­‐7711 or email Lynn O'Brien -­‐ Sunrise R
[email protected] I
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The VOTER is a newsletter published ten times a year by The League of Women Voters Broward County If you wish to submit articles to The VOTER, LWVBC, you can send them to: Jane N
Koszoru, Editor, 81 SE 11 Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33060 email: [email protected] D
Or -­‐ Lynne Joshi, President – email: [email protected] S
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LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 8 O
Lynne Joshi President 302-­‐521-­‐7741 [email protected] Bernadette Revicky V. President 954-­‐566-­‐3940 [email protected] Elayne Garver Secretary 954-­‐471-­‐1355 [email protected] John Kent Treasurer 954-­‐632-­‐5301 [email protected] Joanne Aye Director 917-­‐370-­‐4920 [email protected] Scherry Donato Director 240-­‐603-­‐7711 [email protected] Shaheewa Gelin Director 305-­‐495-­‐8252 [email protected] Jane Koszoru 954-­‐895-­‐4150 [email protected] Director Harriet Mathis Director 954-­‐563-­‐3685 [email protected] Donna Meyers Director 954-­‐600-­‐4563 [email protected] Laura Simon 954-­‐430-­‐5234 [email protected] Director th
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LWV Broward County VOTER 63(4) April 2014 V O T E R
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