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LWVOC Year End Report 2019-2020

Ann Patton & Tana Porter  | Published on 4/9/2020

                          Making a Difference - 2019-2020

Year-End Report of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida

Members of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida, have dedicated 2019 and 2020 to celebrating our precious right to vote, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and other milestone anniversaries. 


This year-end report summarizes a few of their activities and achievements, including the following highlights of actions by the Board of Directors and overall League, followed by some of the good works by action-groups committees.

 

Orange County League Highlights, 2019-2020


  • Developed and implemented first Strategic Plan along with other infrastructure improvements.

 

  • Adopted a LWVOC Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

 

  • Launched Hot Topics 2.0.

 

  • Implemented committee chair support system: position descriptions, committee charter, chair meetings, chair guidebook.

 

  • Published LWVOC History Book as part of related 80th anniversary celebrations and Women’s Suffrage Centennial events.  

 

  • Expanded newsletter and website.

 

  • Drafted first set of Policies and Procedures.

 

  • Re-started local government observer corps.

 

  • Expanded voter registration.

 

  • Initiated 501(c)3 conversion.

 

  • Launched Harvard case-study civics education project: The History of American Democracy.

 

  • Defended the Florida Constitutional amendment to protect Split Oak conservation land.

 

  • Defended Florida’s Sunshine Law at Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

 

  • Backed Orange County Mayors to listen to citizens at area-wide Town Halls to build a transportation improvement plan built on a one-penny sales tax referendum.

 

  • Gathered signed citizen-initiative petitions for Ban on Assault Weapons, Medicaid Expansion, and Open Primaries. (Open Primaries planned for 2020 ballot.)


Action Groups

Affordable Housing 

  • Compiled a compendium of resources for those in need.


Education

  • In partnership with Orange County Public Schools, established a Harvard Case Method project to teach civics education and expand civic engagement.

  • Created palm cards to share facts about charter and voucher schools with educators and parents.

  • Created Facebook page to share facts about school choice.  


Government

  • Monitored 9 of 13 Orange County government boards, plus Charter Review Commission and Florida’s efforts on National Popular Vote.

  • Created presentation about state and local governments.


Gun Safety

  • Advocated better gun safety with lawmakers.

  • Gathered petitions for assault weapons ban but fell short of required signatures for the

election this year.

  • Partnered with other gun safety organizations throughout Central Florida.


Health Care

  • Advocated putting Florida Medicaid expansion on the ballot, but the initiative was canceled

      for this year by the state sponsors.

  • Supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and local safety net.


Immigration

  • Partnered with Hope Community Center in Apopka and offered tutoring and citizenship classes.

  • Presented American flag pins to new citizens at naturalization ceremonies.

  • Provided education, outreach, and advocacy about complexities of immigration issues. 


Juvenile Justice

  • Advocated and educated about civil citations in lieu of juvenile arrests.

  • Supported juvenile detention center. 


Natural Resources:

  • Continued working on environmental protection in Seminole and Orange counties, providing local assistance for two new solar co-operatives, in which more than 100 homeowners installed solar power.

  • Advocated the addition of solar in building designs of the Orange County School District.

  • Partnered with Barry Law School Environmental Law Clinic.

  • Advocated publicly to preserve constitutional protections for Florida's conservation lands, including Split Oak Preserve.


Transportation

  • Used Transportation Report Card published in 2018 to advocate for

      dedicated funding for transportation model.

  • Collaborated with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and met with each County Commissioner to

      gauge support for transportation.

  • Participated in many community initiatives to support Mayor Demings’ listening Town Halls and penny sales tax to fund transportation needs as identified by the public.


Voter Services 

  • Conducted widespread and targeted voter registration and education projects. Voter Services registered 1,121 new voters and updated information for 47 more, during 44 events in calendar 2019, including high schools.

  • Continued adopt-a-precinct voter services.

  • Advocated for constitutional Amendment 4 to allow voting by returning felons.


Support Groups

Communications

  • Supported public interviews, media releases, and LWVOC internal and external communications.

  • Promoted Centennial events, 80th anniversary, candidate forums, and other League events and issues.


History

  • Commemorated the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and the LWVUS 100th, the LWVOC’s 80th birthday, and a number of other milestones.

  • Published the LWVOC history book, with targeted distribution of more than 230 book copies. 

  • Convened or partnered in 30 events with more than 1,800 participants.  


Hot Topics

  • Conducted monthly Hot Topics forums with 1,300 participants (April 2019 to March 2020).

  • Worked to raise community profile and increase attendance for Hot Topics.


Leaguers in Action

  • Hosted “Happy Hour speakeasy” issue forums and committee-chair workshops.  

  • Created civic networking events and built civic partnerships.


Member Services

  • Continuing management of the membership database including annual renewal.

  • Management of new member engagement activities including welcome calls, name tags, new member orientations and coordination of member's interests with committees.

  • Managed event registrations, payments, check in activities and tracking of member participation.


Nominating

  • Built the slate for the Board of Directors.

  • Worked to produce a well-rounded, effective Board to lead the LWVOC.


Speakers Bureau

  • Updated webpage, developed contact list, conducted community outreach.

  • Distributed a list of state-League-approved Power-Point presentations (available for community groups) to committee chairs, SB committee members, and 40 others.


Selected Bibliography of LWVOC News Coverage, 2019-2020


Barbour, Eve. “Border Bill.” Orlando Sentinel. 28 June 2019.


Chapin, Linda. “100 years later, remember who fought for 19th Amendment.” Orlando Sentinel.

2 January 2020.


Dickinson, Joy Wallace. “’Lady with the purse’ Inspires reminder that votes matter.” Orlando Sentinel.

11 November 2019.


________. “Hometown heroine led fight for women’s vote in Florida.” Orlando Sentinel. 31

 March 2019.


Gillespie, Ryan. “Mayoral candidates disagree on key issues during debate.” Orlando Sentinel.

16 October 2019.


Lemongello, Steven, and Gray Roher. “Senator proposes firearm restriction—GOP’s Simmons

 wants to bar some under 25 from buying or owning assault weapons.” Orlando Sentinel.

12 September 2019.


O’Connor, Brendan. “History Center partnering with League of Women Voters for new lecture 

series.” Bungalower. 3 April 2019. https://bungalower.com/2019/04/03/history-center-partnering-with-league-of-women-voters-for-new-lecture-series/


“Orange County’s League of Women Voters 80th Anniversary Gathering.” Park Avenue 

Magazine. n.d.  https://parkavemagazine.com/event/orange-county’s-league-of-women-voters-80th-anniversary-gathering/ Circa May 2019.


Pickar, Gloria. “Highway through Split Oak Forest violates Constitution.” Orlando Sentinel. 9/

 February 2020.


Pickar, Gloria, and Sandi Vidal. “Orange County League of Women Voters celebrates 80 years

of advocacy.” Orlando Sentinel. 17 May 2019.


Williams, Charley. “Let Ocoee massacre marker provide a learning opportunity.” Orlando

    Sentinel. 21 June 2019.


This report was produced by Ann Patton and Tana Porter for the LWVOC History Committee, April 2, 2020.