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Date: 7/30/2020
Subject: LWVOC Newsletter & Events
From: Lisa K Adkins



We've taken "grassroots voter education" to the grass roots...literally!  The LWVOC is dedicated to empowering voters with knowledge and providing information for Vote-By-Mail with these yard signs is one of our current strategies.  

If you want to place a sign in your front lawn (we have a limited number to offer so move quickly,) contact our team for sign pick-up information HERE.
 
Help us fund ALL our voter education goals and DONATE to our efforts.  Without our regular programming, budgets are tight but getting out the vote and empowering voters through knowledge is how we will DEFEND DEMOCRACY.
 [Shown above, Leaguer Sara Rich and future voter, Caroline, her daughter.]

We've launched our “100 Days to The Vote” campaign, with daily social-media posts
featuring fascinating nuggets about the suffragists and about the achievements of women in the century since 1920, both nationally and in Central Florida www.facebook.com/LWVOC  and on Instagram @lwvoc  Our 100 Days celebration continues until November 3, the Election Day that marks 100 years since the first time women across the nation could participate in our democracy.
We know, sadly, that much work remained then, and throughout the century since, to ensure #Votes4All This Centennial is a great time to recommit to empowering voters and defending democracy!
[Shown above, suffragist Alice Paul celebrating with a rare smile.]

It's an excellent time to catch up on our own LWVOC history by reading "Warriors for Democracy" written by Leaguer Ann Patton (shown above right with Tana Porter)
 EDUCATION is a current hot topic.  Here's a tidbit about the League's involvement with schools on pg. 20 of the book:  "The local League supported Florida's landmark 1947 school act, which consolidated public schools into one district per county and restructured colleges into a new system of co-educational schools."
 Learn about our Education Committee and consider joining their team.  Upcoming elections for local school board members across the state highlight the adage that "local elections affect your life the most." 
A recent opinion piece makes a strong argument for using VOTE411.ORG to assess the candidates.

VOTE411.ORG is brought to you by the League of Women Voters.  It is a non-partisan election information site that provides a personalized list of candidates in the upcoming primary AUG 18 per your address and party.  All candidates were invited to submit a photo and biography as well as answers to questions posed by the LWVOC, depending on the political race.  You can compare two candidates at a time; some races have three or more candidates.  Please note, some candidates chose to not participate.
*Share the above graphic on your social media by simply hovering/saving/sharing.
The last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot is Saturday, AUG 8 for the AUG 18 Primary election.  Answers to your Vote-By-Mail FAQs


League of Women Voters of Florida
FOR MEMBERS ONLY:
This week we will welcome  former Florida League President Caroline Emmons-Schramm and current LWVFL Voter Services Co-Chair Michele Levy to discuss the process that the state League uses to rank priorities prior to each legislative session, as well as the process that local Leagues use to determine the priorities that are sent to the state. (Caroline and Michele are members of our LWVOC.)
We will also welcome our newly appointed LWVFL board member and current Lobby Corps chair Trish Neely to the webinar to discuss her role as chair. Trish will talk about how she represents the League in the legislative process alongside our lobbying firm, the importance of not taking on too many bills, and what it takes to prepare to speak on pieces of legislation in a committee meeting or with a legislator one-on-one.
Interested in attending the webinar but not a member?  JOIN our LWVOC and you're automatically a state and national member of the League.

As mentioned above, Michele Levy is a local and valued member of the LWVOC.  In 2007, she joined the League of Women Voters in an effort to become more involved with community and local politics. She served as co-president of the Orange County League for three years and as co-chair of the Government Committee for six years. She has worked the polls for the League since the historic election of 2008, and became interested in Open Primaries soon after.  Michele went on to chair the statewide study on Open Primaries and is the current LWVFL Voter Services Co-Chair.
 
 
 
"Don't you think it's time to let all voters vote?"  Open Primaries is finally on the ballot for NOV 3; it has been officially certified as Amendment 3.  If passed, it will allow Florida's 3.7 million independents to vote in every taxpayer funded election.  The LWVFL's position since 2017:  
Recommend statewide use of an Open Primary system that would allow for the broadest possible voter participation, including No Party Affiliation and Minor Party affiliated voters.

Solar Co-op #7 in Orange County Going Strong
When the Orlando Solar Co-op, open to all Orange County homeowners, was launched in April, COVID 19 was just beginning  to disrupt community life here in Central Florida. Despite these challenging times, interest in solar PV has remained strong.
Over 160 homeowners have joined the Orlando Co-op so far.
Orange County homeowners who are interested in solar PV are invited to attend online solar information meetings (1 1/2 hr)  and join the Co-op, for free, at this link...
Get involved with our Natural Resources Committee
 

Growing attempts to block minority voting must be stopped/Opinion piece by LWVFL President, Patricia Brigham
"If there was ever a day that signaled the voting rights of minorities were under renewed and serious attack, it was June 25, 2013, the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a critical portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act had sought to prohibit racial discrimination, rightly calling it an “insidious and pervasive evil which had been perpetuated in certain parts of our country through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution.” Continue reading HERE

Civil rights pioneer and Congressman John Lewis wrote an essay shortly before his death to be published upon the day of his funeral:

Next month's Special Edition HOT TOPICS will be on Tuesday, AUG 11 @ 6-7:00 PM.
 Please join us for our FREE Hot Topics next month, “Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation,” as we work together to better understand the racial bias in our governmental policies and step into the shoes of people of color as they strive for racial equity. This interactive online session will be delivered and facilitated by Bread for the World www.bread.org #BlackLivesMatter
 The simulation is an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth.  It is a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today's racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.

Guess who has partnered with Vote411 to encourage voter participation?  Yes, one of America's most popular shopping destinations, Target, is spreading the word to vote!  Read all about it: "Your Vote, Your Voice: Here's What You Need to Know to Vote in 2020"
 
And check out their unique landing page HERE
COVID-19 has created challenges for the League’s voter registration efforts. Nationally and locally, Leaguers are busy working on a Vote-by-Mail campaign. Social media is one of the strategies we’ll utilize. We’re asking members, who are Facebook and Instagram users, to help increase our social media presence by interacting with the League's posts.  Interacting with our posts is where the magic happens. Every time you do, our voice is amplified. The more interactions we have, the more people will see our message and the greater our impact. A “like” is good, a “comment” is better and a “share” is best of all.  ~ R. Pando  
Election info found at www.vote411.org
GET CLICKING and SHARE!  Hover over one of our graphics, right click to save, and then follow your normal routine to upload the image to your social media accounts.

League member, Victor Collazo, took part in a recent podcast from The Soapboxx,
"Respect the Vote"  Make sure to listen to this incredible panel on YouTube.

With the Florida Elections vastly approaching, Host T.J. Legacy and special guest host TJ Chatman speak with a variety of voter awareness organizations to help you Respect The Vote. Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles joins the panel to talk everything you need to cast your vote.
Panelist(s):
Bill Cowles- Orange County Supervisor of Elections
Maria Jose Chapa- Hispanic Federation
Marquis McKenzie- Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Victor Collazo- League of Women Voters of Orange County
Debbie King- Mi Familia Vota
Ricardo J. Negron- Almodovar- Latino Justice
Host- T.J. Legacy Co-host (s)- Allen York, Jessica Andrade, Javonni Hampton

Phil Anderson
Kathleen McOwen
Martha Mixson
Cynthia Porter
Chasity de Bodisco
Logan Graves

Invite your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to JOIN US
For those of you who would like to donate "to honor" or "in memory of" someone, visit our Donations page.
 
Your contributions help us continue the work of the League, especially during these pandemic times when our normal operations have been curtailed.

Newsletter Checklist
  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our 100 Days to The Vote celebration
  • VBM signs are available on a first come/first served basis
  • Take action and volunteer for the LWVOC by reposting our "Voter" graphics; encourage your followers to Vote-By-Mail
  • Lots of information on Voting Info on our website

In March, Congress worked to add $400 million in aid to states to address necessary policies to safeguard our elections during the COVID-19 public health crisis. This money is just a down payment on the real funding needed to protect the right to vote in the November elections. The November election is quickly approaching, and it is imperative Congress provides the necessary funding to transform our election system to respond to this crisis, and ensure voting remains fair, accessible, and safe.