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Date: 8/20/2020
Subject: LWVOC Newsletter & Events
From: Lisa K Adkins



We shall not be denied...another celebration!
We've earned a fun Happy Hour--with wine, women, stories, trivia, and more!  The irrepressible Jill Shargaa, our brilliant graphic designer who is also a professional comedian, a TED talker and Best of TED 2014, will be our emcee for the hour!  August 26 is the 100th anniversary of the day when the 19th Amendment was OFFICIALLY added to the United States Constitution and it's Women's Equality Day.
 It's the pinnacle of our three years' work to harness our history and use it to empower voters and defend democracy.  As we hard-charge toward the all-important November 3 general election, our August 26 Happy Hour gives us a moment to pause and enjoy.  Brought to you by the LWVOC's History Committee; there's no charge and all are welcome, but please do click here and register to receive the Zoom link.

And since we're celebrating, did you know that August is also National Black Business Month?  Use this handy article
50+ Orlando Area Black-Owned Restaurants & Shops to Support and explore (safely masked and socially distant) for the rest of the month and beyond. Perhaps you can pick up a few goodies to enjoy at the Zoom party!  Sister Honey's award winning bakery sells what is considered the most popular dessert of the 1920's, a Hummingbird Cake. Special order one in time for our August 26th celebration. 

Celebrating the Centennial and our precious right to vote, the League of Women Voters of Orange County took downtown Orlando by storm on the morning of August 17.  Sporting period costumes, they paraded on Orange Avenue, waved signs and banners, called out slogans to urge voters, and captured the spotlight in an all-star news conference. The plaza before the Orange County Regional History Center was filled with fifty socially distanced, costumed Leaguers and their guests wearing masks that trumpeted their message:  “VOTE.” ~Ann Patton

 
If you missed our Live Facebook feed of the event, watch it on our YouTube Channel.  Also, we were on several of the local news/radio stations.  Here's a quick clip to enjoy from News 6.  Love those photos?  They're a combination taken by Carol Wonsavage, Joy Dickinson, and the Orange County Government.  See their complete collections on our Photo Albums page.  [Shown above, our Co-Presidents Gloria Pickar and Sandi Materson Vidal accepting the Women's Equality Day proclamations from Orange County and the City of Orlando Mayors plus snapshots of guests and Leaguers celebrating outside the Orange County History Center which graciously hosted us.]

The League of Women Voters of the U.S., Florida, and Orange County view the purposeful slowdown in the United States Postal Service as another tool in the toolbox of voter suppression. The League opposes voter suppression in all forms. Withholding needed funding, cutting hours of operation, and eliminating equipment creates chaos and places undue burdens on the timely delivery and return of by-mail balloting at a time when the nation is griped by COVID-19 and expects the highest participation in by-mail voting in history.  Continue reading HERE.
Remote Accessibility in Voting by Mail
There is good news for persons who are blind and persons who are print impaired, involving accessible independent voting.  A recent settlement provides a Pilot program with a Remote Accessible Voting by Mail system for the Blind.  This program will allow people who are blind to vote without the assistance of another individual.  The pilot program involves the counties of Miami Dade, Pinellas, Orange, Volusia, and Nassau.  There will be a Task Force to evaluate the RAVBM ballots.  The Task Force will be made up of persons with disabilities that will develop a report of its findings from the Pilot Program.  The report will include recommendations on options for the cost, feasibility, Administration, security and effectiveness of the proposed system.  By March 31, 2020, each of our sixty-seven counties Supervisors of Elections will deploy and implement a Remote Accessible Vote by Mail system that will allow persons who are blind or print impaired to vote at home independently and safely, using their computers with assistive technology.
Shown left:  Marilyn Baldwin, an LWVOC Board member, understands and advocates for this service as someone who is also visually impaired.
 
 

MEMBERS ONLY
This week we will welcome Former Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince. The former Justices will join us to highlight the important points the duo made in their recent call for action in the Miami Hearld and other newspapers around the state: "In the push for equality in America, remember: Voting is our superpower."

In their op-ed the Justices highlighted that we must make sure that every person who is eligible to vote is registered and that needless impediments to freely exercising that right are removed. All of us know people who believe that their vote will not make a difference. But we need only point to Bush v. Gore here in Florida, or to the more recent 2018 gubernatorial elections in Georgia involving Stacey Abrams, to show that elections are often decided by very small margins.
Members ONLY: Register Here 

Our Co-President, Dr. Gloria Pickar and LWV Seminole League President, Sharon Lynn will be speaking about how women got the vote in the United States at the events below.  Women leaders from 30 countries will share their stories.  These events are FREE and hosted by the We the Women Movement.  Simply visit ZOOM and use the log-in information provided below:
August 22, 2:00 PM, Webinar presentation/We the Women Movement will host almost 30 countries speaking about women's voting rights.  ZOOM LOG-IN information:  ID 879 4668 0719  Password/mujer
 
August 26, 10:00 AM, Webinar presentation/We the Women Movement will host almost 30 countries speaking about women's voting rights.  ZOOM LOG-IN information:  ID 857 0405 5650  Password/100

The following are VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES in line with our virtual League participation policy.
Our Statewide Census Committee is in need of volunteers to assist in a special Census outreach program for undercounted communities in Florida.  It’s easy, virtual work: texting people in undercounted communities and encouraging them to answer the 2020 Census.
This project requires a commitment of 3-5 hours over the course of a 5-7 day window. The texting is done through a computer or tablet with a number provided by the program. An accurate and complete 2020 Census count is critical to ensuring Florida receives its fair share of funding and representation.
To participate:
Fill out the COE Texter Participation form. When it asks "Organization Name" please put League of Women Voters of Florida.
Sign up for a Texter Training(Trainings take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays).
Sign-up for the COE Project Slack Channel (optional).
Lastly, complete this form to let us know you are signed up and ask any questions you might have.

Our Government Committee is looking for volunteers to participate in their "Observer Corps."  These observers will "attend/watch during webinar" a local municipal meeting of their local government.  Opportunities vary by county/city/town and of course, schedule.  An example might be tuning into the city commission meeting, taking notes and reporting back to the Government Committee. Much appreciation to Mary Lou Basham for setting these up.  Click below for more info:


From the Florida Election Protection Coalition
LWVFL Weekly Training Schedule 
Nov 3 National Election is only 75 days away!
 
Interested in helping monitor the election process?  Members can find out more about their non-partisan mission HERE: "...mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help our fellow Americans navigate the voting process and cast their votes..." and the training schedules HERE
 

Volunteer your front lawn - VBM Education Signs Available
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
Using these yard signs is one of our education methods.   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.

Be a social media League volunteer and SHARE the information and graphics below on the platforms where you post!
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.

We've launched our “100 Days to The Vote” campaign, with daily social-media posts, (also on our site for our non-social media users) featuring fascinating nuggets about the suffragists and the achievements of women in the century since 1920, both nationally and in Central Florida, FACEBOOK 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.
Shown: On August 18, 1920, U.S. women won the right to vote after a seven-decade crusade, when Tennessee became the critical 36th state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. Young Rep. Harry T. Burn changed his mind and voted to ratify, breaking a tie, after he received a letter from his mother, Febb Ensminger Burn. “Hurrah and vote for Suffrage and don't keep them in doubt,” she wrote. "I knew that a mother's advice is always safest for a boy to follow,” Harry Burn said later.

Volunteer your smile and the reason you vote.  We want to feature YOU on our social media!
  • Submit a picture of yourself with the "Vote From Home" yard sign.
  • Submit a snapshot of you along with a short answer to the question "Why is voting important to me?"  We'll add the caption to the photo
  • Submit a short video clip (30-seconds or less) answering the question "Why is voting important to me?"
Send your submissions to 
 
 Shown right: "Hey, that's me, Lisa Adkins, your newsletter editor.  Do us a favor and send your selfies and videos to John."
 


Register HERE: Hot Topics-Policing in the 21st Century - 9/9/2020

[Shown below, memories of past HT luncheons with the hope that we'll be together again soon.]

Emma Starling


Carla DelVillaggio

 
 *Remember, students join for free!
Invite your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to JOIN US 

Newsletter Checklist
  • We bid our dear League member, Christa Hyatt, goodbye as she moves to North Carolina.  Those of us who volunteer "behind the screens" have been assisted countless times by her expertise.  Thanks for everything, Christa!
  • Don't forget to register for our FREE Suffrage Celebration on Aug 26.
  • Make sure to view all our Aug 17 photos to see us taking to the streets of Orlando honoring the centennial of gaining the vote.
  • Census volunteers are still needed as well as members for Observer Corps.
  • VBM signs are available on a first come/first served basis.  Volunteer your front lawn!
  • Follow our social media platforms to see our 100 Days to The Vote history trivia.  Look at the TOP of all our newsletters and simply click on an icon to go directly to Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • John is looking forward to receiving your photos/videos about "why you vote."

All members should have received this email message touting the educational resources now available for students and the general public.

"As part of the 2020 Election Task Force Committee, we have adapted the national League’s voter education PowerPoint (PPT) for Orange County usable for both high schools and for general audiences.  These are designed to be used in virtual presentations (like Zoom) OR at in-person gatherings or classrooms.  We are happy to provide presenters for virtual presentations."

For high school students, contact: Betty Saulpaugh/bwsaulpaugh@gmail.com

For general public, contact:  Denise Burton/deelburton@aol.com