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Date: 9/17/2020
Subject: LWVOC Newsletter & Events
From: Lisa K Adkins

It's National Hispanic Heritage Month.  September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821.  The designated period is also a nod to those from Mexico and Chile, which celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.  Read intriguing facts, available thanks to the public's invaluable participation in U.S. Census Bureau surveys:  Click HERE
Read Orlando Sentinel editorial HEREFlorida needs Hispanics to respond to the 2020 Census  Visit our Volunteering Page to see how you can help everyone Be Counted in 2020.
"Who is Hispanic?  Anyone who says they are.  And nobody who says they aren't."  Explore this answer and Read the Pew Research Center's essay on how this population is counted in public opinion surveys, voter exit polls, and government surveys such as the 2020 Census.
Carmen Torres was born in San Juan, PR and grew up in New York City.  In the early ‘80’s, she worked as a Railroad Clerk with the NYC Transit Authority and subsequently as a Police Officer with NYPD. Carmen relocated in 1993 and lived in Marion County, FL, for ten years there she helped organize the Hispanic Caucuses in Silver Springs Shores and Marion Oaks communities. There she also formed a coalition with the Florida Voters League, Inc. of which she is still a board member. Moving to Orange County in 2003, she worked for the Dept. of Corrections Intake Unit and retired in 2012. With the LWVOC, she has loved registering voters and working with the Speakers Bureau to explain ballot issues.  Carmen is the spouse of FL State Senator Victor M. Torres, Jr. and mother of FL State Representative Amy Mercado.
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  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. Above: Mary Ignacia Johnson, elected the first Hispanic Orlando City Council member in 1980, became the first Hispanic Orange County commissioner in 1992. She retired in 2004. She was born in New York City in 1933 and moved with her family to Cuba, their home, from which they fled during the Castro regime. In Orange County, she was a member of many important community boards and created the Victim Service Center in 1999. She died June 3, 2020
Tenemos buenas noticias.
We're excited to share that VOTE411 is now available in Spanish!  Supporting Spanish-speaking voters through VOTE411 has long been a dream of ours, and we are so grateful to the strong partnership of NALEO Education Fund in making this a reality.
 Check it out at
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Latinos make up 31% of Orange County's population which is 8% of Florida's overall population.

AMENDMENT 4-Voting Rights Restoration UPDATE:

On September 11, 2020, in a 6-4 ruling, the 11th Circuit of the US Appeals Court ruled in favor of Florida citing that people with felony convictions must pay off all fines and fees before voting. Approx. 700-800,000 returning citizens are affected by the ruling and most likely will be headed to the US Supreme Court.


Vote YES on Orange Charter Changes
Orlando Sentinel commentary from Carol Foglesong, LWVOC Government Committee Chair
"Every four years, a committee of citizens reviews Orange County's Charter, our local governing document.  With input from the community, the committee crafts amendments to the Charter which are then put to voters for approval.
This fall, voters have three important charter amendments to consider.  The League of Women Voters of Orange County, having studied the issues and deliberated their merits, strongly endorses and recommends voting YES to all three Orange County charter amendments."
2020 Orange County Charter Amendments
  Click LWVOC CRC Voters Guide to view summaries of the amendments proposed as well as the positions of the LWVOC.

2020 FL State Constitution Ballot Amendments
 Click 2020 Ballot Amendments to view summaries of the Florida Constitution Amendments. 
The League of Women Voters of Florida has compiled an in-depth analysis of each amendment.  Click HERE to visit their site for more information including a statement from LWVFL President, Patricia Brigham.

This week's webinar will feature
Ellen Freidin to discuss redistricting: our victorious past and what lies ahead.

Ellen, a game changer for Florida, is a constitutional attorney and the leader of Fair Districts Florida, a successful 2010 citizens’ initiative to outlaw gerrymandering.
Discussion: What lessons were learned during the fight to pass 2010's Amendment 5&6 and the court battles that followed? How can we best prepare for redistricting -- and the fight for fairness -- in the coming years?
Q&A Session with Ellen Freidin and Patricia Brigham
LWVFL Updates & News

House District 44 Candidate Debate
The LWVOC has a long history of hosting and promoting debates.  In that spirit, we want to direct you to another community resource that is making sure that candidates' voices are being made available to everyone.  "The Commission on Local Debates (CLD) was established as a 501(c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to set a higher standard for debates in local races.  Their primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates that meet voter education and accessibility criteria to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity to see and hear those running to represent them."
Use the links below to see their recent House District 44 Candidate Debate:
September 23, NOON
Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida has invited the LWVOC to co-sponsor their celebration of The Centennial with a panel of LOCAL WOMAN TRAILBLAZERS at noon on Wednesday, September 23. 
Mable Butler, Linda Chapin (LWVOC) and Glenda Hood will be on the panel moderated by Martha Haynie (LWVOC)   
NO FEE.  Zoom registration here: Tiger Bay Trailblazers

SEPT 24, 6:30-8:30 PM
Please join the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, the Voters Education Coalition of Central Florida and Alianza for Progress as we highlight the fundamental constitutional right to vote and how this right is increasingly being put to the test this election year.  Our esteemed panel - Desmond Meade with Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Kristin Fulwylie Thomas with Equal Ground EducationAlisia Adamson Profit with HAWM Law, PLLC/ Voter Protection Associate with #FloridaforBidenRussell Drake with Orange County Democratic Black Caucus, and Dr. Gloria Pickar with the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida will discuss barriers to voting and educate the community on ways to overcome those barriers in preparation of the upcoming Florida voting registration deadline (October 5, 2020). Also, we are pleased to welcome Professor Jennifer Smith with Florida A&M University College of Law who will serve as our moderator.
The forum will stream live through the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association's Facebook page here: 


Begins Monday, SEPT 21

 In years past, this unique festival has brought filmmakers and filmgoers from all walks of life to Central Florida, inspiring them to take action in their daily lives and to leave the world a more peaceful place than they found it. GPFF now aims to continue this tradition virtually through online feature film screenings, virtual panel discussions and art exhibits.

Starting on the International Day of Peace, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, a selection of more than 20 feature films will be available for screening. 

We've had many Leaguers participate in this community event and knew that you would want more information.
"It's that time of year, a time to talk and learn.  The year 2020 has challenged us like no other.  Together, we will carve a path forward.  Let's start with Table Talk, a candid conversation on October 1, 2020 about our community.  Everyone in Central Florida is invited."

It's EASY to be a League volunteer!  Take part quickly in the Census efforts, upcoming election poll worker positions, and openings for face-to-face voter registration.  YES, our League leadership has approved limited in-person Voter Registration events which means we'll need masked-up/socially distanced volunteers. Members can see ALL opportunities (and easily sign up) on our Volunteering Page but click below for quick links to some of the opportunities.

VOLUNTEER anywhere and anytime virtually!  Use your social media savvy with our campaign of "SHARING IS CARING"
 Get clicking and share the graphics below!

Your contributions help us continue the powerful work of the League, especially during these pandemic times when our normal operations have been curtailed.  Much appreciation to:
Mary Munroe for her very generous donation to the League of Women Voters Orange County
 For those of you who would like to donate "in honor" or "in memory" of someone or to support our voter education efforts,
visit our Donations page.

Claudia Rinaldi
Jennifer Williams
Sarah Boye
Jessica Vitarelli
Joyce Jack
Megan Stokes
Anna Boyd
Douglas Boyd
Kristopher Kest
Brooke Kest
Alison Koch

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

Newsletter Checklist
  • Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Policing in the 21st Century Hot Topics is now up on our YouTube Channel
  • Lots of events happening.  Always check our online calendar and save the dates from this newsletter.
  • Voter Guides are now available for the Ballot Amendments in Orange County and for Florida
  • Are you following us on social media?  Find us @LWVOC on Facebook and Instagram as well as YouTube and Twitter
  • Check out information below as the #Votes4All series continues

#VOTES4ALL is the name of three identical interactive programs presented by Valencia's Peace and Justice Institute and LWVOC at 6 pm on September 23, September 30 and October 14.  Inspired by the role of voting in the Ocoee Massacre, the virtual sessions describe the history of voter suppression in central Florida as it relates to gender and race.  It's free and meaningful to realize the truths of the continuing struggles and discuss in small break-out groups.  Choose one of the three and register here:  #Votes4ALL