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Date: 4/29/2021
Subject: LWVOC Newsletter & Events
From: Lisa K Adkins

Introducing the new LWVOC Co-Presidents (l. to r.) Sue Gilman and Barbara Lanning.

As your 2021-2022 co-presidents, we are honored to have earned the confidence of the LWVOC. Along with this year’s Board of Directors, we look forward to serving  you in the coming year. 

 During their co-presidency, Gloria and Sandi have done an inspired job of creating the infrastructure an organization of our size requires. By initiating both strategic processes, we have a streamlined roadmap to follow. In addition, the board has worked hard to guide behind-the-scenes organizational work on the nuts and bolts of what we do to create an easy access repository documenting the work of the league, making committee operations more efficient and allowing future members a record to help guide their actions. Gloria and Sandi’s work to establish the 501c3 designation will pay financial dividends well into the future.  In short, their legacy will be felt for years to come and we give a heartfelt thank you to our predecessors for their diligent leadership and leaving our League with a sturdy foundation from which soar to in our next 80 years! 

 As we look ahead, in this year of cautious recovery from COVID and with no major elections on the calendar, we believe there is a unique opportunity to focus on areas that may not receive as much attention in election years due to the heavy workload required of our membership during election season.  We invite you to turn your attention to the advocacy committees and the important work being done by each. Their collective knowledge of the issues and connections within the community are an important strength. Excellent work has been done to increase the number of relationships forged with grass roots groups and community leaders by many of our committees.

We hope to increase the synergy between committees and capitalize on the community connections built through their work. From these, we can both leverage our reach in preparation for the 2022 elections and continue to increase the diversity of our membership. If you are not yet a committee member, now is the time to find a home as these groups are truly the trenches of where League work gets done!

 Finally, we hope to strengthen communication both within the membership and to the community at large. More robust use of technology and methods of communication are increasingly required to reach our target audiences with the League’s messages. This kind of outreach will give recognition to our brand, strengthen our voice and help us to build a more diverse membership.

 We are thrilled to be beginning our year as your co-presidents. We will strive to empower voters and defend democracy in our community. We will do our best to serve the League and our members. As a 100% volunteer organization, we are all working hard to accomplish our common goals. We need your continued support and most importantly your participation to make these goals a reality.


Barbara Lanning and Sue Gilman

 Meet all the members of our New Board and click HERE to view the Zoom highlights of our Annual Meeting.  For our new members and those who would like a refresher course, make plans to attend our  6:30 PM LWVOC New Member Orientation - 5/18/2021

The League of Women Voters of Orange County is proud and honored to present this Warrior for Democracy Award to State Rep. Geraldine Thompson.

Read complete Press Release HERE

 The plaque presented to Rep. Thompson includes the insert below:

The League of Women Voters of Orange County, FL, bestows upon the Honorable Geraldine Thompson its first Warrior for Democracy award for her courage and decisive action to defend our democracy and the rule of law on behalf of our citizens and the Constitution of the State of Florida. On September 11, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of state Rep. Thompson in response to the lawsuit she filed arguing that the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis was illegitimate because Francis did not meet the minimum ten-year Florida Bar membership as required by Florida law. Standing up against the governor, the Judicial Nominating Commission, and her own caucus, Rep. Thompson claimed that Francis should not have been on the Commission’s nominee shortlist and the governor should have appointed only fully qualified candidates. Rep. Thompson’s brave action defended the public right to petition our government, the institutional integrity of the court, and the lawful authority of the state constitution. We are proud to honor her as a true League of Women Voters of Orange County WARRIOR FOR DEMOCRACY.

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee would like to honor Poet Audre Lorde during National Poetry Month. Born Audrey Geraldine Lorde (Feb 18, 1934-Nov 17, 1992), she was an American writer, feminist, librarian and civil rights activist. She was a self described "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet who dedicated her life to and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, classism, capitalism and homophobia.

Here's a link to one of her powerful poems which remains relevant during this period of reckoning with racism and police violence: "A Litany for Survival" from the anthology "The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde" where she reminds us "So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive."

Register now for next month's Hot Topics:

Perhaps you've tuned in recently to events geared toward stopping the hate against AAPI.   LWV statement

"The League stands in solidarity with AAPI communities. We are committed to listening to and amplifying AAPI voices and educating ourselves on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country so that we can be better allies. 

“We urge our followers to do the same, and to call on elected and appointed officials at all levels of government to demonstrate their commitment to keeping ALL communities safe. There can be no liberty in the face of racist and xenophobic violence.”

Enjoy celebrating the community's heritage in May as well as standing against hate against AAPI.

Suggested event from our Advocacy Committees:  
 Virtual COPE provides an online experience for individuals and organizations to better understand poverty, learn from people making the journey out of poverty, and become a change-maker in their organization. It is a 90-minute virtual experience on Zoom utilizing both large group and breakout rooms. Participants will make difficult decisions, work together to try and complete their tasks for one simulated week. Includes a debriefing to process experience and explore next steps. Participants will receive follow-up emails to continue processing the experience the week following the event.Led by nationally trained facilitators at Poverty Solutions Group.

Newsletter Checklist:
  • Visit all the links to see our Annual Meeting highlights 
  • Congratulations to our first winner of the "Warriors for Democracy Award," Rep. Geraldine Thompson
  • Our sincerest appreciation for the YEARS of dedicated service from our former Co-Presidents Leesa Bainbridge, Sandi Vidal, and Gloria Pickar shown below