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Date: 6/10/2021
Subject: LWVOC Newsletter & Events
From: Lisa K Adkins

A salute to Dean Johnson, who retires this week after several years volunteering as our roving reporter covering Hot Topics and other current events for the LWVOC.  Dean always makes challenging tasks look easy – such as the challenge of writing succinct, flawlessly accurate, and captivating reports on LWVOC forums and debates.  He brought years of experience to the task. Dean graduated with an MA in English from Western Illinois University in 1968. After an early career as a school teacher, he moved to Orlando and landed a job on the Orlando Sentinel, working his way up from copy editor to entertainment and celebrity reporter, then wrote a long-running and much-beloved weekly column. Most people in Central Florida remember him not as Dean Johnson but as “Commander Coconut.”

 After he retired, he became an invaluable LWVOC supporter and volunteer. Among his contributions: for many years, he wrote member profiles and reported on Hot Topics and other forums for the newsletter, and he was text editor for the LWVOC’s history book, Warriors for Democracy.

 Thank you, Dean Johnson, volunteer extraordinaire!  Shown above:  Ann Hellmuth and Andrea Kobrin-former Hot Topics chairs with Dean Johnson

Taking a bow, Dean's last Hot Topics Review
 Let’s begin this month’s LWVOC Hot Topics report with a few stats that illuminate the HT subject, “The School-to-Prison Pipeline,” referring to the frequency with which kids, as young as elementary school, get shuttled into the juvenile justice system, often unnecessarily, and then end up in adult prison.

*In the most recent reporting year, there were 345,000 suspensions in Florida schools and 570 expulsions. Black students are 2.5 times more likely to be removed from classrooms as white students.  Continue reading HERE

A panelist at yesterday's Hot Topics also passed along this informative link highlighting the efforts of nearby Flagler County as they confront the "School to Prison Pipeline" crisis.
Click below to view our latest Hot Topics on the LWVOC YouTube Channel:
Be sure to subscribe and click the bell on our channel to be notified when we upload a video.
*Reminder, there is NOT a July Hot Topics.  See you again in August but until then, please look for a survey email about the future of Hot Topics luncheons.

League of Women Voters Orange County Co-Presidents, Sue Gilman and Barbara Lanning, accepted an award from OCPS this week commending the entire League and making special note of the LWVOC support of PUBLIC Education; they also lauded our Voter Services, Education, and Juvenile Justice advocacy committees.  It was presented by School Board Member Angie Gallo.
 Visit our Advocacy Committees at and learn more about our important community endeavors.  Members can reach out to our chairpersons and sign on to begin their own advocacy journey. 
Civil rights lawyer Cecile M. Scoon, Esq. has made history as the first Black woman elected to lead the League of Women Voters of Florida.
"Voting is the basic building block of our prized democracy. During our state convention, the League demonstrated how democracy should work when our grassroots members voted for new leadership. In doing this, League members repudiated times in the 1920s and later in the 1960s when white League members were not as welcoming to Black women.” said President Scoon. “My election was a rejection of that troubling past and an embracement of diversity, equity and inclusivity. I love the League because it is primarily a group of powerful women standing up for the rights of all. I look forward to this journey as we work to meet the many challenges of our time.”
➡️ Learn more about President Scoon's historic election here:
It's the perfect follow-up for this week's Hot Topics-School to Prison Pipeline.  "PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School," a film addressing both the youth justice system and the fight for female equity.
Pushout is sponsored by S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective, All About the Ballots,  FL Student Power Network,  Every Black Girl, and the Community Justice Project in hosting this virtual screening of the Florida based documentary “Push Out: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School” on Saturday, 3PM, June 12, 2021. Registration details HERE 
League of Women Voters members from across the nation are in Washington, D.C. rallying alongside Congress members and coalition partners to pass the #ForThePeopleAct. 
Interested in voter issues?  Learn more about our Voter Services Committee and consider joining their team!  Keep scrolling and read about the voter registration updates for all League volunteers.
Looking forward to registering voters again?
Updates for MEMBERS ONLY

Due to the passage of SB 90 and the mandatory compliance with the law, all League members who wish to register voters under the League's purview must retake an updated version of our voter registration quiz.
For clarity, at this point no matter what you must recertify with the updated version. The prior quiz has been invalidated with the new law.
A 180/180 score is now required. The quiz may be taken multiple times if needed. The quiz's validity has been extended now until May 31, 2023.



Guess who is missing from this space?  YOU!
We want to continue our Member Highlights feature but that means we need members to SUBMIT their information.  
Fill out the Member Highlight form and we'll take it from there!

Greetings to the newest members of the League of Women Voters Orange County!
Robin Harris
Cynthia Harris
Milaura Spelman
Click below to learn more about 
Also remember that we now offer Gift Membership ...a great college graduation gift idea!
Looking for more "gifting" ideas?  
You can contribute to the LWVOC Fund "In honor" or "In Memory" of someone.
As with most groups during this pandemic, we've had to tighten our financial belts.  Eventually, we'll return to the events that help supplement our budget but until then, we're relying on your local dues (which are also split to pay state and national dues) and the generosity of your tax-deductible contributions.
 Find out more:  Donations: Single or recurring

More information and registration here: 23rd Annual Family Cafe JUNE 11-13
 Since 1998, The Annual Family Café has brought Floridians with all types of disabilities together for three days of information, training, and networking each June. With a great range of individual breakout sessions, a packed Exhibit Hall with dozens of vendors, and a series of special events including Keynote speakers and The Governors’ Summit on Disabilities, The Annual Family Café offers attendees exposure to resources on a grand scale, unprecedented access to policy-making officials, and a chance to network with other individuals with disabilities and their families.

Newsletter Checklist:
  • Congratulations to our history making new LWVFL President, Cecile Scoon
  • Need a spring gift idea...graduation, Father's Day?  League memberships and contributions are two ways to give back and pay forward.
  • Enjoy the beauty of rainbow flags this month.  Happy Pride Month
  • Thanks for the memories, Dean!  Can't wait to see you at a future HT where you can just relax and enjoy the program.