League of Women Voters Charlotte County Florida
League of Women Voters of Charlotte County Florida

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Youthful Energy Achieves Results
February 22, 2018 By: Jean Finks
Not only did the Parkland students show bravery during and just after the attack on their school.  They bussed to Tallahassee, and received a predictably two-faced welcome.  The legislature had already voted down pending legislation before their arrival, and many state legislators did not face the future voters who had something to tell them. That did not stop them; it gave them a problem to solve, and they kept up their protests.
As I write, which is Thursday evening, the Parkland students, and those they have inspired in many places in this country, have achieved more in one week that I could have expected. More than 18 schools had walkouts to demonstrate solidarity with other students who are fed up with talk but no action on protecting students (and all of us) from gun violence.  And this issue almost tops the Mueller probe in newsworthiness.
Today the bank known as the official credit card provider for the NRA (National Rifle Association) has announced it will end its affiliation with that group.
Four Northeastern states, including New York, have announced plans to share information among themselves to assure that those with mental illnesses or violence in their public records are known throughout the affiliated states.  They have also agreed to STUDY the effects of gun violence, which is currently prohibited under federal law, and to share any results they uncover.
These are great starts.
Tomorrow, Governor Scott and others in state government will announce their plans for reform measures on the availabiity of weapons of war at least in this state.  If for one am not expecting much from Governor Scott, whose ambition is self-evident, but whose caring persona is very recently applied.
But most important, as someone whose energy levels are nowhere near as dynamic as the Parkland students, I am energized by their efforts, and I urge others to help channel that current energy to even more productive results.  Why not study what "a well regulated militia" means in terms of the second amendment?  As one person interviewed today said, I cannot buy a tank or a fighter plane for my driveway and personal use.  Why can every idiot buy these weapons of war?  And as pointed out tonight, our government outlawed "machine guns" in the Capone era.  When did we forget that lesson?
I am also heartened by the awareness of the Parkland students that if they are not listened to, as soon as they are able, they WILL register and WILL vote to oust those who do not listen or heed the wishes of their constituents. 
Just heard that Alamo, Enterprise and National Car Rental are ending their affiliations with the NRA.  You go, students, and keep it up.  We have been waiting for your voices.  I am only sorry that it took such a terrible event to amplify your voices.
Gun Violence - A Never Ending Tragedy
February 16, 2018 By: Julie Stewart
It's happened again, and this time it was close to home. Kids and teachers huddled in closets while classmates are slaughtered by a cold-eyed killer with a semi-automatic rifle. This gut-wrenching news may be losing its shock value - a tragedy itself - but it will never be shrugged off. New generations who aren't jaded yet on the ways of politics are demanding an end to policymakers' quiet complicity in these acts of domestic terror.
One of the most heartening things to see in the aftermath of the massacre in Broward County is the steely resolve of Parkland students, who have more common sense than the majority of legislators in Florida when it comes to advocating a common sense approach to gun control. They don't accept this as a "mental health" issue - they're demanding action now to limit the availability of weapons of mass destruction, a legitimate label for the AR-15 and similar military-style assault weapons. The AR-15 in particular has had a prominent role in at least a half dozen domestic gun massacres in recent years.
Linguistic Tip: Stop talking about "guns." These are "WMDs." Much scarier - and it shows how distinct they are from the language of the Second Amendment.
The Florida League has long been an active advocate for getting these WMDs out of the hands of civilians, and encourages local chapters to help drum up support for changes in Tallahassee. That's one way you can get (or stay) involved.
Another is Everytown for Gun Safety. They can show you ways to put pressure on your local legislators (as well as Congress members and Senators) to DO something. I don't know about you, but I'm mad as hell and I just can't take it any more. Let's support in every way we can these energetic young people in doing what our own generation failed to accomplish.
Ex-Felon Voting Rights Update
January 29, 2018 By: Julie Stewart
The Florida League of Women voters and its collective chapters (including ours) is celebrating the fact that over 1.1 million Floridians  signed petitions to place ex-felons voting rights on the  ballot. It will appear as Amendment 4 in the November General Election.
Several members of our Charlotte County League chapter participated in collecting signatures, forwarding them on to the coordinators in Tallahassee.
This petition drive created some strange bedfellows in terms of leadership demographics. There was our own group (predominately older white, middle and upper income women) working in tandem statewide with felons rights advocates, many of whom tend to be young, black and male. While the ladies circulated petitions at civic events, club meetings or farmers markets, their counterparts were at sneaker conventions and Rap concerts manning their own tables.
For the ladies, it was probably a somewhat tougher sell to talk about felons and voting in a context where few of their potential signers had much direct experience with people who have served prison time for felonies. In the black communities, more people know someone who has been directly disenfranchised by a prior felony record. So, hats off to all you ladies who bravely made the case that ALL citizens deserve the right to vote.
The second part of our journey begins NOW with educating voters on this amendment through speaker opportunities, social media, mainstream media, and grassroots networking to assure that Amendment 4 wins approval.
Florida Legislation Report for Jan. 28th
January 29, 2018 By: Julie McGillivray
As you may know, our Florida Assembly is in session. Here is the link for updates on bills and pending legislation: http://www.lwvfl.org/capitol-report-january-26-2018/
A Victory for Voting Rights
January 4, 2018 By: Julie Stewart
Fraud Commission Dissolved, but Florida League of Women Voters Remains Vigilant
Tallahassee, Fla. - The League of Women Voters of Florida welcomes the dissolution of President Donald Trump's commission to investigate voter fraud, but the group today said it remains vigilant in the face of other potential threats to the voting rights.
“The League of Women Voters of Florida, as it has for 80 years, will vigorously protect and defend the voting rights of Floridians from threats wherever they originate — whether it be from Tallahassee or Washington D.C.," said Pamela Goodman, President of the LWV of Florida. "Our right to vote is sacred and cherished."
Last May, after alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections, President Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which resulted in immediate public controversy. One major criticism was its composition: commissioners included known advocates of voter suppression, and the chair and vice-chair were from the same party. 
After months of criticisms from both Republicans and Democrats and lawsuits to stall the illegal handover of private voter information, the president signed an executive order disbanding the Commission last night. Subsequent statements make clear, however, that President Trump and his allies intend on pursuing these claims of voter fraud through other means, including through the use of the Department of Homeland Security.
Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and frequent counsel to the Florida League said, “The League is on the front lines of protecting the right to vote in Florida. We are proud to partner with them in these efforts and will join them in standing up against any attempts to suppress voters' rights.”
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
League of Women Voters of Florida | 2507 Callaway Road, Suite 102A, Tallahassee, FL 32303

Update from Tallahassee
December 13, 2017 By: Julie Stewart
In case you missed it...
Bad Gun Bills Die in Senate
Last week, we asked you to make phone calls and send emails to stop three bad gun bills that were being heard in committee. All of that work from our members paid off big time for gun safety in our state. All three bills were voted down in committee! Senators Anitere Flores and Rene Garcia of Miami reached across the aisle and helped take these bad bills down in a bipartisan manner.
CRC Watchdog Group Sends Letter
As part of a coalition of a dozen organizations, the League has been closely monitoring the Constitution Revision Commission. We sent the latest of our letters to the CRC this past Friday. The letter concerns rules violations that have yet to be addressed by the Commission. It is our hope that the CRC takes swift action to correct these issues immediately.
League Announces Lobbyist for 2018 Session
The League announced this past week that Stephanie Owens has accepted a position as our lobbyist for the 2018 session. Stephanie has resigned from her position as a member of the state board in order to accept this position.
LWV Bay County hosts forum on health care
With the deadline to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act approaching, LWV of Bay County hosted a community forum on health care. Health care experts made clarifications in the wake of a changing landscape due to executive orders signed by President Trump.
League Spotlight
LWV Orange County held a press conference on Wednesday in conjunction with the Orange County Police Department and state prosecutor Aramis Ayala. In 2015, 1,666 juvenile offenders who were arrested in Orange and Osceola counties could have instead been given civil citations. This year, that number is 817.
While there is still work to do, this is promising progress and we applaud the Prange and Osceola County Police Departments for taking an active role in ending the school to prison pipeline.
You can click here to read the press release. Watch the following video for Chief Judge Fred Lauten of the Ninth Circuit for more.
Upcoming Action Team Conference Calls
Reproductive Health and Justice
Monday, Dec. 11 12 PM
Contact: Amy Weintraub
Tuesday, Dec. 12 5:30 PM
Access code: 770913#
Membership Committee
Thursday, Dec. 14 6:30 PM
Access Code: 774267
Contact: Betty Haynes
Water, Land, & Wildlife
Tuesday, Dec. 19 5:30 PM
Access code: 770913#
Juvenile Justice
Thursday, Dec. 21 4:30 PM
Access code: 413734#
Local Leaders Conference Call
Thursday, Dec. 21 6:00 PM
Access Code: 643895#
League of Women Voters of Florida | 850.224.2545 | LWVFL.org
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This Month's News from LWV Florida
December 4, 2017 By: Julie Stewart
Here's what's been happening lately, from the State League of Women Voters.
In case you missed it...
We need you to take 10 minutes of your time to make phone calls and send emails to stop some dangerous gun bills that are making their way through the process on both the state and federal level. Thank you for supporting gun safety in our state!
Governor's Motion Shot Down in Court
On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court denied a motion by Governor Rick Scott to recuse Justice Barbara Pariente from our case against the state. The case revolves around whether the outgoing Gov. Scott or his successor has the authority to appoint three Supreme Court judges in January 2019.
Scott motioned that Pariente be disqualified from the case based on fragments of comments that were caught on a "hot mic". The League successfully argued that not only were those comments unintelligible, but they had no possible relevance to the case at hand.
Closing in on Goal for Restoration of Rights Amendment Petitions
ICYMI: The petition that would place an amendment to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals on the 2018 ballot is entering the home stretch. We are now less than 100,000 away from our goal of 1,000,000! The deadline is quickly approaching and this is the last push to get signatures.
If you haven't signed yet, download the form and do so. If your friends and family are registered voters and have not signed the petition, download the form and get them to sign it! If you want to volunteer with your local League to get petitions signed, let us know! Our time is NOW.
Julie Kessel speaks with Union Edge Radio
Dr. Julie Kessel -- president of LWV of the St. Petersburg Area and state League board member -- was interviewed by The Union Edge regarding their League's historic victory last month. St. Petersburg became the first city in the United States to place limits on the amount of money that donors can give to PACs influencing municipal elections.
Upcoming Events
2018 LWV Florida Legislative Summit
Summit is already only 2 months away! Join us in Tallahassee on Feb. 6 and 7 as we take over the Capitol and lobby on our issues. This is the highlight of our year, and it is not possible without you!
Sign up to meet with your legislators, hear from lawmakers in the process, learn how to lobby them, and mingle with your fellow League members at our annual Gala!
Stay tuned for much more info. Click here to register!
2018 LWVUS Convention
Want to be a part of shaping the future of LWVUS? Sign up for 2018 Convention in the Windy City! Convention will be held at the Hilton Chicago from June 28 to July 1, 2018. Meet with Leaguers from all across the country as we make sure that Florida's voice is heard for the upcoming biennium.
League Spotlight
LWV of Polk County held a creative demonstration on Nov. 15 in Lakeland, donning costumes from The Handmaid's Tale.
This demonstration was to highlight HB 41 in the Florida House that would legitimize Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) as "wellness centers" which would open them up to more funding. CPCs calready receive funding from the state but do not have to meet the same rigorous requirements that other clinics do.
Upcoming Action Team Conference Calls & Webinars
Water, Land, & Wildlife
Tuesday, Dec. 5 5:30 PM
Access code: 770913#
Voter Services
Thursday, Dec. 7 6:00 PM
Access code: 153337#
Reproductive Health and Justice
Monday, Dec. 11 12 PM
Contact: Amy Weintraub
Solar Action Team
Tuesday, Dec. 12 5:30 PM
Access code: 770913#
Membership Committee
Thursday, Dec. 14 6:30 PM
Access Code: 774267
Contact: Betty Haynes
The Ultimate Informed Voters
October 23, 2017 By: Julie Stewart
Political junkies had a fun get-together on September 28 at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, where the Charlotte County League hosted its first Trivia Night. Avice Sunter and Julie Stewart, co-organizers of the event, researched and hand picked over 120 questions for the table contestants to test their memory of political events and personalities through the years.
Barb Davis and Chris Grabowski ended up as the winning team with the most correct answers. However, due to the generosity and enthusiasm of many LWVCC members, there were enough prizes to go around for everyone who attended. Below are some photos from the event.
League reaches out to DKG Gamma Nu
October 16, 2017 By: Jean Finks
Jean Finks spoke on October 12 to local members of Gamma Nu chapter of Delta Kappa Gamme, a sorority for teachers both retired and currently teaching.  Her audience was well informed, and asked very good questions.  Their chapter is hoping to get more active in legislative matters, and Jean suggested we work together on projects to get more results.  Membership materials were made available after their Pledge of Allegiance, a custom we share.  Here is a picture of Jean, filing in for president Julie McGillivray, and chapter leader Barbara Davis.
Gun Violence Strikes Again -LWV Response
October 2, 2017 By: Julie Stewart
For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Pamela Goodman
President, LWV Florida
Patricia Brigham
Co-Chair, Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Statement from LWVFL and Coalition on Las Vegas Shooting
Once again, Americans awoke this morning to the news of another horrific mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas. At this writing, at least 58 were killed by a lone gunman. In addition, over 500 people were injured. Just a little more than a year after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the mass shooting in Las Vegas is now the deadliest in modern U.S. history.
While we are still learning the facts of what happened, the League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence mourn the loss of life of so many innocent people in Las Vegas. However, the response of our elected officials with messages of “thoughts and prayers” is insufficient. We do not elect our government officials for thoughts and prayers. We elect them to make law. We cannot continue to allow easy access to assault weapons in our country. We have seen the consequences of such access too many times. We honor the lives lost today with our unwavering commitment to protect all communities from gun violence.
Pamela S. Goodman
LWV Florida
Patricia Brigham
Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Andy Pelosi
Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence