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Florida State Convention Reports

Nearly 200 League members gathered in Fort Lauderdale Beach on Friday and Saturday at their State Convention to make decisions that will help direct and shape the League of Women Voters of Florida for the next two years.

There were workshops, caucuses and meetings, as well as time to make friends, influence people and hear words of wisdom. Click on the links below to read more.

Florida State Convention Introduction

State Convention Civics Education Workshop

State Convention Juvenile Justice Workshop

State Convention Delegate List

State Convention Poverty Caucus

State Convention Florida Sun Workshop

State Convention Health Care Workshop

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State Convention Health Care Workshop

Workshop leader: Cecile Scoon, assisted by Jennifer Flynn

Report submitted by Ethelene Jones


This report summarizes Cecile’s PowerPoint presentation and includes Jennifer Flynn’s presentation on the “Bird-Dogging 101” technique to pin down politicians’ responses to specific questions.


Florida: had the highest ACA enrollment of all states. Uninsured rate fell by 38% (1.6 million people) with ACA.

ACA Bettered Employer Based Health Care Coverage:

  1.     Almost 9 million Floridians have employer-based health care coverage
  2.     ACA removed lifetime limits from policies, benefitting almost 6 million
  3.     Young adults covered until 26 benefitting, almost 132,000
  4.     Free preventative care benefitting more than 7 million Americans:

Flu shots, mammograms, cancer screenings, contraception

ACA Bettered Individual Market Policies:

  1.     About 1.5 million people have individual policies
  2.     Pre-existing illnesses are not
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State Convention Florida Sun Workshop

Report by Ethelene Jones and Diane Marks


Workshop leader: Sharon Lynn, Seminole County

Sharon described the successful procedures used by Seminole County to establish their Seminole County Solar Co-op:

  1.     Line up partners, such as:
  2.     Sierra Club
  3.     Citizens Climate Lobby
  4.     Audubon Society
  5.     Soil and Water Conservation Board (their mailing list is very useful)
  6.     County commissioners
  7.      Other local leaders
  8.     Form a Steering Committee
  9.     Schedule a press conference:
  10.     Send press conference notices 1 week, 4 days, and one day before launch.
  11.     Notify newspapers, radio, TV and local cable stations.
  12.     Arrange for sites for Information meetings.
  13.     Hold the press conference:
  14.     Consider holding press conference in front of a large solar installation or government office.
  15.     Invite county commissioners, elected officials, a local TV station meteorologist.
  16.     Take plenty of photos and shoot videos
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State Convention Poverty Caucus

June 11, 2017

by Linda Prior

Workshop Leaders: Karen Karinja and Dr. Norin Dollard, Director of FL Kids Count, North Pinella County.

Poverty continues to be an issue in Florida.  The workshop focused on the following:

  1. Support for five Poverty issues as an action program for the League in the next years.
    1. TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    2. Employment / Living Wage
    3. Housing
    4. Quality Early Childhood Learning
  2. Healthcare
  3. Education for local Leagues on this position.
  4. Public advocacy with local legislators to increase funding for basic needs.
  5. Alliance with other organizations to make a push for these goals in the 2019 Legislative session.

Key Facts:

  • Current cash payment (TANF) for a Florida family of 3 is $303/month.  This is the same payment level as 2008. Benefit levels are
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State Convention Delegate List



Gloria Alexander

Christene Campbell-Gabor

Debra Chandler

Nancy Cohen

Kakthleen Crampton

Nikki Descoteaux

Harriet Diamond

Michelle Dodson

Tom Gabor

Linda Geller-Schwartz

Elayne Goodman

Ethelene Jones,

Joan Karp

Barbara Katz

Miidy Koch

Faith Maniti

Diane Marks

Keeter Martinson

Corinne Miller

Linda Prior

Joyce Smookler

Joyce Sullivan

Arlene Ustin

Geanine Wester

Karen Wilkerson

Ira Raab, Parlimentarian…

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State Convention Juvenile Justice Workshop

By Joan Karp


Introduction by Debra Chandler


At the Juvenile Justice Workshop, Ira Raab, State Co-Chair of Juvenile Justice, explained the two main ways a juvenile is treated by the criminal justice system for minor misbehaviors and Dewey Caruthers of the Caruthers Institute explained the use of citations and why they are beneficial to both the child and the taxpayers.  Typically juveniles accused of crimes are “direct filed” with felony charges or issued  civil citations.  Direct filing results in the child being arrested for a felony, booked into jail, and handled in adult circuit court.  If civil citation is used, the child is given a “ticket” & notice to appear in court.  They are then typically diverted into a program focussed on rehabilitation rather than punishment.  

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Florida State Convention Introduction


By President Karen Wilkerson


Our Palm Beach League had a large delegation attend the recent state convention that was held in Fort Lauderdale in June. Our strong presence included twenty-five members and our intern, Faith Maniti. View a list of our delegates. Seek them out to hear about their experience!


Some of the highlights included:

  • Our Civics Education Chair, Christene Campbell-Gabor and our student intern, Faith Maniti conducted a workshop
  • Nancy Cohen and Kathleen Crampton presented on the concept of a national popular voting system for the election of U.S. President. Through our Ritter Grant we were able to provide a keynote speech on this issue.
  • Mark Schneider gave a workshop on the restoration of voting rights for former
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Business Forum- Housing in Palm Beach County

By Sammy Alzofon

Housing in Palm Beach County

A key concern in Palm Beach County revolves around housing.  Member Sammy Alzofon will be reporting on housing issues for LWVPBC. Below, read the first of her reports.

Monday, June 12, 2017
Business Forum Meeting

Speaker: Richard Reikenis,
Facilitator: Joe Rooney


Economic Council of Palm Beach County

This forum meeting was to hear a summation of the May 31, 2017 Housing Summit convened by Verdenia Baker, Palm Beach County administrator.

Rick Reikenis, as guest speaker, noted a number of items, directed at those present who had not attended the summit. These included:

  • A description of the formation of the task force appointed before the summit to do most of the planning.
  • Acknowledgment that the topics were wide-ranging, from homelessness to workforce housing.
  • Many
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More Housing in AG Reserve?

By Kathy Panko, Environmental Issues Group

More Housing in Ag ReserveFlorida homebuilder, GL Homes, wants to increase the number of homes they can build in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre farming and conservation zone west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.  Instead of proceeding with their already approved plan to build 3,900 homes in Indian Trails Grove, a 4,900-acre site west of the Acreage, GL now wants to change the rules.

Currently, the rule reads:

The County requires that developers conserve 60 acres in the reserve for every 40 acres they develop.  Land outside of the Agricultural Reserve cannot be used to meet preservation requirements for development in the reserve.

GL Homes is trying to change the County’s comprehensive plan so they can develop more of the property they own …

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On June 13, members and friends met at the Palm Beach Post Building to hear an evening Why Courts Matter presentation on the Role of the Courts in Immigration. Attorney Jackie Delgado provided a history of immigration in the United States and, also, explained the present systems that pertain to family sponsorships, “dreamers,” backlog of citizenship applications, etc.


This was the first in our 2017 series of Why Courts Matter. To view the entire presentation, please go to the LWVPBC’s Facebook page at

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