Recent News

State Convention- South Region Local League Meeting

Sat. 6/9/17   8:30-9:15am

By Elayne Goodman


Basically, the emphasis of this meeting was that Local Leagues should work together with their neighboring Local Leagues to strengthen  program attendance at such functions such as: Hot Topics, Legislative Wrap-ups, Legislative  Interviews, Workshops, Fundraising Events, and anything else that area leagues could do together.

I brought up the fact that since LWVPBC is  so large and geographically spread out, we have instead formed coalitions with other organizations with similar interests and have collaborated with them to increase turnout at many our our important events. This practice has proven very successful for us.  In addition, such collaboration has gained us many new, interested members.…

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State Convention Reinstatement of Ex-Felons’ Rights Workshop

Mark Schneider, president of ACLU of Florida Palm Beach Chapter and Palm Beach County League member, discussed the campaign and proposed amendment to restore voting rights to over 1.6 million former felons in Florida.  Cecile Scoon, Florida League board member, described formal efforts to get the amendment on the 2018 ballot.  Amendment supporters, including LWVF, ACLU of Florida, and Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, must secure almost 700,000 more signed petitions.

Later in the evening, Cecile chaired a meeting for volunteers detailing how the signed petitions will be secured.…

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State Convention Reproductive Rights Workshop

Amy Weintraub, chairwoman of LWVF Reproductive Health & Justice Committee, led a workshop focused on women’s access to reproductive health care to enthusiastic workshop attendees.  Amy employed a well received icebreaker and small group strategy with Q & A flashcards, followed by a discussion format.  She reviewed various stereotypes, cultural beliefs, misconceptions, and myths surrounding reproductive rights.  Amy provided key facts necessary to influence opinions and policies on reproductive rights.…

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State Convention Gun Safety Caucus

Acclaimed author of Confronting Gun Violence in America and LWV member Tom Gabor and Patti Brigham, Gun Safety Chairwoman of LWVF and Board Member LWVF, co-chaired a comprehensive discussion on accessibility and regulation of gun ownership.  Their expertise was evident as they described how easy it is to acquire a concealed carry permit in Florida and how little is legally done to determine the competency of a gun owner.  They explained that, regardless of public opinion, the NRA will continue to rule through monetary means and succeed in defeating all efforts to achieve gun safety.  Tom and Patti encouraged us to continue the LWV fight for gun safety despite the recently passed Expanding Stand Your Ground Law in Florida.  They noted that in the two previous legislative …

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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

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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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