Two Awards at Summit


Felon Rights Restoration
Leaders of Effort: Nancy Cohen, Linda Geller-Schwartz, Mary Jane Range, Mark Schneider

In 2013 the original PBC League Voting Rights committee had grown into a county-wide coalition of groups and individuals. They chose to work with ACLU on the restoration of Felon Voting Rights as their priority issue for action.

Their first focus was to educate the public on the issue.

  • To this point they did in-depth research,
  • created a powerpoint presentation for the local League Speakers Bureau (and later used by the state and other local Leagues in Florida),
  • prepared interesting handout materials,
  • held public meetings in which felons spoke about the problems they still endured after paying their debt to society, etc.
  • expanded the coalition to places of worship and other community organizations.

In 2014, when the reality of proposing a Constitutional amendment on the ballot became possible, the PBC League started to actively get petitions signed. This petition drive continued right through until the end of 2017. That effort resulted in the delivery of the coalition submitting 10,523 vetted petitions of which 4.771 were from the PBC League.

We believe that this grassroots effort is what made the ballot initiative possible.

Observer Corps

Leader: Debra Chandler

The first step was to have Observer Corps members present at the County School Board Meetings and the County Commission meetings and have them submit reports to our local league.

The second step was to have Observer Corps members present at 10-12 major municipal meetings throughout the county and have them report to our local league.

These steps enabled us to keep our Issue Groups abreast of happenings at the local level that need our attention (i.e. fracking, charter schools, climate change, DACA, etc.).

The third step was to identify members to be trained to advocate. This was done by designing two hands-on training workshops and then having those members visit local elected officials and start to build lasting relationships with them. As a result of these efforts, many more legislators and city officials have joined our League as members, attended our meetings, and kept us informed of emerging issues.

We recently were able to have four of our members appointed to the important Affordable Housing Study in the county, and have a member appointed to the County Sales Tax Spending Oversight Committee.

We are confident that our expansion of this program to more cities will enable us to be more active on local issues and to achieve appointments to important committees and boards.