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Politicos on Parade program 2016
Education: Approximately fifty members and guests attended LWVVC's meeting February 13th to hear Dr. Chris J. Colwell, Professor and Chair, Division of Education at Stetson University, speak on "Public Education - Issues and Solutions." Dr. Colwell's enlightening presentation was based on his research and his experience in Volusia County Public Schools as both a teacher and administrator.
Guns on Campus? This is an issue LWVVC is following closely. See LWVF's notice of action posted 1/31/16.
Money in Politics: The League of Women Voters of Volusia County did a study of the role of money in politics as part of their larger studies of campaign finance. The committee, chaired by LWVVC Board member Carla Christianson, studied many documents, organized their findings and presented them in several meetings around the county. On January 9th, the LWVVC membership met to discuss the findings and come to a consensus on the many questions posed by the national LWV. Approximately forty LWVVC members met for spirited discussions on the questions posed. Christianson compiled responses from each of four tables at the meeting, and that LWVVC "Money In Politics Consensus" Report is available here. This consensus report was forwarded to LWV to be included for the final national consensus on how LWV should focus its efforts. Other documents available for members are the text of Carla's presentation at the December 1st Hot Topics meeting on the issue.
"Gideon Turns 50 - as in Gideon v. Wainwright: History of the Public Defender’s Office" - James Purdy, Public Defender, Seventh Judicial Circuit, made a fascinating presentation at LWVVC's Hot Topics meeting the evening of January 5, 2016. The meeting at the New Smyrna Public Library was open to the public, and LWVVC members were joined by members of a senior class from New Smyrna Beach High School who are studying legal and constitutional issues. Mr. Purdy answered a number of questions from the audience, including requests for details of the Scottsboro Case of the 1930s. We greatly appreciate Mr. Purdy's time and expertise in presenting this history.
LWVVC was at the DeLand Fall Art Festival November 21-22 to register voters or to help voters change address or political party. We shared a tent with the group seeking signatures for the Solar Choice Amendment. The Solar Choice Amendment is also being supported by our State League (see http://thefloridavoter.org/issues/solar-choice-amendment/), and we appreciated the chance to share the tent of the Floridians for Solar Choice group. Shown here are LWVVC members Suze Peace, Judy Provost, and Ann Smith.
Elections: The local elections in Holly Hill and Lake Helen are now over. While it seems early to be thinking about the 2016 national elections, the primary races are already in full swing. The Republicans have already held three presidential primary debates (a fourth will be November 10th), and a number more are scheduled between now and mid-March 2016. The Democrats have held one debate out of six scheduled. We urge everyone to watch both series of debates to learn more about these candidates seeking their party's nomination. For information on the primary debate schedules, see:
Future of Local Transit?: Want to learn about and evaluate the alternatives for providing enhanced transit service and improved mobility between SR 46 in Sanford to US 1 in Daytona Beach? Public meetings are scheduled November 9, 10, and 12, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, in Daytona Beach, DeLand, and Deltona. CLICK HERE to find a meeting near you and to see more information on the Volusia Transit Connector Study. Florida Supreme Court orders redistricting of Congressional Districts: LWVF and allies win case for Fair Districts, by a vote of 5-2. At least eight Congressional Districts must be redistricted prior to the 2016 elections, but many more may be affected. LWVF assembled more than 20 stories from state and national newspapers, click here to see that compilation. To see two articles from the Daytona Beach News-Journal, click here. LWVVC has lost another long-time member, Cecile Rice, who died recently. Known as Ceile to all of us, we remember her passion for education, early childhood services, and children rights. She developed and chaired our first Education Committee and was instrumental in the development of our position to improve and standardize the quality of child care in Volusia County. The Education Committee that she initiated lives on. Thanks Celie!
LWVVC received an award for community engagement from Bethune-Cookman Universityon March 1st. LWVVC shared the honor with 30 other organizations such as the Domestic Abuse Shelter. Shown here is LWVVC Board member Gwen Azama-Edwards (in the red jacket) who accepted the award on behalf of LWVVC.
LWVVC's February 14th program featured Zeva Edmondson, Director of Sexual Assault Services Stewart-Marchman-Act, who outlined plans for survivor services in Volusia County. She is pictured at the left with LWVVC President Claudia Roth. Ms. Edmondson kindly has made her PowerPoint presentation available here.
For the Supreme Court Opinion on the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) case, see http://www.supremecourt.gov/ and select from the column of recent cases "United States v Windsor". Transcripts of the attorney's oral arguments will be found on the same site here. Amendment One Implementation: The Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee met on Wednesday, January 7 before a standing-room-only crowd and heard a staff briefing on how to interpret Amendment One, overwhelmingly passed by Florida voters in November. Chairman Charlie Dean (R-Inverness) stressed that all comments and suggestions were welcome from the public regarding how best to proceed and recommended spending. To reinforce the Chairman’s point, committee staff announced the creation of a new portal devoted to Amendment 1 and gathering public comment. To provide your input to state lawmakers on how to use state funds for environmental projects, go to: http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc.
Voter Registration at DSC: LWVVC members Gwen Azama-Edwards, Pat Gadbaw, and Carolyn West spent several hours at Daytona State College on February 10th, registering students and others register or update registration if needed. LWVVC continues to emphasize the roots of League work - voter registration and participation. If your group wants to have a registration event, contact us.
The final LWVVC Transportation in Volusia County Study and Consensus is now available at http://www.lwvvc.org/transportation.pdf. This final document will be presented to the general memebership at the May 2015 Annual Meeting with a recommendation that it be added to the local Programs for which LWVVC advocates. The Transportation Committee studied the issue for many months and led the Consensus meeting January 10, 2015. Pictured here are members of the hardworking committee: Fred Peace, Pat Gadbaw (Chair), Dennis Clayton, Carl McCoy, Pat Gadbaw, and Suze Peace (not pictured,Summer Clayton). For information on the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) current Volusia County Connector Transit Study, see http://www.volusiaconnectorstudy.com/.
Education is a major issue of concern for the League of Women Voters of Florida, and the League has created a new LWV Education blog begun by Sue Legg, Chair of the LWV Florida Project on School Choice. It will have posts on education issues in the state of Florida and include national information as well. Sue has created this blog with the help of interns from the University of Florida. The website is http://lwveducation.com/. What the League of Women Voters Means and Why You Should Join: Interested in the making a difference in your community, state, and country? Take time to view this 5-minute video and see the many ways LWV members are effective. Then come to one of our local meetings, announced here, and join us. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. LWVVC wants to share this link to a short video by John Moran and the Springs Eternal Project regarding the urgent need to protect our springs. Spend just a few minutes watching "Florida Springs: Paradise Found or Legacy Lost?", and send the link to your friends. Constitutional Amendment 1 passed overwhelmingly, but our state Legislature must now write and pass laws to implement it. To write your state legislators and officials on this important issue, find their addresses here. See this http://voteyeson1fl.org/sections/page/results, website of the Florida Land and Water Legacy campaign for the final vote on the Amendment and more information. WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE: Check out this music video take on a Lady Gaga song here. It was a real hit at the LWVUS convention in Dallas in June
The 2014 elections are now completed. To see how voters in our county voted and for results of local races, see the Volusia County Department of Elections website at http://volusiaelections.org//ElectionInformation/results.htm. We thank all candidates who devoted the time, funds, and effort to run for these important offices. We especially thank our local candidates who responded to LWVVC's questionnaires for posting on our website. The number of hits indicated that our local residents were very interested in your ideas on these local topics. These web pages have now been removed, but watch for information on our project in 2016.
Were you unable to vote because you weren't registered? August 26th was the 94th anniversary of the date President Wilson signed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Women marched and went to jail to get this right. Men and women marched and went to jail to secure the right to vote for African-Americans and other minorities. Remember how precious this vote is, and vote. If you aren't registered, register now! Be informed and take part.
LWVF joins two lawsuits to protect Florida's public education system: Read about this here. LWVVC's own Pat Drago helped to write this summary.
REDISTRICTING DECISION: Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled on August 22nd that the Congressional Map revised by the Florida Legislature is valid and will take effect for the 2016 elections. It will not effect the 2014 elections. LWVF President Deirdre McNab responded ""We are disappointed and plan to ask the appellate courts to review Judge Lewis' ruling." Judge Lewis's initial decision ordering the revision may be read in full by clicking here.
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