League of Women Voters of Volusia County Archives: Historical Record
Historical Record of Selected LWVVC Home Page Items April 2015 forward

    Solar Cooperatives are starting in Florida with the leadership of LWVF. Our big public launch will be Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - noon, in the Training Room at the Volusia County Administration Building in DeLand. This is our first public event to let the public know of the initiative and of upcoming information sessions for those interested in possibly adding solar to their homes. Save the date for LWVVC's first information session on September 20th, 6:00-8:00 p.m., when we will hold our first information session in Volusia County. Stetson University has agreed for us to meet at the Lynn Business Center auditorium (345 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand). Be sure to watch our Calendar for upcoming sessions. Also check out http://www.flsun.org. This date was first announced at a very successful Mix and Mingle for LWVVC members June 22nd. While members enjoyed refreshments and talking with other members, conversations often turned to our league issues.

    LWVVC Education Committee Visits Campbell Middle School: Read Pat Drago's letter in the May 22nd News-Journal describing the Education Committee's visit to Campbell Middle School in Daytona Beach. They found a dedicated staff and administration who are working with their students to improve results.

    Read the Summary of What Happened in Tallahassee: Legislative Capitol Report from Tallahassee - the May 19, 2017 Legislative Wrapup from LWVF's Legislative Advocate Kelly Quintero is now available.

    LWVVC's 2017 Annual Business Meeting was held April 22nd at the Halifax River Yacht Club. To see the program of business conducted and list of officers elected, click here. AnnualMeetingShown are Board members Suzi Peace, President Claudia Roth, and Nancy Vaughn. here. AnnualMeetingFollowing a brief and humorous skit introducing our League's Solar Coop Initiative, the Solar Coop Action Team Co-Chairs awarded Solar T-Shirts to winners of a Solar Quiz. Pictured left to right, Suze Peace, Co-Chair; Nancy Vaughn, Co-Chair; Linda Cuthbert, T-Shirt Winner; Sharon Leboffe, Co-Chair. Our speaker, Dinah Voyles Pulver, Environmental Writer at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, followed the business meeting with an update on environmental issues in Volusia County.

    Legislative Summit 2017: LWVVC was well represented in Tallahassee as members attended LWVF Legislative Summit to meet with our representatives and lay out League priorities. Pictured here: Legislative Summit 2017standing: Fred Peace, Pat Drago, Nicki Junkins, and Jeanne Tanke; sitting: Nancy Vaughn, Gwen Azama-Edwards, and Suze Peace. For notes on the meetings, see Gwen Azama-Edwards' notes here.

    Women’s Equality Day – August 26th
    Equality Day

    Ninety-seven years ago, decades of struggle by women in this country culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Just six months before this historic event, some of the brave, bold women who led the suffrage movement founded the League of Women Voters to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters and carry on the fight for a democracy in which all citizens have an equal voice. In 1971, the US Congress, by a joint resolution designating August 26th of each year as a day to recognize women’s right to vote. The Joint Resolution text can be found here

    The Membership Action Team visited the Ivy Hawn Charter School for the Performing Arts in Lake Helen, Monday, February 13, 2017. For a photo and list of those who went, click here. Education Action Team leader Pat Drago published a "Community Voices" column in the Daytona Beach News-Journal Sunday, February 26, 2017, with some observations.

    Volusia County Social Studies Fair: Many thanks for our league members who volunteered as judges for the Volusia County Social Studies Fair on February 24th. They are SocialStudiesFairSuze and Fred Peace, John Hilderbrandt, Pat Cosby, Monique Fisher, Cynthia Hawkins, and Jason Peace. Our judges viewed many outstanding projects and those who judged the exhibits categories had a chance to interview the students. Awards were given to: Middle School Award Winners: Scott Tobin, "Abolitionists: Standing up for Humanity" and Anjali Pullareddy, "Standing up for Democracy". High School Award Winners: Savanna Cowan, "The US Children's Bureau: Taking a Stand for the Welfare of Children" and Trevor Simoneau, "Taking a Stand for Sensible Gun Legislation". Congratulations to the winners and to all students who participated.

    ??Open Primaries??: As part of The League of Women Voters' study in how to bring more voters to the polls, LWV has been studying the subject of variations of Open Primaries, which would basically allow any registered voter to vote for one party candidate, even if not registered as a member of that political party. LWVVC members met for a "Hot Topics" information meeting on Open Primaries with Michele Levy, Tuesday, Feb 28th at the Port Orange Library at 5:00 p.m. Study materials were (and remain) available at http://www.lwvvc.org/Documents/LWV-OpenPrimariesTalkingPaper.pdf and http://www.lwvvc.org/Documents/LWV-OpenPrimaryStudyKit.pdf. On Saturday, March 4th, LWVVC members met to reach a consensus on the topic 10:00 a.m. - noon, at the DeLand Public Library, 130 Howry Ave, in downtown DeLand. As usual with consensus meetings, the discussions and questions were lively and informed, and discussions continued afterward among those who went to lunch after the meeting. The results of the consensus meeting will be compiled and sent to LWVF and published later in the Voter.

    LWV Questions for Supreme Court Nominee: The League of Women Voters sent a letter Feb. 2nd to all members of the U.S. Senate requesting them to ask three questions of the Supreme Court nominee dealing with checks and balances, the role of voting in our democracy, and money in politics. The letter with the full text of the questions is on our website at http://www.lwvvc.org/Documents/2017-02-02-SupremeCourtNominee.pdf.

    Volusia Education for the 21st Century: Speakers from Volusia School System: Ms.Teresa Marcks, Chief Academic Officer, and Dr. Melissa Carr, Director of Technology. An attentive audience met the morning of Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at City Island Public Library, to hear this presentation. Ms. Marcks and Dr. Carr responded to questions throughout their presentation, leaving the audience with a much better picture of how Volusia Schools are responding technologically to the needs of today's students.

    New Members Welcome and Orientation:
    New Members OrientationLWVVC welcomed several of our new members at an afternoon reception and orientation meeting in DeLand on January 20th. A similar event was held a week earlier on the east side of the county. Board members and team leaders discussed the opportunities available for members to become active in advocating for voter education and other priorities of the League. Membership Chair Libby Hilderbrandt (standing) started the session.

    Juvenile Justice Panel Presentation:
    Juvenile Justice Panel Juvenile Justice Panel Juvenile Justice Panel

    LWVVC's well-attended program January 14th featured 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larissa, with Melissa Clark, Cathy Egley and David Kerr of the Dept. of Juvenile Justice, and our new Sheriff Michael Chitwood with Carla Quann (currently of the DB Police Dept., who starts January 17 with the Sheriff's Dept.). Mr. Larizza laid the groundwork and gave context for the issue, and the others then spoke of the participation of their offices. The Sheriff and Quann described programs they started in Daytona Beach and which the Sheriff hopes to extend to the entire county. The LWVF has a state Juvenile Justice Committee which is studying these issues of alternatives to youth arrests and criminal records. Thanks to our excellent panel and to their work for our youth and justice. Above are three of the photos taken by Gwen Azama-Edwards.

    LWVF 2017 Legislative Priorities: These are the LWVF priorities which will be communicated to the legislators throughout the state.

    Voter Registration
    Voter Registration Events at High Schools, Sept. 26-30, 2016: Voter Registration2
    LWVVC members were privileged to assist Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis and Robert Milholland, Specialist,Social Studies 6-12/Advanced Programs, to visit all ten Volusia County high schools to register and pre-register hundreds of students for voting. They were given brief histories of the struggle for voting rights since our founding by Voter Service Team Leader Carla Christianson or Education Team leader Dr. Nicki Junkins and then shown how to complete the forms by Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis or one of her staff. The events ended with a mock election, using actual equipment but with choices such as favorite candy or favorite super hero. We hope this can become an annual event. The students were great and had good questions. The Daytona Beach News-Journal published a story and photo on the events - see daytonanewsjournal.fl.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=460ba3bce.

    Let's Make Voting Fun Again: View this TED Talk by Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University, which teaches the art of powerful citizenship, and the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship & American Identity. His efforts are surrounded around convincing all voters to go the polls and take part in this essential responsibility of being a citizen of the United States.

    September 10th meeting

    Legislative Priorities for 2016: The League of Women Voters of Volusia County held a meeting of the membership at the Ormond Beach Public Library auditorium on September 10th to discuss legislative priorities for 2016. There were 33 attendees. Sharon Crow (LWVVC member and lobbyist with the firm Byers-Crow) gave a brief power point tutorial about lobbying. Her presentation tied together the explanation of selecting legislative priorities and the activities of Legislative Summit in March. Read President Claudia Roth's report on the meeting here.

    News-Journal Debates: The News-Journal of Daytona Beach sponsored a series of candidate debates around the county.

Gun Violence: The newly formed Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, led by The League of Women Voters of Florida, delivered this letter calling for action to Governor Scott, Senate President Gardiner and House Speaker Crisafulli at 11:30 a.m., June 20, 2016, and emailed the letter to all Legislators as well. LWVF President Pamela Goodman also asked LWV members to:

  • Contact your individual Florida House Representatives and Senators asking them to strongly support this call to action, or meet with them personally in their district offices immediately. Follow up with individual legislators is key! The legislature can be called into special session 3 ways; The Governor, The Senate President and House Speaker or by 2/3 of the body itself.
  • Write individual letters to the editor supporting the coalition letter and it's requests.
  • Continue to engage your individual city and county commissions and civic, faith based, business and educational organizations encouraging them to join this newly formed coalition.
A list of current organizations composing this coalition is at the bottom of the letter sent to the Governor.

LWV Convention
LWVVC sent two delegates to the June 2016 national LWV convention - Gwen Azama-Edwards and Suze Peace. We look forward to the news they will bring back on national League concerns and proposed actions.

Observer Corps Special Issue of The Voter: Our Observer Corp was started by Pat Gadbaw in 2005. Over the years, she has led an amazing team of Observers who have monitored and reported on many of the governmental meetings in Volusia County. She is now turning over leadership of the Observer Corps to Jack McConnell. If you would like to learn about becoming a member of the Observer Corps, please contact Jack at mcc1685@bellsouth.net. Everyone, please read this issue for a succinct report of some county and municipal council meetings.

School Visits

Education Studies:In May, members of LWVVC's Education Committee visited two Volusia County schools known for their work with the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math): Edgewater Public School and Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill. School Visits Faculty and administrators made them very welcome and responded to questions regarding their special educational focus. To read the committee's brief report on the visits, click here.

Politicos on Parade
Politicos on Parade! April 30, 2016. Thanks so much to those public officials and local businesses, organizations,and individuals who supported this LWVVC's ninth biennial fundraiser, Politicos on Parade. We met this year at the Halifax River Yacht Club. Men's and women's fashions were provided by Belk at the Pavilion of Port Orange, and make up was done by Clinique at Belk. Mary Christine Kjellstrom of Belk described the models' fashions, and Ann Smith told anecdotes about our models. Politicos on Parade Special thanks go to our Presenting Sponsors: Daytona International Speedway, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, and Florida Power & Light. Please look through this Program distributed to all guests and participants and consider patronizing those local advertisers who gave their support. Funds raised through these events help support our work of promoting voting and civic involvement. We ask currently serving elected officials to model for Politicos on Parade, and it is a fun event for many of our friends who take pleasure in seeing their elected officials on the runway. A list of this year's models will be found on p. 13 of the Program, and we can't thank them enough for helping this year.

BCU eventBCU event
LWVVC Honored: The Women's Advisory Board of Bethune-Cookman University included the LWVVC in the group of 2016 honorees featured during its "Honoring Our Unsung Heros" banquet on Friday, April 22nd. Shown are several of the LWVVC members who attended this event: Suze Peace, John Hilderbrandt, Libby Hilderbrandt, Sandy Horikami, Nicki Junkins, and Jeanne Tanke.

First Vice-President Suze Peace accepts LWVVC's award from Betsey Hardeman of BCU.

Money in Politics: Final LWVUS Position: In January 2016, LWVVC members met to reach a consensus on the issue of Money in Politics. A small committee, chaired by Carla Christianson, had studied the issue and presented their findings to the entire membership. The results of the consensus were sent to LWVUS which has now used those local results from around the country to finalize the League's position on Money in Politics. The final U.S. League position will be found at http://forum.lwv.org/member-resources/article/lwvus-position-money-politics. If you wish to compare this to the results of LWVVC's consensus, see here what LWVVC sent in.

Volusia County and How It Fared with the State Legislature: LWVVC Natural Resources chair Suze Peace pointed out this power point presentation which will be discussed at the April 7, 2016 Volusia County Council meeting. From the VC Agenda for April 7, go to the supplemental document for Item #6 on the agenda. The presentation is by the VC lobbying firm, Gray Robinson.

Help LWVVC increase our membership and expand the work we can do to promote voting and civic participation. For more information, see this flyer. Your friends can join LWVVC by clicking on the "Join LWVVC" link in the right column.

Membership Matters
R.J. Larizza

On March 19th, State Attorney R.J. Larizza spoke to LWVVC members and members of the public on Florida’s Criminal Justice System. The audience appreciated his interesting presentation.

LWVVC Board Minutes: At the January 2016 Board meeting it was moved and passed unanimously that LWVVC Board Minutes be posted as part of the public Archives so LWVVC members will have access to them once they have been approved at the next Board meeting. The second of those, the Minutes of February 24, 2016, are now posted here. These will be added after approval each month as part of the public archives. If LWVVC members have questions regarding Board actions, please feel free to contact a Board member or email mail@lwvvc.org. We also urge our members to contact us if you are interested in working on special sections of our positions.

Civil Justice

Civil Justice: An attentive crowd attended our Hot Topics meeting at the New Smyrna Public Library on March 1st to hear William Van Norwick, Head of the Subcommittee on Access To and Delivery of Legal Services of the State Commission on Access to Civil Justice. He spoke on "Problems in the Civil Justice System for Citizens with Low, Moderate, and Middle Incomes" and a plan to provide necessary represention to the underserved. For more information on this commission, see http://www.flaccesstojustice.org/.

Want information on declared candidates for state and national offices? To see voting records and more information, go to http://votesmart.org/. You will also find links to positions, speeches, etc.

Florida Legislative Delegation: Our local state legislators will be available at the City Hall in Deltona on December 19th to meet with their constituents. Note the instructions below to be placed on the agenda to speak as an individual. Remember, only our LWVVC president, Claudia Roth or her designee may speak on behalf of the League, and she has already sent the legislators our priorities. Per the Florida League of Cities information:

    "Volusia County Legislative Delegation Meeting, Monday, December 19, 2016, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd. Deltona, FL
    Residents can offer testimony on their concerns to members. To be placed on the agenda, please call or email Hilda Quintero in Representative David Santiago’s office. She can be reached at (386) 575-0387 or hilda.quintero@myfloridahouse.gov. Those planning to speak and provide materials for distribution to delegation members should provide eight copies to Hilda Quintero by 2:00 pm December 8. The mailing address is: 849 Deltona Blvd., Deltona FL 32725."
Be sure to vote in the August 30th election for primaries and for local nonpartisan races. Those who failed to register to Vote by August 1st will be unable to vote on the August 30th ballot. Another election in August? Yes, the presidential primary is over, but on August 30th, we will have a primary for other offices. If you are registered, plan to vote in person, by mail, or absentee. Remember, for local government nonpartisan races, a person who wins a majority in the August primary actually wins the office. If the candidate you prefer (or whom you find least objectionable) loses in the August election, he or she won’t even be on the ballot in November. An important amendment will also be on the August ballot. By not voting, you allow others to make decisions which will closely affect your daily lives. Spread the word to register and vote in August. If you are a member of a political party, this August election is also a primary and is your opportunity to help determine the direction of your party by voting for the person you want to represent you in running for partisan offices such as the state Legislature and Congress. For some important points for you and all Volusia County residents to consider, see this page from our LWVVC Voter Service Committee. CANDIDATE FORUM FOR JUDICIAL ELECTIONS: presented by the Volusia County Bar Association and League of Women Voters of Volusia County. Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016 ~ 5:45 - 7:30. Location: Museum of Arts & Sciences, 352 S. Nova Road, Daytona Beach. The event is open to the public and without charge, but attendees are asked to RSVP to: volusiabar@gmail.com. Come hear the candidates for all 5 judicial races as they participate in the forum. A straw poll will be conducted at the conclusion of the forum. We also urge you to view this brief video "Judicial Elections in Florida", produced in conjuction with the Volusia County Bar Association. This video explains how judges are named or elected in Florida.
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-1 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.

Purdy-1 "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.

Voter Registration: Voter Registration

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!
Bethune-Cookman University Awards Bethune-Cookman University Awards

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.

Zeva Edmondson, Director of Sexual Assault Services Stewart-Marchman-Act

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.

The Supreme Court announced its decision to support the Administration in the latest case (King v. Burwell) against the Affordable Care Act. LWVF issued a statement on June 25th, hailing this decision and urging Governor Scott to accept extension of Medicaid. Details of the Court's decision and Justice Scalia's dissent will be found at this Supreme Court site. The slip opinion for the July 26th decision in OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES regarding the right to same-sex marriage will be found here. Transcripts and audio of Briefs and Arguments on these cases and others will be found at the Court's general website http://www.supremecourt.gov/. Fair Districts: The U.S. Supreme Court announced June 29th its decision in favor of the citizens of Arizona who passed a state constitutional amendment for fair districts. LWVVC President Pam Goodman issued a statement applauding the decision. See more details of the Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission et al. decision at this Court website. LWVVC members met Saturday, May 23, 2015, for our Annual Meeting where we elected new officers and Board members, confirmed our positions, adopted the budget for 2015/16, and voted to join the LWV National Study on Money and Politics and Constitutional Revision. Carla Christianson was named Chair of the Study Committee, and she began collecting contact information for volunteers to serve. There was also a consensus that when LWVF begins its new study of open primaries (approved at the recent state convention), LWVVC members hope to be active in that study as well. For the complete program and information on our positions, committee reports, and new Board members, see the 2015 Annual Meeting Program LWVVC was well represented LWVF Conventionat the LWVF convention in Delray Beach. Pictured here with LWVF outgoing President Deirdre McNab (on left) are LWVVC members: Gwen Azama-Edwards, Ann Smith, Lynda Mays, Carla Christianson, and Pat Drago. Drago is also a member of the State League Board. Transportation: VCard Meeting on ISBOn April 30, VCard hosted a panel discussion at the International Speedway, focusing on an ISB Corridor Master Management Plan. Gwen Azama-Edwards and LWVVC Transportation Committee members Summer Clayton and Fred and Suze Peace attended for LWVVC. Shown here, Summer, Suze, and Gwen.

Health Care: New LWVF President Pam Goodman wrote May 29, 2015, urging state lawmakers to "stop playing political games and take action on behalf of all Floridians when they return to Tallahassee on Monday. Failing to approve a health care plan for Florida's working poor this special session is not an option." Click here to read her full statement. Members, contact your legislators now.
Volunteers represented LWVVC at the Environment Fair in DeLand, March 31, 2015. Environment Fair Environment Fair Various environmental groups had displays. Pictured on the right is Board member and volunteer Carolyn West getting up close and personal with Blaze the Snake.

Water Quality - LWVVC continues to follow the issue of water quality. Last summer the County Council passed a fertilizer ordinance ​(text of ordinance here). The University of Florida has developed a list of conforming fertilizers, and the county has placed that list on its website.
Get ready for the 2016 Politicos on Parade Fashion Show and Luncheon: Thanks so much to those public officials and local businesses, organizations,and individuals who supported the LWVVC's biennial fundraiser, Politicos on Parade in 2014. Our latest event was held May 10, 2014, with fashions provided by the new Belk at the Pavilion in Port Orange and make up by Clinique at Belk. Mark and Cindi Lane and Magda Hiller provided entertainment prior to the fashion show. Funds raised help support our work of promoting voting and civic involvement. Currently serving elected officials modeled the fashions - a list of the models will be found on p. 11 of the Program. See a list of our sponsors who advertised in our 2014 Program, with their information.

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 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.

January 2015 Transportation Consensus Meeting SpeakersThe 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 mail@lwvvc.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

  • Guns on Campus?: The Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee held a hearing February 16th on SB176, proposed legislation that would OVERTURN the current ban on concealed weapons on campus and allow holders of permits to carry concealed firearms on all public college and university campuses. This bill was passed by the committee by a vote of 3 to 2 and referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee where it now stands. Following the shooting incident February 23rd on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University, LWVF joined college presidents and announced again opposition to to this bill: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=5e5753a6-4a9f-47fc-95ee-bc514e0f782b&c=8b42bf80-9324-11e3-a720-d4ae528eade9&ch=8c411cb0-9324-11e3-a757-d4ae528eade9. For information on LWVF's opposition to this bill and legislators to contact, see the earlier LWVF Action Alert. To follow this bill in the Florida Senate, go to http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0176.
  • In Memorium: LWVVC recently lost two members who had dedicated their lives to making Volusia County a better place to live. Rosemarie Gore in her last years of service was LWVVC Environmental Chair and faithfully attended many meetings of the St. Johns Water Management District and meetings and workshops of the multitude of other organizations dealing with our water and environment over the years. Her monthly reports to the LWVVC Board kept us aware of these important issues so LWVVC could act and react. Our second loss was Donna Jordan whose latest service to us was as Chair of the 2014 Politicos Luncheon and Fundraiser. Her organizational and design skills served us so well, and she also was important for years in organizing the big Daytona Beach Art Festival. Two mighty women have left us, but their influence remains.
  • On-Line Voter Registration (OVR): The Florida Senate passed OVR 34-3 (3 not voting) on April 27th and will send it on its way to the Governor. Among the three "nays" were two Volusia senators: Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Travis Hutson (R-Elkton). The House had passed it earlier by 109-9, with David Santiago (R-Deltona) the only Volusia representative opposing. LWVF asks that we thank especially the Supervisors Of Elections who fought hard for this, in spite of opposition from Secretary of State Detzner. For a sample letter to our own SoE, Ann McFall, click here.
  • The Florida House adjourned April 28, 2015, three days early, without passing a budget. LWVVC president Deirdre McNab closed her statement about the early adjournment with "We urge Florida citizens to track down House Speaker Crisafulli and their representative and tell them to get back to work. Our state deserves better. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli: 850-717-5000." It also meant that the House did not take up a bill permitting guns on college campuses. Earlier, LWVF alerted its members to oppose permitting guns on campus. See the alert here.
  • School Board's Superintendent Search: LWVVC President Claudia Roth sent a letter in February to the Volusia County School Board outlining LWVVC's concerns about the planning for the upcoming search for a new Superintendent of Schools for Volusia County and making several suggestions. Read the letter here: http://www.lwvvc.org/school-board-letter-2015.pdf.
  • "Gun Safety Issues in Florida:" Hot Topics Meeting, presenting Patti Brigham, LWVF Chair of the Gun Safety Committee. Join us Monday, April 27,2015, 5:30 - 6:30 pm (Check in 5:15 p.m.) at The Country Inn & Suites, 5802 Journey’s End Way, Port Orange. $10—All attendees, coffee, tea and cookies provided. To reserve, contact Suze Peace by Friday, April 24, at Suze Peace.
  • Water Quality - LWVVC continues to follow the issue of water quality. Last summer the County Council passed a fertilizer ordinance ​(text of ordinance here). The University of Florida has developed a list of conforming fertilizers, and the county has placed that list on its website.

  • Volunteers represented LWVVC at the Environment Fair in DeLand, March 31, 2015. Environment Fair Environment Fair Various environmental groups had displays. Pictured on the right is Board member and volunteer Carolyn West getting up close and personal with Blaze the Snake.

  • School Board's Superintendent Search: LWVVC President Claudia Roth sent a letter to the Volusia County School Board outlining LWVVC's concerns about the planning for the upcoming search for a new Superintendent of Schools for Volusia County and making several suggestions. Read the letter here: http://www.lwvvc.org/school-board-letter-2015.pdf.
  • Tiger Bay State Forest Protection Alert: Conservation of our natural habitats in Volusia County is one of LWVVC's positions for local government. HB 419 was filed in the Florida House in January by local representatives Dwayne Taylor and David Santiago to give access for all vehicles, including ATVs and trucks, to fire lanes and other currently protected paths, trails, and forests. The progress of HB 419 and a link to the full text will be found at http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=53391. On January 24, 2015, LWVVC President Claudia Roth emailed Representative Dwayne Taylor regarding this bill: Tiger Bay Scene - Cypress
      "Dear Honorable Representative Taylor:
      I am writing to ask you to withdraw sponsorship of HB 419 allowing off road vehicle recreational driving in Tiger Bay. Tiger Bay State Forest is comprised of 60% wetlands and over 800 acres of sensitive scrub ecosystem. Tiger Bay Scene - Forest There are no areas of disturbed ground in Tiger Bay appropriate for the type of exclusive OHV use called for in Section 1, Paragraph 2 of HB 419. A visitor to Tiger Bay can easily see how the rainy season has impacted the road system and ground conditions in the state forest. The current conditions are a visible illustration of how sensitive the roads and ground conditions are to existing levels of vehicle impacts.

      I have attached photos of the effects of off road vehicles on the landscape for you to consider. Thank you for your attention.
      Claudia Roth
      DeLand, FL"
    The above photos are current. To see the photos to which she referred, showing damage to these types of areas by such vehicles, click here: http://www.lwvvc.org/Images-News/2015-HB419-MotorizedAccessExamples.pdf.
  • Voter Intent?: Ever wonder how the Canvassing Boards decide if a questionable ballot is counted? Terry Vaughan, Supervisor of Elections for Bradford County, prepared this slide show as part of his "Determining Voter Intent" workshop presentation in Orlando January 31, 2014.

    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.