Welcome to the home page of the League of Women Voters of Volusia County(LWVVC)

Check out our October MONTH AT A GLANCE CALENDAR

League Members Do Triple Duty at Port Orange Family Days

Port Orange Days On September 30, League volunteers were busy staffing our booth at the Port Orange Family Days event. Members registered voters, collected petitions to place restoration of ex-felons rights on the ballot, and spread the word about our Solar Co-op initiative. Right, Nicki Junkins is ready to register voters. Many thanks to Carla Christianson for the tremendous job organizing this event, to Jeanne Tanke for her super work organizing the petitions drive, and to Suze Peace and Nancy Vaughn for getting out the word about our Solar Co-op initiative. Carla sends hugs and a big thank you to her terrific volunteers - Ann Scalf, Pat Gadbaw, Ann Harrell, Deb Noah, Suze Peace, Nancy Vaughn, Marti King, Judy Provost, Jeanne Tanke, Libby Hilderbrandt, Gail Merrit, Nancy Nusbaum and Nicki Junkins. This yearly event is always a lot of fun and Carla encourages anyone who is interested to participate next year.
Below, Suze Peace and Nancy Vaught get out the word about our Solar Co-op initiative; Deb Noah, Jeanne Tanke and Ann Harrell are ready to assist as needed, and Jeanne Tanke passes out petitions while Ann Harrell registers voters.
Port Orange Days Port Orange Days Port Orange Days

League of Women Voters Hosts a Panel Discussion on Public Schools – Survival in the Balance

On September 23rd, League members attended a luncheon meeting that included a panel discussion entitled Public Schools – Survival in the Balance. Guest panelists, Senator David Simmons (R-District 9), Volusia County Schools Superintendent, Tom Russell and the school district’s Chief Counsel, Mike Dyer engaged the audience in describing both the local and state interpretations of the controversial passage of House Bill 7069. According to the panelists, the bill covers a wide range of education-related issues, several of which will have serious consequences for the future of public schools including an erosion of local control by the elected school board and a negative impact on existing support strategies for most at risk students. In response, the school district joined with several other counties in filing a law suit against this legislation. Panelists agreed that additional legislative action is needed to correct these issues. Pictured from left to right: Nicki Junkins, LWVVC President; Mike Dyer, Volusia County Schools Chief Counsel; Senator David Simmons (R-District 9);Tom Russell, Superintendent of Volusia County Schools; Pat Drago, LWVVC Education Chair. The News-Journal has an excellent article on the presentations in their electronic edition at http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170925/local-education-leaders-sound-alarm-on-future-of-public-schools.

Read the September-October 2017 Voter to see the reports from our Observer Corps who attend local governmental meetings and other news of LWVVC activities.

Volusia County becomes the 16th Solar Co-op in the State!

Solar Launch

Pictured from left to right: Joe Alemany, Michael Cohen, Ann Harrell, Mary Dipboye, Nancy Vaughn, Sharon LeBoffe, Suze Peace, Heaven Campbell, Nicki Junkins, Sandy Colon, and Fred Peace (photo credit Daniel Campbell)

The Volusia County Solar Co-op Press Launch took place on August 30 at 11:00 am at the Volusia County Administration Building in DeLand with many dignitaries and co-op partners in attendance. Elected official included: Speakers: DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar, Volusia County Councilwoman Heather Post, and Volusia County Councilwoman Billie Wheeler. In attendance were: City of DeLand Vice Mayor Leigh Matusick, City of DeLand Comissioner Christopher Cloudman, City of Edgewater Councilman Gary Conroy, City of New Smyrna Beach Mayor Jim Hathaway, Vice Mayor Jake Sachs, Commissioner Randy Hartman, and Former Volusia County Councilwoman and valuable liason Pat Northey. Many thanks also to our supportive LWVVC Board members in attendance: President Nicki Junkins, Pat Drago, Claudia Roth, Betty Johnson and Ann Harrell. Your support throughout this process cannot be appreciated enough.

Solar Launch
Pictured from left to right: Mayor Robert Apgar, Nancy Vaughn, Nicki Junkins, Heather Post, Billie Wheeler, Ginger Adair and Ann Rigsby. (photo credit Daniel Campbell) DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar stated: "…there will be greater and greater advances of the utilization of solar power...it will help our economy and it will help installers of solar power." Volusia County Councilwoman Heather Post spoke to the fact that encouraging solar energy fits in with the Green Volusia Program that the county has adopted. Volusia County Councilwoman Wheeler identified the local grass roots effort involved and the importance of local support from both business partners as well as elected officials.

FL SUN expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters. Volusia residents can find out about information sessions and sign up for the co­op at http://www.flsun.org/volusia/. The group will host five information sessions throughout the county to educate the community about solar and the co­op process. The first session is scheduled for: September 20, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at The Lynn Business Center, Rinker Auditorium, Stetson University, 345 No. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. For other sessions around the county, check LWVVC's Calendar

Many thanks to our wonderful partners who support us in the endeavor to build a solar network including: the League of Women Voters of Florida, League of Women Voters of Volusia County, Stetson University, City of DeLand, Halifax River and West Volusia Audubon Societies, Marine Discover Center and Project H2O, Volusia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Health Initiatives, The Rotary Club of Debary, Deltona and Orange City, the Sierra Club, Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation of DeLand, River of Lakes Heritage Corridor, and Rotary International.

LWVF Legislative Priorities for 2018:See the priorities which were determined by the League of Women Voters of Florida based on input from our local leagues. LWVVC members met August 19th to discuss and reach consensus on priorities we wished to see on the state-list. These priorities will be the focus of members' interviews with our legislators.

Marine Discovery Boat Tour:Boat Tour
On August 21, 2017, 40 LWVVC members and guests enjoyed a 2 hour Marine Discovery Boat Tour. Our guide, Chastity, gave an ECHO tour of the estuaries connected to the Intracoastal Waterway. Following the boat tour, we gathered at Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille to watch the solar eclipse and have lunch. A good time was had by all. Many thanks to Libby Hilderbrandt, Rosemary Davies, and the entire social events action committee for planning this exciting event. Photos of the outing (which just happened to be the day of the eclipse) are linked here: Photos of the outing (which just happened to be the day of the eclipse) are linked here:

The boat and LWVVC members and guests; Nancy Vaughn announces upcoming events regarding Solar Cooperatives; Fred and Suze Peace are ready for the eclipse; Nancy Vaughn announces upcoming events regarding Solar Cooperatives; Guide Chastity tells of the Marine Discovery Center; John and Libby Hilderbrandt are also ready for the eclipse; Chastity with what appears to be a giant crab; Enjoying lunch after the boat trip; After lunch - still lots to discuss

NAACP Gives Award to LWVVC:
The NAACP recently presented the League of Women Voters of Volusia County with its Civic Engagement Award. The award recognizes the League's "outstanding commitment in raising the awareness of the importance of active civic participation, and the influence of public policy through citizen education and advocacy." The plaque was presented during the NAACP's annual banquet in June, 2017.

Pictured from left to right: Nicki Junkins, president; Claudia Roth, past-president, Gwen Azama-Edwards, director.

LWVVC Plans Year:Retreat
LWVVC President Nicki Junkins led LWVVC Board's annual planning retreat on July 8th. During the meeting, participants heard an update on progress made on last year's goals and discussed priorities for the coming year. After much discussion, the team agreed on two over-arching goals that will drive our program for the coming year. Those goals are:
    1. Develop and Implement a plan to teach the skill set for formal and informal advocacy.

    2. Identify priority topics for in-depth education in the following areas:
        *Solar (short term focus during the solar coop initiative)
        *Constitutional Review Commission
        *Election Law including Voter Suppression

The group also endorsed the ongoing strategies of marketing the League to our community and developing partnerships with diverse, like-minded organizations. These goals and strategies combined with input from our members will be the driving force behind the hot topics and monthly meeting events offered throughout the year. An ambitious, exciting calendar is in the works and will be released as soon as finalized.
Retreat(2)Retreat(3) Retreat(4) Thanks to Gwen Azama-Edwards for photos of some participants.

League of Women Voters of Florida just established the state-wide League Program for the next two years. Be sure to review this.

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 Voter - Summer 2017 Issue now available. See reports from our delegates to the LWVVC Legislative Summit, news of our upcoming "Mix and Mingle" event, and find informative reports from our Observer Corps team on the county and city meetings they attended.

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.

The Constitutional Revision Commission is beginning to meet to consider revisions to our state constitution. We have here these current documents: Chairman Beruff's letter; overview of the process with information on the members; and CRC Viewpoint

The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a non-partisan organization to encourage the involvement of all citizens in government and the electoral process through education and advocacy. Please note that while the League of Women Voters may advocate for carefully studied issues, the League never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties, and any use of the League of Women Voters name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League. In addition to using the links on the left, members of the public are invited to view the positions and issues studied by the LWVVC as listed on the right and below.

We hope you will consider joining the League. Any person, age 16 and over, male or female, may become a voting member of the LWV. Associate membership is available to younger people. When you join the League of Women Voters of Volusia County, you automatically become a member of the Florida and U.S. Leagues.

What can you do as a League member?

  • Attend our monthly meetings. Enjoy a meal while hearing a speaker on a timely topic or discuss an issue in a small group setting.
  • Voter Service: Join the Voter Service team – call Carla Christianson 386-677-1176 or email Carla at reclaim4all@gmail.com. You can:
    • volunteer to help register voters ·
    • join our Voter Service Speakers Bureau and help with presentations on proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution and other public policy issues that impact the community ·
    • assist with League monitored candidate forums
  • Volunteer for the LWVVC Observer Corps and attend local governmental meetings to observe and report happenings to the League. See LWVVC Observer Corps Code and the LWVUS Resource Guide. If you wish to learn more or to volunteer, contact Observer Corps Team Leader Pat Gadbaw. You may contact Pat by emailing mail@lwvvc.org, and it will be sent to Pat, who will get in touch with you.
  • Meet other interested citizens from around the county as you become informed about important issues.
  • Read League publications that keep you up to date on questions of national, state, and local interest.
  • Join a study committee to focus on an issue that especially concerns you.
  • Volunteer to help other community organizations learn about issues and election laws.
  • Assist with fundraisers such as the Politicos on Parade, held in election years, with local public officials serving as our models in a fashion show. Funds raised are used to help support the LWVVC's educational efforts. To see a list of the elected officials who modeled in our 2012 fashion show and the generous sponsors who help make our work possible, see our 2016 Politicos on Parade program which was distributed to all attendees.

For a membership brochure and application, click here. Mail your application with your check to the LWVVC address listed. Or, you may contact the LWVVC by phone (386-238-7361) or email mail@lwvvc.org to request a printed form. To find out how to pay by credit card through LWVVC's secured PayPal account link, click here.