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

Solar Cooperatives are starting in Florida with the leadership of LWVF. Save the date for LWVVC's Volusia County launch 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). More information will be forthcoming, but for now, 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 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.

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 Jack McConnell mcc1685@gmail.com
  • 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 2012 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.