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Voter's Digest, January 2019

“New Year a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours."
― Alex Morritt

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Dear Members and Friends,

Happy New Year! With a new year comes a new beginning and a new chance to improve on what we have done. Therefore, with refreshed energy, we will continue our work to protect voting rights. With the passing of Amendment 4, we will be holding voting registration drives for returning citizens throughout the year. With our Civics 101, we will focus on voter education in marginalized sectors of the community, while hosting Hot Topics series through our Speakers Bureau. At the same time, we are focusing on your legislative priorities.

Yes, there are many issues to focus on to accomplish the League’s mission. They may appear lofty or daunting; however, I know they can be achieved. Working together, we make a real difference in the community. I encourage each of you to find an issue that you are passionate about and volunteer to help us.

Paraphrasing the quote above, will it be the same old story, or will you write a different one this year? The choice is yours.

WHAT ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
In preparation for the 2019 Legislative Session, we would like to know YOUR priorities. If you have not already done so, please fill out our legislative priorities survey. LWVFL will combine the recommendations of Leagues across the state to create the 2019 LWV Florida Legislative Priorities, which guides the League in its efforts during the Legislative Session (March 5 – May 3, 2019).


WOMEN WHO SHINE
LWVMD will hold its 5th Annual Women Who Shine event Saturday, March 23, 2019, from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove, where we will recognize outstanding women role models who have had a meaningful impact on our community.

LWVMD members are welcome to nominate a woman to be recognized as a 2019 Woman Who Shines by submitting a nomination by 5:00 PM, Friday, January 11, 2019.


REMEMBERING LWV MEMBER PRISCILLA JACKSON
Priscilla Jackson was born in China, attended the Shanghai American High School, and crossed the Pacific Ocean five times before attending Oberlin College with a major in political science. Priscilla then transferred to the University of Chicago.

Priscilla wrote five novels, including A Gryphon Year, China 1911-12, and An American Surgeon in Old Canton. She was design director of the Continuum Center for Women at Oakland University in Michigan, created the Women in Management Program at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration, started a Women Professionals Program at Wayne State’s Rackham Center, and became a popular speaker on the “Eight Stages in a Woman’s Life." Priscilla lived in Miami for many years and was active with the League of Women Voters here as well as in Michigan.

Priscilla was 96 when she died in September 2018 in Vermont and is fondly remembered by “Priscilla’s Group," a group of women in career and life growth.


NEXT STEPS FOR SECOND CHANCES
On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, Miami-Dade County will start registering voters who regained the right to vote under Amendment 4. If you would like to be involved in education or voter registration efforts, please contact us.

PREVENT CHILD FIREARM DEATHS - LOCK IT UP!
LWVMD is teaming up with LWV Broward County's Lock it Up campaign to educate gun owners about the dangers of unlocked guns around children. To date, the campaign has distributed more than 5,000 trigger locks and plans to expand to pediatricians, daycares/pre-schools, mental health providers, churches, synagogues, mosques, YMCAs, private schools, public schools, and even gun stores,

If you are interested in volunteering to make calls, help with delivery of brochures and trigger locks, attend some evening events and man tables please contact us.

As this year begins, we look forward to working together with renewed energy to increase our reach in the community, empower and educate voters, and make a more perfect democracy.

In League,



UPCOMING EVENTS
Friday and Saturday, January 18-19, 2019
League Rising: The Power of Women
Hear from League leaders and experts from throughout the state, hone your skills, learn to be a more effective League member, and more! For more information and to register, click here.
Location: Orlando Downtown, 60 South Ivanhoe Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32804

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Legislative Briefing and Brunch
Come meet members of the Miami-Dade Delegation to the Florida Legislature, find out what’s on their mind, and share what’s on yours before the next session begins in March.
Location: Center for Social Change Fifth-Floor Conference Room, 2103 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Women Who Shine
Join us for our gala annual luncheon celebrating outstanding women leaders who are increasing the well-being and vitality of our community.
Location: Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, 3300 SW 27th Ave, Miami, FL 33133

“Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else.”
― Fred Rogers

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Dear Friends,

I couldn’t say it better than Mr. Rogers: The end of something is only the beginning of something else. Back in November, when we thought the election cycle was over, Florida voters faced two important recounts that proved that every vote truly does count. Now that the 2018 Elections wrapped up we are gearing up to begin the 2019 legislative session. There is truly no end to the wonderful work of the League of Women Voters! And for this, we are endlessly grateful for your support.

MIDTERM RECAP
The November midterms had a record turnout, helped at least in part by a blizzard of activities by LWVMD! Among the highlights:

  • More than 8,500 people saw our “ads” in their Google searches for voting and election information.
  • Over 26,000 residents of Miami Dade County used Vote411, our online nonpartisan voter’s guide, to obtain customized information about their candidates. Even John Oliver even encouraged voters to visit the site!
  • Along with our partners, we brought early voting sites to two Miami Dade College campuses and FIU, almost 18,000 voters used these sites during early voting.
  • Provided over 50 presentations on the Constitutional and Charter Amendments throughout the county and distributed 8,000 Voter Guides. We made a particular effort to reach out to communities with historically low voter turnout such as Overtown, Little Haiti, and Miami Gardens.
  • Hosted five “Voting is Your SuperPower!” Parties to the Polls with food trucks, DJs, and voter protection information, boosting turnout and community awareness of the importance of voting.

A GREAT GIVE MIAMI DAY
We are grateful for your support during Give Miami Day! We raised an unprecedented amount: $11,751 from more than 200 members and friends. Your generous donations will assist us in our continued efforts to defend democracy and protect voting rights.


TIME TO SET OUR PRIORITIES FOR 2019!
Members of the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation met on December 7 to hear what issues are of most importance to Miami-Dade residents. Board members Diane Lockwood (pictured below) and Barbara Overton represented the LWVMD. Barbara spoke about our legislative priorities and reminded the group that we are there to partner with them. Diane spoke about the salt intrusion into our drinking water coming from the cooling canals at FPL’s Turkey Point which caught the attention of Jose Javier Rodriguez, who noted that the environment should be a higher priority for the delegation. Ana Maria Rodriguez agreed.

In preparation for the 2019 Legislative Session, we would like to know YOUR priorities. Members will receive a survey to fill out which we will send to LWVFL. LWVFL will combine the recommendations of Leagues across the state to create the 2019 LWV Florida Legislative Priorities, which guides the League in its efforts during the Legislative Session (March 5 – May 3, 2019).


SECOND CHANCES: NEXT STEPS
The “Second Chances” citizens’ amendment to reinstate voting rights for former felons passed overwhelmingly in the November 6 General Election. Now we begin the effort to register these approximately 1.4 million disenfranchised Floridians starting on January 8, 2019. If you know of or are involved with organizations that can help with this effort, or you would like to be involved in education or voter registration efforts, please contact us.


SCHOOL BOARD TO HONOR LWVMD
The Miami Dade County School Board will be honoring LWVMD with a proclamation recognizing the work we do in the county.
The ceremony will be Wednesday, December 19 at 11:00 am at the School Board building at 1450 NE 2nd Avenue. It would be great to have a large number of us there to receive the proclamation. Please email Marisol if you are able to attend. Congratulations to all!

LWVMD SOLAR CHAIR OPPORTUNITY
The League's partnership with Solar United Neighbors has already helped to launch 40 neighborhood co-ops around Florida and encouraged $24 million in rooftop solar investment. The LWVMD Solar Chair will coordinate with FLSUN to arrange public forums to learn about solar power, and collaborate on editorials. For details, please contact Diane Lockwood, LWVMD Environmental Chair, at 409-659-5693 or DianeLockwood24@gmail.com.

As this year ends and the New Year begins, we look forward to working together with renewed energy to increase our reach in the community, empower and educate voters, and make a more perfect democracy.

Wishing you all the best and, as ever, in League,



UPCOMING EVENTS
December 17, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Election Team Recap and Planning for 2019
Join us to review our 2018 election activities (such as Vote411, candidate forums, ballot presentations, Pledge to Vote, and many more) to evaluate what we did and how we did it, what worked, what could have gone better—then develop an action plan for 2019/2020 Election Team.
Location: Center for Social Change Fifth-Floor Conference Room, 2103 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145

Friday and Saturday, January 18-19, 2019
League Rising: The Power of Women
Hear from League leaders and experts from throughout the state, hone your skills, learn to be a more effective League member, and more! For more information and to register, click here.
Location: Orlando Downtown, 60 South Ivanhoe Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32804

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Legislative Briefing and Brunch
Come meet members of the Miami-Dade Delegation to the Florida Legislature, find out what’s on their mind, and share what’s on yours before the next session begins in March.
Location: Center for Social Change Fifth-Floor Conference Room, 2103 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145

SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Women Who Shine
Join us for our gala annual luncheon celebrating outstanding women leaders who are increasing the well-being and vitality of our community.
Location TBD

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Give Miami Day 2018 a Great Success--Thanks to You!

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Thanks to all of our board members, volunteers, and supporters who contributed to LWVMD during Give Miami Day 2018! Thanks to your contributions and network support, we raised more than $11,600—just a few hundred dollars short of our $12,000 goal.

With the 2019 Florida Legislative Session in view, the urgent priorities we want our elected representatives to address, and campaigns and issues for the 2020 Election already in the works, your support will allow us to continue, expand, and deepen our vital work of voter education and protection of voting rights. Thanks again!

Support LWVMD on Give Miami Day, November 15!

The 2018 Election is winding down--but our efforts most certainly are not.

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Give Miami Day is coming up on November 15 -- and with it, a great way to strengthen your support of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County. During this 24-hour day of giving, any contribution above $25 made to LWVMD will be partially matched by The Miami Foundation.

Among our many accomplishments this Election season:

  • We populated vote411.org with information about the candidates

  • We provided more than 50 presentations to various community groups about the Florida Constitution and Miami-Dade Charter ballot amendments.

  • We organized five Parties at the Polls in locations from North Miami to Homestead.

  • We helped spur the creation of early voting locations on college campuses, record midterm turnout in Miami-Dade, and the reinstatement of voting rights for more than 1.4 disenfranchised Floridians through the successful passage of Ballot Amendment #4.

With the 2019 Florida Legislative Session in view, the urgent priorities we want our elected representatives to address, and campaigns and issues for the 2020 Election already in the works, we are just getting started.

LWVMD is an all-volunteer organization that does amazing things with a very limited budget. So please include LWVMD in your Give Miami Day philanthropic giving--and know that every dollar will be devoted to protecting democracy and protecting voters!