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Voter's Digest, Feb. 2019

"I cannot help wondering sometimes what I might have become and might have done if I had lived in a country which had not circumscribed and handicapped me on account of my race, that had allowed me to reach any height I was able to attain."
― Mary Church Terrell

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Dear Members and Friends,

Though 2019 is still young, efforts to defend and engage voters and to make democracy work better than ever in Miami-Dade County during this important pre-General Election year are already in full swing at LWVMD.


MEETING WITH SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
I'm delighted to report that several members of our LWVMD Executive Board met this month with Christina White, Supervisor of Elections for Miami-Dade County. In addition to an in-depth review of the 2018 mid-term elections, discussion topics included improved methods of voter registration, infrastructure improvements to improve the recount process in close elections, expansion of early voting centers in Miami-Dade County for 2020, and county implementation of Amendment 4 (restitution of the right to vote to those who have served their sentence). The productive meeting was a significant step forward in our commitment to make voting inclusive for all citizens in Miami-Dade County.


MEET THE MDC DELEGATION!
Mark your calendars! LWVMD is hosting a free Legislative Briefing and Brunch on February 23, 2019 from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Center for Social Change, Fifth Floor Conference Room, located at 2103 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145. This is a great opportunity to meet members of the Miami-Dade delegation to the Florida Legislature, find out what’s on their minds, and share what’s important to you before the next session begins in March. RSVP on our Facebook events page. See you there!


WOMEN WHO SHINE
Commemorating Women’s History Month, The League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County invites you to attend Women Who Shine, a brunch awards ceremony honoring women of achievement who have made outstanding contributions to our community and serve as role models for future generations.
This year we are pleased to announce the following honorees:

  • Thelma Gibson, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinctive contributions as a civil rights activist and co-founder of the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative
  • Marleine Bastien, Immigrants’ rights activist and Executive Director of FANM
  • Deborah Dietz, Executive Director of Disability Independence Group
  • Avra Jain, Urban developer and founder of The Vagabond Group
  • Bertila Soto, Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit
Get your tickets today! If you have a disability and may require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please email us at info@lwvmiamidade.org request accommodation.


LEAGUE RISING
Several members of the LWVMD board attended the LWV Florida League Rising: The Power of Women conference on January 18 and 19. Conference themes included the importance of diversity and best practices for local chapters. League members attended issue updates and leadership training sessions, participated in Orlando's Martin Luther King Day March, and connected with League members from around the state. A highlight was an impassioned presentation by LWVUS’s new CEO, Virginia Kase, about the role of activism in promoting good government—and the many forms that such activism can take.


GOLDEN BEACH CANDIDATES FORUM
On February 7, LWVMD hosted Golden Beach's first Candidate Forum in more than 13 years, with longtime LWVMD member Terry Murphy moderating. Residents came out in unprecedented numbers to hear from the candidates and ask questions on local issues. Miami-Dade has several local elections this year. To set up and help with Candidate Forums for YOUR town, contact us at elections@lwvmiamidade.org.

SHARING YOUR PRIORITIES
More than 50 LWVMD members responded to our survey requesting input regarding which important legislative issues should be the focus of the League of Women Voters of Florida and LWVMD going into the state legislative session. The top three results were universal background checks for gun ownership, election reform, and sustainability efforts related to sea level rise. Health care and education issues also ranked highly. A delegation from LWVMD will travel to Tallahassee in April to advocate for these and other important priorities. We’ll be reaching out to our members during the session with updates and action alerts.


Whatever your important issues are, and no matter how much time you have to spare, there are great ways for you to get involved and help make a difference. For more information on LWVMD committees and volunteer opportunities, email info@lwvmiamidade.org.

In League,



UPCOMING EVENTS
Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Golden Beach General Election
Check out the Voter’s Guide before you head to the polls.
Location: Golden Beach Town Hall, 1 Golden Beach Drive, Golden Beach, FL 33160

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 minds, 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

LWVMD President Emeritus Susan Windmiller To Be Honored

Susan color photo.jpg
“Especially at the League, as a woman leader, I had an amazing network and I knew I could count on you.”

Susan R. Windmiller has been selected as a 2019 In the Company of Women awardee in the category of Government and Law, nonelected official. She is among 15 winners to be honored at the awards ceremony dinner on March 7 at the Coral Gables Country Club, 990 Alhambra Cir., in Coral Gables.

In her professional career, Susan is a Government Affairs Analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Legal Bureau where she is highly esteemed as the “go-to” person among law enforcement and government officials for finding "the best solutions, which have been carefully considered, researched and developed.” In her 16 years with the department and during her 10 years as an analyst, she has championed support and revenue opportunities to enhance law enforcement initiatives related to homeland security, law enforcement technology systems for data drive policing, officer safety, human trafficking, narcotics, violent crime, domestic violence, victim services, forensic science, mitigation construction and crime prevention, among others. 

In her former post as Assistant Director of the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), Susan facilitated a new management system supporting a 24-hour, 7 days a week facility for arrested youth (12,000 annually) and their families. While Project Director for the Office of Substance Abuse Control, she expanded drug treatment initiatives to include prevention programs to help combat crime, drugs, domestic violence and gangs, and she engaged 30 police departments to serve more than 30,000 school children in Miami-Dade through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).  She also created the award-winning DARE videos in English and Spanish and the DARE Summer Camp for kids.

Among her many civic accomplishments, Susan is a dedicated volunteer and past president of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County (2016-2018), during which she doubled its membership, organized a refresh of digital branding, expanded programming and advocacy, established the 2018 Election Team and Student Fellows programs, and created a national award-winning membership development initiative recognized by LWV US. She also served the board in various positions from 2008 to 2018, spearheading innovative programming to engage members and community partners. Susan also worked to implement campus early voting sites, funding for libraries and creation of the County’s Office of Sustainability and Solar Co-op program.

Deeply passionate about getting people to vote, advocating tirelessly for important community issues, and relentless in mentoring and encouraging women in her career and civic engagements to strive and achieve their goals, Susan has made a lasting imprint on our community.

“I am deeply humbled to have been selected as an honoree for the Miami-Dade County Women's Commission 2019 In the Company of Women Award,” Susan said. “I believe that we, as women,  all succeed when we all respect one another, support each other and our work, and we work together, even when we might disagree.  When we do this, we all succeed, in our organizations, as individual women leaders, and as role models for other women. 

“For me, my recognition is about this, because in my work, especially at the League with each of you and your organizations, the League was successful because as a woman leader I had an amazing network with each of you and I knew I could count on you.

“So I want to thank you for supporting the League and me.”



“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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