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Voter's Digest, December 2018

“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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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!

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,

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

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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