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Voter's Digest May 2018

Freedom does not come about of itself. It must be struggled for and then defended anew every day of our lives. — Angela Merkel

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LWVMD is in the midst of one of our busiest times ever. The August Primary is coming up in just three months and November's Election is six months away. Meanwhile, the tragedy at Parkland has galvanized our community to get involved. To date, more than 60 volunteers have joined us at some 24 voter registration and outreach events, including March for Our Lives and the Youth Summit.

LWVMD is also hosting candidate forums for local elections and sending customized voter guides for municipal elections. In fact, our efforts in organizing the candidate forum for Florida House of Representatives District 114 (which included live-streaming on Facebook for those who could not attend in person).

So how can YOU make a difference in this all-important election season? You have an array of options--take your pick!

  • Developing Voter Guides: There are more than 20 municipal elections this year, and the results directly affect our public safety, our transportation, our water, our economy, our housing stock, and more. To help voters prepare for these local races, LWVMD creates voter guides featuring information gathered from the candidates on their positions and platforms. If you'd like to help in this effort, please contact our Voter Guide Chair, Barbara Overton.
  • Pledge to Vote Campaign: Registering to vote is important--but actually SHOWING UP on election days is crucial. Our Pledge to Vote (PTV) sends election reminders, customized voters guides, and everything else you need to be ready on Election Day. To help us promote our PTV across Miami-Dade, contact our Election Chair Marisol Zenteno.
  • Increase Voter Turnout: Data shows that, in Midterm Elections locally, only 40 percent of eligible voters vote! LWVMD is determined to substantially raise that percentage. Rachel Federgreen and Asriele Stubbs are leading a data analysis of precincts with particularly low voter turnout so we can develop targeted, effective GOTV activities! For all you data gurus or those with GOTV ideas, contact Rachel.

Morgan Anderson, our newest Board Member, is organizing our LWVMD Fellows--students dedicated to developing new marketing strategies to get their peers to VOTE! A recent report showed that millennials and Gen Z are replacing Baby Boomers as the largest voting bloc; imagine if they all turned out to vote! Interested in becoming a Fellow or mentoring one? Contact Morgan today.

There's a special election on May 22, for County Commissioner for District 5. LWVMD along with the Biscayne Neighborhoods Association and several other partners will be hosting a Candidate Forum Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 609 Brickell Ave, Miami.

We continue to strengthen our partnership with the terrific CLEO Institute to increase our community's understanding of the basics of climate change and what we can do to address it in our daily lives. The vital next step is to elect officials who stand for sound, science-based climate change policies and strategies via taking the Florida Climate Pledge.

Make your plans now to join us on Saturday, June 16 to learn about (and, for LWVMD members in good standing, vote on) our program priorities, budget, and new leadership; meet many of the candidates in the year's political races; all while enjoying a delicious brunch overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay at Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne. Our keynote speaker is the Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Chief Judge Bertila Soto will provide an update on the state of the County Courthouse. Get your tickets now.

By now, most of us have heard that LWVFL President Pam Goodman has taken a position as Executive Director with Ruth’s List. While we will miss Pam dearly, we won't miss a beat: Patti Brigham has been installed as the new President and we are in for great things under her leadership. Patti created the Florida Gun Coalition To Prevent Gun Violence in the wake of the PULSE nightclub shooting. The coalition now encompasses more than 100 organizations working together to implement common-sense gun safety legislation in the state of Florida.

We invite you to be part of this wave of activism. If you're not already a member, join us, come to our board meeting, volunteer for an event, or donate to support our election activities. Now more than ever, with this midterm election, we count on your passion and energy as we work together to empower voters and defend our democracy!

In League,

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Special Election House District 114
Check out our Voter Guide before you head to the polls.
Location: Find your local polling station here.

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Special Election North Miami
North Miami residents are facing an important bond referendum that will affect local infrastructure, technology updates, public facilities, and affordable housing. View the measures here.
Location: Find your local polling station here.

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Florida City Annexation
Florida City residents will weigh in on whether certain areas should be annexed. Find more information here.
Location: Mail-in ballot.

Monday, May 7, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | LWVMD Board Meeting
Bring fresh ideas and learn about the various ways you can get involved by attending our monthly Board meetings.
Location: Center for Social Change, 2103 Coral Way, 2nd Floor, Miami

Wednesday, May 16, 6:00 p.m. | Parkland Strong Concert
Help us register voters at the Parkland Strong Concert, contact Lourdes Diaz to volunteer.
Location: Pompano Beach Amphitheater - The Amp, 1806 NE 6th Street, Pompano Beach

Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m. | Candidate Forum for County Commissioner - District 5
Join LWVMD and our partners to hear where the candidates stand on the issues that are important to you.
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 609 Brickell Ave, Miami

Thursday, May 17, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Cocktails and Conversations
Join us for a relaxed conversation with candidates on the ballot for the August Primary!
Location: Peacock Cafe, 2889 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove

SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, June 16, 10:30 am | LWVMD Annual Meeting
Get your tickets now for this important and exciting gathering to weigh in on future directions, meet candidates, listen to inspiring speakers, and enjoy a delicious brunch!
Location: Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne

REGISTER NOW: June 28 – July 1 LWV National Convention in Chicago!
This is a great opportunity to learn, meet new people, see what’s going on around the country, give your voice to shape national policy, and come back to Miami energized to continue our tradition of taking it to the next level! Due to our Ruth Shack Leadership Fund, we are able to support several members’ registration and lodging (shared room). If you are interested in attending, let me know. Airfare and meals are on you. Registration closes June 1.
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