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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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,

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