LWV Florida members representing chapters all over the state gathered at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples on June 7 and June 8 for the League’s 37th Biennial Convention.
In light of the urgent concerns about the treatment of immigrants in Florida’s Immigrant Detention Centers, LWVMD board member Krystina Francois made a formal recommendation to the state organization’s board to reinstate its Immigration Issue Committee. The recommendation, submitted in collaboration with four sister chapters, was accepted.
Also to address this issue, LWVMD called on the state organization to issue a public letter asking Governor DeSantis to veto HB 168, which would prohibit sanctuary cities, and to close the Homestead detention center.
We also urged LWVFL to adopt a Climate Emergency Resolution in light of the November 2018 findings of the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, which detailed the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy and underscored the need for emergency climate action at all levels of government.
And last but hardly least: LWVMD board member Rachel Federgreen, who has served as a highly effective champion and organizer of voter registration and education efforts, was inducted as a member of the board of LWV Florida.
Lively Sessions, Inspiring Workshops
Over the course of three plenary sessions, the LWV Florida State Program for 2019 – 2021 was finalized after lively debate regarding a draft document distributed to all voting attendees as well as new proposals from League members that focused on issues including sanctuary cities, gun control, environmental protection, sustainable energy, affordable child care, and humane immigration policies.
Complementing the plenary sessions, workshops, caucuses, and meetings focused on an array of topics including poverty amelioration, pre-K education, the juvenile justice system, and voter services. Among them:
Award-winning filmmaker Sarah Mondale, producer/director at Stone Lantern Films, screened a portion of Backpack Full of Cash, a documentary about the damage to public education across the U.S. due to the school choice movement. A DVD of the documentary can be rented for community screenings.
A look at recent festivities and a historical volume, Warriors for Democracy, marking the 80th birthday of the League of Women Voters of Florida of Orange County—the nation’s largest single-county League chapter—and ideas to celebrate the upcoming centennial of the national League of Women Voters, were presented by the Orange County League.
Broward League member Barbara Markley shared disturbing statistics about gun violence in the United States and in Florida and described how she launched the successful “Lock It Up” program to help minimize violence, suicides, and accidental child shootings. The campaign has distributed gun locks to pediatricians, mental health providers, preschools, churches, the state attorney, public defender, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and many others.
Convention attendees were also urged to support the Ban Assault Weapons Now initiative by visiting BAWNFL.org to download, sign, and send in a petition to place a ban on the sale of military weapons in Florida on the 2020 ballot. Please do so and pass the word.
For more information about the League of Women Voters of Florida’s focus issues, visit lwvfl.org.
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