/*get flag library for language switcher*/

voter's digest

Voter's Digest October 2019

You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.
                                                             - Leymah Gbowee

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perseverance
In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perseverance
View this email in your browser
Dear friends,

Though “off” election years are supposed to be quiet, things have been anything but at the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade. We are super-busy—and loving every moment of it. Each interaction we have with a voter, each event we participate in, each community partnership we foster, advances our mission of empowering voters and protecting democracy.
We recently visited several state legislators to share our priorities and learn more about theirs. For their time and candor, we thank Senators Annette Taddeo and Jason Pizzo; Representatives Vance Aloupis (shown here with LWVMD board members Dorrit Marks and Morgan Anderson), Dotie Joseph (at left with board member Krystina Francois), Michael Grieco, and a few more to come! Next month (November), a Legislative Briefing with Miami-Dade’s elected representatives will offer insights about the issues that will be on the table at Florida Legislature’s next session. We will let you know as soon as the date is set.
We were front and center at the Children’s Trust Family Expo on September 7 and participated in National Voter Registration Day on September 24 at Government Center and at Miami Dade College Hialeah. In addition to registering voters and help them update their voter identification, we shared information about our online voters’ resource, vote411.org, and gathered signatures for the ban on assault weapons and for open primaries in the state of Florida. We thank our volunteers for their amazing efforts that day!

Election security is on everyone’s minds—and we are on it! We helped organize Securing 2020, a well-attended September 17 symposium on election security at the University of Miami that featured speakers including Candice Hoke, director of the Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy. The next evening, Supervisor of Elections Christina White (center, right) discussed her team’s efforts to ensure the security of the 2020 elections at LWVMD's Cocktails & Conversations at the Hotel Colonnade, Coral Gables.
Also on September 18, LWVMD volunteers were on hand at the well-attended Miami Beach Candidate Forum to register voters and gather signatures for the assault weapons ban and for open primaries in Florida.

Just two nights later, LWVMD joined several community partners at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre for Guac: My Son, My Hero, an intense and impactful performance by gun safety advocate Manuel Oliver honoring his son Joaquin (“Guac”), who lost his life in Parkland on February 14, 2018.
To all that and more, I say: Whew—and thank you!
Amid all our activities, however, there is always more to do—especially with a presidential election year right around the corner. Our all-volunteer organization must increase our membership and financial resources to grow our capacity to assist, empower, and protect voters and to advocate effectively for causes that affect all of our lives, from education to climate change. So if you're not already, please become a member. And, of course, any and all donations are always welcome!
If you are reading this, you understand the importance of what we do. So please dive in and join us! No matter how much (or little) time you have, no matter what your skills or interests, there is a volunteer opportunity that will fit you to a “T.” Visit us online at www.lwvmiamidade.org, follow us on social media, and, most importantly, join, donate, or volunteer—or, ideally, all three! In addition to ongoing voter registration activities, current volunteer opportunities include the following.

On Give Miami Day on November 21, we ask that you help us meet our ambitious goal of $25,000, which will enable us to do so much more to engage and educate voters as next year’s elections ramp up. Please start sharing information with your circle of family members, colleagues, and friends about this great way to support our all-volunteer efforts. If you can spare a few hours on that day, please plan to join us at the Center for Social Change to make calls, emails, and text LWVMD members and friends in our quest to meet our goal– wine, cheese, and crackers are included!
Enjoy the fun of planning special events and parties? Help plan our signature Women Who Shine event on February 29, 2020. This gala gathering will be especially festive next year—the centennial of the League of Women Voters. 
The 2020 Census will have lasting impacts on Miami-Dade County, and LWVMD is planning a series of information sessions about the census around the county, beginning in January.
Love history? The League is turning 100—and our Centennial Committee needs you!
There are also opportunities for you to get involved in the issues that are most important to you, such as gun safety, natural resources, immigration, healthcare, education, and voter protection.Just drop us a line at volunteerslwvmiamidade@gmail.com and let us know how you want to participate!
Thank you for your support of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade and our mission. We simply could not do what we do without you.
In League,
Marisol Zenteno
Saturday, October 19, 1:00-3:00 pm
LWVMD Membership Orientation
Center for Social Change, 2103 Coral Way, Suite 200
Whether you are a current, former, prospective, or new member, join us and learn more about the League of Women Voters, our own dynamic chapter, and the many ways you can get involved. Find out more and RSVP here! (Eventbrite link)
Tuesday, November 5
Local elections will be held on this date in Hialeah, Homestead, and Miami Beach. If you or loved ones live in these communities, make sure you are registered to vote as soon as possible, and check out vote411.org to learn more about the issues on the ballots.
Thursday, November 21, 12:01 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
Give Miami Day
Save the date and spread the word! Please bookmark our page on the Give Miami Day site and plan to make your generous contribution. You can play a transformative role in supporting our tireless work!
Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Women Who Shine
Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables
This gala annual event honoring women who are making a difference in our community will this year also feature a 100th-birthday celebration for the League of Women Voters. More details to come—please go ahead and mark your calendars!




"In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world, all rests on perseverance."
                - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perseverance
In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perseverance
View this email in your browser
Dear Members and Friends,

From all reports, this year’s Legislative Session was one of the most grueling in recent history. Lawmakers in Tallahassee ignored the will of approximately 65 percent of Florida voters in passing Constitutional Amendment 4 by enacting provisions that will continue to disenfranchise millions of voters in the state. They also continued the systematic attack on public education by providing vouchers to private schools with taxpayer money and arming school teachers in the state.

These may be depressing updates. However, we should see them as a call to increased engagement in the work of defending democracy. Now more than ever, your support of the League of Women Voters is of upmost importance. You can help defend democracy by joining the League, donating whatever time you can spare to one of our voter education and empowerment activities, and supporting our work with donations through our website, www.lwvmiamidade.org. It is only through your involvement that we can support education, advocacy, and protection of voting rights!

In League,


LWVMD’s 2019 Women Who Shine Awards on March 23 was well attended by more than 200 guests, increasing the reach and visibility of our work. President Marisol Zenteno spoke about the importance of staying engaged in our community and supporting the League and the work that we do. The event was highlighted on WPLG Channel 10.

LWVMD was well represented during LWV Florida's Lobby Days in Tallahassee this year. Board members Krystina Francois, Rachel Federgreen, Cindy Lamel, Lourdes Diaz, Geena Batista, and president Marisol Zenteno attended the session in Tallahassee in April.  They met with Representatives Vance Aloupis, Nick Duran, Dotie Joseph, Javier Fernandez, Ana Maria Rodriguez, and Holy Raschiem.  Our chapter was recognized by the Dade Delegation in the chamber.

In the recent Florida Legislative Session, the League initially supported SB 7066, which included provisions requiring the Secretary of State to provide signature-matching training to certain persons; revising the voter threshold necessary to require the reporting of certain precinct-level results by ballot; authorizing certain individuals to serve as witnesses during the ballot duplication process; and revising requirements for vote-by-mail ballot instructions. The bill allows vote-by-mail ballots to be dropped off at Early Voting sites rather than sent by mail.
In the 11th hour, language was added to SB 7066 related to Amendment 4. The League did not support this change, which requires returning citizens affected by Amendment 4 to pay all court fees, fines, and restitution before voting. However, SB 7066 passed. In partnership with several organizations, LWV Florida denounced the state Legislature’s demonstrated disregard for the voices of the people of Florida and called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to exercise his veto authority on several bills, including SB 7066.

LWVMD organizes or appears at a variety of events at which new voters can be registered. It's a great way to volunteer! Please note that all individuals wishing to do voter registration with the League must be re-certified, even if you have been certified in the past. You can review an educational presentation here and take the quiz here. If you need a password, please email Rachel.Federgreen@gmail.com. Please send results to volunteerslwvmd@gmail.com.

LWVMD has been busy promoting municipal elections throughout Miami-Dade County. April and May saw elections in Coral Gables, Miami Springs, North Miami, Pinecrest, and other municipalities. Our activities include candidate forums, voter registration efforts, Vote 411, and Pledge to Vote reminders. Visit our website for a municipal election calendar and more information on LWVMD voter services.

Rotary Club
President Marisol Zenteno was invited to speak at the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove on May 8. The lunch meeting was well attended by club members, who learned about the League of Women Voters and the need for civic engagement in the community.

United Teachers of Dade
The League partnered with the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) for a panel discussion about The Trickle-Down Effects of Defunding Public Education in Miami Gardens. Panelists were District 8 Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava, Miami-Dade Branch of NAACP President Ruban Roberts, Past President of the Florida PTA Eileen Seigel, Miami-Dade Parents of Murdered Kids President Tangela Sears, and LWVMD President Marisol Zenteno. The League also participated in the UTD’s rally at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School.

10 Days of Connection
Advocacy Chair Krystina Francois and President Marisol Zenteno cohosted You Can Sit With Us: 10 Days of Connection with Las Comadres at the Soul Tavern in Miami Beach. The lively event was attended by over forty people from different sectors of the community. The event was a breath of fresh air and camaraderie among people from differing political viewpoints.

ACLU 100
The League of Women Voters Miami-Dade was invited to participate in the ACLU 100 National Tour celebration at Collins Park in Miami Beach on Saturday, May 11. We had a voter registration table and President Marisol Zenteno spoke regarding the protection of voting rights. We thank our volunteers for their great efforts at this high-energy event! 

Protecting Our Water and Waterways

Board member Barbara Pierce represented the League at the May 1, public meeting held by the Nuclear Resource Commission, speaking out about the environmental threats posed by Florida Power & Light’s petition to have its permit to operate Turkey Point with outdated cooling canal technology, which is demonstrably harming the Biscayne Bay ecosystem, renewed for 30 more years.

LWVMD Environmental Chair Diane Lockwood attended the Florida Department of Environmental Protection / FP&L information session on May 7. FP&L is seeking an exemption from the Clean Water Act from DEP. LWVMD is tracking the issues surrounding FP&L’s requests and we are hopeful that Governor DeSantis, who has said he favors protecting Florida’s natural environment, will veto laws that allow continued environmental degradation.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
At the Second Annual Blue Forum with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, we spoke about "Black Girls: Pushed Out, Over-Policed and Under-Protected" and what can we do in our community to prevent the school to prison pipeline.
Univision Showcases LWVMD Voting Efforts
LWVMD President Marisol Zenteno appeared on Univision Ch. 23 with Sandra Peebles speaking about how to register to vote and the importance of voting.  The program was televised nationwide.


Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m.
2019 Legislative Debrief: What Happened in Tallahassee?
Location: CIC,1951 N.W. 7th Avenue, Miami
Our elected representatives will provide updates and insights on bills that passed and those that did not. RSVP to the free event here. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 7 - Saturday, June 8
LWV Florida 37th Biennial Convention 
Location: Ritz-Carlton Resort, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road Naples, FL, 34108
Two days of action, inspiration, AND relaxation! Click here for more information.

Saturday, June 29, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
LWVMD 2019 Annual Meeting
Location: Colonnade Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
Join us for our gala annual luncheon, at which we update members on achievements and future plans and induct the new LWVMD board members. Save the date -- Registration info coming soon!

"Women don’t need to find their voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen."
― Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

View this email in your browser
Dear Members and Friends,

March is Women’s History Month, and we will be celebrating in style with our annual Women Who Shine awards brunch on March 23! This festive event honors five women who have made stellar contributions to our community.

Get your tickets today! If you have a disability and may require an accommodation to fully participate in Women Who Shine, please email us at info@lwvmiamidade.org request accommodation. Even if you cannot make it, please consider purchasing a ticket that can be donated to an LWVMD student fellow for a truly informative and inspiring experience.

At our Legislative Briefing on February 23, Javier Fernandez, representative for Florida House District 114, and Dotie Joseph, representative for Florida House District 108, shared their perspectives and priorities for the upcoming legislative session. The two discussed issues including transportation, housing, gun safety reform, water quality, and public school funding. Fernandez emphasized his support for green and sustainable practices, and Joseph highlighted the need for equal pay, paid family leave, and the protection of rights for incarcerated women, especially those who are survivors of domestic violence.

Both also had advice for audience members who are thinking of running for office. Fernandez emphasized the importance of balancing campaign obligations with family life and staying positive. Noted Joseph, “If it is a calling and you know what impact you want to make, you can use your life as an excuse or a motivator.”

LWVMD is heading to Tallahassee on April 9 and 10 to meet up with LWV members from around the state, observe the Florida Legislature in action, and meet with representatives to share our viewpoint on several bills that are in the works for this session. Interested in joining our 2019 Tallahassee delegation? Please let us know ASAP. Registration and hotel rooms will be paid for a certain number of attendees; travel and incidental expenses are the responsibility of individual members. Please email LWVMD as soon as possible if you would like to join our Tallahassee Lobby Days delegation.

LWVMD members have helped to engage the community by speaking on League priorities including clean water, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment at recent events. Among the highlights, LWVMD Environment Chair Diane Lockwood spoke out at a March 5 County Commission meeting on the urgent need for upgrades to the county’s water and sewer infrastructure to make the system more resilient to sea level rise and tropical storms. We also visited Biscayne National Park and met with Superintendent Margaret Goodro to share our concerns about the permit renewal for FPL’s cooling towers.

Elections Team VP Barbara Overton spoke at the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) press conference about LWV support of public schools. LWVMD President Marisol Zenteno and board member Teresa Enriquez spoke at the CLEO Institute's Empowering Resilient Women and Girls workshop in Allapattah. Board member Barbara Pierce articulated the League’s support of America’s clean car standards at a press event on March 12. LWVMD also participated in the Candidate Forum for the city of Coral Gables and hosted a voter registration table at the Coral Gables Farmer’s Market.

LWVMD members were also out in force to celebrate President Emeritus Susan Windmiller’s recognition for her outstanding public service at Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation’s In the Company of Women event on March 7.

While the 2018 general election is now history, Miami-Dade has several local elections this year, including those coming up in Coral Gables and Miami Shores on April 9. If you and/or your family or friends live in these and other municipalities with 2019 elections, get election-ready by visiting the League’s voter information site, vote411.org. To set up and help with Candidate Forums in your town, contact us at elections@lwvmiamidade.org.

As we prepare for our Women Who Shine event to honor women from various sectors that are making an impact in the community, hundreds of bills are making their way through the legislative process in Tallahassee. These bills address issues that include election reform, school vouchers, gun safety, and the environment.

Medicaid Expansion Florida legislators are deciding right now whether our state will accept critical federal funds which would provide health care to hard-working families while creating jobs. Yet some state lawmakers want to block this funding, leaving Florida to continue struggling to care for the uninsured. Sign the petition to Florida's legislators today and urge them to expand Medicaid to nearly 600,000 hard-working Florida families who need access to quality health care.

BAWN Ban Assault Weapons Now is leading the grassroots movement to put an amendment on Florida's 2020 ballot to constitutionally ban the sale of assault weapons. LWVMD supports this effort and is helping to collect nearly 800,000 signatures so that Florida voters can have their voices heard. If you are with us in this fight, download the petition, print double-sided if possible, and sign.

The League of Women Voters of Florida’s Capitol Report provides regular updates on the Legislative Session, and LWVMD is actively tracking this activity, which will directly affect you, your community, and your family. So I urge you to join LWVMD and become an active participant in defending democracy and improving our community. There are many volunteer opportunities, ranging from voter registration and Cocktails and Conversations to Observer Corps and Speakers Bureau. Whatever your passion, there is an issue for you! Even just a few hours a month can make a big difference. Please contact us at info@lwvmiamidade.org to volunteer.

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

Wednesday and Thursday, April 9 and 10
Tallahassee Lobby Days
A delegation of LWVMD members will be traveling to Tallahassee to meet with lawmakers from Miami-Dade during the Legislative Session. Email info@lwvmiamidade.org for more information.

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

"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

View this email in your browser
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