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Voter's Digest, August 2018

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.
- Michael Altshuler

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Hello Leaguers!

Yes, time flies! However, we are fortunate that we can decide what we do with it. We’re already in the first week of August and the 2018 Primary Elections are upon us. While there are many forces competing for your time, I ask you to dedicate just a bit of that precious time to advancing the Leagues’ mission to advocate, educate, and defend voting rights.

You can do this by simply “liking” us on Facebook and sharing our pages as well as following us on Instagram and/or Twitter. You can chair or assist a specific initiative as part of our Election Team. You can attend our events. You can help us register voters or listen in on commission meetings and tell us what you heard. We need your activism and engagement now more than ever!

With the elections just over three weeks from now, there are worries about hacking and voter suppression. Check your voter registration and make sure that it is up to date.

Talk with your family and friends, coworkers, neighbors, and associates and inform them about the issues—from defending our public schools to gun safety to the environment. Ask them to go to www.lwvmiamidade.org and take the Pledge to Vote to receive voter guides and an email reminder to vote in their local elections. Ask them to join and donate to the League. Ask them to read up on the candidates on Vote411. It is up to us to make a difference.

In addition, the November ballot will be packed with 13 Constitutional Amendments, as well as local amendments. You can learn more about the amendments, including explanations of their potential impact, and see the League’s positions on each.

Be sure to vote in the August 28, 2018 Primary! Democratic and Republican primaries are being held on that date for many statewide offices. There are also elections for all voters: School Board, County Commission, judges, and more. The early voting period is August 13 – August 26. More information is available here.

Check out our Voter Guides before you vote to get information on the candidates. Our guides can be found at Vote411 and provide information directly from the candidates. You can compare candidates side by side and can print out a “ballot” to take with you to the polls. Please share the link with your friends and family.

The League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County held its Board Retreat on July 28th at the Center for Social Change. The Board discussed the League's continued commitment to advancing its goals, which include promoting diverse membership growth and maintaining a fiscally sound organization as we increase outreach to underserved communities and shine a spotlight on local issues. We need your help to accomplish the League's mission for the 2018-2019 year. For more information on how you can help during this critical mid-term election year, please contact Marisol at mariroa33@gmail.com.

As many of you know, this summer has become an ecological disaster in Florida. From the toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee, the red tide in the Gulf, and beach closures in MDC, our watershed is in poor health. This negatively affects everything from property values to the economy to public health. Contact your elected officials and ask they do the following to improve Miami-Dade County waters:

  • Enact a robust Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) for Miami-Dade County
  • Improve stormwater management practices to reduce pollutants in runoff
  • Fix aging sewer pipes that leak raw sewage into the watershed and stop the use of septic systems
  • Tell the EPA NOT to repeal the Water of the United States Rule
  • Increase penalties for polluters
  • Work with the business community (especially in coastal areas) to find sustainable alternatives for single-use plastics and styrofoam that end up on our beaches
  • Enact policies that promote, preserve and restore coastal habitats like sandy beaches, nearshore coral reefs, beach dunes, mangroves and the Biscayne Bay islands.

Time is of the essence. We simply can't afford to have another disastrous summer like this.

Alongside our amazing partners, LWVMD is working hard to protect our public schools. The League has joined forces, once again, with the School Board of Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Council of PTA’s/PTSA’s, the United Teachers of Dade, LWV Florida, and the Florida Education Association.

There are two things you can do to help protect our schools in the November Election.
  1. VOTE YES and SUPPORT the referendum for our local schools that will appear on the ballot.
  2. VOTE NO on Amendment 8, a proposed constitutional measure that is, in the words of the Sun-Sentinel, a confusingly worded "sneak attack" on public education and is the target of an LWVFL lawsuit.
To learn more, you can read more about the LWVFL litigation and Revision 8 and also the Education Blog by Dr. Sue Legg, Education Chair for LWV Florida.

LWVMD has made a commitment to address and reverse historically low turnout in the following communities! We need your help with voter registration and educational events. If you live in or have contacts in these areas, please email Rachel.Federgreen@gmail.com.

  • Liberty City
  • Little Hatti
  • Allapattah
  • Miami Gardens
  • Overtown
  • Homestead

We understand that, with the pressures on your time, it is a challenge to focus on things that matter to our community and that can help create lasting positive change. By giving just a small amount of your time and resources, you will feel greatly rewarded. We must never take for granted our right to vote and to voice our opinions freely.

In League,

Monday, August 6, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. | 2018 Judicial Candidates Forum
Join us and our partners to meet the candidates running for the 11th Circuit!
Location: New Birth Baptist Church, 2300 NW 135th Street, Miami

Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | Mount Hermon Candidates Forum
Join us and our partners at the Mount Hermon Candidates Forum. Moderated by Rodney Baltimore, hear about the issues that matter to you and your family!
Location: Mount Hermon AME Church, 17800 NW 25th Ave, Miami Gardens

Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. | Community Conversation with Congressional District 27 Candidates
Before you vote in the primary election, join us to meet the Congressional District 27 candidates. Moderated by: Nancy Ancrum, Miami Herald Editorial Page Editor & Tom Hudson, WLRN Public Radio
Location: Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus, McCarthy Hall Theater, Room 6120, 11011 SW 104 Street, Miami

Wednesday, August 15, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Miami Summer Solar Co-op Info Session
Live in Miami-Dade County and want to go solar? Now's your chance! Join us for a free information session to learn about solar energy, as well as how the Miami Summer Solar Co-op simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power.
Location: Books and Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables

Sunday, August 19, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. | Miami Summer Solar Co-op Info Session
Live in Miami-Dade County and want to go solar? Now's your chance! Join us for a free information session to learn about solar energy, as well as how the Miami Summer Solar Co-op simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power.
Location: Pinecrest Gardens – Hibiscus Gallery, 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest

Saturday August 25, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Women's Equality Day Celebration
Join us as we commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, and celebrate the continued efforts on behalf of equal rights for women.
Location: Roxcy O’Neal Women’s History Gallery at The Women’s Park,10251 West Flagler Street, Miami 33172

See what's on your ballot here!
Location: Find your nearest polling station here.