THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2506
Voice: 850/224-2545 Fax: 850/222-4485 Email: email@example.com Web: www.lwvfla.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
State Board LWVF/EF May 2008 – May 2009 Calendar 2
Joanne Coen Board Bytes from March 15-16, 2008 Meetings 4
State Board LWVF Goals and Strategies 07-09 5
Peg McGarity, Executive Director Tidbits from Tallahassee 7
State Board 3rd Party Voter Registration Laws Chronology 8
Brennan Center for Justice Press Release 11
Terry Coble, VP Program LWVF Opposes Proposed Marriage Amendment 12
Sample Press Advisory 14
Pam Goodman, Organization Director Local League Vitality & Training Needs Assessment 15
Local League Contact List 18
Revised Consultants List 20
Deirdre Macnab Membership Tip: Annual Dues Renewal 21
Sample Membership Renewal Invoice 22
State Board LWVF Board & Staff at Work, March – early May 23
Page 2 of 24
LWVF/LWVFEF CALENDAR for LOCAL LEAGUE (LL) PLANNING
May 2008 – May 2009
Updates and Deadlines in Bold Type
Thurs 1 Law Day (week) THE RULE OF LAW, Foundation for
Communities of Opportunity and Equity
Fri 2 2008 Legislative Session Ends
Fri 9 Cancellation deadline for LWVF/EF 08 Council
Fri-Sat 16-17 Pre-Council State Board Meeting, Daytona, leaguers
Sat-Sun 17-18 LWVF/EF Council of Leaders, Daytona
Sun 18 Post Council State Board Meeting, Daytona, leaguers
Mon 2 Distribution 1st FY08/09 Lobby Fund solicitation letter
Mon 2 Education Study materials posted at LWVF website
Fri-Tues 13-17 LWVUS Convention, Portland, Oregon
Mon-Fri 16-20 Statewide Candidate qualifying dates
Tues 1 2nd qtr. LL PMP due (25% payable with LL
Unrestricted accrual funds on deposit with LWVFEF)
Fri-Sat 18-19 State Board Meeting, Miami/Dade Co., leaguers welcome
Mon 28 Primary Election Voter Registration Book Closing
Fri-Sat1-2 FRRC Annual Convening, Location TBD
Mon-Sun 11-24 Early Voting for Primary Election
Mon 18 19th Amendment passes in 1920 giving women suffrage
Tues 26 Women’s Equity Day
Tues 26 Primary Election
Tues 2 Distribution 1st FY08/09 Ed Fund solicitation letter
Wed 17 Constitution Day
Fri-Sat 19-20 State Board Meeting, Bay Co., leaguers welcome
Wed 1 3rd qtr. LL PMP due (25% payable with LL
Unrestricted accrual funds on deposit with LWVFEF)
Wed 1 – March 31, 2009 LLs hold education study consensus meetings
Fri 3 Distribution Special Election Edition, The Florida
Mon 6 Gen. Election Voter Registration Book Closing
Mon- Sun 20-11/2 Early Voting for General Election
Wed 29 LWVF is 69 years young
Tues 4 General Election
Page 3 of 24
Fri-Sat 14-15 State Board Meeting, Collier Co., leaguers welcome
Mon 1 Distribution 2nd FY08/09 Lobby Fund solicitation letter
Mon 15 Bill of Rights Day
Thurs 1 4th qtr. LL PMP due (25% payable with unrestricted
LL accrual funds on deposit with LWVFEF)
Fri 2 Distribution The Florida VOTER, winter 08/09 edition
Wed 14 Deadline LWVF 09-11 Board Nominations
Fri-Sat 16-17 State Board Meeting, Lake Co., leaguers welcome
Fri 30 Deadline LL suggested LWVF By Laws Changes
Sat 31 Membership Data Due LWVUS. Used for LWVF PMP
Sat 14 LWVUS Birthday…89 years young
Fri 27 Deadline 09 LL Legislative Interviews Forms
Fri 27 Deadline LL State Program 09-11 Recommendations
March 2009 (Women’s History Month)
Sun 1 Distribution 2nd FY 08/09 Ed Fund solicitation letter
Sun 8 Early Bird Registrations for 09 Legislative Seminar
Tues 3 2009 Legislative Session Begins
Tues 17 Last Registration for 09 Legislative Seminar
Wed 18 Cancellation Deadline for 09 Legislative Seminar
Mon-Fri 15-21 Sunshine Week
Sat -Sun 21-22 State Board Meeting, Tallahassee, leaguers welcome
Sun –Tues 22-24 49th Legislative Seminar, Tallahassee
Wed 1 1ST qtr. LL PMP (FY 09/10) due (25% payable with
unrestricted LL accrual funds on deposit with EF)
Fri 10 Distribution The Florida VOTER, spring 09 edition
Mon 20 Early Bird Registration LWVF/EF 09 Convention
Thurs 30 Last Registration for LWVF/EF 09 Convention
Thurs 30 Last day to enter LWVF/EF 09 Convention Contests
Thurs 30 Last Day to reserve wares tables and caucus rooms for
Fri 1 Law Day (week)
Fri 1 2009 Legislative Session Ends
Fri 8 Cancellation deadline for LWVF/EF 09 Convention
Thurs-Fri 14-15 Pre-Convention State Board Meeting, Jacksonville,
Fri-Sun 15-17 LWVF/EF 09 Convention, Jacksonville, Hyatt Hotel
Sun 17 Post Convention Council State Board (09-11) Meeting,
Jacksonville, leaguers welcome
Page 4 of 24
March 2008 Board Bytes
Joanne M. Coen, Secretary
Approved appointment of Kay Elliot Burk, former president of Space Coast League, to fill unexpired term of
Mildred O’Neal on the Florida Board.
Noted an almost 1% increase in membership for Leagues in Florida.
Reviewed status of prospective Member-at-Large Units.
Reported that addition of Pay Pal to the LWVF website has generated donations and membership.
Reviewed status of the Education Study.
Reviewed progress of “Our Florida Government” update.
Discussed compilation of “Special Election Edition of “The Florida Voter.”
Reviewed final details for the 2008 Legislative Seminar.
Received an update on May 2008 LWVF Council in Daytona.
Appointed Wills, Coen and Ryan as LWVF delegates to the 2008 LWVUS Convention in Portland, Oregon.
Reviewed ruling of Department of Justice on Florida election laws.
Reviewed status of third party law suit.
Discussed response back from local Leagues regarding Legislative Interviews.
Voted unanimously not to support the Marriage Protection Amendment which will be on the November ballot.
Commended board member Terry Coble for her written response to Chairman Allan Bense, chair of the Florida
Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, on Corporate Tax loopholes.
Clarified role of League’s paid lobbyist.
Reviewed proposed articles for spring edition of “The Florida Voter;” consultant calls and President’s Mailing
Page 5 of 24
LWVF Board 07-09 Goals and Strategies
Membership: Have largest percentage increase in membership based on national PMP figures by Convention
Fastest growing League in nation
Retention plus membership growth
Attract/incorporate more men
Adapt expectations to working people’s schedules
Thriving Leagues in 67 counties
Capture transplanted people as FL members
Use best practices from faith community for attraction/retention
Development: Achieve ongoing financial stability to achieve changing goals.
Use our brand to tap more dollars when fundraising from non-League sources: $5,000 in 08; $10,000 in 09
Launch Capital campaign ($100,000 goal) for LWVF house in 2008 to conclude with LWVF 70
Anniversary in October 2009.
Fund endowment for full time professional lobbyist post 70 Anniversary.
Identify/bring on staff or board a fundraising champion.
Organization: Every League a thriving League.
Best practices derived from local Leagues implemented throughout the state
Local level-have people tied in doing Observe Corps stuff/get involved with city commissions
Encourage local Leagues do more fun/exciting things connected with voter registration, immigrants,
State League more service-oriented, less delegating
Strengthen consultant network
Multiple nominees for all state/board positions
Find ways for people to participate that don’t take a lot of time, but make them feel they are participating
Streamline communication from state to local
Training: public speaking, leadership, advocacy
Reestablish state/regional leadership conferences/training
Advocacy: Be a proactive force in furtherance of our principles and positions.
See that barriers to voting are removed
Be respected by opponents
Establish integrity in FL elections
Win court case
Endowment for lobbyist (full time professional)
Be proactive (versus defensive on legislation)
Local level-have people tied in doing Observe Corps stuff/get involved with city commission
Establish statewide corps of Action Alert people
Realistic legislative priorities
Visibility: Position League a preeminent (go to) grassroots organization for participatory government.
Have state website available to public
Be seen as exciting/dynamic
Household name particularly around election time
Page 6 of 24
Publicize that we own headquarters
Recognition/awards of legislators accomplishments
Modernize League image: 21st century
Sponsor statewide/national debates
Be first place reporters call when issues come up
Improve state Voter and website (graphics)
Page 7 of 24
Tidbits from Tallahassee
Peg McGarity, Executive Director
This is the time of year when the State Office is ablaze with a furry of activity. As reported in the Florida Voter,
the 2008 Legislative Seminar was again a great success. A special “Thank you” is extended to the attendees that
returned evaluation forms. Your kind remarks are appreciated and your suggestions for future seminars will be
taken into consideration during the planning sessions for the 2009 Legislative Seminar.
I am pleased to report that, to date, 15 Leagues have registered delegates for the 2008 LWVF/LWVFEF Council
of Leaders to be held on May 17- 18, 2008 in Daytona Beach. Please refer to the website at www.lwvfla.org for
all of the great activities and workshops planned for the Council of Leaders. Site location for the 2009
LWVF/LWVFEF Convention in Jacksonville will be announced at Council.
Office Staffing, Hours, Tenant, and House Maintenance - On April 26, 2008, Candace Weaver officially started as
our new part-time, Office Assistant. Effective May 1, 2008 State Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
9AM – 5PM and Friday, 9AM – 4PM. Although we have not seen our tenant in over a year, he continues to pay
his rent. Due to severe rain and wind storms, there is minor water damage to the building and we are getting
estimates for the repair. Repair work on the driveway is completed.
PMP – 2nd quarter PMP is due July 1, 2008. LL invoices will be mailed June 1, 2008. For Leagues with a
LWVFEF Accrual balance, this information will be included on your PMP invoice. Again this year, in lieu of
raising the state PMP, the Board has approved the local League voluntary $5.00 per member pledge. Please
consider sending it to the State Office when you send your quarterly PMP. “Thank you” to the Leagues that have
paid their PMP for the entire year.
2008 Legislative Session – The State Office spent many hours monitoring the 2008 Legislative Session and
Taxation & Budget Commission Committee meetings. My evaluation is that the session started out on an un-
friendly note between our elected officials and ended on an even greater un-friendly note between our elected
officials. At times, my frustration level became so intense, it was best to press the mute button on the TV during
discussion of issues that, in my opinion, had no place on the floor of the legislature. League was well represented
at the State House. All volunteer point persons are to be commended for the role they played in monitoring bills
and providing information that helped our LWVF lobbyist and volunteers represent us during session. The Capitol
Report wrap up with the out come of the issues of importance to the League will be posted on the website at
www.lwvfla.org in mid May. A special “Thank you” goes to Marilynn Wills, LWVF Action Chair, and the
Tallahassee Lobby Corp for their dedicated efforts spending hour upon hour at the State House attending
meetings, distributing flyers, giving public testimony on behalf of the LWVF, and never wavering when called
upon to serve.
Page 8 of 24
Florida Third Party Voter Registration Laws Chronology
2005 Legislature (last day of the session) passes a 3rd party voter registration law (effective 1/1/06) that
poses onerous escalating fines (from $250 to $5,000 for each completed voter registration form not returned
to the local Supervisor of Elections (SOE) within 10 days of collection) and burdensome reporting
requirements under strict liability rules.
6/05-3/06 LWVF Action VP attends 4 quarterly Division of Elections rules hearings to get clarifications
regarding the application of the law. None provided.
3/19/06 LWVF board establishes voter registration moratorium by unanimous vote.
5/18/06 LWVF and 4 other plantiffs file a complaint in Federal District Court, Miami. (League of Women
Voters ET. al. v. Cobb). Organizational plantiffs include: Florida AFL-CIO; PACT, the People Acting for
Community Together, a coalition of community organizations, churches, synagogues and schools based in
Miami-Dade County; AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,
Council 79; and SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. Marilynn Wills is an individual plaintiff.
7/25-26/06 LWVF President and 1st VP testify at hearing at Federal District Court, Miami. LWVF is
represented by pro bono counsel: Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director, Democracy Program the Brennan Center
for Justice at NYU School of Law; Elizabeth S. Westfall, senior attorney, the Advancement Project, DC;
and Craig L. Siegel, Associate, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, NYC, NY.
8/28/06 Federal Judge Patricia Seitz grants preliminary injunction.
8/29/06 Local Leagues (LLs) resume voter registration for the 2006 general election.
10/25/06 Secretary of State (SOS) appeals (No.06-14836-D) to the United States Court of Appeals Eleventh
Circuit. Defendants argue that the third party voter registration law merely deals with the collection and
submission of voter registration applications and does not regulate any speech or association.
07 Legislative Session: LWVF advocates repeal of the 3rd party voter registration law.
5/21/07 Governor Crist signs HB 537 providing VVPT. Bill amends 3rd party voter registration law:
eliminates the exemption for political parties but applies fines to individuals; reduces fines ($50-$500), adds
an impossibility exception to the fines; eliminates joint and several liability; and puts a $1000 per
organization, per year cap on fines. Fines are reduced by three-quarters if the organization registers with the
SOS and provides quarterly reports of voter registration activities. The amended law to take effect 1/1/08.
7/11/07 Defendants file brief before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals informing the court of the new
law and asking the court to dismiss the appeal and vacate the preliminary injunction on January 1, 2008.
About 7/25/07, LWVF files a brief before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals opposing defendant’s 7/11
motion arguing that the court should either (1) deny defendants' motion to dismiss the appeal and vacate the
preliminary injunction or (2) treat it as a motion to withdraw their appeal and grant that motion. LWVF also
argues that the case (as opposed to the appeal) will not become moot on January 1, 2008. An argument date
is scheduled for 10/3/07 unless the appeal is withdrawn, dismissed, or otherwise moved.
7/30/07 defense counsel responds to LWVF overture that the SOS is interested in discussing proposed
regulations to resolve any issues with the replacement 3rd party voter registration law.
8/16/07 Judge Patricia Seitz, Federal District Court, Miami, extends stay for preliminary injunction granted
August 28, 2006 until the Eleventh Circuit issues its mandate or 6 months whichever is earlier.
8/20/07 LWVF submits draft implementing regulations for the replacement 3rd party voter registration law
to defendant’s counsel regarding 1. The risk that both an individual (league members) and the organization
will be held liable for the same fines and 2. The risk that the $1000 cap will not cover all affiliates (local
9/7/07 the Brennan Center for Justice and the Advancement Project request that the US Department of
Justice reject the 3rd party voter registration law passed in the 2007 legislative session because the new
provisions unduly harm the state's minority communities and violate the federal Voting Rights Act. On
12/28, the SOS announces that it will not enforce these provisions that impact 5 counties inasmuch as State
law requires that elections be managed uniformly.
Page 9 of 24
9/20/07 Counsel sends letter to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals stating agreement with two points made
in Appellant’s Reply in support of their Suggestion of Impending Mootness.
9/25/07 Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals cancels oral arguments that were scheduled for 10/3/07. A ‘win”
for LWVF inasmuch as ruling by Judge Seitz on 8/28/06 becomes case law.
11/30/07 Standstill agreement filed with the Federal District Court that stipulates that the defendants will
not enforce the amended third party voter registration law against anyone and that the plaintiffs will not
pursue their litigation before the District Court.
12/31/07 enjoined 3rd party voter registration law expires.
1/23/08 Department of Justice issues preclearance for original and replacement 3rd party voter registration
laws passed in 2005 and 2007, respectively.
1/24/08 defendant notifies the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals that (1) the Department of Justice
precleared the enjoined 3rd party voter registration law and amended law and (2) their appeal and the district
court 8/06 injunction order is now moot.
2/6/08 LWVF counsel writes to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals noting that the vacatur of the district
court interlocutory order is inappropriate.
2/19/08 Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses SOS’s appeal as moot but does not dismiss the District
Court's preliminary injunction order of 8/28/06-- precisely the outcome we sought. Case moves back to the
Miami District Court where LWVF has entered the temporary standstill agreement with the SOS. The
purpose of the agreement is to allow the parties to pursue a possible settlement of plaintiffs' claims without
having to engage in additional litigation.
3/21/08 Third Party Voter Registration Information on SOS web site: “ATTENTION: In August 2006, a
federal court issued an injunction against the enforcement of the Third-Party Voter Organization law.
Federal Court Order: League of Women Voters of Florida et al. v. Cobb, US Southern District Court of
Florida. An appeal of that injunction before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was recently
dismissed because the 2005 version of the law as challenged was superseded by a 2007 version, effective
January 2008, thus rendering the challenge moot. However, the preliminary injunction and a joint
stipulation between the parties not to enforce or otherwise challenge the constitutionality of the 2007 Third-
Party Voter Registration Organization law remain in effect. Therefore, pending further official notice to the
contrary, third-party voter registration activities conducted by organizations, entities, or individuals are not
subject to the Third-Party Voter Registration Organization law.”
3/31/08 defendant exercises right to terminate standstill agreement filed with the Federal District Court in
November 2007 with a 30 days notice that it will enforce the amended third party voter registration law
4/15/08 SOS publishes draft implementing rules for the amended third party voter registration law. The
rules do not include any of LWVF’s suggested clarifications. A rules hearing is scheduled for 5/12/08.
4/16/08 LWVF board moves unanimously to 1. Suspend statewide voter registration activities on 5/1/08 and
2. To sue the State of Florida in federal court to enjoin enforcement of the amended 3rd party voter
registration for constitutional reasons.
4/21/08 LWVF files response to defendants' motion to dismiss the original complaint (LWV et. al. V.
Cobb). LWVF does not oppose the motion; rather LWVF uses this filing as an opportunity to give the judge
a heads-up that we will be filing a new complaint and that we believe the amended version of the law is
4/28/08 LWVF files complaint (LWV v. Browning) in Federal District Court, Miami, as organizational
plaintiff with Florida AFL-CIO and AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees, Council 79. Marilynn Wills is the individual plaintiff.
4/29/08 AFSCME withdraws from complaint.
4/30/08 LWVF executes consent order with defendant whereby the amended 3rd party voter registration law
will not be enforced pending development of rules…probably July. LLs resume voter registration work.
6/19/08 Hearing scheduled in Federal district court in Miami. Judge Cecilia Altonaga presiding.
Page 10 of 24
Pro Bono Counsel for LWV v. Browning: Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director, Democracy Program the
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; Elizabeth Westfall, senior attorney, the Advancement
Project, DC; Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, NYC, NY, Washington DC, Europe & Asia.
Page 11 of 24
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
May 1, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Bradley, Berlin Rosen Public Affairs (646) 452-5637
Mike Webb, Brennan Center for Justice (212) 998-6746
Sabrina Williams or Gustavo Vieira, Advancement Project (202) 728-9557
FLORIDA’S RESTRICTIVE THIRD-PARTY VOTER REGISTRATION LAW
WILL NOT BE ENFORCED UNTIL AT LEAST EARLY JULY 2008
MIAMI, FL – Today, the parties to LWV v. Browning, a lawsuit challenging Florida’s onerous restrictions on
third-party voter registration, entered into a binding agreement filed in federal court. The agreement comes the
day after plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order that would have barred state authorities from enforcing
the restrictions. Under the agreement, Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning stated that he will not enforce the
restrictions until the administrative rulemaking process is completed, which he estimates will occur no earlier than
early July 2008. As a result, groups and individuals who conduct voter registration drives in Florida can proceed
with their voter registration activities without fear of being fined under the law, until at least early July 2008.
Plaintiffs to the lawsuit, League of Women Voters of Florida, the Florida AFL-CIO, and Marilyn Wills, president
of the Tallahassee League of Women Voters, are thrilled with this result.
Plaintiffs are represented by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the Advancement Project,
and by pro bono counsel Debevoise & Plimpton (representing the League of Women Voters of Florida), and
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
Page 12 of 24
Florida Marriage Protection Amendment
Terry Coble, VP Program Planning
At its March 15, 2008 meeting the Board of the LWVF voted unanimously to oppose the so-called Florida
Marriage Protection Amendment, which will be on the November 2008 ballot. This decision by the LWVF Board
is in line with decisions by State Leagues throughout the country in opposition to similar state constitutional
amendments, including the State Leagues of Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, and Minnesota. Below is the
basis for the Board’s decision.
Language of Proposed Florida Amendment:
Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal
union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.
As is the case in the other states in which Leagues opposed constitutional amendments, the language of the Florida
amendment makes invalid any legal union other than heterosexual marriage which is treated as the equivalent of
marriage. In addition to barring gay marriage, this language also makes all domestic partnerships invalid, whether
between people of opposite sexes or the same sex.
There is no specific LWVUS or LWVF position regarding invalidation of legal unions other than heterosexual
marriage. However, the following LWVUS principles and positions are relevant:
1. LWVUS Principle:
The LWV believes that … no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative
Discussion – The proposed amendment would contravene this principle by introducing legal discrimination
against gay, lesbian and unmarried heterosexual couples into the state constitution in the form of a ban on
marriage and domestic partnerships. By prohibiting legal recognition of such relationships, the ban would also
deny such couples many economic and health benefits enjoyed by people who are married or have entered into
domestic partnership agreements. For instance, invalidation of marriage between same-sex couples prevents them
from benefiting from Social Security, pension, taxation and inheritance protections accorded to married couples.
Invalidation of domestic partnerships affects the right of individuals to include life partners in health care
insurance coverage, to advocate for loved ones in a hospital setting and to be consulted in health care and end-of-
2. LWVUS Public Policy Positions:
Individual Liberties. Oppose major threats to basic constitutional rights.
The LWVUS principles are “concepts of government” to which the League subscribes. They are a descendant of the Platform,
which served from 1942 to 1956 as the national repository for “principles supported and positions taken by the League as a whole in
fields of government to which it has given sustained attention.” Since then, the Principles have served two functions, according to the
LWVUS Bylaws: 1) authorization for adoption of national, state and local program (Article XII), and 2) a basis for taking action at the
national, state and local levels (Article XII).
Page 13 of 24
Discussion – In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the right to marry is a fundamental right, protected by
the U.S. Constitution. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). The issue in the Loving case was the validity of a
state prohibition against interracial marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court has not decided a case involving a
prohibition against gay marriage; however the Supreme Court of Massachusetts has found that the right of gay
couples to marry is constitutionally protected.
Social Policy. Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all. Promote social and economic justice and
the health and safety of all Americans.
Discussion – By preventing unions other than heterosexual marriages from being recognized, the Marriage
Protection amendment would deny equal rights and opportunity to gay and lesbian couples as well as to
heterosexual couples who wish the protection of a legally recognized domestic partnership, but do not wish to
marry. As noted above, the prohibition against marriage between same sex partners denies these couples many
economic health benefits enjoyed by married people, such as Social Security, pension, tax, and inheritance
protections. Similarly, making both domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage unlawful prohibits inclusion of
life partners in health care insurance coverage, and prevents health care providers from acknowledging the
authority of life partners in health care and end-of-life decisions.
The current LWVF State Program (2007-09) is also relevant to this issue:
LWVF State Program 2007-2009:
Social Policy. Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all. Promote social and economic justice and
the health and safety of all Americans.
Discussion – The above LWVUS position is included in the LWVF State Program for 2007-09. The inclusion of
this statement in the current State Program provides support for the LWVF to take action on the proposed
Page 14 of 24
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2506
Voice: 850/224-2545 Fax: 850/222-4485 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.lwvfla.org
PRESS ADVISORY, May 11, 2008
The League of Women Voters of Florida opposes the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, which
will be included in the ballot for the November 2008 election, because it would:
(1) Prohibit all domestic partnerships (between opposite sex and same sex partners), as well as gay marriage;
(2) Discriminate against life partners who wish to enjoy the legal, economic and administrative benefits of a
legally recognized relationship but cannot or do not wish to marry;
(3) Contravene accepted League of Women Voters principles of social, economic and health justice.
The language of the “Marriage Protection” amendment precludes recognition of any legal union that is “treated as
marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof” other than heterosexual marriage. By its terms, this language
prohibits legal recognition of both gay marriage and any form of domestic partnership, whether between persons
of the same or opposite sex.
President Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti states that “The League of Women Voters has long held that no person or
group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination. The League of Women Voters of Florida
believes that all life partners in Florida should be able to advocate for their loved ones in health care settings and
participate in end-of-life decisions. By prohibiting recognition of any legal union that is treated as marriage or its
substantial equivalent, the so-called “Marriage Protection” amendment would prevent this.”
The impact of this proposed constitutional prohibition would be far-reaching in its social and economic impact
because of the many legal, economic and health benefits conferred by legally recognized marriage and domestic
partnerships. For instance, invalidation of domestic partnerships affects the right of individuals to include life
partners in health care insurance coverage, to advocate for loved ones in a hospital setting and to be consulted in
health care and end-of-life decisions.
Said Vice-President Terry A. Coble, “The League believes that our government should promote social and
economic justice. Both marriage and domestic partnership confer significant economic and legal benefits. The
“Marriage Protection” amendment would prevent people from entering into private relationships that protect them
economically and legally.”
Page 15 of 24
League Vitality and Training Needs Assessment Tool & Local League Contact Form
Pamela Goodman, Organizational Director
This President’s Mailing includes a questionnaire entitled League Vitality and Training Needs Assessment Tool
and the Local League Contact Form. The Assessment Tool is for use within your own League and also helps the
State League to gage the health of our local Leagues. The Contact Form is the State League’s way to learn who to
contact when reaching out to you and the various members of your Board of Directors. It is VERY important that
each League completes and returns these forms.
As we draw closer to our Annual Meetings and get ready to elect new leaders, think how you might be able to use
this Assessment Tool in your transition. Some boards hold retreats to plan for the new League year while looking
over the previous one. This questionnaire is intended to assist you in determining strengths and weaknesses in
order to prepare for the future and keep the League strong and thriving.
The Contact Form is equally important to the functioning of our organization as a whole. After you have elected
your new boards and have assigned portfolios, please complete this form and return it to the state office. Having
this information is VITAL! Who is your membership person? Who is your voter service chair? How can we let
you know about an exciting opportunity?
We need these forms returned no later than JUNE 30, 2008 so that we can update our records. I urge you to
be honest, please, in your evaluations on the Assessment Tool and give it the importance it is due. Keep a copy
for yourself so that you may compare the evaluation from one year to the next. Remember the Contact Form is
our ONLY way to know who your leaders are.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Together let’s make 2008-2009 an outstanding year. Do not hesitate
to contact me or your State Consultant to offer suggestions or let me know if we can assist you in any way. Local
Leagues make it possible for a State League to exist…you are the roots to the grass! Have a good year!
Page 16 of 24
Local League Vitality and Training Needs Assessment Tool
League Name ________________________________________________
Size of League __________________ Date __________________
<35=small; 35-75=medium; 75-100=large ;> 150-=extra large
This is a self-assessment tool developed by the Membership Committee (LWVF) to determine the overall health
and training needs of the local Leagues in Florida. We are charged with providing assistance to local Leagues.
However, we need your help in defining the areas that will be most beneficial to help you maintain a strong
presence in your community. Please use this grid to evaluate your local League’s vitality and its areas for
improvement. Using the following scale, rank your personal assessment of your League, that is “what you are
doing now-not what you wish you were doing.”
0-Not at all (not applicable) 3-Maintaining the status quo
1-Really needs improvement 4-Doing well; few problems
2-Needs some improvement 5-Vibrant; no problems to report
When completed, total the #s for each category 0 1 2 3 4 5
Hold regularly scheduled board meetings
Leadership training (on-going)
Division of duties among board members/ volunteers
(not one person doing it all)
Board works well together
Working committee system (outside board mtg.)
Strategy planning/goal setting
Implementation of goals
Evaluate progress of goals at board meetings
Membership growth (able to get new members)
Membership retention (able to keep members)
Diversity(age, gender, race)
Ability to fill leadership positions with new blood
Communications between board & membership
Mentoring takes place
New member orientation
Recruitment activities for student members
VOTER published on regular schedule
VOTER sent to state board members
Publicity taking place
Local League website
Visibility of League in community
Relationship with elected officials
Use of LWVUS materials
Page 17 of 24
Use of LWVF materials
Understand League process for study, Consensus,
Local study (do it)
Consensus on local study (move study to consensus)
Take action on local study
Response to LWVF action alerts
Response to LWVUS action alerts
Plan “ Issue” activities
Sponsor or participate in Candidate Forums
Produce Voter Guide
Produce Directory of Public Officials
Provide specific voter education programs
Hold regular meetings (non-board)
Attend area League sponsored events
Attend LWVF sponsored meetings (Convention,
Attend LWVUS convention; other meetings
Represent League at local Civic meetings (informal
Serve as representative of League on local advisory
boards (“official” representation)
Belong to coalitions
Ability to raise funds for administrative costs
Ability to raise funds for special “Ed Fund” projects
Fundraising plan in place and functioning
Finance Committee in place
Members pay dues promptly
Periodic review of dues
Other Comments: What is the ONE thing your League does that should be adapted by all other local
Leagues? This could be….. a process? a publication? an event? an award? etc. Just ONE …the BEST,
Page 18 of 24
2008-2009 LOCAL LEAGUE CONTACT LIST
Even if your local League board has not changed, please provide as much of the information requested below (and
on the reverse side) as possible for each key individuals listed. Please return no later than June 30, 2008 to
LWVF, 540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, Fl. 32301.
LWV of __________________________________
Office/PO Address___________________________ Phone_____________________________________
If two or more people share a portfolio or duties of a particular office, list additional names on a separate sheet.
CO-PRES. /VICE PRES.__________________________________________________ Home
Home FAX_________________________________Office________________________ E-
Page 19 of 24
Who updates rosters and informs LWVUS
Home Address_______________________________ Office_______________________
If your action chair does not have a fax or e-mail, please designate someone else in your League who can
receive action alerts this way:
Page 20 of 24
LWVF BOARD Revised 08-09 CONSULTANT LIST
Pam Goodman, Organization Director
The following lists consultants for each local League as amended in March 2008 to reflect the changing
composition of the LWVF board. Please contact YOUR consultant when you have operational questions or
concerns and/or to share successes that your League is celebrating. Please consider inviting your consultant to
give a board orientation and/or attend a local meeting sometime during the year. Your consultant will be in touch
with you after each bi-monthly state board meeting.
Please let us know how you would like to see the consultant program structured and utilized. Our intent is to
support you. Help us make this a reality keeping in mind that we all are volunteers. Changes in bold type.
Board Member Local League
Kay Elliott Burk Jacksonville, Okaloosa, Pensacola Bay Area, the Villages
Terry Coble Collier, Lee, Palm Beach
Email: JOANNEJON@aol.com Flagler, Lake, Orange
Pam Goodman Broward, Martin, Miami/Dade, St. Lucie
Clara Anne Graham Charlotte MAL, Sarasota, Tallahassee
Deirdre Macnab Polk, Seminole, Space Coast
Nancy Mitchell Alachua/Gainesville, Bay, St Petersburg Area, Volusia
Nancy Ryan Hillsborough, Manatee, N. Pinellas
Page 21 of 24
Membership Tip: RENEWALS!!!
Deirdre Macnab, Membership Director
New league years mean new efforts to renew our members. Hopefully most of you are holding regular meetings,
such as Hot Topics or Timely Topics lunches or breakfasts…one idea that has been effective to encourage
members to stay CURRENT with their membership dues is to charge slightly less for meals than for guests. For
example, if you are charging $15 or $20 for a HOT TOPICS lunch, charge, 3 to 5 dollars more for guests. As
attendees check in, they will quickly renew their membership in order to get the saving, and guests will often pay
the membership fee and join the first time.
Local leagues use different means of soliciting their renewals. These can and should include reminders in
newsletters from the membership chairs (do for at least three to four months), an invoice or letter to each member
with an envelope, a brightly colored reminder postcard for those that do not respond to the letter, and finally a
phone call from the membership committee urging renewal. Why is it so important to go to these efforts?
As most businesses will tell you, it is always easier to “convert” an existing “customer” than to find a new
prospect, so it is important to work hard to make the ‘ask’ again so our members keep their dues up to date.
The next page is a sample INVOICE, which some counties find are more powerful than a letter. Be sure to include
a self addressed envelope (postage paid helps too if your budget can afford it!) Feel free to modify it for your
league! If you need a copy emailed to you, please email me directly: email@example.com
It is simply an option to a personal letter or postcard, but should net you higher renewal rates.
Thanks for your on going efforts to build our Florida LEAGUE membership!
Page 22 of 24
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ORANGE COUNTY
p. o. Box 536208 - Orlando, fl 32853-6208
Thank you for your membership in the League of Women Voters of Orange County. Your dues
enable the League to keep you and the public informed of important issues via the Voter, special mailings, our website, Hot
Topics luncheons and monthly TV program.
Name________________________________ _________ Phone (day) __________
Address _______________________________________ Phone (eve) __________
______________________________________________ E-mail ______________
(please print legibly)
STEP ONE: CIRCLE Annual Membership Level
$100 Susan B. Anthony Membership _______
$75 Household Membership _______
$50 Individual Membership _______
$25 Student _______
Your additional Donation is appreciated:
Lobby Fund ________
(part-time paid advocate for LWV)
Education Fund ________
STEP TWO: Make check payable to LWVOC
STEP THREE: CIRCLE any topics that interest you:
Voter Service Health Care Publicity Education Transportation
Local Government Observer Corps Membership Hospitality/Events
Fundraising Juvenile Justice Legislation Natural Resources
Phone Tree Other____________________________________________________________
Please Use ENCLOSED ENVELOPE
THANK YOU FOR YOUR RENEWAL!!!
Page 23 of 24
YOUR LWVF BOARD and STAFF AT WORK
March – early May 2008
March 11 Executive Director McGarity attended Florida Commission on the Status of Women, Florida
Women's Hall of Fame, State House opening.
March 12 President Wheatley-Giliotti participated in conference call with LWVUS president and presidents
from SE state leagues to view plans for national Convention in Portland, Oregon and progress of the Membership
March 13 Vice President Wills participated in press conference endorsing legislation allowing independents
to vote in primary elections.
March 15-16 LWVF/LWVFEF held bi-monthly board meeting in Wakulla Springs.
March 16-18 LWVF board members, Executive Director McGarity and staff interacted with almost 60
representations from 19 local Leagues at the 48th annual Legislative Seminar in Tallahassee.
March 24 Executive Director McGarity celebrated Women’s History month with the Villages MAL together
with over 60 attendees that included women elected officials from the three counties comprising the Villages
March 24 Director Goodman was a panelist at Lynn University, Boca Raton, for election issued televised by
CSpan with Robert Watson, Lynn University, American Studies Program coordinator, Antonio Fins, Sun-Sentinel
editorial page editor, and
Arthur Anderson, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.
March 28 Executive Director McGarity represented LWVF at an AARP unveiling of Champmobile, an
interactive educational vehicle that will travel across the state promoting the Divided We Fail messages, in
Tallahassee. Look for it in your area!
April 1 Vice President Wills spoke at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) “Day of Action” in
Tallahassee attended by statewide rights restoration advocates for former felons.
April 3 Vice President Wills attended a seminar “21st Century Right to Know Agenda” hosted by OMB
Watch and the FSU Information Institute In Tallahassee.
April 4 Rebecca Sager testified for LWVF at the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission
(TBRC) in opposition to CP045, a TABOR type proposed constitutional amendment that has failed miserable in
Colorado. It caps annual spending for all levels of government. On April 14 The TBRC did NOT approve this
April 5 President Wheatley-Giliotti, Vice President Wills, and Executive Director McGarity joined
LWVUS President Mary Wilson for a dinner hosted by LWV of Palm Beach County that included the presidents
of Collier and Miami/Dade counties.
April 6 President Wheatley-Giliotti introduced LWVUS President Mary Wilson as the keynote speaker at
the LWV of Palm Beach County annual meeting. Vice President Wills, Executive Director McGarity and LWV of
Broward County leaders also attended.
Page 24 of 24
April 6 Climate committee chair Graham was keynote speaker at LWV of Lee Co. annual meeting. She
addressed climate change issues.
April 8 President Wheatley-Giliotti joined a conference call with regional state League leaders to explore
“streamlining the job of running state and local Leagues.”
April 10 Executive Director McGarity attended AFP Workshop about working with professional advisors to
promote your planned giving program in Tallahassee.
April 12 Secretary Coen attended LWV of Lake County annual meeting.
April 14 Off Board Director Emmons-Schramm was the featured speaker at the Villages MAL annual
meeting. She brought attendees up-to-date about the citizen’s petition initiative re-districting campaign for the
April 18 Executive Director McGarity attended LWV of Tallahassee annual meeting.
May 3 Director Goodman presented a workshop at the NOW State Convention.
May 10 Vice President Wills attended LWV of Pensacola Bay annual meeting.
May 12 President Wheatley-Giliotti was featured speaker at LWV of Seminole County annual meeting.
She discussed youth voting and civic education.
Media interviews with President Wheatley Giliotti
- 4/1 video with, Dalia Dangerfield, Bright House Network Bay News 9 TV, Tampa, regarding failure of
Florida to comply with federal National Voter Registration Act requiring voter registration forms and
assistance in completing the forms available at public benefits offices. Show aired 4/13.
- Regarding LWV v. Browning challenging 3rd Party voter registration in federal court
- 4/15&17&27 with Damien Cave, NY Times. Supportive article published on the front page of the NY
Times on 4/28, the International Herald Tribune and the Tampa Tribune. 2nd article about LWV v.
Browning in the NY Times on 4/29.
- 4/28 video with Dalia Dangerfield, Bright House Network Bay News 9 TV, Tampa. Piece aired 4/29.
- 4/28 audio tape with Charles Brown, SNN 6 TV, Sarasota.
- 4/28 audio tape with Mitch Perry, WMNF Radio, Tampa. Piece broadcast 4/28.
- 4/29 with Adam Cohen, NY Times editorial board. Pro-voter editorial published 5/2.
- 5/2 with Beth Reinhard, reporter, Miami-Herald regarding Florida election laws. - 5/2 with Randy
Schultz, editorial board, Palm Beach Post, regarding voter ID.
Weekly Off Board Director Emmons-Schramm participated in FairDistrictsFlorida steering committee
conference calls to gauge progress of the citizen’s petition initiative re-districting campaign for the 2010 election.
Monthly Director Mitchell participated in Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) conference calls to
implement strategies to assist former felons in getting their civil rights restored.
Periodically Voter Services Director Ryan joined conference calls with grantees from 8 other state Leagues to
review advocacy strategies and results to prevent voter disfranchisement under the LWVEF Public Advocacy for
Voter Protection grant project.