1 LWVF PRESIDENTS MAILING September & October 2006 TABLE OF CONTENTS Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti, President Local Leagues May Resume Voter Registration Activities 2 Executive Director Profile: Peg McGarity 4 YOUR LWVF Board at Work, August-September 2006 5 LWVF/EF Updated October 06-June 07 Calendar 7 Joanne Coen, Secretary Board Bytes (September 2006) 9 Political yet Nonpartisan 10 Nancy Mitchell, 2nd Vice President Ordering Special Election Edition of The Florida Voter 11 Marilynn Wills, 1st Vice President LWVF 2007 Legislative Interviews Packet 12 Peg McGarity, Executive Director 2007 Legislative Seminar Invitation 16 2007 Legislative Seminar Schedule of Events 17 Charlene Walker, Voter Protection LWVEF Fl Trip by LWVUS President Mary Wilson Oct. 1-6 18 Grant Project Manager Evelyn Wright, Co-president, LWV of St. How to Study Alternative Voting Systems in Florida 20 Petersburg Area Carol Barclay, Director/Membership Membership Tip 21 Local League Updated Consultants List 22 Betty Enfinger, Off Board/ PR Get out the Vote Sample Press Releases 23 Natural Resources Defense Council Oceans Blueprint Press Release 25 Trust the Voter PAC Vote “no” on Amendment 3 Fliers 27 Barbara Jagrowski Nomination Form for 07-09 LWVF Board 30 Carol Smith, Off Board/Liaison for Debates Statewide Candidate Forum 31 Mark Elliott, Floridians for Alternatives to Press Release: Florida Death Penalty System Broken 32 the Death Penalty 2 VOTER REGISTRATION MORATORIUM IN FLORIDA LIFTED FEDERAL JUDGE PROTECTS THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN FLORIDA Local Leagues May Resume Voter Registration Activities On Monday August 28, 2006, a federal court in Miami blocked enforcement of a Florida state law enacted earlier this year that would have imposed crippling fines on voter registration groups. At issue in the case, League of Women Voters v. Cobb (case no. 06-21265), was a punishing and tiered regime of deadlines and fines for groups engaged in non-partisan voter registration in the State of Florida. Under the law, (Fla. Laws 2005-277, Secs. 2 and 7), effective January 1, 2006, the government would have imposed a mandatory fine of $250 for each and every voter registration form submitted more than ten days after the form was collected from a prospective voter, $500 for each registration form submitted after the passing of a registration deadline, and $5000 for each registration form not submitted, for any reason. Most chilling to plaintiffs‟ activities was the law‟s adoption of a “strict liability” legal standard, meaning that no extenuating circumstance -- not even destruction of an office by a hurricane – would have excused the failure to submit a registration form within the law‟s deadlines. Plaintiffs told the court that the multiple fines would devastate the budgets of many non-partisan voter registration groups. For example, the entire annual budget for the Florida League of Women Voters is $70,000, or the equivalent of just 14 lost registration forms. At the same time, virtually everyone associated with an organization -- from a volunteer canvasser to the organization‟s Board chair -- can be held personally responsible for paying the fines. The suit also challenged the law‟s unequal treatment of political parties and non-partisan groups. The law would have exempted political parties from the fines. Plaintiffs argued that there is no evidence whatsoever in the legislative record to suggest that late or lost voter registration forms have been more prevalent among Florida‟s non-partisan groups than among Florida‟s political parties. This ruling sends a message to legislators in Florida and other states that they should applaud civic groups like the League of Women Voters – not penalize them – for tirelessly working to strengthen our democracy. This law would have quickly erased from the state some of the most basic sights of American democracy: the non-partisan voter registration table at the mall or bus stop; the unaffiliated registration advocate at a school or workplace; and the encouragement to participate in elections often found in churches and synagogues. The Florida League, a plaintiff in the suit, is a nonpartisan, largely volunteer organization that has been helping to register Florida voters since 1939. By a unanimous vote of its Board in March 2006, the Florida League for the first time suspended all voter registration operations with its 27 local Leagues across Florida. Other plaintiffs joining the suit include: People Acting for Community Together (PACT), a coalition of community organizations, churches, synagogues and schools based in Miami-Dade County; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 79 (AFSCME); Service Employees International Union, 3 Florida Healthcare Union (SEIU-FHU); and Marilynn Wills, president of the Tallahassee League of Women Voters. The defendants filed a notice of appeal immediately following Judge Patricia Seitz‟s ruling. It was docketed in the federal appeals court in Atlanta, GA on September 8. By law, the appeals court has up to 30 days to schedule a hearing. It is unlikely that the appeals court will act prior to the book closing date for the general election. Local Leagues are encouraged to accelerate local voter registration activities to make up for time lost during the voter registration moratorium from March 13 to August 28, 2006. Pro bono co-counsel for plaintiffs include the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the Advancement Project in Washington DC, the New York City law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, and the Ft. Lauderdale law firm Becker & Poliakoff. 4 MEET LWVF EXECTUTIVE DIRECTOR PEG McGARITY In June, 2006, Peg retired. She had spent the past fifteen years as a free lance consulting specialist for the public, private and not for profit sectors. Her specialty areas included public relations/marketing, community development, financial management, business plan development, customer/staff relation training and fundraising. For the past six years, she had served as a member of the Longboat Key Hilton Resort management team. With a very successful 40 year career history as a business woman, professional manager of not for profit organizations and community volunteer, Peg‟s retirement plan included a strong commitment to continue to share her knowledge, experience and leadership skills on a part time basis. We are very fortunate that she selected the League of Women Voters of Florida for this work. In 1988, with her youngest child on her maiden voyage in pursuit of her college education, Peg relocated to Bradenton, Florida to accept the position of Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Manatee/Sarasota Counties. She then spent ten years at Manatee County‟s fourth largest non public employer, Freedom Village Retirement Community, in Bradenton, where she rose through the management levels from Marketing Director of the Inn at Freedom Village/Freedom Village Nursing Center to the Campus Community Relations and Activity Director. Additional career accomplishments include serving as Executive Director of The New Hampshire Governor‟s Office on Volunteerism, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Multiple Sclerosis Society, North East Regional Field Representative for a seven state area for the National Foundation March of Dimes, Concord, New Hampshire and Coordinator of Chapter Services for the four county Broome County Chapter of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Binghamton, New York (her hometown). Commendations for her leadership and career performance are numerous. Peg said “The highlight of my career was receiving an award named after me. The “Peg McGarity Award” presented by the Governor of New Hampshire honoring the top professional manager of volunteer organizations in the State was the first award of its kind ever presented by a Governor. The award is still given annually”. For the past three and a half years, Peg has served as President of the League of Women Voters of Manatee County and was elected to the LWVF/LWVFEF Board of Directors in May 2005 carrying the portfolio of Legislative Seminar Chair. Her community service is extensive. She is a member of the Manatee Educational Television Board of Directors and the Manatee Commission on the Status of Women. She has worked on political campaigns, coordinated fund raising events, and served on the board and committees of numerous community organizations. Recognition for her on going community involvement is wide reaching. They range from a letter of Commendation from Florida Governor Lawton Childes for her commitment to Continuing Education for seniors to the Bradenton Herald Women of Excellence nomination. 5 YOUR LWVF BOARD AT WORK August/September 2006 August 1-29 President Wheatley-Giliotti interviewed/recorded/taped by in state and out of state radio, TV, and newspapers about LWVF‟s role in the third party voter registration law suit hearing and subsequent favorable injunction 28 August ruling by Judge Patricia Seitz as well as other election issues in Florida. These media reported favorably about our case and even published editorials endorsing the LWVF position. - Aug. 1, with Khadijah White, PBS News magazine NOW in NYC about Florida Photo ID/signature requirement. - Aug. 8, with Alisa Ulferts, St. Petersburg Times. - Aug. 15 & 28 with Rick Barry, Pelican Press, Sarasota, - Aug. 16 with Scott Keenan, CBS News Bureau Chief, Southern District, Atlanta, GA - Aug. 18 with Peter Meryash, PBS News magazine NOW, NYC, for segment about barriers to voting that aired nationally starting September 1. - Aug. 18 with Alex Blair and Ray Marks, WHLD, News Talk 1270, Buffalo, NY and with Roxanne Escabales, WMNF, Tampa. - Aug. 28 with Matt Perry, WMNF, Tampa, Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, and Vanessa Blum, Sun Sentinel. - Aug. 29 with Joe Crankshaw, Treasure Coast Newspapers. - Sept. 6 with Catherine Dolinski, The Tampa Tribune - Sept. 14 with Adam Sichko, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Sept. 18 with Mark Weisenmiller, IPS and The Economist August 6 President Wheatley-Giliotti‟s July interview with Bright House Network Bay News 9 TV about the 3rd party voter registration injunction hearing in US District Court in Miami was aired. Bay News 9 commentary was supportive. August 7 Secretary Coen presented Pro/Con information about the 06 Ballot questions to the Sisterhood of the New Jewish Congregation at The Villages August 8 President Wheatley-Giliotti served as a panelist for an Attorney General primary candidate forum for live and re-broadcast on the Florida Public Interest Foundation voter education internet site Public Matters. LWVF is a participating partner in this electronic approach to voter education. August 10 President Wheatley-Giliotti introduced a candidate forum for county and circuit judges in Pinellas and Pasco Counties in Clearwater. The LWV of North Pinellas and the Clearwater Bar Association co-sponsored the public forum taped by Channel 96 re-broadcast several times. August 11 “Why Should I Vote” Project Manager Charlene Walker and President Wheatley-Giliotti participated in a statewide grassroots conference call, sponsored by LWVUS EF, to craft steps to protect the vote during the 2006 election cycle, and start the planning for a Florida visit by President Mary Wilson from October 1-6. August 14 Off-board water chair Charlene Walker represented LWVF at an ERP workshop at the Dept. of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee regarding the implementation of new rules for NW Florida. August 15 Off-board liaison for Candidate Forums Carol Smith served as a panelist for a gubernatorial primary candidate forum for live and re-broadcast on the Florida Public Interest Foundation voter education internet site Public Matters. LWVF is a participating partner in this electronic approach to voter education. 6 August 15 Secretary Coen met with prospective League members in Osceola County accompanied by Deirdre Macnab, President of the LWV of Orange Co. Their mission was two-fold: 1. to invite interested persons to attend League activities in adjacent Orange and Seminole Counties and 2. to excite interested persons to form a MAL. August 19 President Wheatley-Giliotti addressed over 400 attendees about voting issues at the 12th annual Equity Day celebration luncheon co-sponsored by the LWV of Manatee Co. and the Manatee Co. Commission on the Status of Women. September 5 Vice President Wills met with Senate Judiciary Committee staff and counsel regarding its interim research project “Options for Authorizing Citizens to Propose and Adopt Statues.” September 8-9 LWVF board meeting held in Sunset. It included a dinner with the LWV of Broward County leaders. September 10 President Wheatley-Giliotti and Treasurer Graham met with Miami/Dade leaders in Miami. September 12 Off Board Director Emmons-Schramm represented LWVF at Florida Civic Engagement Table C (3) in Orlando to set strategy to defeat amendment #3 Weekly Off Board Director Emmons-Schramm participated in conference calls with Common Cause and other re-formatted coalition members regarding organizing a re-districting citizen‟s petition initiative for the 2008 election. Monthly Second Vice President Nancy Mitchell met by conference call with Secretary of State Cobb other civic groups in a public/private coalition dedicated to a successful 2006 election cycle. Monthly Off Board Director Moore participated in FRRC conference calls to implement strategies, developed at the for third annual statewide convening in July 22, for raising the awareness of the broken rights restoration process with statewide candidates for national and state offices. 7 LWVF/LWVFEF CALENDAR October 2006-May 2007 (Updates in Bold Type) October 2006 Sun 1 3rd qtr. PMP due from LL (25% payable with unrestricted accrual Funds on deposit with LWVFEF) Sun-Fri 1-6 LWVUS President Mary Wilson visits to Miami, the Tampa Bay Area, Jacksonville and Tallahassee Sat 14 Florida Women’s Consortium Meeting, Orlando Fri 6 Distribution Special Election Edition of The Florida VOTER November 2006 Tuesday 7 Election Day Fri-Sat 17-18 Nov Board Meeting, Estero, Lee County, Open to Leagues December 2006 Fri 1 Distribution 2nd FY06/07 lobby fund Solicitation Letter Fri 1 Distribution Winter The Florida VOTER Fri 15 Deadline Alternative Voting Systems Consensus Questions from local Leagues due Office January 2007 Mon 1 4th quarter PMP due from LL (25% payable with unrestricted LL Funds on deposit with LWVFEF) Wed 10 Deadline LWVF Board 07-09 Nominations Fri-Sat 19-20 January Board Meeting, Volusia Co., Open to Leaguers February 2007 Wed 28 Deadline 07 Legislative Interviews from LL March 2007 Thurs 1 Distribution 2nd FY 06/07 Ed fund Solicitation Letter Thurs 1 Early Bird Registration for 07 Legislative Seminar Thurs 1 Deadline 07-09 Program and By Law Recommendations From LL Tues 6 2007 Legislative Session Begins Fri 9 Last Registration for 07 Legislative Seminar Tuesday 13 Cancellation Deadline for 07 Legislative Seminar Sat -Sun 17-18 March Board Meeting, Wakulla Springs, Open to Leaguers Sun –Tues 18-20 47th Legislative Seminar, Tallahassee Sun-Tues 18-20 Florida Women’s Consortium Lobby Days, Tallahassee Fri 30 Distribution Spring The Florida VOTER April 2007 Sun 1 1ST qtr. PMP (FY 07/08) due from LL (25% payable with unrestricted LL accrual funds on deposit with LWVFEF) Fri 20 Early Bird Registration LWVF/EF 07 Convention Mon 30 Last Registration LWVF/EF 07 Convention 8 Mon 30 Last day to enter LWVF/EF 07 Convention Contests May 2007 Tues 1 Law Day (week), “Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy.‖ Fri 4 2007 Legislative Session Ends Wed 9 Cancellation deadline for LWVF/EF 07 Convention Thurs-Fri 17-18 Pre-Convention May Board Meeting, Tampa, Westshore Marriott Fri-Sun18-20 LWVF/EF 31st Biennial Convention, Tampa, Westshore Marriott Sun 20 Post Convention May Board Meeting, Tampa 9 September 2006 Board Bytes Joanne M. Coen, Secretary Celebrated resumption of voter registration activities following injunctive relief from third party voter registration law granted by federal Judge Seitz on August 28 and reviewed next steps including a pending appeal by defendants and a trial. Announcements o Peg McGarity hired as part time Executive Director of the LWVF/EF. o Dorrit Marks, LWV of Miami/Dade, appointed to the LWVUS Immigration Study panel. o LWV of Palm Beach Co. selected as LWVUS pilot membership site. o Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti asked to serve on a joint Supreme Court /Florida Bar committee to consider a new and formal judicial evaluation program for appellate and trial judges. Grants o Received $15,000 FLAME grant from the Florida Bar Association to publish and distribute Special Election Edition of The Florida Voter. o Used Voter Protection Grant from LWVEF to publish ―Why Should I Vote?‖ for local League and direct distribution. Approved purchase of Directors & Officers Liability insurance for LWVF Board. Approved two Accrual Grants for LWV of Palm Beach Co.: 1. pamphlet "Elections Made Easy"; 2. pamphlet for 2006 primary election. Approved the budget for the 2007 Legislative Seminar from March 18-20. Discussed nonpartisan issues moving into the 2006 elections. Designed a more flexible legislative interview process. Reviewed plans for 2007 LWVF Biennial Convention. Discussed LWVUS President Wilson’s Oct. 1-6 Florida voter protection itinerary. Appointed Joanne Coen Bylaws Committee Chair for 2007 LWVF Convention. Approved candidate questions for Special Election Edition of The Florida Voter. Made changes in LWVF Consultant assignments: Wills added Seminole, Sarasota and Space Coast; Coen added Lake, Hillsborough and North Pinellas; Mitchell added Volusia and St. Petersburg; Barclay added Flagler and Martin. Dined with members from LWV of Broward Co. on Friday night. Welcomed LWV of Broward and Palm Beach Counties members to Saturday morning LWVF/EF Board Meeting. 10 Political yet Nonpartisan Joanne M. Coen, Secretary At the League‟s founding in Chicago in 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt said: “In the League of Women Voters, we have an anomaly: we are going to be a semi-political body. We want political things; we want legislation; we are going to educate for citizenship. In that body we have got to be non-partisan and all-partisan.” As League members, we recognize the role of partisan politics in our society. The League is a political organization in that we take positions on selected public issues. We also encourage member participation in partisan politics. However, the choices made in 1920 to neither support nor oppose any political party or candidate for public office continues today to ensure that the League‟s voice is heard above the noise of partisan politics. Our nonpartisan policy is what sets us apart from other organizations. All local Leagues have Nonpartisan Policies in place. Some might be more restrictive than others as to the activities board members may participate in. If you are politically active during this election season, please take a moment to think about how your participation will be publicly perceived. Please … Think about the extent to which the public identifies a board or off-board member‟s activities with those of your League even if he/she takes a leave of absence from the board and/or defers assuming office until after a major election; Think about the visibility associated with a specific political activity (ranging from participation in partisan social affairs to signing petitions or making campaign contributions or serving as a campaign manager). Remember, the most important goal of all League members is to ensure the heritage, legacy and credibility of the League as a nonpartisan organization. 11 SPECIAL ELECTION EDITIONS OF THE VOTER ATTENTION: Local League Presidents FROM: Nancy L. Mitchell (email@example.com) DATE: August 28, 2006 It is time again to be making plans for the distribution of the Special Election Edition of The Florida Voter. We will be sending your supply in early October. We hope to print the edition in English and Spanish versions. Please contact your members who handled the distribution of Voters in 2004 to learn how many were actually distributed, and let us know the amount you think you might realistically need this year. We need to know these numbers as soon as possible. We will print as many copies as we possibly can after expenses are factored in. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive the exact amount you have asked for—but we will try to do so. LOCAL LEAGUE __________________________________________________________________ PERSON MAKING REQUEST____________________________PHONE NO.__________________ NAME AND ADDRESS WHERE VOTERS CAN BE SENT (CANNOT BE A P.O. BOX): NUMBER OF ENGLISH VOTERS REQUESTED__________________________________________ NUMBER OF SPANISH VOTERS REQUESTED__________________________________________ Please e-mail this form as an attachment to me as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org 12 LWVF LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES INTERVIEW QUESTIONS for 2007 LEGISLATIVE SESSION Marilynn Wills, 1st V.P., ACTION Thank you to all the Leagues who sent in suggested questions. On the following pages you will find optional questions for your legislators. Hopefully, your questions are covered in the list. Some Leagues would like to get their questions answered in face-to-face interviews with their legislators, while others think that they can get them answered when their county delegations meet with their constituents. Most of the questions apply to all legislators, but you may choose those that you think are most relevant to your locale. Call on any legislator serving your local League area with the understanding that another League served by the legislator may also interview him/her. If you are making a presentation to the entire county delegation, please coordinate with other Leagues in the county. Background information was given in the August President‟s Mailing and can be found on the State website: www.lwvfla.org. Additional background is available in Study and Action 2005-2007. If possible, please get your information back to us by January 1 2007. Thank you. LWVF STATEMENT OF 2007 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES The LWVF board has selected two Legislative Priorities for the 2007 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. The priorities were selected using input from Local Leagues, the LWVF Board and other sources. A summary statement of the LWVF's position on each priority is included. Government in Florida- Election Law/Reapportionment/Amendatory Process Fiscal Policy/Tax Reform/Campaign Finance: ******** The above priority issue will be assigned to the League‟s professional lobbyist. We will be monitoring all legislation in this area. Growth Management: Environmental Protection and Resource Management Promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationship of air quality, energy, land use, waste management and water resources. For a full statement of LWVF positions, see Study and Action 2005-2007, a LWVF publication available from the LWVF office for $5.00 plus shipping and handling on a pre-paid basis. Quantity discounts available 13 League of Women Voters of Florida, 540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, Fl 32301 COVER SHEET FOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – 2007 SESSION NOTE: the responses to these questions are for the use of LWVF only and will not be released to the media or the general public. Although space has been provided on the form, additional pages may be attached to allow room for answers. PART I: one-on-one interviews Legislator’s Name: _________________________________H or S District__________ Interviewer: ______________________________________Phone:________________ Recorder: ________________________________________Phone:________________ League of Women Voters of: ______________________________________________ Please make sure the Legislator’s name and appropriate district appear on each sheet. INSTRUCTIONS: E-mail, fax, or mail to the names below. If mailing, make two copies of this cover sheet and completed questionnaire. Send one copy to each of the following: Jeanne Zokovitch Marilynn Wills 540 Beverly Court 2326 Kilkenny Dr West Tallahassee, Fl 32301 Tallahassee, Fl 32309 WildLawACES@comcast.net email@example.com Fax (850) 893-4104 (call before Faxing) PART II: Public Hearing If you are using a format other than the face-to-face interview, please list the name of the forum, date, and names of legislators and their responses Name of Forum_________________________________ Date_____________ Legislators in Attendance___________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ Questions Asked (Give the number of the question) and Responses given (name the legislator and district; give his/her response). 14 LWVF STATEMENT OF 2007 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES Government in Florida: Promote an open government that is responsive to the people of the state. Florida Constitution: Support basic law that assures a government responsive and accountable to the people of the state. 1. Do you support non-partisan elections for Supervisors of Elections? If no, please give your reasons. 2. Do you support/oppose restrictions on the authority of Florida citizens to amend the state constitution, i.e. subject filter, fiscal impact, frivolous signature challenges? Why or why not? 3. Who should determine the voting districts in the State, a special independent multi-partisan Commission or the state legislature? Please give your reasons for your opinion. 4. Would you support a Citizens‟ Statutory Initiative Process? If not, please give your reasons. 5. Would you support a constitutional amendment which would make the office of Secretary of State a non- partisan elected office rather than a governor appointment? Election Law: Support of measures to protect, extend and encourage the use of the franchise and to advocate fair methods of financing political campaigns. 1. Do you support/oppose measures that would require the State to provide information to all voters about statewide candidates, proposed constitutional amendments and their fiscal impact? Why or why not? 2. What is your position on the restoration of former felons‟ rights? Would you support the automatic restoration of rights for those who have completed all sentence requirements? 3. Would you support legislation rolling back last year‟s increases in the amount of money candidates can spend on a statewide election campaign? 15 Natural Resources in Florida: Promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest. Growth Management: Promote the management of natural resources as interrelated parts of life- supporting ecosystems. Water Resources: Support public policies that promote conservation of freshwater and its availability for environmental, public supply, agricultural, industrial and mining uses on a priority basis with the environment and public supply first. 1. What will you do to protect, strengthen, and maintain stronger growth management laws? 2. The ERP bill signed by the Governor provides the Panhandle with some protection of wetlands but did not raise the cap on funding for the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Do you support a constitutional amendment that would allow the citizens to raise the cap to what it is in other water management districts? 3. Do you support recurring funding for the permitting process? 4. What is your plan to protect Florida waterways from further pollution? 5. How will you provide clean drinking water and preserve Florida‟s environment for future generations? 6. Do you support the 1985 Growth Management Act? Why or Why not? 7. Do you support/oppose the Act‟s concurrency requirement that schools, roads and other infrastructure be made available at the same time as development occurs? Why or why not? 16 HOLD THE DATE LWVF “A STATE OF INVOLVEMENT” 2007 LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR March 18, 19, 20, 2007 Holiday Inn Select 316 W. Tennessee Street Tallahassee, Florida The annual LWVF Legislative Seminar offers the opportunity to interact with and lobby your legislative delegation, become educated about the LWVF program positions and Legislative priorities and to hear from our lobbyist and elected representatives. Attendance at the Legislative seminar is always a growth opportunity for League members and a rewarding learning and networking experience. It makes no difference if you are a new League member or a seasoned one; it is guaranteed that you will walk away with new knowledge and tools to help impact the quality of life in your local communities. We are pleased to announce that we have been able to arrange a lower registration and hotel cost for the 2007 Legislative Seminar. Room rates at the Holiday Inn Select are $130+ tax for both single and doubles. You will make your room reservations directly with the Holiday Inn Select at 1-850-222-9555 or 1-888-825-4817. Let them know you are with the League of Women Voters. Room reservation must be made with the hotel by March 1. SEMINAR REGISTRATION $140 Early Bird Registration (received by March 1) $150 Regular Registration (received after March 9) $160 Late or Paid at the Door Registration (received after March 13) A $25 Cancellation fee will be charged if cancellation is not received by March 13 Registration fee is for member participants. It includes all seminar materials, participation at all seminar activities, reception/dinners on March 18 and 19, and Breakfast on March 20. INVITED GUESTS, SPOUSES, FRIENDS AND ANY LEAGUE MEMBER NOT ATTENDING THE FULL SEMINAR MAY ATTEND THE FOLLOWING RECEPTIONS/DINNERS AND BREAKFAST ONLY: Sunday, March 18 Reception/Dinner Dinner Cost - $45.00 Monday, March 19 Reception/Dinner Dinner Cost $45.00 Tuesday, March 20 Breakfast Breakfast Cost - $30.00 REGISTRATION FORMS, INFORMATION ON THE GUEST SPEAKERS, WORKSHOPS, AND ADDITIONAL SEMINAR INFORMATION WILL APPEAR ―in THE FLORIDA VOTER, Winter Edition‖ 17 LWVF ―A STATE OF INVOLVEMENT‖ 2007 LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR March 18, 19, 20, 2007 Holiday Inn Select, Tallahassee, Florida SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Sunday, March 18 3:00 – 6:00 PM Registration at Holiday Inn Select 3:00 – 4:00 PM Workshop 4:15 – 5:15 PM Workshop 6:00 – 7:30 PM Welcome Reception & Dinner hosted by the Tallahassee LWV 7:30 – 8:30 PM Informal Meeting – LWVF Lobbyist Jeanne Zokovitch – 2007 Priorities, Talking Points for Lobbying Visits, Lobbying Techniques 8:30 – 9:30 PM “Making Connections” – Informal time to meet and share ideas Monday, March 19 8:30 AM – 12 Noon Overview –meet with Legislative leaders and LWVF leadership in the Capitol Cabinet Room 12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch – Dutch treat (on your own) 1:00 – 4:00 PM Visits to lobby Representatives and/or Senators, attend scheduled House or Senate Plenary sessions or committee meetings 6:00 – 7:30 PM Reception and Dinner at Holiday Inn Select 7:30 – 9:00 PM Guest Speaker Tuesday, March 20 8:30 –10 AM Breakfast Buffet – The Governor Club with Guest Speaker 11 AM – 3:00 PM Visits to lobby Representatives and/or Senators, attend scheduled House or Senate Plenary sessions or committee meetings 18 Florida Trip by LWVUS President Mary Wilson October 1- 6, 2006 Charlene Walker, Voter Protection Grant Project Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org OVERVIEW: LWVUS President Mary Wilson is visiting six states in late September and early October, before book closing dates to register for the general election, to introduce the League‟s 5 Things You Need to Know on Election Day campaign. These states are Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Their state Leagues are grant recipients in the LWV Education Fund Public Advocacy for Voter Protection project aimed to inform voters about what they can expect when they go to the polls this November. The cards will familiarize voters with new election procedures, encourage participation and empower voters to take action to personally ensure that their votes are counted. While in Florida, Mary wants to meet with the media (TV, Cable, Radio, Print statewide and minority based), election officials, and League members, in an effort to bring visibility to the importance of voter registration and voting. She will focus on getting information out through Florida Leagues and through the media with respect to what types of ballots and voting equipment will be used in the specific locales. She will also discuss the types of voter identification that voters will be required to show at the polls and how provisional balloting works. Throughout these visits, she will highlight the 5 Things as steps individual voters can take to protect their votes. She will address obstacles that voters may face this election as well as voter protection issues like the importance of a voter verifiable paper ballot/record, a random audit of paper ballots/records, and a well- constructed and easily used statewide voter database. She will emphasize the League's opposition to requiring voter identification as well as its opposition to oppressive restrictions on voter registration, and its position that HAVA requires provisional ballots be counted at least on a county level basis. She will promote the importance of making sure that factual, nonpartisan information about candidates and ballot issues are available to the voters. LWVF President Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti will accompany Mary on this Florida tour. PARTICIPATION OF LOCAL LEAGUES: 1. You can attend any or all of the events planned for Miami/Dade, the Tampa Bay Area, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee. The LWVF Board aims for Mary to meet at least one person from each Florida local League, all state board and off board members, LWVF staff and recent former LWVF Presidents. Contact the local League coordinator listed for each city for venue, fees, address, etc. details. - LWV of Miami/ Dade County: Terry Coble, email@example.com - LWV of Hillsborough County: Mike McKinney, LWVNews@msn.com - LWV of Jacksonville: Carol Spalding, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com - LWV of Tallahassee: Marilynn Wills, firstname.lastname@example.org 2. You can help Mary tailor her messages to Florida and to your county: - Did your county have any problems associated with the September 5 Primary Election? - Were any glitches with the Voter Registration Database discovered before, during or after the election? - Were any eligible citizens disenfranchised? What were the reasons for disenfranchisement? - What reasons were given for low voter turnout? Please send anecdotal information to Charlene Walker before September 30: email@example.com 19 LWVUS President Mary Wilson Florida Itinerary October 1-6, 2006 Sunday, Oct. 1: Mary Wilson flies from Albuquerque to Miami Sunday Oct. 1 Evening – Dinner with LWV of Miami/Dade Monday, Oct. 2 10:30 AM – Presentation of Voter Registrations by LWV Miami-Dade and other plaintiffs in LWV v. Cobb lawsuit at Miami-Dade County Elections Department, 2700 NW 87th Avenue. 12:30 pm – Lunch with Media Executives at Anacapri on Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; in 3:30 pm – Speech Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus with Honors students. 6:30 pm (?) – Reception at Chart House Tuesday, Oct. 3: Drive to Tampa (Hillsborough, Pinellas, and St. Petersburg Leagues) 1 PM and 2 PM media events with the St. Pete Times and Channel 9 5:30 PM press conference at Latam at the Centro 6:30 PM Dinner at Latam at the Centro Wednesday, Oct. 4: Morning- Tampa tentative press event Drive to Jacksonville Afternoon: editorial board meeting Evening: Forum Kent Campus FCCJ "Does your vote count?" Thursday Oct. 5: Morning- Press conference & Video taping interview for cable TV Drive to Tallahassee 3 PM TV interview followed with editorial board of the Capital Outlook (both are minority media) Dinner with Secretary of State Sue Cobb or her representative and/or local Supervisor of Election Friday, Oct. 6: Tallahassee Early Morning-Press Conference Late Morning- departure to Atlanta 20 How to Study Alternative Voting Systems in Florida Evelyn Wright, co-president, LWV of St. Petersburg Area We hope that your members have begun reading and disseminating the background information available on the LWVF web site at www.lwvfla.org/AVSstudypage.html . We suggest downloading and printing the Consensus Questions first, so that you can use the questions as a guide when reviewing the background material. Because the background material is so lengthy, we have some suggestions. - If you can assemble a committee of several people, each person could focus on a particular alternative voting system and then summarize for the rest of the group. - Another suggestion is to split your consensus meeting into two separate meetings: one to explain the alternative voting systems and the other to discuss and try to reach consensus, or else maybe tackle half of the consensus questions and related material at each of the two meetings. - Another suggestion is to join forces with other local Leagues nearby. For instance, LWV of St. Petersburg Area, North Pinellas County, and Hillsborough County will be having our consensus meeting together (after socializing over lunch!). When conducting a consensus meeting, it is really helpful to have someone who is not involved in presenting the background material to act as Discussion Leader. Also, it‟s a good idea to have someone else act as Recorder – someone who will listen attentively to what everyone is saying and assess whether the group as a whole is moving towards consensus of opinion, either pro or con. After everyone in attendance has had a chance to give their opinion, the Discussion Leader can ask the Recorder whether she/he is hearing consensus. This often helps to clarify the discussion. Lastly, we hope you all are as enthusiastic about this study as we are. Now that Florida no longer has a Second Primary, perhaps the time has come to talk about allowing alternatives to plurality voting. What do you think? 21 MEMBERSHIP TIPS Carol Barclay, Membership/Organization Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Recently I read an article from the Oregon State VOTER about Membership Empowerment. I have always known that the League of Women Voters is an “empowering organization” but I had not really thought about why or how we got that reputation. We have over the many years of our existence empowered our members to interview legislators and lobby on our positions at the local, state and national levels through emails and in person. Our long held processes of reaching consensus on important issues of the day, has given us credibility that has been equated with of the judicial system. We are known for our non-partisan approach to making a difference. How did we get to this point? We did it with our educated and dedicated members. As our numbers of these individuals grew – so did our power. This is election time and we will soon be electing the leaders of our local, state and national governments. As we speak out on issues, hold candidate forums and empower ourselves and our community to use their power – the vote, remember that the more individuals who are a part of our organization – the more clout we have. To maintain this power, we need to increase our membership numbers. Let others know who we are and give them the opportunity to join us. If you speak to a group, register voters (which we now can do), talk to your neighbors – ask people to join. We are getting many people who are reaching us through our state web site and asking to be contacted about joining. Do you have that option on your web site? Do you call people back or send them information if they have given you their names at a candidate forum (have a list handy a each forum). Brag about what the League is doing locally, state wide and nationally. The BOTTOM LINE: Feel responsible for empowering ourselves and others. Give everyone the chance to become a League member. Membership Tip from LWV of Broward County: If you have a machine answering your local League phone number, record informative information such as next meeting time and place and your website address. Change the information each month. 22 LWVF BOARD CONSULTANT LIST Updates in Bold Type Carol Barclay, Membership/Organization Email: email@example.com The following lists consultants for each local League. Some consultant assignments have changed to reflect changes in the composition of the LWVF board. I have included the email address of each consultant and encourage you to contact your consultant when you have questions, concerns or to share successes that your League is celebrating. Also, I hope that you will invite your consultant to attend a local meeting sometime during the year. 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. Board Member Local League Marilyn Wills Email: Marilynnwills@msn.com Alachua/Gainesville, Jacksonville, Pensacola Bay Area, Sarasota, Seminole, Space Coast Nancy Mitchell Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bay, Okaloosa, St Petersburg Area, Tallahassee, Volusia Joanne Coen Email: JOANNEJON@aol.com Lake, Hillsborough, Orange, North Pinellas, Palm Beach County, the Villages Clara Anne Graham Email: cagrammy@Comcast.net Lee, Broward, Miami/Dade Carol Barclay Email: email@example.com Charlotte MAL, Collier, Flagler, Manatee, Martin, Polk, St Lucie Note: Clara Anne‟s list remains the same given her work schedule. Joyce Coombs volunteers at the League Office. Mildred O‟Neal is recovering from surgery. Peg McGarity is the new LWVF EF Executive Director and will be in touch with all local Leagues on office related matters. 23 GET OUT THE VOTE SAMPLE PRESS RELEASES Betty Enfinger, Public Relations off Board Director, firstname.lastname@example.org SAMPLE 1 ―One Vote Can Make a Difference‖ Why don‟t more Americans register and vote? The most likely reason is they don‟t think their one vote will make a difference. We just don‟t realize that the course of history would have changed if more people thought that way. Did you know…? California, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Washington, became states by just ONE vote? In 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president, became a U.S. senator by a ONE vote margin? In the same year, if Thomas E. Dewey had gotten ONE vote more per precinct in Ohio and California, the presidential election would have been thrown to the U.S. House of Representatives, where Dewey enjoyed more support than his rival, incumbent Harry S. Truman? In fact, Dewey was expected to win the general election by a landslide, so most Republicans stayed home. Only 51.5 percent of the electorate voted in 1948, and Truman defeated Dewey. In the 1960 presidential election, ONE additional vote per precinct in Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Texas would have denied John F. Kennedy the presidency and put Richard M. Nixon in office eight years earlier. In recent years, the outcomes of many state and congressional races have been reversed as recounts have shifted a handful of votes from one candidate to another. Are you now convinced that just ONE vote can change the course of history? There is still time to get out to vote. Register by October 10 and you will be eligible to vote in the general election to be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Source: http://www.insuredemocracy.com/vote.htm 24 SAMPLE 2 “SHOULD I VOTE?” That‟s a very good question. As you know, lots of folks don‟t even bother to vote. I‟m too busy, it‟s a hassle, all politicians are the same, and I don‟t know anything about the candidates. Does this sound familiar? Can you find your excuse for not voting? The truth is you are missing out on the greatest privilege of U.S. citizenship if you don‟t vote. Government at all levels has a big effect on our lives. Voting is a way of saying what‟s important to you and connects you to the community. When you vote, you are talking directly to the politicians. Government does make a difference in our lives. The federal government steers the economy and that affect jobs. The result is good times or hard times. If you‟re a college student, government loan programs can make a difference in whether you‟re able to afford school. If you have children in public school, the local government and school district determine their quality of education. If you are concerned with clean air and water or global warming, government at all levels makes the rules that control pollution. If you need help knowing the basics on how to vote, contact your local League of Women Voters. The League has an easy to read publication that will answer your questions, “Why Should I Vote?” With so much of our lives depending on government, doesn‟t it make sense to let our elected officials know what you want them to do? Election Day is the best time to do that because all the politicians are paying attention to you. Register by October 10 and you will be eligible to vote in the general election to be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Source: http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home§ion=Navigation_Election_Day&template=/CM/Cont entDisplay.cfm&ContentFileID=237 25 Oceans Should be Top Priority for State of Florida Groups Deliver Ocean, Coastal Renewal Plans to Gubernatorial Candidates, Highlight Opportunity for Florida to Lead the Nation in Coastal Protection Endorsing Organizations: Caribbean Conservation Corporation and Sea Turtle Sur Network of Florida Coastal Angler League of Women Voters of Florida - Beach Fishing Club FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2006 CONTACTS: Jenny Powers, NRDC, 212/727-4566; Linda Young, Clean Water Network of Florida, 850/222- 9188; Kathleen Goldstein, Environmental Defense, 202/841-0295 TALLAHASSEE, FL - Citing escalating problems with coastal pollution, red tide outbreaks, plummeting fish catches and overdeveloped beaches, 20 conservation, recreation and civic organizations today issued a blueprint for protecting and preserving Florida‟s coastal environment and economy. It is the first time such a large number of diverse groups has joined together in the name of comprehensive ocean conservation for Florida. The report, “Florida‟s Coastal and Ocean Future: A Blueprint for Economic and Environmental Leadership,” identifies the major problems threatening Florida‟s ocean waters and coastlines, and the actions needed to solve them. It builds on the recommendations by two recent national reports warning that the oceans are in serious trouble, and calling for urgent action to reverse the decline. To view the new document, go to http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/florida/flfuture.asp. “Florida‟s huge fishing and tourism economies generate more than $60 billion a year, and they depend on clean coasts and healthy oceans,” said Sarah Chasis, director of the Ocean Initiative for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “No state is more dependent on the natural resources of its coastal waters for food, jobs and recreation. Florida has an opportunity to be the leading state in the nation for ocean and coastline protection.” “The cumulative impacts of decades of overfishing, coastal development and pollution are endangering Florida‟s marine ecosystems,” said David White, Regional Director of The Ocean Conservancy. “We have an obligation to future generations to improve the way we manage these resources. An ocean of vanishing species and unraveling ecosystems should not be the legacy that we bequeath to our children.” The report addresses six key threats to a healthy Florida coast: Unwise coastal development, pollution, coastal drilling, unsustainable fishing practices, global warming, and the lack of a coordinated management system. Solutions include the reduction of government subsidies that encourage growth in high-risk coastal areas; strengthening of water quality standards; adoption of an ecosystem-based management approach to marine life and fisheries; and establishment of unified, coordinated government leadership for ocean and coastal resources. By implementing these solutions, Florida will be protecting both the fishing and tourism industries that sustain the state‟s economy, as well as Florida‟s unique and precious coastal habitat that spans from the sand dunes on the shore to the coral reefs off the coast. 26 “This is an opportunity for Florida‟s policy makers to show that the State will protect its ocean resources and the economies that rely on them,” said Environmental Defense Policy Analyst Amanda Leland. “Florida's endangered coral reefs generate so much for so many in our state, yet they are among the most endangered in the world due to heavy use, pollution, global warming, and loss of habitat,” said DeeVon Quirolo, Executive Director of Reef Relief. “Our leaders can turn the tide by implementing common sense solutions to reverse the decline and insure that Florida's future includes healthy coral reefs, clean ocean waters and abundant fisheries.” “Florida perpetuates its own financial and insurance problems by allowing development in high risk areas adjacent to and beyond the coastal construction line,” said Ericka D'Avanzo, Florida Regional Manager of the Surfrider Foundation. “By hiding the risks of coastal development in the existing subsidy programs, such as so-called „beach re-nourishment,‟ residents are given a false sense security while taxpayers foot the bill, twice. Citizens pay for the projects and pay again with the destruction of public trust resources -- our reefs--which provide natural storm-surge protection on top of their economic and environmental value.” “It is important that Florida address global warming because warmer ocean temperatures and sea-level rise threaten to undercut the vast majority of our efforts to protect Florida's ocean ecosystems,” said Gerald Karnas, Regional Outreach Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. “If we do not confront global warming in a meaningful way, many of Florida's coastal ecosystems will forever be altered and not for the better.” “The future of Florida‟s beaches, dunes and coastal habitats hangs in the balance, threatened by coastal development, sea level rise, increasing coastal erosion, and construction of miles and miles of sea walls,” said Gary Appelson, Policy Coordinator for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. “Now is the time to protect these resources through bold leadership and innovative new policies.” At present, Florida‟s ocean and coastal policies are outdated, fractured and unfocused. Ineffective marine programs are currently scattered in various state agencies that do not communicate with one another. Following the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy report in 2004, the state legislature attempted to update the state‟s ocean policy by creating the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council. The council, which had wide public support and involvement, was to have established a statewide ocean research plan and made management recommendations to the legislature. But the Governor subsequently vetoed the budget appropriation for priority ocean research recommended by the Council. “There is broad support in Florida for the policies proposed in this blueprint,” said Linda Young, director of the Clean Water Network of Florida. “This state has never experienced such widespread economic impacts from water pollution as we have seen over the past two years. Now is the time for our government to address these threats to Florida‟s coastal areas. The future of our state‟s economic and environmental health depends on it.” 27 TRUST THE VOTERS VOTE NO On Amendment 3 Voters made Florida a BETTER PLACE by passing ballot initiatives when politicians ignored the will of the people: SMALLER CLASS SIZE HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE RESTAURANT SMOKING BAN EVERGLADES PROTECTIONS Now politicians want to take away our rights to the ballot through Amendment 3 AMENDMENT 3 TAKES POWER AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE by increasing the number of voters need to pass a constitutional amendment to 60%. Politicians will still be elected by a simple majority but important issues of the people will be harder to pass. AMENDMENT 3 GIVES POLITICIANS AND LOBBYISTS MORE CONTROL by taking away the people’s right to speak out when politicians don’t listen AMENDMENT 3 will make it IMPOSSIBLE FOR CITIZENS TO SPEAK OUT on health care, education and housing through ballot initiatives Amendment 3 is on the Florida ballot this November. It will take away your rights to fight for what matters to citizens VOTE NO On Amendment 3 28 TELL POLITICIANS TO TRUST THE VOTERS Paid Political Advertisement by Trust the Voters, 212 East Stuart Ave., Lake Wales, FL 33853 TRUST THE VOTERS VOTE NO On Amendment 3 What Does Amendment 3 Do? Amendment 3 would require that future amendments to Florida’s Facts about Florida’s Constitution pass by 60% of the voters, placing an unfair burden on Constitution citizens who want to place important issues on the ballot. Well-heeled opposition and lobby groups will pour millions into counter campaigns, State politicians have placed 3 times as calculating that a 40% NO vote can be bought and paid for. many initiatives on the Ballot as Citizens!!! Florida’s Constitutional Amendment Process Has Made Florida a Better Place o Since 1976, citizens have placed 28 Through ballot initiatives voters have protected sport fishing, cleaned up issues on the ballot, 22 of these have the Everglades, improved education by mandating smaller class sizes passed. and universal pre-kindergarten, cleaned up the air in our restaurants, o Politicians have placed hundreds of saved taxpayers and homeowners millions of dollars through homestead initiatives on the ballot- 70% more exemptions, increased government accountability through term limits and than the people! open records laws and spurred the economy by raising wages. Floridians o Only 1 out of 6 issues on the 2006 should be proud of the initiative process and not make it harder! ballot was placed there by the citizens of FL Florida’s Constitutional Amendment Process o Out of 24 states with the initiative Places a Check on Out of Touch Politicians! process, Florida ranks 19th in initiative Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot by state politicians at the behest use. of insider lobby groups who want to take power away from ordinary Floridians and keep it all in Tallahassee. If Amendment 3 passes, Florida already has one of the toughest lawmakers will continue their campaign to crush citizen involvement in Constitutions to amend in the Country! government. o Florida has to collect more signatures Amendment 3 Takes Away the Rights of Floridians than any other state to place an issue to Amend Their Constitution on the ballot! Over 600,000! Florida’s constitution is written for and by the people. It is an evolving o Florida has to collect signatures in document that places a check on the powers of government. Don’t let specific geographic areas and can’t politicians and special interests take away the power of the people to get all of their signatures from one petition their government! heavily populated area o Florida has only passed 22 citizen led Politicians are elected by 50 + 1%. Citizen Issues initiatives in its history- 18 other states should be Held to the Same Standard Tallahassee politicians pass hundreds of laws each year. In over thirty have used it more often. years, citizens have only passed 22 amendments to the constitution. 29 Paid Political Advertisement by Trust the Voters, 212 East Stuart Ave., Lake Wales, FL TRUST THE VOTERS VOTE NO On Amendment 3 Help Defeat Amendment 3 and Protect Florida’s Future! We, the undersigned organization, oppose Amendment 3, requiring a supermajority vote of 60% to amend Florida’s Constitution on the November 2006 ballot Organization ____________________________________________________________________________ Contact Person___________________________ Title ________________________________________ Organization Address _____________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ State __________ Zip Code ____________________ Phone Number(s) _____________________________ Fax Number ___________________________ E- Mail Address_____________________________________ Name of Newsletter/ E-Newsletter_____________________________________________________________ Newsletter Contact ____________________Frequency of Publication______________ Deadline___________ Endorsement ____ Yes, we will endorse the initiative. Signed __________________________________________________________Date ___________________ Printed Name ____________________________________Title____________________________________ We would like to help by: ____ Publishing a link to www.trustthevoters.org on our webite ____ Including background information in one of our mailings. ____ Including a piece on the campaign in our newsletter. ____ Sending out email alerts to our membership ____ Providing volunteers for Door to Door Campaign (Education Campaign before November Election) ____ Coordinating or providing volunteers to Get out The Vote (Vote No on Amendment 3). ____ Distributing materials at our outreach tables. ____ Having a campaign representative speak at one of our meetings. ____ Making a contribution of $ _______________ to support the campaign. ____ Other ___________________________________________________________________________ We understand that the name of our organization will be used for public campaign materials. Paid Political Advertisement by Trust the Voters, 212 East Stuart Ave., Lake Wales, FL 33853 30 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA 540 Beverly Court Tallahassee, Florida 32301-2506 WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!! Now is NOT too soon The nominating committee is in the process of seeking out leaders to be elected at Convention 2007. Please be part of this leadership selection. We will need a president, two vice presidents, secretary, treasurer, five directors, nominating committee chairman and two members. Please send proposed nominee’s name, address, local League and League experience to: Barbara Jagrowski 884 Spanish Wells Dr. Melbourne, Fl. 32940 or e-mail email@example.com or fax 321-255-3048 Copy this form for multiple submittals. FROM:________________________________________________________LEAGUE I PROPOSE THE FOLLOWING PERSON(S) BE NOMINATED TO THE LWVF BOARD NAME:________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS:_____________________________________________________________ PHONE:_______________________________________________________________ EMAIL:_______________________________________________________________ LEAGUE:______________________________________________________________ BRIEF RESUME OF LEAGUE OFFICES HELD AND EXPERIENCE: SUBMITTED BY:______________________________________________ (Signature) 31 To: All Local League Presidents and Voter Service Chairs From: Carol Smith, Debates Liaison Date: September 12, 2006 Here is some information for you. You may use this in your VOTERS if you wish: HEAR THE CANDIDATES DISCUSS THE ISSUES www.ThePublicMatters.net Available on the Web 24 hours a day Includes much other voter information Sponsored by The Florida Public Interest Foundation and co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause, Florida Education Association and others WATCH TELEVISED DEBATES ON YOUR PUBLIC TELEVISION STATION October 23, 8 pm, US Senate Candidates October 24, 8 pm, Florida Gubernatorial Candidates Simulcast on Public Radio Stations www.beforeyouvote.org BE INFORMED, VOTE NOVEMBER 7 Make sure your Forums are listed on the LWVF website. You may also provide a link to your Voters Guide. Contact Joan Karp, Webmaster, at firstname.lastname@example.org Just a word about the effort of Marcia Elder, the Florida Public Interest Foundation and the project, The Public Matters. This is a unique and innovative project using “cutting edge technology” which has the potential to reach thousands of voters with computers, in particular the young voters with a Blackberry, iPod, etc. Go to the website, www.thepublicmatters.net , and try it out. 32 PRESS RELEASE FROM: FLORIDIANS FOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE DEATH PENALTY (FADP.org) September 18, 2006; FADP CONTACTS: Mark Elliott: 727-215-9646 FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM BROKEN A blue-ribbon assessment panel appointed by the American Bar Association (ABA) announced on September 17, 2006 that Florida‟s capital punishment policies fail to meet basic standards established by the ABA; findings that capital punishment critics say underscore the need for a moratorium on executions. “This comprehensive review by some of our state‟s best legal minds confirms that Florida‟s Death Penalty system is plagued by problems such as inadequate representation, racial and geographic disparities, and the disturbing prospect of executing an innocent person,” said Mark Elliott, Spokesman for Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP). The ABA review is the first of its kind in Florida and is part of a national series of death penalty statute reviews spearheaded by the ABA‟s Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project. Using the ABA‟s protocols for examining the administration of capital punishment, the nine-member Florida assessment team extensively researched the state‟s capital punishment laws and closely examined eight key areas of death penalty administration, including defense services, jury instructions, procedural restrictions and limitations on habeas corpus, clemency proceedings, and independent judiciary, racial and ethnic minorities, juvenile offenders, and the mentally ill. Among the ABA appointed panel‟s key findings were the following: Florida does not have adequate procedures in place to prevent the possibility of executing an innocent person. Since 1973, 123 people, including 22 from Florida, have been released from death row after evidence proved their innocence. Florida‟s criminal justice system is plagued with problems that can lead to wrongful convictions, such as access to DNA testing, the preservation of evidence, eye witness identification procedures, including lineups, and interrogation procedures that increase the likelihood of false confessions. Death penalty lawyers are untrained and under funded. The performance of appointed lawyers in Florida has been criticized on numerous occasions, including by the Florida Supreme Court. Some lawyers have little or no experience in death penalty cases and do not raise the correct issues in trials. Even worse, once a defendant is convicted, he/she does not have the right to argue that his/her lawyer is ineffective or incompetent. Florida also does not provide enough money for lawyers to do thorough work and proper investigation in capital trials. Lawyers who ask for extra money to do a specific type of investigation for their client‟s case can be punished. Florida’s process prevents jurors from being fully engaged in carrying out their duties. Many jurors find the instructions given to them at trial unclear and do not understand their role when deciding whether to impost a death sentence. Many believe they are required to impose death when, in fact, they are not. Moreover, Florida is the only state in the country that doesn‟t require a jury to be unanimous in recommending death, which may reduce the thoroughness of the deliberations. FADP is urging lawmakers to suspend executions in Florida – a policy which a majority of Americans consistently support. Currently, 392 death row inmates await execution in Florida. The LWVUS is a Death Penalty Abolition advocate. The LWVF issued a plea for a moratorium on the death penalty in Florida in 2003.
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