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April 2009 - Volume 34, Issue 7
In This Issue
Annual Meeting - April 20
Board Meeting Location Change
Guide to Elected Officials now available
President's Message
Report from the Legislative Seminar
Government Committee
Justice Committee
Social Policy Committee
Membership Committee
Facebook Administrator Wanted
Program Opportunity: Campaign for Leadership
News from the National League
News from the Florida League
LWVF Convention May 15-17
About Us
Print & Go Link
 
Too busy to read this now?  Click here for a printable copy.
 
April/May at a Glance
Click on item for details.   Members and guests are welcome at all meetings. 
 
 
 

General_MtgGeneral Meeting - April 20
Delinquency Prevention in Collier County
 
Panelists will include Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk; Dr. Dee Whinnery, Executive Director of Student Services, Collier County Public Schools; and The Honorable Ramiro Mañalich, Circuit Judge for the 20th Circuit.  They will address the youth services offered by the Sheriff's Office including collaborative initiatives of law enforcement, public schools, youth related agencies, and the courts.  They will highlight Truancy Court, a relatively new but exciting approach that seems to be meeting with a significant degree of success.
 
The program will begin promptly at 12:30PM at the
COLLIER ATHLETIC CLUB
710 Goodlette Rd N
Naples, FL  34102
(239) 263-2566
Get directions

OPTIONAL lunch at 11:30AM - Club's main dining room
($20 members; $25 nonmembers) 

RSVP for lunch by 5PM Thursday, 4/16 to Hospitality@lwvcolliercounty.org or 263-4656.
 
AnnualMtgAnnual Meeting - April 20
 
Raised handsJoin us for our Annual Meeting to vote on the slate of officers and directors submitted by the Nominating Committee, approve the budget and program for 2009 - 2010 and conduct other important business coming before the membership.  Let your voice be heard!

The meeting will be at 10AM on Monday, April 20, at the Collier Athletic Club.
 
Please print, review and bring to the meeting the Annual Meeting Packet, which contains all the materials you will be asked to vote on.  Click here to download it from our website.
 
If you need a ride to or from the meeting, please call Anne Lewallen at 239-435-1845.
 
April 6 Board meeting location change 
 
BrdMtgThe April 6 board meeting will be held beginning at 9:30 AM at the Fifth Third Bank Building, 999 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. just east of U.S. 41.  (Map)  Park in the deck attached to the rear of the building, enter the lobby and take the elevator to the third floor.  Turn left, pass through glass doors.  The "third floor board room" will be on your left.
Guide to Elected Officials now available
 
The 2009-2010 LWVCC Guide to Elected Officials (previously called the Voters' Guide) is now available.   Download a copy from our website (click here).  Printed copies are available by request to lwvcc@lwvcolliercounty.org or by calling 239-263-4656. 
 
 
President's Message
Chris Straton, President - LWVCC
 
C StratonThis is my last column as President but not my last column for the Voter.  I look forward to handing the gavel to Sandy Parker, nominee for President.  She has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to serving on her Board as the Voter Service Chair. 
 
The last three years have been wonderful for me and the thing that I cherish the most is the opportunity to get to know so many of you.  We are so fortunate to have dedicated leaders who willingly give of their time and talents.  The quality of the people on our Board has been outstanding and I thank them for their commitment to League.
 
Sincerely,
 
Chris
 
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Report from the Legislative Seminar 
Kathleen Slebodnik
 
Kathleen SlebodnikThe League of Women Voters of Florida held their 2009 Legislative Seminar from March 22 to 24 in Tallahassee, and 53 members from local leagues throughout the state took this opportunity to make our presence felt and lobby our legislators on League priorities. 
 
As the representative from Collier LWV, I was able to meet with Senator Garrett Richter and Representatives Matt Hudson and Tom Grady from our delegation.  The League also  met with President of the Senate Jeff Atwater and Speaker of the House Larry Cretul.
 
As might be expected, the budget is the dominating issue this session, and the atmosphere is bleak at best.  Florida is looking at a $6.7 billion shortfall next year and even if $3 billion in federal stimulus dollars are received, only half of the deficit will be eliminated.  At this point, the Legislature is not looking at raising additional revenue or, as the League strongly suggests, removing some sales tax exemptions.  The message we were getting is that they want to improve the efficiency of or eliminate some state agencies, and programs will have to be cut
 
Florida CapitolWhich program is the issue, and education is the most frightening.  School districts have already been told to expect $500 less per pupil in state aid. One county school district has already laid off 517 teachers, and others are seriously talking about a 4-day school week.  Florida parents have every right to be angry. 
 
The only task the Legislature must complete in any session is to pass a balanced budget.  As of now, legislators have no idea what that budget is going to look like. They are still working in committees with no actual legislation having been brought to the floor. With a scheduled closing date of May 1, some difficult decisions will have to be made soon.  
 
 
GovernmentGovernment Committee Update
Lydia Galton, Committee Chair
L Galton
 
The Government Committee has resumed Lunch and the Capitol Report on alternate Saturdays from noon until 1:30 PM:
  • April   4  and May 2 at Lydia Galton's, 442 Rosemeade Lane (Wyndemere)   
  • April 18th  at Sandy Parker's, 3035 Mona Lisa Blvd (Old Cypress off Immokalee).
Please bring a brown-bag lunch.   Non-Government Committee members are most welcome.  Capitol Report is published on Fridays and is available at http://www.lwvfla.org.  You should read and study the Report so that the discussion can be informed and lively.

Is This FairRedistricting is a main League concern. SJR 0202, filed by Senator Justice, would create an independent commission to set up redistricting plans.  Having an independent commission draw the lines for districts will ideally alleviate concerns of gerrymandering and other political influences affecting redistricting.    Recently, the Supreme Court approved the proposed amendment language providing standards for the drawing of state and federal districts as satisfying the one issue requirement.  The League is assisting with efforts to collect signatures to get these provisions on the ballot in 2010.   You can help by downloading petitions from http://fairdistrictsflorida.org.

Those who have been following the Rural Land Stewardship Review know that the Collier County Planning Commission has proposed a solution to help avoid costly urban sprawl in the land covered. They recommend that the Collier County commissioners cap the number of development credits at their existing level of 315,000. While this would still allow for intense urban development far from the center of our community, it will assure that no more surprises arise - such as the increase from 16,800 to over 40,000  acres of intensive development - and that taxpayers will not have to fund more roads, water treatment and infrastructure than current policy allows. 

The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to review the Rural Lands Stewardship Area Review Committee Phase II Report on Wednesday, April 22nd and Thursday, April 23rd.  Government committee members are urged to attend. 

 
JusticeJustice Committee Update
Bernice Schmelz, Committee Chair
 
B. Schmelz
Abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence can put children at risk for behavior and social problems including delinquency.  Thankfully, there are agencies to assist in reducing the trauma to these young victims, to provide them with protection and to assist families in providing safe environments for their children.
 
Join the Justice Committee on Monday, April 13 to get a closer look at the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of Collier County, which coordinates an "interdisciplinary team approach to the diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of child abuse and neglect."   Among their services are the Child Protection Team, Family Safety Program, Child Victim Rapid Response Program, Parenting Education, and Sexual Abuse Treatment Program.  Jacqueline Stephens, Executive Director of the CAC, will talk with the group about these services and answer questions.  The members will tour the center following the presentation.
 
Childrens Adoc Ctr LogoThe group will meet at the Children's' Advocacy Center, 1036 6th Avenue N, promptly at 9:30 AM.  Please RSVP Bernice at berniceas@embarqmail.com by Wednesday, April 8 if you plan to attend so that she can advise the Center of the number participating.
 
This will be the last formal Justice Committee presentation for the 2009 season, but the committee welcomes contact from members throughout the year about events, needs and ideas for future programs.  If you aren't already receiving emails from the chair and would like to be included, please contact Bernice.
 
SocPolSocial Policy Committee Update
Ann Campbell, Committee Chair
 
A. Campbell.The Social Policy Committee has invited Marcy Krumbine, Director of Collier County's Housing and Human Services Department, to join us at our Wednesday April 8 breakfast meeting at 8:00 AM at the Wildside Café (formerly "Crissy's Wildside"). Marcy's department, like Collier County's nonprofit social service agencies, has been inundated with requests for help from families and individuals who are having difficulties due to the economic downturn.  Marcy has agreed to share with us how her department is or is not managing to meet the increasing needs of our neighbors in distress.
 
All members are welcome to attend the breakfast meeting. Guests are welcome too.The cost for breakfast (a choice of four items) is $12.00 which includes tax and gratuity. Please let Ann Campbell know by Monday, April 6, if you plan to attend at acamp1082@aol.com or 263-1755.
 
NLascheidIn March, we visited the Neighborhood Health Clinic where co-founder Nancy Lascheid took us on a tour and told us about the history and function of the Clinic. Nancy and her husband, Dr. Bill Lascheid, are to be congratulated on the 10th Anniversary of the Clinic which started as an outline on a single sheet of paper. The story of their progress from that day to the beautiful facility on Goodlette Road is almost mystical. The Clinic serves low-income, working, uninsured Collier County adults. They are funded by grants and donations and accept no government funding. Patients make a contribution of one hour's wage at the time of each visit. Medical care and administrative support are provided by 500 doctors, nurses and other volunteers. Patients receive medications, lab work, radiology procedures and even hospitalization at no charge to them or the Clinic.  It is truly an amazing story that speaks volumes about the goodness of the medical community. Nancy is sought out by other communities interested in starting up such a clinic. She has been to Washington DC to take part in discussions about health care reform.  When asked how she envisioned the Clinic continuing if/when Universal Health Care becomes a reality, she said that they have a Five-Year Plan and a Ten-Year Plan, remarking that, "The poor will always be with us".
 
Membership Update
 
Welcome New MembersThis month we welcome Laura Murdaugh, Viola Steffan and Carlene Thissen to our League.  Contact information for these and all members can be found on the For Members page of our website. 

Make Sure Your Contact Information is Up to Date
- You can update your contact information on the For Members page or by calling 263-4656 and providing your new information on the answering machine.  If you have moved or your email address has changed in the past year, please ensure that the League has your correct information by emailing lwvcc@lwvcolliercounty.org or calling 263-4656.
 
Men can join tooIf you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact lewallennaples@comcast.net, or direct them to the Join Us page on our website, where they can print a membership application. Dues are $65.00 for an individual member and $97.50 for a family membership.
 
FacebookHelp Wanted: LWVCC Facebook Page Adminstrator 
 
FacebookAre you intriqued by Facebook and Social Media?  Would you like to learn more about it and try something new?  Are you comfortable on the computer and do you have high-speed Internet access?  Then you're qualified to be our first Facebook Page Administrator!
 
According to the New York Times (citing the website insidefacebook.com in an article titled "For Baby Boomers, the Joys of Facebook"), the fastest-growing user group is women 55 and over, up more than 175 percent since last fall.   Facebook is a great way to connect with non-members and prospective members, especially young people.  Visit the League of Women Voters of Orange County's Facebook page (click here) for an example of what we'd like to do for the Collier League.
 
Interested?  Contact Sandy Parker at sparker101@gmail.com or 513-1595. 
 
CampaignProgram opportunity: Campaign for Leadership
 
Naples Chamber of CommerceThe Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is offering a new program this month.  Campaign for Leadership is a program for Collier County citizens who want to run for office, seek higher office, work on a campaign, get appointed to office, or learn more about the political system.  The Chamber says the program will provide one-stop training on running for office or getting involved in public life.
 
Participants will learn from prominent elected and appointed leaders, campaign consultants, party officials, and policy experts.  LWVCC nominee for president Sandy Parker will lead a session called "Candidate Forums: An Opportunity to Shine."  For the complete program schedule, click here.
 
The program will be held from 11:45 AM Friday, April 24th through 5:30PM Saturday, April 25th at The Chamber Building; dinner on Friday night will be at the Collier Athletic Club.  The cost for the program is $60 per participant which includes the program binder and all meals.  For more information, call Stefanie Cuthbertson at the Chamber at 239-298-7926; to register, click here.  
 
News from the National League
 
LWV logoLast month, the National League:
  • Urged Senators to Support Strong Health Care Legislation - The League sent a letter to Senators urging them to support strong and effective health care legislation.
  • Applauded Obama on Executive Order on Ethics - The League and coalition partners voiced their support for President Obama's new executive order aimed at slowing down the "revolving door" for Washington lobbyists.
  • Urged Congress to Fully Fund HAVA - The League, with coalition partners, sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to fully fund the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
  • Commented on Failure to Protect and Encourage Voter Registration - League President Mary Wilson sent a letter to Senate Rules committee Chair Charles Schumer regarding a number of vote registration concerns.
For more information, visit www.lwv.org
 
 
News from the Florida League 
 
Heather WalkerA new lobbyist is leading our lobbying effort in Tallahassee this season. Heather Walker, an attorney with Wildlaw, is also a member of the League of Women Voters of Florida and, until recently, resided in the Orlando area.  Heather received a B.A. from the University of Florida dual majoring in Political Science and Economics.  She went on to graduate magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center.  Heather has also served as an adjunct and visiting law professor at Barry University Law School and at Rollins College.  She has worked with several non-profits to advance policy initiatives.
 
Prior to the start of the Legislative Session, representatives of the Florida League:
  • Met with The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy and other groups to discuss the raising of revenues that the Legislature could address. 
  • Joined Common Cause, FPIRG, and ACLU in a meeting with Secretary of State Browning to discuss elections legislation he will present this session.
  • At the request of counsel in the 3rd party voter registration lawsuit, signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Browning concerning interpretation of the law.
  • Joined with the Advancement Project and other like minded groups to send a letter to Secretary of State Browning with suggestions for enhancing election procedures.
For more information, visit www.lwvfla.org, click on "Members Only," then click on the March 2009 President's Mailing, and scroll to "Your Board at Work."
 
 
ConventionLWVF Convention May 15 - 17 in Jacksonville, FL 
 
LWVF Set SailThe theme of this year's state Convention is SET SAIL (Send Everyone To Successful Action In League).  
 
During the plenary sessions, delegates from Florida's local leagues will elect state League officers and board members, vote on a budget and by-law changes, and conduct other official business.
 
Workshops are an added attraction and members may attend without being registered as delegates.
 
On Saturday afternoon, six skill developing workshops are offered:
  • SOS Signals - Building a Dynamic Voter & Website;
  • Charting Your Financial Course - Resources & Requirements;
  • Knowing Your Navigational Charts - LWV Program Planning;
  • How to Float Your Boat - Development/Fund Raising;
  • Being Captain of the Ship - What Are My Responsibilities;
  • Adding to The Crew/All Hands On Deck - How Do I find volunteers.
The information presented in these workshops will be extremely valuable to both long-term and new League members looking for the most current information on these ever changing/and yet not so changing issues.
 
If you are interested in attending the LWVF Convention (some financial assistance is available), please contact Sandy Parker at sparker101@gmail.com or 513-1595.
 
 
About Us
 
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  Our goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.

Visit our website at www.lwvcolliercounty.org for our current list of officers, directors and off-board members, our Program, Diversity Policy, Nonpartisan Policy, By-Laws, Minutes and more.  
 
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