The Voter

Issue: 2013-02FEBARY/2013
In This Issue
February General Meeting
General Meeting Schedule
Review of January General Meeting
Lunch with Leaders
President's Message
Social Policy Committee
Climate Change Committee
Membership Committee
Book Club
Justice Committee
News from the State
News From National
League's Position on Gun Violence
Mike Reagen
Save March 5, 2013 when
President,
Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce,
"Collier County [Greater Naples] sits on the precipice of opportunity. How we behave in the rest of this decade will determine if we slip; or if we can advance our quality of life and flourish!"
Come hear more of what Mike Reagen has to say.  Register now by
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MONTH AT A GLANCE

General Meeting
Tuesday,  February 5
11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.
Hilton Hotel
5111 Tamiami Trail
Climate Change Committee
Thursday, February 7
9:45 to 11:15 a.m.
Orange Blossom Government Center

Social Policy Committee 
Wednesday, February 13, 
9-10:00 a.m 
13020 Livingston Road
 
Justice Committee
PACE luncheon
Thursday, February 14
registration: 11:30 a.m.
5111 Tamiami Trail

Book Club
Thursday, February 21
2:30 p.m.
Calistoga Cafe
7941 Airport Pulling Road

Luncheon with Leaders
Thursday, February 26
noon to 1:30 p.m.
General Meeting - February 5,  2013
A Hopeful Court  
  Judge Krier
The Honorable Elizabeth Krier, 20th Judicial Circuit (click here for a biography), hears all the "dependency" cases in Collier County.  Dependency cases all deal with  children, many of whom are caught in family situations that can appear tragic and beyond repair.  But Judge Krier maintains that she presides over a "hopeful" court.
Through court intervention and the assistance of various agencies (governmental and nonprofit), many of these parents change as they acquire useful parenting skills and straighten out their own problems.  As a result the kids can blossom.  Judge Krier will tell us how she facilitates these magic metamorphoses. 
 
When:   February 5,  2013
Registration for lunch:  11:45 am; Lunch promptly at noon
Program: 12:30 pm;General Meeting - 1:30 pm
Where: Hilton Hotel 
Menu: Chicken Breast with Immokalee Salad (Mixed greens, avocado, mandarin orange, heart of palm, citrus vinaigrette) or
Seasonal Fruit Plate
Cost: $25.00 per person, Program only: no charge.
Reservations Are EssentialPlease click here or call 263-4656 before February 1.


Please make your check payable to: LWVCC Education Fund

 

General Meetings

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (Annual Meeting)
January's General Meeting
Collier's Social Safety Net: An Overview

The program presented by the Ann Campbell, Chair, Social Action Committee, brought three individuals together to discuss the needs of the vulnerable members of our community and the services available to them. 

 

Ian Connell, Department of Children & Families, ACCESS Community Partner Liaison, Circuit 20, described how his organization helps to promote strong and economically self-sufficient communities by providing food, cash and medical assistance to individuals and families on the road to economic recovery. This is accomplished through three major programs: The Food Assistance Program, Temporary Cash Assistance and the Medicaid Program.

 

Steve Sanderson, President & CEO, United Way of Collier County, stated that United Way partners with not-for-profit agencies serving Collier County residents in Immokalee, Naples and surrounding areas. By using the knowledge of the community's most pressing needs, United Way is better able to address and direct resources to the programs that improve lives and build stronger communities.  

 

Steve Weinman, Executive VP/COO, Health Care Network of SW Florida, stated that Medicaid is a health care program for low income individuals and families. He provided a brief history of the Medicaid program in Florida and spoke of a model for the future with the goal of controlling costs and improving outcomes under the PPACA (Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act) provisions.

 

The League owes a huge "thank you" to Ann and her committee for bringing such well-versed speakers to address this critical issue.

Announcing  
2013  LWVCC  Lunch  With  Leaders
Mollie Ottina
   
Box lunches ordered for participating League Members
Limited number of attendees: First Come - First Serve
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

February 26th (Thursday). Dr. Kamala Patton, Collier County Superintendent of Schools (please note the change of date)

 March 28 (Thursday). The Honorable Lauren L. Brodie, Judge, Collier County

April 18, (Thursday). Casey Wolfe, Attorney, Specialitzaion: Immigation Law  Fully Booked!


Contact: Mollie Ottina, phone: 435-0328 or email at otabooo@aol.com
President's Message
Vi Steffan, President
  Vi Steffan

We all knew it would not last - a brief period of respite over the holidays and we are now back in the thick of it! Many issues have risen with which the League will be involved over the next few months, if not for the next few years. Three come immediately to mind without any research.

 

  • Election Reform in the State of Florida: The LWVCC has applauded Governor Scott's recent recommendations for election reform, but it is only a start. There is more to be done.
  • "No Labels" inaugural announcement: This is a grassroots citizens' movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. LWVCC has been asked by LWVUS to participate in a project with this organization. The purpose is to encourage our local congressional representatives to "reach across the aisle" to their fellow congressmen/women to begin the dialogue that addresses issues from the perspective of what is good for the country rather than that which is good for the party.
  • The release of a report by Prof. Daniel Smith, University of Florida, and the impact of HB1355 on the voters in the 2012 election:  This arose within the past few days. Deirdre Macnab, LWVFL President, hosted a call-in news conference where the report described above was presented. It concludes that African American voters in Collier County had a higher percentage of cast ballots rejected by the Supervisor of Elections and the Canvassing Board than those cast by white voters. The Supervisor of Elections Office strongly rejects these findings. The LWVCC Board will discuss and take appropriate action on these, as well as other issues on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Collier County. 

Thank you all for paying attention to these issues, and for your support of the League and our actions. I look forward to seeing you at our February meeting. 

Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair
Ann Campbell 2009

 

 

Our February meeting is a field trip.

 

We won't have to travel far!  We will meet the staff and learn about the program at Hope PACE, located at the southeast corner of Pine Ridge and Livingston Roads. Since we are very interested in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the U.S. and in Florida, we will want to know all about this "federally funded program of all-inclusive care for the elderly". You may have seen their large ads in the newspaper recently. I did - and called to see if we could visit.  They are pleased to meet members of the League of Women Voters. See their website www.hopepace.org .  

 

Date/time: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 from 9:00 am to 10.00 am

Place:  We will meet at Hope PACE - 13020 Livingston Road, Naples

 

Please contact me to reserve a place or for more information at acamp1082@aol.com or at 263-1755.

Climate Change Committee
Susan Calkins and Eileen Mann, co-chairs
submitted by Susan Calkins
Susan Calkins

Our upcoming Climate Change Committee meeting builds upon our Nov.-Dec. field trips to South Florida Water Management and Collier County Water Department with a "status report" on Collier County's Watershed Management Plan. A year ago the Collier County Board of Commissioners approved a series of Water Management Plan (WMP) projects and initiatives designed to protect both our water quality and quantity. The WMP identifies concerns that need to be addressed to protect water resources including:

  • The drainage system does not provide the desired level of flood protection;
  • Pollutant loading associated with development may degrade water quality conditions;
  • Aquifer impacts due to canal discharge, reduced recharge, and potable and agricultural withdrawal demands.

Developers recently closed on 2,262 acres in East Naples. As more lands are cleared for development, the importance of protecting our water resources only increases. So plan to attend and learn how/what our county is doing and how we might help.  

 

Date/time: February 7, 2013, 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.

Place: Orange Blossom Government Center

 

Did you know?  On February 27th a community forum entitled "Climate Reality to Solar Solutions in the Sunshine State" will be held at 7 pm in the auditorium of the NCH Telford Building. And did you know LWVCC member Pat Forkan's husband, Neville Williams, will be a key presenter on solar energy?  Please plan to attend! 

Please contact Susan Calkins at calkritas@aol.com with any questions.

 

Membership Committee
Becky Newell, chair
Becky Newell

 

We've just completed our annual membership renewal drive, and I would like to thank everyone who renewed. If you missed the deadline and would like to reinstate your membership, let me know right away.

 

Please join me in welcoming the following new members to the League of Women Voters of Collier County:

 

                                   Gretchen Durkot

                                           Thomas Selwold

                                           Janice Hannsz

 

We're also happy to welcome back returning member Ressa Benen.

 

If you have membership questions or concerns, or if you would like our committee to contact someone who may be interested in joining our League, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me at  membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or call me at (239) 290-2260. 

 

Book Club
Charlotte Nycklemoe, chair
Charlotte Nycklemoe

  

  

The book selection for February is 'THE LEADERLESS REVOLUTION' by Carne Ross. Carne is a frequent commentator on current affairs for CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera.  In his book, Carne argues that rather than rely on failing political and economic systems to effect change, individual citizens must create change themselves, through their own actions and collaborations with others.

     

How is this to be accomplished, you ask?  Join Harriet Lancaster as she leads us to answers during the discussion of this intriguing book.

     

The March Book selection is, 'FLIGHT BEHAVIOR' by Barbara Kingsolver.

  

The book club is open at any time to those who want to join us without having to make a commitment for attending following sessions.  This is very informal and we would love to have your input!

     

Date/time: Thursday, February 21, 2013, 2:30 p.m. 

Place: Calistoga Cafe, 7941 Airport Pulling Road, North Naples  

RSVP to Charlotte Nycklemoe at drchargar@gmail.com or 239-455-2261

Justice Committee
Charlotte Nycklemoe, chair
 
In lieu of our next regular Justice Committee meeting, which meets on the third Monday of every month, our committee will meet at the Hilton for the annual PACE (Practical Academic Cultural Education) luncheon.  PACE values all girls and young women, believing each one deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace.

  

Please join me at this luncheon as we support and listen to testimonials of success from these girls.  Nothing is as important to these girls as the support those who can "lead the way".  We need to be there for them.

     

I will reserve a table for our committee members, but the invitation is extended to the entire League.  Please RSVP to me at drchargar@gmail.com by February 8.  Hopefully, I will need to reserve more tables!

 

Date/Time: PACE Luncheon, February 14, 2013, registration-11:30, luncheon-12:00 noon

PlaceHilton Hotel

News from the State
Vi Steffan
  

Continuing the focus established in November, the State forges ahead on support of Florida Election Reform. The State Board applauded Governor Rick Scott for taking first steps by offering election reform recommendations. The State has gone to the next level by creating a plan to achieve reform with clearly defined goals that would enable the plan to be successfully implemented. This plan was sent to members of the League throughout the state, and was also directed to Secretary of State Ken Detzner and the Naples Daily News (see January 20, Neapolitan Section). In addition, the State had commissioned a study through the Brennan Center for Justice on the impact of the voter suppression (HB 1355) on the 2012 election. The study was done by Professor Daniel Smith, University of Florida. The report was presented to the membership via a conference call on January 16, and released to the media. While it has created something of a firestorm in Collier County (NDN, January 18 "Absentee ballots show race difference - Blacks' votes were rejected at higher rate"), it offers a number of important statistics that should be considered in any future election reform efforts.

 

All state Leagues are encouraged to support and promote the efforts by the State in this battle to protect all of our citizens' right to vote.

News from the National League
Ann Campbell
 
 In recent weeks the National League:

   

  • Sent a letter to the U.S, Senate urging reform of the rules related to cloture and filibuster procedures. The League calls upon the Senate to rise above partisanship and reform the Senate rules to achieve openness, accountability, decision-making capability and effective performance.
  • Reported that LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara attended an event in New York City sponsored by No Labels, a group that is looking for ways to bridge the partisan divide. The event featured elected officials, including members of Congress, who are willing to step up and be problem solvers. "The League of Women Voters has a long history of gathering facts to spark a conversation aimed at reaching understanding and agreement on issues", MacNamara said. "How do we solve the problem of problem-solving? We concluded that the only real solution is more public engagement, a fact the League has recognized for nearly 93 years."
  • Advocated for measures that will ban assault weapons, place limits on magazine size, close the gun show loophole and mandate annual reporting on gun violence in America. The White House presented a proposal to Congress that includes many of the league's proposed reforms. The League is urging Congress to tackle this critical national issue now.
  • Joined over 100 organizations in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate urging ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world.
 

For more information on these and other National League projects, click here

League's Position on Gun Violence
letter to Vice President Biden

 

Below is the League's letter to Vice President Biden urging him to propose common sense solutions to the gun violence plaguing our nation. The League advocates for measures that will ban assault weapons, place limits on magazine size, close the gun show loophole and mandate annual reporting on gun violence in America. The White House presented a proposal to Congress that includes many of the League's proposed reforms. Read our blog urging Congress to tackle this critical national issue.


January 10, 2013

The Honorable Joseph Biden
Vice President
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. Vice President:

The League of Women Voters of the United States has a long standing position, reached by consensus of our members, in support of Gun Control.  Since 1990, we have used this position to lobby in support of the assault weapons ban, legislation requiring all dealers to run criminal background checks at gun shows and in opposition to laws that grant special protection for the gun industry.

The League of Women Voters position on Gun Control is: The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety.

The League supports licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal. The license fee should be adequate to bear the cost of education and verification.

 The League supports a ban on "Saturday night specials," enforcement of strict penalties for the improper possession of and crimes committed with handguns and assault weapons, and allocation of resources to better regulate and monitor gun dealers.

On behalf of our 140,000 members and supporters, we urge you to propose common sense solutions to the gun violence that is plaguing our nation.  It is time to advocate for measures that will ban assault weapons, place limits on magazine size, close the gun show loophole and mandate annual reporting on gun violence in America.  Gun control is a matter of public safety and public health.

 

Respectfully yours,

Elisabeth MacNamara

About Us

The League of Women Voters of Collier County, 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.