November 2012- Volume 38, Issue 2
|November 13th |
Water Issues on the Paradise Coast:
What We Need to Know
The Climate Change Committee is sponsoring this important meeting that will feature Jennifer Hecker (click here for her biography), the well known and highly respected Director of Natural Resources Policy at the Conservancy of SW Florida, Inc.
When: NOVEMBER 13, 2012
Registration for Lunch - 11:45 am
Lunch promptly at noon
Program - 12:30 pm
General Meeting - 1:30 pm
Menu: Grilled Chicken Breast/Cumin & Garlic OR
Cost: lunch: $25.00 per person, members and guests
Program only: no charge
Please make your check payable to:
LWVCC Education Fund
NO RESERVATIONS WILL BE TAKEN OR CANCELLATIONS ACCEPTED AFTER 4:00 pm ON Friday, November 9
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Tuesday, April 1, 2013 (please note change of date)
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (Annual Meeting)
Vi Steffan, President
Just another few days and it will all be over but the shouting, as the old saying goes! It has been a hectic but exciting time for all of us in the League.
The support each of you has provided has been greatly appreciated. Special thanks goes to Lydia Galton, Joyce Fletcher and Kathleen Slebodnik for their incredible dedication to the Collier County League. The League could not have accomplished all that we were asked to do by the League of Women Voters US (LWVUS) and League of Women Voters Florida (LWVFL) over the past few months without their expertise and willingness to serve, particularly with regard to the Amendments Forum (approximately 800 people attended), candidates forums, voter registration and Speaker's Bureau presentations. Regardless of who wins the November election, the League's work is not done.
In August the League of Women Voters Collier County (LWVCC) was asked by the LWVFL to provide a list of our legislative priorities for the 2012-2013 legislative session. The LWVCC Board of Directors met, and established priorities: (1) Social Policy in Florida - HealthCare/Women's Issues (2)Justice in Florida (3)Finance, Taxation and Ethics and (4)Education. The last three items received the same number of votes, and were referred to LWVFL. We now await their selection of the State level priorities. These will determine the focus for our State lobbyist in the upcoming legislation session. (Committee meetings begin in November, the session meets in March and April.)
Legislative action continues to be our focus. The League received the annual invitation to attend and speak to the Collier County State Legislative Delegation Meeting and Public Hearing. The Board approved the LWVCC legislative priority to be presented by the League President to the delegation as the critical need for re-funding of early childhood education. This is our opportunity to talk with our legislators about the things that are of greatest importance to us in our own community. For those who wish to attend, this will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 2 pm, at the Collier County Board of Commissioners Boardroom, 3299 Tamiami Trail E.
Again, thank you to all of you who have contributed so much.
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Constitutional Amendment Forum
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Thank you to the LWVCC volunteers (especially Joyce Fletcher) who helped to make the Amendment Forum such an enormous success. We greeted an estimated 800 people who came hungry for a full and unbiased explanation of the 11 amendments on the ballott this November.
The League was blessed with wonderful partners for this event: Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Collier Community Alliance, and Naples Daily News. We were fotunate to have the strong moderating skills of Jeff Lytle to guide the evening. We received crisp and objective presentations from: Dudley Goodlette, Florida ACLU president Howard Simon, Ave Maria president Jim Towey, Sara Vitale from Planned Parenthood, columnist Jaine Carter, legislative expert Carolyn Johnson, Ken Ginsberg of Hodges University, former Democratic Party head Chuck Mohlke and prominent local attorneys-- Jeff Fridkin, Patrick Neale and Andrew Dickman. Finally, the North Naples United Methodist Church demonstrated its graciousness and civic responsibility by permitting us to use its beautiful facility. Few other venues in Naples could have contained such a large crowd.
They say "If you build it, they will come." Apparently, if you give them fair, unbiased and relevant information, they will seek it out.
Joyce Fletcher, Chair
IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY, PLEASE VOTE!
Voter Service has been busy this summer and fall. There have been so many activities that it is hard to thank each and every one who have participated. We could not have done it without you!
We held the Candidates Forum on October 3.Thank you to Kathleen Slebodnik, my co-facilitator, and Myra Williams, our time keeper, along with many of you who were in town and came to be greeters, question gatherers and screeners. If you missed it and would like to see the video, click here and go to Candidates Forum, October 6, 2012.
There was also a small but persevering group that conducted Voter Registration, including Kathleen Slebodnik, Patricia Frerick, Jeanne Brooker and Rose Dibiasi.
Speakers Bureau, Kathleen, Joyce and Vi Steffan have been to a number of facilities and groups to present pro/con information on the 11 Constitutional amendments.
If you would like to participate in future activities, please contact
With the hiring of Superintendent Kamela Patton, the Collier County community has a renewed interest in education.
As chair of the Education Committee, I intend to capitalize on this interest and build a committee that will study the issues relative to education in our world today. It is a rapidly changing landscape that needs attention and understanding.
Also in my role as chair, I worked with Becky Newell and Lydia Galton to reach consensus among our League members regarding a Tax Neutral Referendum that will appear on the ballot on November 6, 2012.
I attended Dr. Patton's Town Hall meeting at Barron Collier High School on October 15, 2012 . There were at least 250 people in attendance. Dr. Patton delivered a great deal of information about the District 50 minutes. She was concise and understandable. There were few questions from the audience and everyone left feeling well informed.
Linda Penniman has recently resigned as chair of the Education Committee due to other commitments. Many thanks for her leadership and hard work. If you are interested in chairing or working on this important committee, please contact Vi Steffan.
|Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair
The focus is on Foster Care Issues in Collier County at the first Social Policy Session (plus a new meeting place!)
We will begin our new season with an update about foster care in Collier County by Renee Kirnon, Family Development Specialist with Family Preservation Services. While Renee is a foster parent recruiter, I warned her that she was not likely to find suitable candidates among our group. Instead, I asked Renee to bring us an overview of the child welfare situation, the organizational framework, the procedures and support services for foster parents, and the most pressing needs. I hope that we will learn much and begin to spread awareness about this important issue. All League members are invited, and guests are always welcome.
Date/time: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8 am
Place: The Lifestyle Room at Whole Foods Market, 1901 Strada Place, Naples. Our catered breakfast featuring coffee, tea, juice, and a platter of bagels, muffins, croissants and more will cost $10 per person. I'm looking forward to seeing old and new friends!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 263-1755 to reserve a place or for more information.
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|Climate Change Committee
Susan Calkins and Eileen Mann, co-Chairs
Submitted by Susan Calkins
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) invites you to join us November 1st at the Big Cypress Basin, South Florida Water Management District, as we explore the increasingly difficult tasks facing water managers. Learn about the extensive canal system and pump stations designed to protect us from flooding; about sea level rise and its impact on our infrastructure; and about the challenges of assuring an adequate drinking water supply. Please contact Susan Calkins at email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
Also, please join us on the afternoon of December 6th for an informative visit to the Collier County Water Treatment Plant. Bring a friend!
Date/time: Thursday, November 1, 2-3:30 pm note: this is in lieu of our regular morning meeting
Place: Big Cypress Basin Service Center, 2660 Horseshoe Drive N., located on the west side of Airport Pulling Road, south of Golden Gate Parkway
Becky Newell, Chair
We're continuing to add new members at a strong, steady pace. In the past month, five new members have joined our League:
At the Carrie Chapman Catt level:
At the Susan B Anthony level:
At the Suffragist level:
Mary Lou Boll
The membership committee is working hard to make new members feel welcome and to provide information for everyone about how to get involved in League activities. Beth Povlow and Dee Senft are continuing to host a New Member and Prospective Member table at each general meeting, to share information about the activities of our local League. Please take a few minutes to stop by the table and say hello!
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair
Join the book club this month as Nancy Wolfe leads a discussion with members and guests on topics taken from our November book selection, 'REBUILDING JUSTICE' (Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care), authored by Rebecca Love Kourlis and Dirk Olin.
According to a 2005 Harris Poll, 54 percent of those surveyed did not trust the legal system to defend them against a baseless claim, and 56 percent suggested that fundamental changes are needed. Now, lawyers and judges themselves are chiming in, bemoaning the gamesmanship in the system, the delays, and the costs. They worry that access to the system is increasingly difficult, not for just the indigent, but also for the middle class. Join us for a lively discussion!
Date/time: Thursday, November 15 at 2:30 pm
Place: Calistoga Cafe, 1860 Airport Pulling Road, N. Naples
If you are interested in joining the Book Club, call (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Justice Committee |
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair
We are looking forward to our first meeting of the year, educating ourselves about the judicial system. Our speaker will be Michelle Hill, Criminal Defense Attorney and former Collier County Prosecutor, who will speak on "The Process: What Works, What Doesn't". We look forward to her brief overview of the Florida Court system, as well as a discussion of the "Stand Your Ground Law".
At our upcoming meetings, committee members will select an appropriate subject and speaker/speakers relative to the court system for the February 5 membership luncheon. As we consider issues such as the judicial amendment, privatization, e-discovery, case management, rule of law, etc., it appears there will be no lack of issues on which to focus.
Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening, informative and fun year!
Date/time: Monday, November 5 at 9:30 a.m.
Place: North Collier Government Services Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive
If you are interested in joining the Justice Committee, call me (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at email@example.com.
The General Meeting held on October 12 was attended by 54 members and their guests. There were an additional dozen who attended the speaker presentation portion of the program.
I would like to thank Anne Lewallen, the previous chair, who was very helpful in this transition for me as Hospitality Chair at the October 12th Luncheon. Her ability to greet and make people feel welcome has made her a wonderful asset to the organization for the past several years. Rose DiBiasi provided valuable assistance by checking in guests right alongside me.
I would also like to say thank you to Ann Allen for having name badges available. She has a big collection of name badges that have not been picked up. Please pick them up at the next meeting and wear your badge. It goes a long way to making others feel welcome and comfortable.
We welcome you all, and appreciate your donations to the League of Women Voters Educational Fund.
| News from the National League
In recent weeks the National League:
* Joined with coalition partners in a letter to House Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi, expressing support for the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and urging them to ensure its uninterrupted operations in the next Congress by reactivating the agency and appointing the necessary Board members.
* Sent two letters to the U.S. House of Representatives in defense of the Clean Air Act. Along with members of the environmental community, the League believes that H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act, fundamentally weakens the Clean Air Act and takes aim at an array of laws that keep the American public safe. The second letter was sent to a subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee regarding H.R. 6172, a bill that would rewrite the Clean Air Act and block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting any standards for power plant carbon pollution.
* Announced that League UN Observer Rosalee Keech represented the League as United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Equal Futures Partnership - a program for women to fully participate in political and economic opportunities. The U.S. and several other founding members (Australia, Benin, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, and Tunisia, as well as the European Union) and multilateral stakeholders including UN Women, and the World Bank, leading businesses and non-profit institutions, pledged support for the partnership.
* Reported on a study that showed the value of social media, specifically Facebook, in getting out the vote. Users who saw messages on their Facebook newsfeeds from friends who had voted were more likely to vote than those who saw no such message. LWVUS wants us to imagine the cascading positive effect we might launch among our friends on election day.
For more information on these and other National League projects, click here.
News from State League
The LWVFL, along with the Brennen Center of Justice and other organizations, has been asking Secretary of State Ken Detzner for clarification of the process and timing to be used by the Supervisors of Elections (SOE) to count the provisional ballots of voters who have moved between Florida counties. The purpose is to ensure that the State of Florida provide clear direction on the process for all of Florida's SOE's, a failing that was seen in the January 13 State Directive on Provision Ballot Verification. After waiting months for a response, LWVFL received a copy of the State's document, dated October 5, that clarified this important issue.
LWVFL's focus has been to continue to provide critical support and resources to the State Leagues regarding voter registration, speakers' bureau explanation of Constitutional Amendments, voter suppression, get-the-vote-out campaigns, specialized website sections of public information and levels of voter awareness, and the dissemination of court case results across the state and country. It has been an intensive effort that took many volunteers from the LWVFL volunteer/staff and from the League chapters. Everyone is working toward the same goal: guaranteeing the right that every eligible voter has the opportunity to do so.
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.