League of Women Voters News - April 15, 2018

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  UPCOMING EVENTS

ANNUAL MEETING & HOT TOPIC LUNCHEON
Wednesday, April 18, 9:15 a.m. 
Atlantis Country Club
   Speaker: Ava Parker, President of Palm Beach State College
   Topic: New Role of State Colleges

WHY COURTS MATTER
Sunday, May 6, 2018, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Atlantis Country Club
Speaker: Ellen Freidin, Esq.,
driving force behind FL's Fair District Amendments &
past chair of 11th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee
Topic: Federal Court Judicial Qualifications

HOT TOPIC LUNCHEON
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Atlantis Country Club
Frank Cerebino, Palm Beach Post Columnist & Author
Topic: Politics and Stuff
HIGH SCHOOLERS GET SERIOUS ABOUT VOTING

On the heels of recent events, high school students are speaking loudly and effectively and are poised to vote their passions. Local students initiated voter registration drives by asking the League for assistance. LWVPBC launched a successful campaign, operating voter registration centers at Wellington, Forest Hills and Palm Beach Central High Schools.
The League trained student government reps to assist in registration and recruit prospects, thus insuring student participation. The result - at Wellington, 13 League volunteers and student government reps were able to register 144 students in one 45 minute lunch period. A record 352 students were registered in one week. Most of them will be of voting age by Election Day this November!
The League will follow-up by keeping relevant statistics and working to convert the new registrants to active voters in November. And, of course, the League will be expanding the program to as many high schools as possible in the coming months.
More great news for students – they are now able to join the League of Women Voters free of charge effective immediately. We anticipate broadening the demographics of the league, increasing the pool of volunteers and raising the energy level a notch. Students can join for free by filling out the membership form at https://www.lwvpbc.org/join-and-renew-membership/  and checking the student category. Several have already joined from our new registrants.

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WOMEN ON THE RUN APPLICATIONS OPENING
The Women's Foundation of Florida is thrilled to be opening applications this month for our next Women on the Run non-partisan campaign training. We are thrilled to hold this program in both Palm Beach County and Broward County due to the generous support of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches.
The free six-month program launches in June and has monthly workshops for the rest of 2018 that will empower women to run for office. We invite non-partisan, non-profit organizations that want to serve as program partners to email your logo to  Judith@WomensFoundationFL.org . Partner organizations are not asked to contribute financially. Instead we ask that you help spread the word about the program. The free one day training and 2018 kickoff will be held on Saturday, June 2 in Palm Beach County and June 23 in Broward County. Then there are monthly follow up workshops and mentoring sessions for the rest of the year. The application process for the program will launch next week. We hope you will join us as a partner organization.

JOHN ENGLANDER SPOKE ON SEA LEVEL RISE
By Kathy Panko
Sea level rise is an increase in global sea level as a result of an increase in the volume of water in the world's oceans. Some people think it is an environmental issue, but in reality, it is an economic, land, investment, and legal liability issue. It has everything to do with the land where we live. SLR is not just a Florida problem. It will affect every coastal city in the world - about 10,000. This requires that we get informed and prepared!

Watch the video for more information.
YES Virginia, Every Vote Counts – Even Yours!

Did you know the United States ranks consistently near the bottom in voter turnout for national elections in developed nations? Countries like Peru, Belgium or Australia that have compulsory voting (all eligible voters must vote) enjoy over 80% voter turnout vs. less than 60% in the US. In 2014 that number hit a low of 37%.
Why do so many people choose to stay home?
·       Voter suppression via election district gerrymandering or repressive voter ID laws has largely disadvantaged minorities, students, the elderly and the poor.
·       Old technology and absence of mail-in, early voting, adequate polling places or weekend voting options has created long waits and major inconvenience for people who must make work or childcare a priority.
·       But most evident is a sense of disillusion, powerlessness, perception of the inability to make a difference and the overwhelming weariness of the current political climate.
However, staying home or sitting out in protest over “imperfect” candidates is not an option if you want your future secured by people who believe in your values and opinions. What actually happens is that you allow an increasingly small segment of the population to vote their agenda, depriving you of your voice.
Think it doesn’t matter? Think again. A candidate recently won a Congressional seat in Pennsylvania by 627 (out of over 225,000) votes in a highly opposition controlled district. In December 2017, a candidate won an Alabama Senatorial race for the first time in 25 years by only 1.7%. In November 2017, the Virginia State elections saw a historical shift as more women and first time candidates changed the political balance in their state legislature. All these elections had a feature in common.  Voter turnout was the highest in years.
Want change? Tired of the way your local and federal governments are run? There is really only one solid solution. Vote. Make your voice heard. Make it count.
For an excellent article on why voting is so important please see:  https://nyti.ms/2Gesp05

HOSPITALITY

When attending a League meeting, hospitality is a great way to meet and welcome people. Would you like to help prepare “lite bites” at Cool Topics and New Member Orientation? 

We arrive a few minutes early to set up. If the meeting is in the morning, we have coffee, fruit, and something sweet. At an evening meeting, we have ice tea, fruit, cheese and crackers, and something tempting. I would love to have your help. 
Contact me: Linda Prior, Linda_Prior@hotmail.com , 561-702-0245.   
SPEAKERS BUREAU EXPANDING TO MEET DEMANDS

The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County is pleased to announce topics offered by our Speakers Bureau. To schedule speakers for your organization, please contact the Chair of our Speakers Bureau, Ethelene Jones at (561) 444-8693 or ethelenejones@gmail.com .
MEMBERSHIP & NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION
by Darlene Kostrub 

Another New Member Orientation will be held on Saturday, May 5th at Palm Beach State College. Registration is at 9:00 a.m. and the program starts promptly at 9:30 a.m., ending at 12:30 p.m.. All Issue Group Chairs willl be present to give information about joining theses committees. You will leave ready for action! You can register by contacting Darlene Kostrub at dkostrub@aol.com or (561) 852-0496. We grew to the second largest League in the nation, first in Florida, when we added 32 new members to PBC League of Women Voters. Please give them a warm welcome! 
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REASONS TO OPPOSE A 2020 CITIZENSHIP QUESTION

A citizenship question will cause some people not to complete a census form due to privacy concerns and fear of deportation. An undercount would lead to less funding and less power for our state. Implications are far reaching: for instance, the New York Times warns that ‘low response rates from any demographic group would undermine the validity of the next decade of health statistics and programs, health experts warn. Scientists use census data to understand the distribution of health conditions across the United States population. In turn, officials use the data to target interventions and distribute federal funding.’
Learn what you can do:
Come to the Voting Rights Coalition meeting Thursday May 3, 2 pm at Compass, 201 North Dixie, Lake Worth. 
 
Nancy Cohen nancyecohen1@icloud.com
WE NEED YOUR HELP!

LWVPBC has grown to the 2nd largest League in the US, 1st in Florida! We want to continue to deliver excellent service to our members, but we need your help. There are a few upcoming projects that are very important, but don't require a long-term committment. Please help our, if you can.

  • Register Voters If you can spend a few hours helping to register voters, please contact Pam Maldonado at maldonadopbc@gmail.com . We have been asked to help register voters at every high school in Palm Beach County! It will require a bit of training and a short on-line test. Then you will be paired with an experienced person to begin registering new voters!

LIVE STREAMING ON FACEBOOK 

If you missed or would like to review one of our events, log onto the LWVPBC Facebook page where many are archived. 
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
by Debra Chandler
The April 15 issue is my first issue of NEWS, having taken the reins from a pro, Carol Stender. There will be a learning curve, so please be patient. We want your comments and suggestions. I promise to try to do a good job, but the shoes I am filling are huge, and I feel woefully underprepared. If there is anyone out there with any desire to help us produce an informative & interesting publication, please step forward.
  • The work is challenging, positively joyful, and definitely fulfilling.
  • The individuals you will have the honor of collaborating with are most admirable and inspiring.
  • The experience will prove expansive and rewarding.
Interested individuals, please contact Debra Chandler at dachandler55@gmail.com .
NEWS EDITORIAL STAFF
Debra Chandler, Managing Editor
Ken Horkavy, IT
Carol Hershey, Marsha Vinson, Karen Corbin
Email questions or comments to info@lwvpbc.org
Making Democracy Work! The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, political organization encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Contact Your League:  info@lwvpbc.org | www.lwvpbc.org