September 2018
Empowerment Grant Will Help
Us Promote Civic Engagement
We're extremely excited and proud to announce that we've received one of eight Empowerment Grants from the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg!

The $100,000 grant will be used to create a St. Petersburg Civic Health Index Report, which will measure civic engagement and volunteerism in St. Petersburg, and to work with the community to increase civic engagement.

As part of the grant, we'll be conducting educational programs like Democracy 101, which links constitutional principles with current issues, and Runaway Inequality, which educates voters about income inequality and how it runs as a common thread through the issues we care about. We're also partnering with local community groups to better understand how we can all work together to increase civic engagement in our city.

Many thanks to LWVSPA's President Julie Kessel, Vice President Lisa Vanover and Director Linsey Grove for their efforts in securing this grant. It will go a long way toward helping us achieve our goals of getting more people actively involved with the community and our political system.
Get Educated: Runaway Inequality &
Voter Education Series
We're holding a Runaway Inequality training on Sept. 14, which will look at the issue of economic inequality and the impact this has on every social issue we care about. The training will explain how we got where we are, and it will give you the tools to talk about income inequality and to describe how it touches every part of our society.

The training will be held Friday, Sept. 14 from 6-9 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church, located at 3803 Haines Road in St. Petersburg.

We're also helping to put on a three-part voter education series in October. The series will be hosted at the Unitarian Universalist Church in St. Petersburg and will cover the following topics:

  • Oct. 2: Affordable housing, restorative justice and education
  • Oct. 16: Gun safety
  • Oct. 25: Proposed constitutional amendments

More information about these events will be released as they come closer, so check our Facebook page or look for the weekly events email for details!
Learn How to Use Social Media for Good
Tired of feeling like social media is a cesspool? Want to figure out how you can use it as a force for good?

Join us on Saturday, Sept. 29 for a hands-on workshop that will help you learn how to harness the power of Facebook and Twitter to promote the causes you believe in.

This workshop is designed for people with all levels of experience with social media. We'll go in-depth on Facebook and Twitter, give you tips to help you spot fake news, give you some strategies for identifying and engaging with trolls, and show you how to start your own social media campaign.

The workshop will be held co-hosted with Pinellas NOW and will be held Sept. 28 from 2:30-5 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Main Library. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, so if you're interested, please sign up at this link . Attendees must bring a WiFi enabled laptop or handheld device, and you must already have Twitter and Facebook accounts created and ready to go when you arrive.
Engage With Us on Social Media!

If you can't attend this workshop, you can still use social media to help the League! We're highly active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but we need your help to get the word out.

The more you engage with us on social media, the more exposure the League gets, which means we can connect with more members, more donors and more volunteers.

Here are five easy things you can do:

  1. Like, comment, or share our posts on Facebook.
  2. Invite your friends to like our FB page.
  3. Rate the League of Women Voters St. Petersburg Area on FB.
  4. Send us your photos from events and meetings (
  5. Check-in to events and tag the LWVSA in your posts.

And if you're already not following us, you can find us here:

Go ahead and give us a follow, and remember, every like, share and retweet helps!
What's Happening Around LWVSPA?
The LWVSPA action teams and committees are hard at work on several issues that are of critical importance to our community.

Check out the updates below; if you see something you're interested in, don't hesitate to reach out. The action teams and committees can use all the help they can get.


The Sustainability Action Team is working to educate the community about the St. Pete Autumn Solar Co-op, with the next info sessions happening Oct. 16 and Nov. 15.

The team's next meeting will take place Monday, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Allendale UMC, 3803 Haines Rd, St. Petersburg. They're also starting monthly new member coffee chats, which are a great opportunity to get to know what this team is working on. Email Co-chairs Lisa Vanover, Carol Marks or Jen Underhill for more information.

Reproductive Rights & Justice

The Reproductive Rights Action Team has teamed up with groups from all over Pinellas County to promote comprehensive sex education in public schools. They also continue to raise awareness about "fake clinics" using social media and a public visibility event where the team partnered with Progress Florida and Pinellas NOW.

The team's next meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Stacey Kroto for more information.


Email Team Leads Robin Jones or Iris Yetter for more information about getting involved with this action group.

Gun Safety

Members of Gun Safety Action Team canvassed St. Petersburg's neighborhoods throughout the summer part of the City's Not My Son initiative. Members also met with state Rep. Ben Diamond and state Sen. Darryl Rouson to discuss legislative priorities, and they're continuing to conduct research and produce fact sheets and reading lists related to gun safety. They expect to have those materials posted on the website by the end of September.

The next Gun Safety Action Team meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church. Contact Team Lead Sharon Winters for more information.

The Immigration Action Team is trying to obtain information about immigrants held for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. They've also created "Before You Vote" information cards to educate the public about the reality - not the myths - surrounding immigration in the U.S., and they're working with local college students on projects related to the Dreamers.

The action group will be holding its first quarterly Immigration Info Night on Oct. 25 at the LWVSPA office. If you'd like to get involved with the Immigration Action Team, email Team Lead  Karen Coale for more information.

Membership Services

The Membership Services committee is working to streamline the onboarding process for new members, to build relationships throughout the community, and to find out how to better connect with our current League members.

If you're interested in helping out with the Membership Committee, contact Chair Melanie Sheehan.


The Media & Publicity committee spent much of the last month promoting the Pinellas County Voter Guide ahead of the Primary Election, and they've also done a lot of work to get the word out about Gulfport Votes 100%, which is an exciting plan to get every single registered voter in Gulfport to commit to voting in the upcoming election.

This committee meets monthly on the 1st Thursday @ 5:30 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Amy Weintraub for more information.
Voter Service

The Voter Service team continues to be very active, educating voters about the constitutional amendments, tabling at events and registering voters. They need lots of help, so if this is something you're interested in, now's the time to get involved!

This month, the committee is meeting Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Raechel Garafalo for more information.
LWVF & LWVSPA in the News
Upcoming Events
Sept. 14: Runaway Inequality Workshop
6 p.m. @ Allendale United Methodist Church, 3083 Haines Rd., St. Petersburg

Sept. 19: Cocktails & Conversation
6-8 p.m. @ El Chapo Taco, 3038 Beach Blvd., Gulfport

Sept. 25: New Member Orientation
7-8 p.m. @ Main Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

Sept. 29: Using Twitter and Facebook for Good
2:30-5 p.m. @ Main Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

Oct. 1: The Waning of Pax Americana?
2-3:30 p.m. @ Barbara S. Ponce Library, 7770 52nd St. N, Pinellas Park

Oct. 9: General Membership
6:15-7:45 p.m. @ Main Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, St. Petersburg
Community Events
Sept. 8: Desmond Meade - Voting Rights Restoration for Felons
10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Dunedin Public Library, 223 Douglas Ave, Dunedin
Hosted by: League of Women Voters of North Pinellas County

Sept. 8: Rise Up Ringing! Peoples March for Climate Jobs Justice St Pete
10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. @ Williams Park, 330 2nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg
Hosted by: Peoples Climate Movement and local partners

Sept. 10: Gardening to Reverse Global Warming
6-8:30 p.m. @ Enoch D Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave S, St. Petersburg
Hosted by: Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition

Sept. 10: Citizen: An Evening With Claudia Rankine
7:30-8:30 p.m. @ Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg

Sept. 15: Pamper St. Pete
10 a.m.-1 p.m. @ Enoch D Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave S, St. Petersburg
Hosted by: St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation and City of St. Petersburg

Sept. 15: Bands and Ballots
5 p.m. @ Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa
Hosted by: March for Our Lives Tampa Bay

Sept. 25: Refuge: The Story of St. Petersburg's Jasmina Kuljanac
7 p.m. @ Arts Exchange, 515 22nd Street South, St Petersburg

Oct. 4: Anytown Advocacy Academy Orientation & Information Session
6-8 p.m. @ Community Tampa Bay, 2727 Ulmerton Rd., Clearwater

Oct. 6: For Freedom - Create Signs with the MFA
10 a.m.-2 p.m. @ Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg
For Other Upcoming Events
Membership: Are You Up for Renewal?
Join us. Renew your membership. We make a difference.

We need your support to continue our work in the community and at state and national levels. Whether you want to be an active member or a supporting member, your dues help advance the League's mission.

We invite you to renew today !
We offer five levels of membership :
Carrie Chapman Catt (Gold) for $250*
Susan B. Anthony (Silver) for $125*
Household for $78* 
Individual for $52
Student for $26
*Includes two members residing at the same address.

Only $6 of your basic membership goes to the support the activities of the local league; a large percentage of what you pay for an individual membership goes to support our state and national Leagues. By selecting the Gold or Silver membership level, most of your dues will help support the work of our local League.

You can also offer your financial support by upgrading your membership, offering an additional monthly, quarterly or annual donation, and encouraging others to do the same. 

Please also consider including the League in your estate planning.  Your gifts allow us to continue our education, advocacy and leadership programs to forward our mission in Making Democracy Work in the St Petersburg area. If you would like to discuss an estate planning contribution or other gift, please contact our office
2017-2018 League Leadership
President: Julie Kessel
Second Vice President: Lisa Vanover
Secretary: Susan Mayer
Treasurer: Caroline Bloodworth
Caitlin Constantine
Amanda Dodge
Raechel Garafalo
Linsey Grove
Ken Wrede

Visit our website for more information about our local leaders.

Click here for more information about our education and advocacy groups.
Gun Safety: Sharon Winters
Immigration: Karen Coale, Lydia Castle
Health Care: Julie Kessel
Reproductive Rights: Stacey Kroto
Campaign Finance Reform/Social Justice: Julie Kessel, Karen Lieberman
Education: Robin Jones, Iris Yetter
Voter Service: Raechel Garafalo
Sustainability: Lisa Vanover
International Relations: Judy McSwine
Media/Publicity Lead: Amy Weintraub
Office Administrator: Julia Sharp
League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area
Telephone: 727-896-5197
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization,
encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase
understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy .