August 2018
The New Pinellas County Voter Guide Is Here!
The 2018 Pinellas County Voter Guide is officially here! The Voter Guide has all of the nonpartisan election information you've come to expect from the League of Women Voters - and now it's more powerful than ever.

You can find the new Voter Guide at It includes :

  • a mobile-friendly site that's easier to navigate
  • the ability to create a personalized sample ballot that lets you compare the candidates who will appear on your ballot
  • nonpartisan information about federal, state and local races, as well as candidates' responses to questions on key issues
  • analysis of the 13 proposed constitutional amendments (these will appear on ballots after the primary election)
  • voter resources including details about where, when and how to register to vote, plus a lot more!

Now that the Voter Guide is live, we need your help to get the word out about it! We've made it easy for you to do that with our social media toolkit. Just vis it and share the ready-made social media posts you'll find there. It's a simple yet effective way to help your friends and family become informed about the candidates they'll be voting on this month.

And don't forget these important dates:

  • Early Voting: Aug. 18 through Aug. 26
  • Deadline to Request Mail Ballot: Aug. 26
  • Primary Election: Aug. 28
Meet the Judicial Candidates!
Voters often don't hear very much about judicial races, even though judges play a very critical role in our government. Now you'll have a chance to judge the candidates for yourself!

The Aug. 7 judicial community forum offers a unique opportunity to hear from the judicial candidates themselves and to learn more about them before casting your ballot.

The forum moderators will ask a set of pre-determined questions that conform to the rules of Florida's judicial code of conduct, which governs candidates' public speech. Sorry - you won't have the chance to ask questions at this forum.

This forum will be held at 6 p.m. at the Enoch Davis Center, located at 1111 18th Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

This event is co-sponsored by the LWVSPA and the National Council of Negro Women - St. Pete Metro Section.
Exposing the Truth About Florida's Fake Clinics
The Reproductive Rights & Justice action team is working to educate the public about the truth behind crisis pregnancy centers, which represent themselves as legitimate health providers but exist primarily to shame women out of accessing abortion services.

A law passed earlier this year gives these centers permanent state funding, even though they are largely unregulated and offer limited - if any - medical care. This "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"segment offers a good explainer about the deceptive tactics used by these centers.

The action team preparing to hold a visibility event on Aug. 23 and they need you to join them. To participate, fill out this form and you'll be sent an email with more information closer to the date of the event.
Gulfport Votes 100%
What would it look like if everyone participated in our democracy? It sounds pretty amazing, right? Back in 2004, Ingrid Bredenberg launched a plan in a small town in Massachusetts and nearly accomplished exactly that.

Now Ingrid, who serves on the Voter Services committee, wants to bring a similar initiative to Gulfport.

Gulfport Votes 100% is a plan to engage leaders and community members alike in working toward the goal of full democratic participation. It's ambitious but also very possible - and Ingrid needs your help to make it happen.

If you live in Gulfport and this sounds like something you're interested in - which it probably is, seeing as though you're a League member! - then go to the Gulfport Votes tab on this Google Sheet and add your information. Someone will be in touch with you to tell you how you can get involved!
Join Us for St. Petersburg's
Sustainability Summit
St. Petersburg is continuing to move towards a sustainable future, and the LWVSPA is invested in helping make that happen. The City, along with the LWVSP, the Florida Suncoast Sierra Club and SELF Gulf Coast, is co-sponsoring the 2018 Sustainability Summit on Aug. 14.

The summit will give residents the chance to learn more about the City's Integrated Sustainability Action Plan and to share their own ideas and strategies for sustainability in St. Petersburg. You can read more about the City's plan for sustainability and resilience by visiting

Join us Aug. 14 at 3-7:30 p.m. at Childs Park YMCA, 691 43rd St. S in St. Petersburg.
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 co-hosting the 2018 St. Pete Sustainability Summit on Aug. 14. They're also continuing to work with city leaders to push for a ban on single-use plastics like straws and grocery bags and promoting affordable solar power via solar co-ops throughout Pinelllas County.

The team meets monthly on the 3rd Monday @ 6:30 p.m. at Allendale UMC, 3803 Haines Rd, St. Petersburg. Email Lisa Vanover for more information.

Reproductive Rights & Justice

The Reproductive Rights Action Team is working to educate the public about deceitful crisis pregnancy centers, and they're preparing to hold a visibility event on Aug. 23 (see above for more details). They're also co-sponsoring an event for Women's Equality Day, which is Aug. 26. Details will be coming soon so save the date and keep an eye on our Facebook page or your inbox for more information!

The team meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday @ 7 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Stacey Kroto for more information.


The Education Action Team is working to educate the public as to why we oppose Amendment 8. If you want more information about why Amendment 8 isn't exactly what it seems, read this analysis by Team Lead Robin Jones, who clearly lays out the issues with the amendment. The state League has filed a lawsuit aiming to have this amendment removed from the ballot, so stay tuned to see what happens with the lawsuit.

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

The Gun Safety Action Team has continued to canvass St. Petersburg's neighborhoods as part of the City's Not My Son initiative. Team members are hitting the streets every Friday night throughout the summer with the goal of curbing violence by building relationships. The team would love for you to join them as they walk the streets to promote this positive message. Learn more about how to get involved by visiting our site.

The next Gun Safety Action Team meeting will be held Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church. Contact Team Lead Sharon Winters for more information.


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 Co-chairs Linsey Grove and Melanie Sheehan.


The Media & Publicity committee is working to keep the public informed about what's going on with the League. The members work with all forms of media, from social media to newspapers and TV stations, to let the community know what's going on with the League. The committee is always looking for people who are interested in communications, marketing, PR and digital media, as well as people who know how to take good photographs.

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 has been extremely busy during the past month. They've helped put on three school board candidate forums all over the county (check out this great Times article about one of them), they've co-organized a luncheon featuring the judicial candidates, they're co-sponsoring a judicial community forum on Aug. 7 - and they're just getting started. With the election season getting under way, the Voter Service team is super active and is always looking for volunteers to help with voter registration, tabling at events and helping out at candidate forums.

This committee meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month @ 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
Aug. 7: Judicial Candidate Forum
6 p.m. @ Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S, St. Petersburg

Aug. 14: 2018 St. Pete Sustainability Summit
3-7:30 p.m. @ Childs Park YMCA, 691 43rd St. S., St. Petersburg

Aug. 14: General Membership Meeting
6:15 p.m. @ Main Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

Aug. 15: Cocktails & Conversation
6-7:30 p.m. @ The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge, 540 1st St. SE, St. Petersburg

Aug. 23: Expose the Truth About Anti-Abortion Fake Clinics
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Location TBD
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 .