February 2018
The Voting Rights Restoration
Amendment Will Be on the Ballot!
After months of hard work, the amendment to restore non-violent felons' right to vote is on the ballot! The League was one of several organizations that collected ballots from more than 1.1 million Floridians, ensuring the amendment will appear on the November 2018 ballot as Amendment 4.

Thanks to everyone who took part in this effort, whether that was by attending meetings, educating your friends and neighbors or collecting signed ballots from your community. You've truly shown what it means to make democracy work!

We still have more work to do, as we need to continue educating our community about this critically important issue. Head over to the LWVSPA website to learn more about this amendment and how you can get involved with the push to restore voting rights to people who have been convicted of non-violent felonies.
Want to Go Solar...
But Not Really Sure How?
If you've ever wanted to take advantage of solar power but aren't really sure how, you're in luck - the LWVSPA has teamed up with the City of St. Petersburg, Solar United Neighbors of Florida and the Suncoast Sierra Club to launch solar co-operatives in St. Petersburg.

Solar co-ops make it easy and affordable for Floridians to take advantage of our most abundant energy source - the sun!

We're helping put on three info sessions to help you learn more about the benefits of going solar and to demystify the process of getting involved with a solar co-op.

The first info session will take place Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Sunshine Senior Center, located at 330 5th St. N., St. Petersburg. Please RSVP if you plan to attend!

We need volunteers to help us spread the word by speaking at neighborhood associations and tabling at the info sessions. If you're interested in helping out, send an email to Lisa Vanover, Sustainability Action Group Co-Chair.
Gun Violence: What Can We Do?
Gun violence affects people in every part of our city and our country, and it remains a persistent public safety issue. The LWVSPA Gun Safety Action Team believes we must “think globally and act locally.”

We invite you to hear St. Petersburg City Council Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Rev. Manuel Sykes, licensed psychologist Amanda Thalji-Raitano, Dr. David Berman, and facilitator Ryan Mitchell as they share their personal stories and professional insights on the subject of gun violence.

Afterwards, join us as we explore how we as a community can be effective advocates for preventing gun violence. This event is purposefully scheduled during the 2018 Florida legislative session and will be outcome- and action-oriented.

"Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation" will take place Feb. 13 at 7-8:30 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church, located at 3803 Haines Rd. N, St. Petersburg.

Our community partners include the Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg, Allendale United Methodist Church, American Civil Liberties Union of Pinellas, Bethel Community Baptist Church, City of St. Petersburg, Leif Nissen Foundation, Lakewood United Church of Christ, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America/St. Pete, Pinellas County Urban League, St. Petersburg Quakers and Zonta Club of Pinellas County.

Learn more about this issue by reading our Gun Safety Action Guide and watching our recent community conversation with St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway.
Heads Up: The Annual Program Planning Meeting Is This Month
The annual LWVSPA Program Planning meeting is coming up and we need you to participate! During this meeting, we'll discuss all proposed initiatives for the 2018-2019 year, gauge support for those initiatives, and form action groups.

Your involvement is critical, because it helps the LWVSPA select the initiatives that will be most meaningful for our members.

The initiatives developed during this meeting will be presented for final approval at the annual general meeting on April 21.

The meeting will be held Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Quaker Religious Society Meeting House, located at 130 19th Ave. SE., St. Petersburg.
How Are You Making Democracy Work?
We Want to Know!
Democracy is not a spectator sport - it takes all of us coming together to make it work. We want you to tell us: How are you making democracy work?

Have you helped register voters? Are you talking to your neighbors about issues that matter to your community? Have you spoken to your legislators about the issues you care most about? Tell us how you're making democracy work!

Please note that we may share your story in future LWVSPA newsletters and social media posts.
LWVSPA Member's Letter to the Editor
Published in the Tampa Bay Times
LWVSPA member Stacey Kroto wrote a letter to the editor in response to a Jan. 12 article published in the Tampa Bay Times (" Florida House approves bill to help anti-abortion centers"). Her letter was published on Jan. 16. Nice work, Stacey!
Letters to the editor are a great way to publicly advocate for the issues you care about. We've put together a tip sheet to help you write letters to the editor that are effective and meaningful -- and we've also included some strategies that will increase your chances of getting published.
LWVSPA & LWVF in the Media
Support All Undocumented Immigrants
This has been a busy month for our Action Group. On Jan. 24, we hosted an educational event where three DREAMers covered by DACA protections shared their stories. What a trio of talented and brave young people! After hearing their stories, attendees wrote postcards to their congressional representative and both U.S. senators from Florida.

This week we sent an Action Alert encouraging all of you to also contact your federal legislators and ask that they vote YES on a DREAM Act that will provide a path to citizenship. If you missed our notice, follow the instructions under “Take Action” on the  Immigration Action Guide .

Upcoming Events
Feb. 5: International Relations Study Group: Latin America
2 p.m. @ Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N., Pinellas Park 

Feb. 7: St. Pete Winter Solar Co-op Info Session #1
6-8 p.m. @ The Sunshine Center, 330 5th St. N., St. Petersburg

Feb. 8: Candidate Forum: South Pasadena Commission
7-8 p.m. @ 7047 Sunset Dr. S., South Pasadena

Feb. 12: Candidate Forum: Redington Beach Commission
7-8 p.m. @ Redington Beach Town Hall, 105 164th Ave., Redington Beach

Feb. 13: Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation
7-8:30 p.m. @ Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Rd., St. Petersburg

Feb. 17: Film Screening: “Tomorrow”
2-4 p.m. @ St. Petersburg Public Library, 3745 9th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

Feb. 21: Program Planning Meeting
6-8 p.m. @ Quaker Religious Society, 130 19th Ave. SE., St. Petersburg

Feb. 27: Film Screening: “Backpack Full of Cash”
6:30-8:30 p.m. @ Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Rd., 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.

The following memberships are up for renewal during this 3-month span. We invite you to renew today !
Tami Elizabeth Acosta-Urban
Jan Allyn
Jennifer Andreani
Lise Beane
June Bedford
Mary Berglund
Peter Betzer
Susan Betzer
Karen Burns
Susan Burr
Denise Chezek
Dave Coale
Karen Coale
Caitlin Constantine
Vicki Cooper-Naughton
Kathleen Cote
Tracy Crabtree
Marilee Cunningham
Martha Curran
Ruth Dady
Linda Darin
Theresa Darlington
Jemea Douglas
Kristie Dowling
Kimberly Drake
Kathleen Duffy
Linda Edington
Jennifer Findley-Fox
Carol Fisher
Karen Flannery
Brigritte Foster
Elizabeth Fountain
Cynthia Fox
James Fox
Judy Gallizzi
Raechel Garafalo
Diane Gardner-Rhoden
Rachel Gelbmann
MaryAnn Goodrich
Linsey Grove
Kathy Gustafson-Hilton
Catherine Hamel
Cathy Hansen
Holly Hartman
Melissa Hopkins
Deborah Howard
Connie Hubbard
Helen Igar
Consuelo Ingledue
Sally Israel
William Israel
Dianne Johnson
Gail Johnson
Theresa Jones
Debra Justus
Karen Knop
Sara Knotts
Stacey Kroto
Sarah Kruse
Kathy Kulaas
Barbara Lagasi
Kay Lahdenpera

Caroline Lanford
Dwight Lawton
JoAnne Lehrfeld
Karen Lieberman
Barbara Linder
Diane Lohr
Marilyn Maginley
Mary Mahoney
Karen Marder
Mary Ann Marger
Diane McKinstry
June Mohns
Beth Murphy
Janet Murphy
Patricia Nardozzi
Nina Nicholson
Dorece Norris
Leah Ogren
Floy Lynn Olsen
Stephanie Owens
Lisa Pagnotta
Mary Jane Park
Marcia Piacentino
Alyssa Premru
Lydia Rector
Elizabeth (Betsy) Reynolds
Kathleen Robinson
Sharon Rose
Lucille Ruga
Lucille Ruga
Mary Sanders
Julia Saunders
Katharine Saunders
Sherry Sexton
Melanie Sheehan
Margaret Siembieda
Francia Smith
Zayne Smith
Carolyn Spears
Nancy Stein
Nancy Tait
Bridget Taylor
Donna Terrence
Ahna Thaxton
Theresa Timmick
Susan Tuite
Charles Vanover
Lisa Vanover
Susan Vincent
Alexander Wagenaar
Yvonne Walden
Scott Willis
Patricia Wood
Susan Yormark
Livia Zien

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.

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.
2017-2018 League Leadership
President: Julie Kessel
First Vice President: Sharon Winters
Secretary: Lisa Vanover
Treasurer: Caroline Bloodworth
Caitlin Constantine
Raechel Garafalo
Linsey Grove
Susan Mayer
Lindsay Murdock
Marty Shapiro

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: Amy Weintraub
Campaign Finance Reform/Social Justice: Julie Kessel, Karen Lieberman
Education: Robin Jones, Iris Yetter
Voter Service: Raechel Garafalo
Voter Registration: Lindsay Murdock
Sustainability: Lisa Vanover
International Relations: Judy McSwine
Social Media/Promotion 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 .