THE VOTER
March 2019
Save the Date:
The Annual Meeting and Luncheon
Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 28, when we'll have our annual meeting to vote on the program and slate of officers for the 2019-2020 year and then we'll follow it with lunch and a special guest speaker. This year's meeting will be held at the Morean Center for Clay, located at 420 22nd St. S in St. Petersburg.

This year the special guest speaker is Brenda "Sue" Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate and a member of the first class to admit women. Fulton was also instrumental in helping to overturn the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and the ban on transgender members of the military. She currently works as the Chair and Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, making her the first openly gay member of a New Jersey state cabinet.

Fulton spoke at last year's National Conference on Citizenship, where she received the 2018 HOOAH Award, given for distinguished post-military service. You can see her full speech here.

We also have a few more things planned to make this year's luncheon a fun and engaging event, so make sure to watch your inbox for more details. Tickets will go on sale soon!
Action Alert: Stop Fracked Gas in Tampa Bay!
The Sustainability Action Team is asking members to take the following actions to fight fracked gas in the Tampa Bay area.

Tampa Electric Company (TECO) is doubling down on climate-disrupting fossil fuels like coal and fracked gas, even though Tampa tops the list of U.S. cities most vulnerable to climate change and accelerating sea level rise.

TECO wants to spend nearly $1 billion to build a fracked gas pipeline and a massive gas-burning power plant, and to continue burning coal at existing units - all without even testing the market for clean, safe, money-saving alternatives like solar.

Watch this video to learn more about why this issue is so critical to the future of Tampa Bay.

Remind TECO that this is the Sunshine State. Say "no" to fracked gas and coal in Tampa Bay.

Click this link from the Sierra Club to send an e-letter to Nancy Tower, CEO of Tampa Electric Co. and to share your opposition to fracked gas in the Tampa Bay area.

We're also asking members who can to rally with other League members and partner organizations on Monday, March 11 starting at 5 p.m. in Tampa. More details are available at this link. Email Lisa Vanover if you can attend.
The LWVSPA Works Hard -
and We Play Hard Too!
League members have been hard at work over the past several months on all sorts of issues and activities, but as those of you who attended the International Women's Day celebration last week know, we've got to balance the hard work with some fun, and we've got two events coming up that'll let us do just that.

The literary non-profit Wordier Than Thou is holding its annual fundraiser Broad Comedy: A Celebration of Women in Comedy, and this year, the LWVSPA will be one of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser!

The event will take place March 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Queens Head, located at 2501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. The suggested donation is $10, with limited VIP seating available for $25 (includes a front row seat and other surprises!) The list of performers will be announced later, so check out the FB event page for more details as they're released.

And then next month, join us for Hopped Up on Democracy! Engage St Pete will be hosting a democracy games-and-trivia night on Wednesday, April 3 from 7-9 p.m. at the Studio@620, located at 620 1st Ave. S in St. Petersburg

Learn new stuff! Impress your friends with your democracy mojo! And enjoy a donation-based bar thanks to our favorite hopped-up Founding Father, Samuel Adams. Tell or bring a friend who you wish would vote! More information about this event can be found on Facebook.
Congratulations to the Voter Guide Team!
Last month, the team that worked on LWVSPA's new online Voter Guide and its marketing plan were honored at WEDU's annual Be More Awards luncheon. The LWVSPA was nominated for the Be More Informed Award, and we're thrilled to announce that we won!

Kudos to the team members who made this incredible effort happen: Raechel Garafalo, Traci Pichette, Marti Moorfield, Caitlin Constantine, Mary Hanrahan, Kathi Garrity, Amy Weintraub, Linsey Grove, Amanda Dodge and our web developer Mary-Ann Zykin.

We're also grateful to the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg for providing the financial support that made this project possible, and also to all of the other nominees at the Be More Awards, who show how hard work and compassion can make a difference in the lives of our fellow community members.
Member Spotlight: March 2019
Name: Beth Murphy

WHAT is your favorite experience with the LWVSPA?

I really enjoy meeting intelligent and conscious women who are passionate and are involved with the various meetings and events. It’s always interesting and an adventure of sorts.

WHERE do you find inspiration within the LWVSPA?

One of the LWVSPA's principles "That responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people" in particular speaks to me. Freedom is imperative and I think we are in danger right now of losing our basic rights and freedom. Freedom without responsibility is tyranny.

WHY did you join the LWVSPA?

League board member Susan Kendall Mayer brought me aboard.

HOW are you involved with LWVSPA?

Mostly Media & Publicity Committee and other events I can help out with.   

WHEN not with the LWVSPA?

I am self-employed and am an artist. I swim, bike, and like to travel.

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Thanks to Stacey Jurewicz for collecting and editing the answers to these questions! If you're interested in being featured as a League Member of the Month, email her and let her know!
What's Happening Around LWVSPA?
Gun Safety

The Gun Safety Action Team has been tracking nearly 50 firearm-related bills moving through the Florida Legislature, including bills that would ban assault weapons, strengthen background checks and tighten licensing requirements. They are also watching SB 7030, which proposes arming teachers, and meeting with local state lawmakers to advocate for the LWVFL's five gun safety legislative priorities. Click here to read more.

The team is also co-sponsoring a free screening of "The Armor of Light" with Moms Demand Action at 6:30 p.m. on March 27. "The Armor of Light" follows evangelical minister Rev. Rob Schenck and Rep. Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, a teenage shooting victim in Florida, who ask if is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life. Following the screening, speakers will reflect on their own experience with gun violence and facilitate a conversation with participants. More information about the screening can be found on the FB event page.

The next Gun Safety Action Team meeting will be held Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church. Contact Team Lead Sharon Winters for more information. To learn more about the issues and how to take action, visit lwvspa.org/gun-issues.

National Popular Vote

This action group is working to educate the public and legislators about the benefits of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would instruct our electors to vote for the Presidential candidate who captures the most votes in all 50 states. 

Learn about how we can align the popular vote with the electoral system to elect the President and Vice-President at our informational workshop on April 4, 2019 at Allendale United Methodist Church, featuring guest speaker Deb Mazzaferro.

If you are interested in learning more or joining the local committee, please reach out to Deb Mazzaferro or Marty Shapiro .

Immigration

Members of the Immigration Action Group recently participated as judges for Pinellas County Schools' entries in the National History Day contest. The winner this year was eight-grader Michalia Makryllos, whose project focused on Bessie Coleman, a black female stunt pilot who performed in the 1920s. Congrats to Michalia! Read more about her project here.

The action group's next meeting will be held Monday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. at a member's home. If you'd like to get involved with the Immigration Action Team, email Team Lead  Karen Coale for more information.
Sustainability

The team's next meeting will take place Thursday, March 21 at 6:45 p.m. at the Allendale United Methodist Church in Room 107 . Email Co-chairs Lisa Vanover , Carol Marks or Jen Underhill for more information.

Education

The Education Action Group is preparing for the 2019 Legislative session, which includes several bills aimed at arming teachers, reducing public school base funding, and dramatically increasing the funding going to charter schools and tax-credit scholarships. Read more here.

To find out more about how you can get involved with this action group, contact Iris Yetter or Robin Jones .

Reproductive Justice

The team's next meeting is Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Stacey Kroto for more information about getting involved with this action group.

Membership Services

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

Media/Publicity

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 committee's next meeting is Tuesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the LWVSPA Office, 233 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg. Email Team Lead Raechel Garafalo for more information.
Upcoming Events
March 11: The People's Forum on TECO
5-9 p.m. @ Hilton Garden Inn Tampa/Brandon, 4328 Garden Vista Dr, Riverview

March 24: Broad Comedy: A Celebration of Funny Women/LWVSPA Fundraiser
1-3 p.m. @ The Queens Head, 2501 Central Ave, St. Petersburg

March 27: "The Armor of Light: Faith, Firearms and One Minister's Journey" Screening
6:30-8:30 p.m. @ St. Petersburg College - Midtown, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg

March 30: St. Petersburg Solar Celebration
1:30-3:30 p.m. @ Pinellas Ale Works, 1962 1st Ave. S, St. Petersburg

April 1: International Relations Study Group: Russia's Foreign Policy
2-3:30 p.m. @ Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N, Pinellas Park

April 3: Hopped Up on Democracy
7-9 p.m. @ The Studio@620, 620 1st Ave. S, St. Petersburg

April 4: Let's Talk: The National Popular Vote
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.

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 $7 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

The following memberships are up for renewal during this 3-month span. We invite you to  renew today !
March 2019
Safiyyah Ameer
Brianna Auker
Wilfred Benitez-Aulet
Stuart Bernhard
Sheila Bernhard
Anne (Antoinette) Burnham
Laura Burns
Rebecca Clark
Karen & Dave Coale
Dave Coale
Emma Conover
Antonette DeForest
Julize Diaz
Kathleen Duffy
Pamela Ferguson
Carol Fisher
Stephanie Flynn
Ann Fox
Jeff Fox
Karen Frusher
Raechel Garafalo
Danielle Gaus
Cynthia Gill
Maryann Hamilton
Barbara Hammond
Renata Happle
Osiris Hernandez
Randi Hilleso
Debora Hill-Ray
Nancy Jacobson
Raymond Kervahn
Isabella Koeut-Futch
Renee Long
Sherri Lundquist
Madeline Lundquist
Ekta Mangat
Sarah Anne Marraffino
Nicole McLaren
Mia McSheffrey
Sarah Miller
Mary Nunnenkamp
Rian Phelps
Ana Maria Quintero
Brianna Ray
Beth Settle
Julia Sharp
Melanie Sheehan
Loretta Siniff
Vicki & Chris Smaridge
Bridget Taylor
Kathleen Tobin
Lupe Torre
Peggy (Virginia) & Charles Tucker
Amy Weintraub
Caroline Weintraub
Rebecca Wilson
February 2019
Emily Bell
Mary Berglund
Mary Beth Bosco
Susan Burr
Gregory Carlin
Meg Ebner
Mary Fahy & Roy Gardner
Linda Fife
Harry Harvey
Susan Hofstader
Robin Jones
Amy Kamradt
Amy Kedron
Robert Kerstein
Kate Lamb
Dwight Lawton
Bruce LeBaron & Kathi Grau
JoAnne Lehrfeld & Carrie Goldberg
Cynthia Lippert
Doris & Kaitlin Lovering
Mary Ann Marger
Mal Needle
Nancy Parker
Karen Raihill
Armana Rehman
Darden Rice
Carolyn Sinclair
Deborah Terhune
Lisa Vanover
Charles Vanover
Jeffrey Villet
Livia Zien
January 2019
Cecilia Allen
Donna Brewer
Matt Broerman
James Clapp
Gina Driscoll
Abby Fogarty
Stacey Jurewicz
Misty & Edward Landers
Judy Lybrand-Kuhn
Michelle Maccini
Fred McKay
Maria McKay
Shari Oster
Gerni Oster
Elizabeth Reynolds
Karol Rowan
Corrine St. Jean
Charles Voirin
Holly & James Wainwright
Linda Welsh
2018-2019 League Leadership
OFFICERS
President: Julie Kessel
First Vice President: Linsey Grove
Second Vice President: Lisa Vanover
Secretary: Susan Mayer
Treasurer: Caroline Bloodworth
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Caitlin Constantine
Amanda Dodge
Raechel Garafalo
Stephanie Owens
Ken Wrede

Visit our website for more information about our local leaders.

Click here for more information about our education and advocacy groups.
EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY LEADS
Gun Safety: Sharon Winters
Immigration: Karen Coale
Health Care: Julie Kessel
Reproductive Rights: Stacey Kroto
Campaign Finance Reform/Social Justice: Julie Kessel, Karen Lieberman
Education: Iris Yetter, Robin Jones
Voter Service: Raechel Garafalo
Sustainability: Lisa Vanover, Carol Marks, Jen Underhill
National Popular Vote: Deb Mazzaferro, Marty Shapiro
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 .