November 2017
It's League Leadership Time
LWVSPA Nominating Committee Wants You!

Interesting and interested people
Doing interesting work and
Having interesting dialog...
Does this sound like a group that might interest you? Join the LWVSPA Board of Directors to be part of a concerned, committed, and fun group of people. You will be able to:
  • Interact with other dynamic women and men
  • Support good governance-a critical current issue
  • Make things happen for the League and for St. Pete and the beach communities
  • Help set the direction for LWVSPA
  • Expand your commitment to the League
  • Build your leadership skills       
  • Enhance your resume'
  • Raise your visibility
Please do not be shy! If this is an opportunity you or someone you know may want to pursue, simply contact Gina Rothlein, Nominating Committee Chair, to learn more.
New Solar Co-op is Charging Up!
Get ready to pitch in to help us promote the next St. Pete Solar Co-Op with Solar United Neighbors of Florida (formerly FL SUN), showcase Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), and highlight the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's (SACE) Next Car Pledge at a press conference in mid-January! 

Help get folks interested in going solar and get them to the press conference and three info sessions we will be having in January, February, and March. 

We are especially interested in helping people of different incomes and backgrounds go solar through the co-op with programs like Solar and Energy Loan Fund. LWVSPA was selected for the U.S. Department of Energy Sun Shot Solar in Your Community Challenge to assist lower and middle income households go solar. The Challenge runs Jan 1 to Oct 31, 2018.

Please email Sustainability Co-Chair Lisa Vanover for more info, to get on the list of people to help us launch the next solar co-op, and to tell us about partner organizations we should invite to the solar co-op press conference! 
Voting Rights Petition Update:
Call for Volunteers
The state League petition numbers are starting to come alive! We have collected nearly 10k, but we committed to 30K by December 31st. In St. Pete, we are at 15% of our goal and need to gather 4,000 petitions in the next eight weeks. We have a lot of work to do!

Overall the campaign working to restore people's right to vote once they've paid their debt to society has collected 750,000 petitions which are currently under review.  300,000 (of the 750K) have been verified and sent to the Florida Division of Elections. We are collecting 1 million to offset any petitions that can't be verified.

How can you help? Well, glad you asked! The Second Chances Campaign is asking all volunteers to make a huge push and gather as many petitions as we can on November 11th as part of a statewide.  Please join the St. Pete Team.  We will meet at the League office at 10:00 am for various assignments throughout the city. Locations will include RibFest, Saturday Morning Market, and the St. Pete Art Walk. Email Stephanie Owens if you can join us on Saturday, November 11. Read on for more opportunities...
Immigration Action Group News
Locally and in our schools, we fear that an increased deportation of one or both parents has had an impact on Pinellas County students. New enrollment in English as a Second Language (ESOL) has dropped by 500 at the Elementary School level this school year.
Where have the families gone? Informal data indicates that that some families waited until the end of last school year and then returned to Mexico. 63% of the ESOL students are Hispanic -- many from the Hildago area of Mexico, which actually speaks a form of the Mayan language. Our biggest concern is that children need to feel safe in order to learn.
State wise we will soon begin to prepare for the 2018 Legislative session by reviewing proposed legislation that could impact immigrants. Though immigration law is considered federal provenance that has not stopped 9 punitive bills being passed by the Florida House during the past two sessions.
Federally our current focus is to advocate for passage of the DREAM Act in both houses of Congress. Read more...
LWV Supports the National Popular Vote
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who wins the most popular votes is elected president, and it will come into effect only when it will guarantee that outcome. As of September 2017, it has been adopted by ten states and the District of Columbia. Read more here.

Contact LWVSPA member Deb Mazzaferro for presentations to any community group.  
Campaign Finance Reform in St. Pete:
Expert Defense Lined Up in Case of Court Challenge reports, "If St. Petersburg gets legally challenged next year when its recently passed campaign finance law goes into effect, the city will have big-time representation (at no cost) for a case some predict could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

David Boies and his firm Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP has agreed to represent St. Pete pro bono. Boies represented Vice President Al Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court in the contested Florida vote count following the 2000 presidential election. He also helped the U.S. government defeat Microsoft in 2000 on an antitrust case."
Reproductive Rights Member Makes the TBT
Our own Judy Gallizzi had the lead letter-to-the-editor on Friday's Tampa Bay Times editorial page. Thank you, sister, for being the voice of reason to Washington.
Help Wanted: Website Maintenance
We are seeking help in keep the LWVSPA website up to date. Some experience with web editing is preferred. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Amy Weintraub.
Election Day cometh
Dozens of League members have been engaged in Voter Registration and Voter Education efforts during this election season -- Thank you!

As November 7 approaches, be sure to steer friends and neighbors to these resources:
Upcoming Events
Nov 17: White Nationalism, Anti-Semitism & Neo-Facism
Threats to US Democracy
Our League is a co-sponsor of the The Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture Series of Temple Beth-El. In partnership with Allendale United Methodist Church, the next lecture will present Chip Berlet.

  • 7:00 PM Social Justice Shabbat service
  • 7:45 PM lecture and Q/A

The evening is free and open to the public; dessert reception to follow lecture.

Chip Berlet is an activist, journalist and scholar who has spent over thirty years studying bigoted right-wing movements. Read more on Chip.

11/17, 7pm @ Allendale United Methodist Church
3803 Haines Road North, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33703
Nov 6: Trade Policy ~ International Relations Study Group
All are welcome to learn about the trade policies of the United States today. Timely and informative discussion led by Dwight Lawton.

11/5, 2pm @ Barbara S Ponce Public Library
7770 52nd St N, Pinellas Park, FL 33781
Nov 11: 100% St. Pete Solar Tour
See solar energy and sustainable living practices first-hand at the 2nd Annual Solar Tour, which the LWVSPA is co-hosting with the Florida Suncoast Sierra Club and the St. Pete Eco-Village. Prepare to be inspired! Meet at the St. Pete Eco-Village at 302 15th Street North, St Pete, on Saturday, November 11th. Arrive by 8:30 am for coffee and bagels. 
11/11, 8:30 AM @ St. Pete Eco-Village
302 15th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

$15 tickets for the St Pete Solar Tour covers transportation costs.
Nov 13: Gun Safety ~ A Conversation with Police Chief Holloway
Join the LWVSPA's Gun Safety Action Team for a Conversation with St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway on how, as a community, we can effectively prevent gun violence and improve gun safety. Click here to learn more about the Chief. For more info, visit our webpage or send an email.

11/13, 7:30pm @ Allendale United Methodist Church
3803 Haines Rd N, St. Pete, FL 33703
Nov 15: Cocktails & Conversation
November's Cocktails & Conversation offers a time to celebrate the completion of another election cycle and to acknowledge our League's work and accomplishments. What better way to celebrate the close of another election season than the fourth annual wrap party??!! Bring a friend and join us as we mix, mingle, and toast our work. Even if you weren't directly involved in election work this season, please come join us to celebrate the League's successes.

Enjoy a $6 tasting that includes nibbles. Or, order wine by the glass. A regular menu (pizza, cheese plates, charcutier) will also available.

11/15, 6pm @ A Taste For Wine
241 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

To help the venue prepare, please RSVP for this festive evening of sharing drinks.
Nov 30: Handmaid Tale Literary Night
Recent events have highlighted the hostile climate girls and women tolerate. Abuse and harassment have become normalized even at the highest levels of government and industry. The sexism and anti-women rhetoric is starting to mirror the dystopian society depicted in Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Join KEEP ST. PETE LIT and LWVSPA Reprop Rights Action Group for this evening of literary appreciation and feminism. Invited writers will present their essays, poems, and other writings that have been inspired by "The Handmaids Tale." Now is the time to come together in calling out sexism for what it is. Or else we risk starring in a real-life version of The Handmaid’s Tale.

11/30, 7pm @ Soft Water Studios
515 22nd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

A fundraiser for the League and Keep St. Pete Lit, tickets are $10 advance purchase; $15 at the door. Seating is limited.
Dec 4: European Union ~ International Relations Study Group
Discussion on the European Union led by Kay Lahdenpera.

12/4, 2pm @ Barbara S Ponce Public Library
7770 52nd St N, Pinellas Park, FL 33781
Dec 6: Democracy 101 ~ A Civic Action Primer (public forum)
What can citizens do to make a difference in the political world?

This fall, our League has partnered with the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College on free public workshops where participants discuss the basics of local government structure, policy-making, and civic engagement. Join us for the final one in this series.

12/6, 6pm @ SPC Midtown Campus
1300 22nd Street South - St. Petersburg
Dec 9: The Solar Shepherd
Dive into solar energy with Alan Brand, The Solar Shepherd. Alan was such a hit at the recent LWVSPA Sustainability Summit! His approachable take on the intricacies of solar make it all the more accessible for us all.

12/9, 2pm @ Cage Brewing
2001 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Dec 10: League Holiday Party
Join fellow Leaguers as we celebrate the 2017 holiday season.

12/10, 2pm-5pm
LWVSPA President Julie Kessel's home

Save the Date:
Program Planning for 2018-2019
Wednesday, February 21 at 6pm

Quaker Meeting House
130 19th Ave SE, St. Petersburg
For Other Upcoming Events
Membership: Who is 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 this quarter. We invite you to renew today!
Laura Angelides
Sam Angelides
Mary Hanrahan
M. Diane Hodson
Gwendolyn Mann
Julia Rissler

Georgene Conner
Gretchen Craig
Caroline Heuermann
Rachel Otto
Lisa Palmer
Jaclyn Peel
Sonia Quinones
Jan Salsich
Kathleen Vandersyde
Sandy Weiss
David Berman
Karen Berman
Amy Blake
Caroline Bloodworth
Arlin Briley
Stephanie Cain
Daina Crafa
Edith Daly
Karen Denehy
Victoria Dunn
Ligia Everett
Margaret Joffe
Terry Kessel
Kate Lamb
Jana Maples
John Mason
Dennis Mayer
Susan Mayer
Jack McCullough
Ruth McCullough
Jacqueline Mirkin
Gina Rothlein
Joan Thurmond
Melanie Turner
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.
New Membership Features
A small team has been working to customize our membership database design so we can gather more information about our members and thus customize our communications and be more responsive to your needs and interests.
New features:
  • Update your membership profile: click on the ”update profile” link at the bottom of this and all LWVSPA emails to complete a short questionnaire as we’d love to know more about your interests, professional expertise, and organizational affiliations, and would appreciate updated contact information.
  • New memberships & renewals: from our Join/Renew page, you will now be able to complete the questionnaire described above and we’ll be able to register new members at any League event from mobile devices.
  • Gift & student memberships: you probably know someone who would love a League membership and we know lots of local college students who’d love for a League member to sponsor their cost of membership. Just click here to purchase a gift membership. Click here to sponsor a student. Thanks!
- Sharon Winters, 1st VP
2017-2018 League Leadership
President: Julie Kessel
First Vice President: Sharon Winters
Second Vice President: Stephanie Owens
Secretary: Lisa Vanover
Treasurer: Caroline Bloodworth
Lydia Castle
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
Healthcare: 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
Voter Protection: Stephanie Owens
Sustainability: Lisa Vanover
International Relations: Judy McSwine
Social Media/Promotion Lead: Amy Weintraub
Office Administrator: Rachael Becker
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 .