Make plans for League state convention in Fort Lauderdale
Early-bird registration ends May 24 for the state convention in Fort Lauderdale June 9-10. Broward League members also have the option of attending just the dinners Friday or Saturday night for a separate fee.
Help us to grow and engage members; we have a big job ahead!
By Joanne Aye and Bonnie Gross
The past year has been marked by tremendous energy and action. Because it was an election year, our members were very busy with voter registration, candidate forums, presentations and other forms of voter service. These are the jobs no other organization does as well as the non-partisan League of Women Voters.
In addition to Voters Service, our League has developed several issue-oriented committees that contribute to civic engagement:
- The Gun Safety Committee, chaired by Bradette Jepsen
- The Environmental Issues Committee, chaired by Stephanie Pearson
- The Women’s Health Issues Committee, the newest one, chaired by Linda Bloomfield
These are exciting efforts that we hope to nourish and grow. They fit our goals of building a Broward League that is larger and more engaging for members.
This is not an election year, but we need to expand and prepare because the election in 2018 will be critical in so many ways. Not only will Florida voters elect a governor, a U.S. senator and many state representatives, but there will be so many important issues. We expect ballot questions growing out of the Broward Charter Review process and the every-20-year Constitutional Revision Commission, which is now meeting.
Whenever there are constitutional amendments, the League steps up to explain and educate voters on the issues. It’s one of the things we do best.
Help us reach out to new members and develop activities that will engage our members. Please send us your ideas.
- What do you think the Broward League should be doing?
- Do you want to get more involved but don’t know how?
- Write us (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) with your suggestions.
We look forward to serving you and helping this organization, which has never been more important to society, thrive in 2017-2018.
Thank you for your continued membership to the Broward League.
Joanne Aye and Bonnie Gross – LWVBC Co-Presidents
Speakers give tips for telling fake news from real news
The Broward League and the First Amendment Foundation worked together to bring a stimulating panel to talk about “fake news vs. real news” at the Broward Main Library May 3.
Rosemary O’Hara, editorial page editor of the Sun Sentinel, was in the audience, and wrote this recap for her friends on Facebook:
“If an outrageous story is found on only one website, it’s probably fake news.
“If you Google the website’s name and find past problems with its credibility, its probably got problems again.
“If you find the site is always associated with outrageous claims about people on the left or right, understand its biases.
“Check the website’s “About us” section because some will describe themselves as satirical.
“Click away if you see ALL CAPS or lots of these !!!!!! because that’s not how journalists write.
“Get your news from multiple sources.
“Understand that people with bad intent are using bots and algorithms to target us with real-looking stories they know we’ll find interesting because they know what else we’ve viewed.”
Annual meeting: New board officers
The 64th annual meeting of the League of Women Voters Broward County attracted 60+ attendees at the Sheraton Suites Plantation.
New co-presidents Joanne Aye and Bonnie Gross and Vice President Stephanie Pearson joined two officers whose terms continued: Secretary Elaine Garver and Treasurer Gloria Reinhardt.
New directors are Bradette Jepson, Julie Morrall and Katy Syed. Other board members, who were already serving as officers or board members are Nora Ayala, Jocelyn Carter Miller, Harriet Mathis, Donna Meyers and Laura Simon.
Annual meeting keynote speaker inspires action on restoring voting rights
Roderick Kemp, the Broward leader for efforts to gather petitions for a constitional amendment to restore voting rights of felons, told his personal story and asked League members to join him in working for this cause.
Kemp lost his own voting rights in 2015 because of a 30-year-old arrest for cocaine possession, for which he served several months in jail. He was the subject of a documentary by the Florida Center for Investigative Journalism, and in February 2017, he was able to have his rights restored. Most people seeking clemency wait years for such action.
Florida has one of the most punitive disenfranchisement policies in the country, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. All citizens with felony convictions are permanently barred from voting unless they individually apply to the state Office of Executive Clemency for rights restoration, which can take years.