In the wake of Parkland: What you can do now
From Pam Goodman, president of the Florida League of Women Voters:
I’ll be brief. Please, make three calls today: one to your state Representative, one to your state Senator, and one to Governor Scott. Tell them ONE thing.
Listen to the students of Parkland. They are asking for one thing: a ban on assault weapons in Florida. Period.
HB 219/SB 196. Agenda these bills. Hear them, and pass them.
Call as constituents with the power you have at election time. Your vote.
Both Democrat and Republican legislators are now all over the place on what bills are the best to pass. “Mine! No…it’s mine!”
Let’s clear it up for them, otherwise the definition of insanity will continue — doing the same thing and expecting different results: We will end up doing nothing and getting the same result. More mass murders in Florida with weapons of mass destruction.
I listened to those students on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale. Clearly. They are begging us as adults to make this happen. And we can.
Get elected egos out of the way. Thank them for helping to LEAD this student movement and not get in the way. Tell them to do the right thing for our future and, more importantly, our children.
Gun-sense rally draws thousands for emotional testimony
What a powerful event! The League of Women Voters was a key sponsor of the rally for sensible gun laws Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, which attracted thousands. A highlight was the eloquence of students from Stoneman Douglas High School, who spoke. We came away convinced there is hope. We will fix this. These kids will make it happen.
We need to make sure the leaders in Legislature hear from us, not just the NRA.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Call Greg Steube (R-Sarasota), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at (941) 342-9162. Tell the staff member who answers that you want SB 196: “Gun Safety” to be placed on agenda for the committee’s next scheduled committee hearing Feb. 20. This bill bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like those used in the Parkland tragedy.
2. Call Rep. Ross Spano (R-Dover), chair of criminal justice subcommittee, at (850) 717-5059. Tell his staff member that Spano needs give a fair hearing to HB 219, “Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines” (the companion to SB 196).
As our hearts break: Time to ban assault weapons in Florida.
As Floridians continue to grapple with the massacres at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, our state is mourning yet another mass shooting, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. At least 17 people have died, while many others have been injured. Our thoughts are with the Parkland community and those families forever impacted by today’s unspeakable tragedy.
The shooter, now in custody, was reportedly a former student who apparently chose an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle to use as his weapon. These types of weapons have been used in mass shootings again and again, including Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida; Sutherland Springs, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Right now, the Florida Legislature has before it legislation to ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines but has failed to act.
This shooting is further proof that semiautomatic weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians. They are weapons of mass destruction. The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and the League of Women Voters of Florida call upon our Legislature currently in Session to hear and pass the ban on assault weapons — HB 219 and SB 196.
Our hearts break for the young lives that were ripped away in a senseless and all-too-common act of brutality. The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is committed to fighting for smart, responsible gun legislation. The federal government will not change these laws; the state of Florida can and should protect its citizens, and most importantly its children.
Celebrating People We Love: The team that collected petitions for voting rights
On Feb. 10, League members and supporters gathered to celebrate the League’s successful Second Chances petition drive and its 98th birthday.
Here’s a message from Katy Syed, chair of the event:
Thanks to all who helped make the party fun and festive!
We had a great turnout and a few laughs, remembering all of the adventures the VRR Team had over the five months we collected petitions.
Thank you to our host, Lonnie Supnick, and to Joanne Aye, who reminded us of our roots as League members. Thanks also to Michelle and Rod, who spoke about the personal reasons why restoring the vote to the people who have lost it is such a worthy cause.
Reverend Amy, from the River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation, got everyone up on their feet, singing along.
And of course, thanks to the many people who set up, made food, kept things going, and helped clean up – Denise, Laura, John, Myriam, Alice, Andrea, Barbara, Bradette, and Sara. Thanks to my husband, Asif, for photography and AV production.
And last but not least, a shout out to the young people who greeted people and were all around helpful: Shelby (Bradette’s granddaughter), Rachel (Lonnie’s daughter), and Xavier (Nakia’ son).
LWV ranks the ‘worst of the worst’ constitutional amendments
If the ballot summaries of the proposals making our list of the “Terrible 10” were to give an accurate description of the proposed changes – here’s what Floridians would be asked to do:
Proposal 4 – Delete the No Aid provision from the Florida Constitution’s “Religious Freedom” protections and open the door to Floridians’ tax dollars potentially funding religious indoctrination, proselytizing, and discrimination
Proposal 22 – Eliminate all existing privacy protections, including reproductive rights, from Florida’s Constitution except for those specifically relating to informational privacy. It does this by narrowing the privacy clause so that it only applies “with respect to privacy of information and the disclosure thereof.”
Proposal 29 – Require mandatory use of the error-prone E-Verify program, potentially denying thousands of authorized immigrant and even citizen workers the ability to work without any meaningful avenue to seek redress.
Proposal 43 –Mandate term limits for local school board members rather than letting voters in the school districts decide how long a member can serve their community.
Proposal 45 – Give tax dollars to private schools through school vouchers including religious schools – creating a system of publicly funded education separate from our free public schools
Proposal 71 – Take sole control of charter schools away from local school boards and allow decisions about local education needs to be made at the state level.
Proposal 72 – Tie the hands of future elected leaders and severely limit Florida’s ability to invest in public education, mental health care, affordable housing, roads and bridges, parks, beaches and workforce training programs by requiring a supermajority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes or fees.
Proposal 95 –Allow the state to preempt any local ordinances that big business can claim interferes with commerce between counties and other jurisdictions – such as living wage ordinances, protections from wage theft, local hiring preferences or local protections for the environment and natural resources.
Proposal 96 – Needlessly claiming to protect victims of crime while not providing any meaningful benefit to victims, interfering with the rights of the accused, and making it more difficult for the state to convict criminals.
Proposal 97 – Make it close to impossible for the constitution to be changed by initiative, by the Legislature or by any commission in the future.
Join us for Water Matters Day March 10
Volunteer to help staff the League’s booth from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at Tree Tops Park, 3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie. Event details.
Contact Laura Simon, firstname.lastname@example.org, to volunteer for a shift.
Water Matters Day is packed with workshops, giveaways, children’s activities, and entertainment. While parents are learning about choosing the right plants for their yards, their children can have their face painted or participate in activities such as planting flowers to take home. They can also enjoy local musical entertainment, or help their parents collect giveaways, which in the past have included rain gauges, automatic shut-off devices for irrigation systems, native trees and plants, and garden mulch.
Federal judge says lifetime ban on voting for felons is unconstitutional
Just as activists succeeded in getting a voting rights amendment on the November ballot, a judge has ruled that taking the right to vote away from people with felony convictions is unconstitutional.
WE DID IT! Voting rights amendment will be on ballot
Come November, Florida voters will have a chance to return voting rights to people with felonies in their past.
Today enough petitions were validated to secure a spot on the November ballot for a voting rights amendment.
We needed 766,200 valid petitions; the unofficial total today was 799,278. (We also achieved the required geographic distribution.)
If approved by 60 percent of voters in the fall, the amendment would restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions after they fully complete their sentences, including parole or probation. Those convicted of murder or sexual offenses would continue to be barred from voting.
Broward League members sweated through summer festivals, stood in dusty parking lots and talked to thousands of people as we collected signatures throughout 2017.
Now what? We have worked hard, but our work has just begun.
We must educate voters about this ballot initiative and GET OUT THE VOTE.
Coral Springs: Learn about upcoming bond issue
- Coral Springs bond issue presentation
- Northwest Regional Library
- Monday, Feb. 26
- 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Online voter registration is here
Florida residents can now register to vote online. RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, the website for the online voter registration, is offered in English and Spanish. To register online, you need a drivers license or state-issued ID because the signature is gathered electronically from the driver’s license. (If an applicant has neither, he or she can print out the application, sign it and mail it in.)
Welcome new members!
The League of Women Voters Broward County welcomes new members. Encourage your friends and family to join us in our important work in Making Democracy Work, and help us welcome these new members:
Annabel Hertz, Miramar
Alyse Iuzzolino, Parkland
Danielle Young, Miramar
Row Iliescu, Fort Lauderdale
Monica Elliott, Southwest Ranches
Mary Russ, Cooper City
Richard Apodaca, Weston
Rosana Cordova, Pembroke Pines
D. Marlene Niemeier, Fort Lauderdale
Rhonda Gold, Plantation
Silvia Meyer, Hollywood
Nakia Ruffin, Pembroke Pines
Mary Dougherty, Fort Lauderdale
Dorothy Olive, Dania Beach
Kenn Dobkin, Hollywood
Ellen Amigo, Davie