League of Women Voters of Manatee County
Committees are made up of LWV members who study issues, make recommendations to the board and engage in public education efforts. All phone numbers are for area code 941. For more contact information, click on “Officers” tab. Additional committees may be formed by volunteers interested in a community issue.
The League of Women Voters of Manatee County is proud to report that the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce awarded the Healthcare Volunteer of the year to our previous Healthcare Committee Chair Suzanne Dickie, PhD. Sue was honored at the 4th Annual Champions of Healthcare Awards Breakfast on May 16, 2016. Sue took on the challenge to educate the public concerning their healthcare options by giving over 50 free presentations that had been created by the Florida League of Women Voters. Sue took the extra step of creating take-home informational brochures for the attendees.
Sue also chaired the Manatee Healthcare Alliance “Forces For Change” subcommittee. The results of the work of this subcommittee became part of Manatee County’s Health Improvement Plan.
Our Healthcare committee, including Sandra Hiland and Rosemary Mortimer, is focusing on the League’s “Closing The Gap” initiative. The committee has also been actively working with the Manatee County Healthcare Alliance to increase access to healthcare, improve the quality and importance of health maintenance and disease prevention.
I attended the Manatee County Healthcare Advisory Board meeting on August 24, 2016. There was no discussion concerning changing indigent care eligibility from 200% below federal poverty level to 100% below federal poverty level. Health Management Associates presented a plan for Low-Income Uninsured Adults. Chief Community Paramedic, James Crutchfield, outlined the plan in place to treat patients at the site of the call, saving the cost of an Emergency Room visit. Chief Crutchfield will begin the training September, 2016. Ray Fusco, Healthcare Advisory Board Member presented a cost sharing plan. All of the above plans can be found on: www.mymanatee.org. The Board appears to be committed to increasing the availability of quality healthcare to Manatee County residents. The emphasis is on preventive care as the best way to decrease healthcare expense and improve the health of Manatee County residents.
Upcoming Events: Remote Area Medical is planning a second RAM event in Manatee County this fall. Schedule:
November 10: Small animal Veterinary Day, to be held at Braden River High School, 6546 53rd Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34203
November 11–13: Dental and Medical Care, to be provided at Manatee Technical College, 6305 State Road 70 East, Bradenton FL 34203
Part of our education efforts is our public information programs. We held a great series of Hot Topic programs this past spring on current issues, delving into many major issues, with good turnouts and excellent speakers who provided information and promoted understanding. Our programs included talks on Guns in Our Society, Helping Children at Risk, Refugees in Southwest Florida. Changing gears in an election year, this fall we focus on the election--amendments, and referenda before the voters. Starting with Be Ready to Vote held August 1, we follow with the sales tax referenda on September 12, featuring speakers pro and con. Then on October 10, we will review all the amendments to be on the ballot, followed by a debate on the marijuana amendment. Post election talk on November 14 will focus on Florida's algae crisis, and what can be done to clean up our waterways.
Many thanks to all who help stock our luncheon buffet table. We are also indebted to the Bradenton Woman’s’ Club, for the use of their fine hall, and METV for taping our programs and broadcasting them on their station and YouTube link: www.metvweb.com.
And special thanks to all our great speakers, who share their knowledge and views.
MEMBERSHIP AND FUNDRAISING
Seen as a key community organization, we ask all of our members to recruit at least one more member for our League. We also encourage our members to become active, engaging in committee work of interest. It’s a great way to learn, meet interesting people and improve public participation in government. All members are encouraged to attend our board meetings.
Fundraising: Since most of our dues income is paid out to help support state and national LWV, we supplement it with LWV grants when those opportunities arise. This year we will receive a grant from LWVUS for our young voters registration project. We also recruit sponsors for our upcoming voters guides for Election 2016. Thanks to members who are renewing at the Cornerstone Level. Your help was essential for keeping us in the black!
The more members we have, the more we can accomplish. Join today! Membership form.
OUTREACH AND SPEAKER’S BUREAU
Like us on Facebook! A year ago we launched our league into social media with Facebook full of news, photos, info and commentaries. It's getting lots of looks and likes. Many thanks to members Ashley Brown and Amanda Horne for getting it up and running. Check it out at LWV Manatee Facebook.
The Speaker’s Bureau is currently available to community groups that would like speakers on a variety of topics. Speakers with powerpoint programs are currently available for the following topics:
· Understanding the 2016 Ballot Amendments.
· The League of Women Voters: “Making democracy work”: what we stand for, what we do, and how we do it.
· Young Voters--Why they need to Register and Vote. Why your vote matters.
· Restoring Felon Rights to Vote: Should one conviction mean that someone can no longer vote, even after they have completed their sentence? All about the issue and what can and should be done.
Call 729-9248 to book a presentation.
In keeping with our current tradition of a holiday tour, on Saturday, December 3 we will enjoy a free guided Backstage Tour of the Asolo Repertory Theater (asolorep.org). Learn all about what goes into their fabulous shows.
Ringling Museum complex, Sarasota, 5555 North Tamiami Trail. Please arrive by 10:45 am; tour begins at 11 am. Lunch will follow at a nearby eatery. Contact Kay Levy to make your reservation: 758-6960; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given our strong commitment to voter education and participation, our League will be very active this election season to do everything we could to help educate voters and encourage a high turnout. Our goals is to have every voter, no matter what their political views, go to the polls knowing what they need to know to vote with confidence in their selections.
Voter Registration: Our team of volunteers has held a number of voter registration drives at schools, fairs, libraries and many other locations, and will be holding more, to enlist more citizens in the democratic process. We also have a powerpoint program on why it was important to vote.
Candidate Forums: We team up with the Bradenton Herald and METV in a series of timed debates for candidates for national, state, county and city elections. We also conduct debates upon request for other groups.
Voter Guides: Our most important product is our Voter Guides, which present nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot initiatives. During the primary we distributed 4,000 LWV Manatee election guides (which included candidates and the one amendment to be on the ballot) to public libraries, civic, senior and community centers. We will do the same for the general election, and also distribute the state LWV guides. These have been invaluable to the voters in making their decisions. We thank the Bradenton Herald and M&M Printing for their support of our printed local guides.
Amendment Talks: There are five state constitutional amendments on the ballots this year (one on the primary and four on the general), including some that are controversial and confusing. We will clear the air by Hot Topics, featuring pro and con speakers, distributing LWVF voter guides, and holding talks at community organizations to explain what these amendments say and what they would change.
Website Voter Information Center: To reach even more voters with our election information, we assemble all the nonpartisan information in one place—on our website. We include links to our guides, as well as links to METV and other nonpartisan sites with information on candidates and issues—a one-stop shopping center for voting information. It has proved to be a big hit with the users and certainly extends our informational reach. Our website stats last election showed 12,325 visits in October, and 11,806 in November 2015.
In the blizzard of political ads during election 2016, we continue to stand out as the main source of nonpartisan, unbiased information that the voters rely upon. Here’s one phone comment we received the summed it up well: ”Thank you for helping me. I don’t know what I would have done without your information.”
Committee Chair: Rosalie Shaffer, 729-9248
Volunteer for a Committee!
All of our committees need members, especially our Education and Natural Resources Committees . We want to do more, and we need you!
League of Women Voters of Manatee County
P.O. Box 545
Bradenton, FL 34206-0545
Last updated: Sept. 10, 2016