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.
NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
New Solar Energy Opportunity for Manatee Homeowners!
The LWV of Manatee County is currently working on a very exciting project for Manatee County residents.
There are big things developing now for the expansion of solar energy in Florida, and Manatee County will soon be part of this movement. Our League, in collaboration with FL SUN (www.flsun.org), will be kicking off a Manatee Solar Co-op, which will be open from January through April, 2018. FL SUN, a non-profit dedicated to educating Floridians on the benefits of solar energy, is helping to organize group solar rooftop installations.
The co-op will create a buying group of neighbors, which offers the opportunity to get a group rate from certified installers--significantly saving on installation. Solar panels will pay the cost of the electric power you use, while doing a good deed for the environment. We will be holding a kick-off press conference at the South Florida Museum during the first full week in January.
During the open period of the co-op, FL SUN will hold informational meetings about this project. These sessions will provide an overview of solar, technical information, and questions will be answered. The informational sessions will be held at several county libraries and the Lakewood Ranch YMCA. The Manatee Co-op volunteers are also available for solar presentations to homeowner groups, churches, fraternal organizations and any other interested group.
For more information or to help in this effort, email ManateeSolar@gmail.com.
Natural Resources Committee Chair
Part of our educational 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.
This fall-winter our Hot Topics will be focused on Health Care, Computer Fraud and Politicization of the Judiciary.
Due to Hurricane Irma, we had to move our Hot Topics to other venues (see homepage). We ask the public to help support the repairs to the Bradenton Woman’s’ Club, a fine historic building. For more information, see their website, http://bradentonwomansclub.com
We also thank Manatee Educational Television, www.metvweb.com for providing our programs on TV and YouTube.
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 received a grant from LWVUS for our young voters registration project. We also recruited sponsors for our voters guides for Election 2016 and several donations from generous members. 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 few years 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:
· The League of Women Voters: “Making democracy work”: what we stand for, what we do, and how we do it.
· Charter Government: A better, more flexible form of government, enjoyed by 75% of Florida's population. Learn about what it changes, and how we can get it for Manatee County.
· 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.
· Solar Co-op: how to save money and protect the environment. Learn about it and join!
Call 941-729-9248 to book a presentation.
VOTER SERVICES: OUR MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY!
Given our strong commitment to voter education and participation, our League will hit the ground running in 2018 to do everything we can to help educate voters and encourage a high turnout. Our volunteers do an amazing job, including….
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. One of the most rewarding things we did last election season was to give a talk to the Healthy Teens Initiative on how to run a candidate forum. These talented high schoolers went on to conduct a debate of the candidates for the School Board, which Marjorie timed. (That's her in the red shirt in the photo).
Voter Guides: Our most important product is our Voter Guides, which present nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot initiatives. We distribute about 5,000 state LWV general election guides (which contain the judges and constitutional amendments), and 8,000 (4,000 each) for the local primary and general elections, to public libraries, civic offices and community centers. These have been invaluable to the voters in making their decisions. One of our biggest customers was the Supervisor of Elections Office, which called us whenever they were running low. "They're going like hot cakes," they always tell us. We also post our guides on our website, and the state LWV "Be Ready to Vote" website. We thank the Bradenton Herald and M&M Printing for their support of our printed local guides.
Amendment Talks and Hot Topics: There are state constitutional amendments on the general election ballot, and next election that will include amendment proposals created by the Constitutional Revision Committee. Amendments can be controversial and confusing. We clear the air by holding Hot Topics on the amendments, and referenda, with pro and con speakers. They garner some of our largest audiences. We also give talks to community organizations to explain what these amendments say and what they would change.
Voter Registration: Our VR team goes all over the county registering young people at high schools, colleges, as well as at a number of community events. Many thanks to our volunteers who help bring new voters to the polls. Photo: Kay Levy and Lorraine Berry register students at Lakewood Ranch High during their College & Career Day Fair.
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 programs and other nonpartisan sites with information on candidates and issues—a one-stop shopping center for voting information. It proves to be a big hit with the users and certainly extends our informational reach.
Telephone Help: Our telephone gets a lot of use during elections, with voters calling for information and explanation. Last election we handled several hundred calls, many of them about the amendments. The callers really appreciated help with understanding what the amendments say and what they would change. "Why do they make them so hard to understand?," they ask. Our state league wades through the legal lingo, and comes up with understandable explanations.
Here’s one phone comment we received last November that summed it up well:
”Thank you for helping me. I don’t know what I would have done without your information.”
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: Oct. 28, 2017