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, unless otherwise indicated. Contact email: email@example.com. Additional committees may be formed by volunteers interested in a community issue.
NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Solar Energy for Manatee Homeowners a big success!
The LWV of Manatee County is pleased to report that our efforts earlier this year to produce a solar co-op in Manatee County were highly successful, and over a hundred homeowners have taken this opportunity to save money while using an environmentally friendly form of energy. Our League, in collaboration with FL SUN (www.flsun.org), began the Manatee Solar Co-op, which opened from January through April. 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 created a buying group of neighbors, which offered the opportunity to get a group rate from certified installers--significantly saving on installation.
During the open period of the co-op, FL SUN held informational meetings about this project. These sessions provided an overview of solar, technical information, and questions were answered. The informational sessions were held at several county libraries and the Lakewood Ranch YMCA. The Manatee Co-op volunteers also gave solar presentations to homeowner groups, churches, fraternal organizations and any other interested group.
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 our Hot Topics will be focused on the election, with talks on the ballot amendments at two meetings, and a program on homelessness in November. They are held at the Bradenton Woman's Club. The clubhouse is still in need of donations to recover financially from Hurricane Irma. 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
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. We are very pleased with the number of new members this year, and their enthusiasm for our projects.
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. Thanks to members who are renewing at the Cornerstone Level, and other donations we have received. 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, and Alice and Charlene for keeping it posted and lively. 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. Why we should support Amendment 4.
· The Ballot Amendments: Learn about them and understand them, with presentations that cut through the jargon and confusing text.
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 has 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.
Candidate Forums: We collaborate with other organizations in holding a series of timed debates for candidates for national, state, county and city elections.
Voter Guides: Our most important product in an election year is our Voters Guides, which present nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot initiatives. We distribute about 5,000 state LWV general election guides, 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 suppliers is the Supervisor of Elections Office. "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 M&M Printing for their excellent work and support for our printed local guides.
Amendment Talks and Hot Topics: The state constitutional amendments on the general election ballot include amendment proposals created by the Constitutional Revision Committee. Amendments can be controversial and confusing. We will clear the air by holding Hot Topics on the amendments and other referenda, with pro and con speakers. We will 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. This spring we registered over 400 students at a series of high school VRs, collaborating with the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce and Supervisor of Elections office.
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!
Education Committee now forming. Who could not be interested in education? It's the basis for individual and community progress. Study issues and advocate to decision makers. To join, contact Merrie Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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: Aug. 10, 2018