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.
HEALTH CARE COMMITTEE
The League of Women Voters of Manatee County is proud to report that our county is making positive strides toward making health care available to our underserved populations. These achievements include:
¨Turning Points (One Stop Center) has been recruiting LECOM students, physicians, and retired physicians to provide services to our homeless and working poor population.
¨The Healthcare Advisory Board is working on creating opportunities for citizens to learn about and enroll in the Affordable Care Act and other insurance options for its citizens.
¨Fruit trees are now growing in a food desert area in East Manatee Park, thanks to donations by the Manatee County Rare Fruit Tree Council and the Tropical Fruit Society of Sarasota.
¨Remote Area Medical had a successful second event in Manatee County for our underserved population and their pets: November 10: Small animal Veterinary Day, Braden River High School
November 11–13: Dental and Medical Care, Manatee Technical College
Our Healthcare committee, including Sandra Hiland and Rosemary Mortimer, focused 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.
Healthcare Committee Chair
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. Given the election year, this fall our Hot Topics focused on the election--See Voter Services Report. Post election, the talk on November 14 featured experts explaining Florida's algae crisis, and what can be done to clean up our waterways. Our spring lineup includes talks on Charter Schools, Solar Energy and the Charter form of Government.
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 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.
· 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.
VOTER SERVICES: WE HAD IT COVERED!
Given our strong commitment to voter education and participation, our League hit the ground running this election season to do everything we could to help educate voters and encourage a high turnout. Our volunteers have truly done an amazing job this election, including….
Candidate Forums: We teamed up with the Bradenton Herald and METV in a series of timed debates for candidates for national, state, county and city elections. Rosalie Shaffer and Marjorie Martini timed seven of the primary debates and ten for the general. One of the most rewarding things we did this 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 was our Voter Guides, which presented nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot initiatives. We distributed 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 would say. We also posted 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 were four state constitutional amendments on the general election ballot this election, but they were controversial and confusing: solar energy, medical marijuana, and two property tax exemptions. We cleared the air by holding two Hot Topics on the amendments, and one on the proposed county and school district sales tax referenda, with pro and con speakers. They garnered some of our largest audiences. Rosalie Shaffer and Alice Newlon also gave several talks to community organizations to explain what these amendments say and what they would change.
Voter Registration: Our VR team went 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 helped bring new voters to the polls, including Lorraine Berry, Bernita Franzel, Sandra Hiland, Kay Levy, Marjorie Martini, Paula Roberts and Rosalie Shaffer. 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 assembled all the nonpartisan information in one place—on our website. We included 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 proved to be a big hit with the users and certainly extended our informational reach. Our website stats show 8250 visits in July; 8096 in August; 8061 in September; 13,328 in October; and 11,371 in just the first week of November, for a total of 50,106 visits during the election season.
Telephone Help: Our telephone number got lots of use this year, with voters calling for information and explanation. The Supervisor of Elections Office refers callers to us when they get questions they cannot answer. Rosalie fielded 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. Good question.
In the blizzard of political ads this election, we stood out as the main source of nonpartisan, unbiased information that the voters rely upon. Here’s one phone comment we received in November that sums 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: Dec. 28, 2016