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President's Message 

2013 04 20 Rosalie Shaffer

Annual Meeting report to members

 

Our League has had one of its most exciting and successful years.  Election off-years are a great time to do more public education, voter registration, and growing our organization.  We have much to be proud of, owing to our excellent board members and volunteers, and with the support of our members. For more details on this year’s activities, see the committee reports.

 

It was a very good year for Hot Topics programs, hitting on key issues for the public.  Never flinching from a controversial topic, we covered current issues in the news, from immigration to sex trafficking. Our excellent speakers, with their information and varying viewpoints, made these complex issues understandable.   

 

On improving public participation in elections, we had tremendous success with our voter registration drive held this spring.  This year the League of Women Voters US asked local leagues to conduct registrations of young voters at their schools.  After nine VR drives at high schools and at State College of Florida, our team registered nearly 457 new voters--a new record for us.  Many thanks to Elaine Graham, Nancy Horne, Barbara Jakusovszky, Kay Levy, and Charlotte Scarborough for their hard work in making this accomplishment.

 

We also had successes with positions on issues.  For those unfamiliar with how this works, position taking is tiered in the League.  Only the state LWV can take positions on statewide issues, and only the national League can take positions on national issues.  However, we are free to take the positions we wish on local issues. Last summer we opposed the Manatee County comprehensive plan changes for Long Bar Pointe (see Natural Resources report).  What was really significant about this issue is not just the favorable outcome, but that it showed how much the public really does care about our environmental quality, and how important their citizen participation is.  Over 1,000 people showed up at the Convention Center on Haben Blvd. on August 6, most of which voiced opposition.  Their voices were heard.

 

We also took a stand on the precinct closures proposed by the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) in January.  We objected that so many of them were to occur in minority, low income areas, where citizens may not have ready access to transportation.  We collaborated with the SOE and the local NAACP to have a key precinct restored.  We made a difference!

 

I’d like give special recognition to one board member who has made an outstanding contribution as head of our Health Committee--Suzanne Dickie.  She has traveled many miles to present accurate and well-presented information to community organizations about the Affordable Care Act.  Her work is so very much appreciated by her audiences. Here’s what the head of one organization said in his letter to us: “This presentation was extremely well-received and our audience of about 70 residents gave Suzanne a standing ovation.”  So do we, Sue.  Thank you so much! 

 

I also thank all of you, our members.  Without your dedicated support, we would not even exist!

 

In League,

 

Rosalie Shaffer

 

Any questions?  Feel free to contact me at 729-9248 or email:  shaffer_us@yahoo.com

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

League of Women Voters of Manatee County
P. O. Box 545

Bradenton, FL  34206

Updated April 15, 2014

 



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