The Voter
January 2020 Newsletter

A Word of Thanks

As we prepare to begin a very busy 2020, I’d like to thank each League member who has volunteered your time, energy, and passion to support so many of our League events throughout 2019.

We have conducted speaking engagements, registered voters, gathered petitions, lobbied our local representatives, attended city council and committee meetings, responded to state and national action alerts, sponsored candidate forums, and so much more. The work we do to create a more perfect democracy is serious, but we often find a way to make it fun and engaging. And none of it was possible without each of you. 

I look forward to working with each of you in the coming year and creating a democracy that works for every member of our society.

Lanelle Phillmon, Vice President
League of Women Voters Jacksonville/First Coast




Wednesday, January 8

Sheila Spivey: Feminism and the UNF Women's Center

Senior Director of the UNF Department of Diversity Initiatives

In her current role at UNF, Sheila Spivey provides strategic direction and vision for the Department of Diversity Initiatives (DDI) and cultivates affirming environments where underrepresented and marginalized students are supported and appreciated. DDI comprises the Women’s Center, Victim Advocacy Program, Intercultural Center for Peace, Interfaith Center, and the Student Alliance for Inclusion and Diversity - Asian Students in Alliance, Black Student Union and the Latin American Student Organization. 

Her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion is evident through her campus and community engagement. Previously, Sheila served as the director of the UNF Women’s Center. She has taught in the department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and leads the university’s Cultural Competency Pursuit Program, providing diversity education to the campus community. 

Sheila is also active in the community. She served as the chairperson of the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council. She is a member of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Northeast Florida Women’s Services Coalition, and the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Initiative. 

Where: Season's 52 at the St. Johns Town Center, 5096 Big Island Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246

When: Wednesday, January 8, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

* RSVP Required no later than December 31 to Nora Manahan, or (904) 476-6443. Due to the popularity of some of our topics and speakers, we make every effort to accommodate our members and guests so we ask that you confirm your attendance to ensure you have a seat.

Cost: $20 cash or check only, please

Reserve your seat today, and please forward this newsletter to friends.  

HEALTH CARE COMMITTEE MEETING: The Health Care Committee's next meeting immediately follows the January 8 Speaker Series Luncheon. Contact Mary McLaughlin for more information.

FEBRUARY LUNCHEON MEETING: We will not have a regular First Wednesday luncheon meeting. Instead, please attend our Centennial Celebration luncheon on Saturday, February 15, listed below.

Join Us for the Centennial Celebration!

Our League will host a Centennial Celebration luncheon on Saturday, February 15, 1:00 pm, at the Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224.
Our theme is Creating a More Perfect Democracy, and our guest speaker is Cecile Scoon. Cecile is a civil rights attorney who works to protect the rights of those wronged at work due to their race, religion, age, disability, place of birth, or unwanted sexual advances. She is also the first vice chair of the League of Women Voters Florida, former president of the Bay County League of Women Voters, and has spearheaded the League’s work on Amendment 4 and the restoration of voting rights for returning citizens.

Our Centennial Celebration Committee will need volunteers to help set up the day of the event. If you are interested and available, contact Lanelle Phillmon at We will also need volunteers to help with logistics in the final weeks leading up to the event.
Tickets are exclusively available to League members until December 31, and will be made available to the general public after that date. If you are a League member and did not receive an email with the registration link, please contact Lanelle immediately.

Vote411 Guide 2020 needs your help!

Vote411 Guide allows voters to learn where candidates stand on the issues. To make this opportunity available to voters, we need volunteers who can help us obtain candidate information just after filing day so it can be uploaded into the Vote411 guide system.
Deb Miller and Connie Pengram have taken on the Vote411 Guide data and maintenance, but we need League volunteers to develop questions for each group of local election candidates in Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns county elections.
This is a short-term volunteer opportunity but vital to ensuring our voters have the information they need to cast an informed vote. If interested, please contact Lanelle at or 904-382-4478 before January 10.


Friday, January 17: USCIS
Every month, we work with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to help register new voters as soon as they become citizens (near JTB & I-95). 

If you’re interested in becoming certified or want to learn more, please contact Dianne Main at

BAWN Is Coming to a Close

With only a few weeks remaining in 2019, all League members are asked to mail in any outstanding signed petitions you might have. If you still have not signed a petition, please go to the BAWN website to download, print, sign and mail in a petition in support of banning assault weapons before the end of the year. We are waiting to hear whether or not the minimum number of valid signature petitions were met to have this issue on the 2020 ballot. 

Suffrage and 19th Amendment Speakers Bureau for 2020

Our League has received a number of requests to conduct suffrage and 19th Amendment speaking engagements throughout 2020. In our hopes to support each request, we are forming a local speakers bureau of at least six League members. These members will receive training on the topics as well as the prepared presentation and supplemental information. If you are interested in becoming a speaker, please contact Lanelle Phillmon at 904-382-4478 or at Training for speakers will be held Thursday, January 12, at 1:00 pm at Southeast Regional Library in Room A. All training materials will be provided to attendees.

Pictured above: Leading suffragettes confer over the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment at the National Woman’s Party headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr Community Breakfast

The Jacksonville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the African American Ministers Leadership Council and Mayor Alvin Brown will host the Official 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Empowerment Breakfast on Friday, January 17, at 7:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk Hotel, 224 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32202.

The keynote speaker will be Martin Luther King III. He is the eldest son of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. Martin Luther King III is an American human rights advocate and community activist. King served as the 4th President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1997 to 2004.

The funds raised from this event will be directed specifically to the local “Get Out The Vote” efforts. The funds will be used to encourage voter engagement, voter education, and rides to the polls. The money raised will be used to increase voter turnout.

Tickets for the breakfast are $40 per person, or you may reserve a table for 10 for a total of $400.

You may purchase tables and tickets at Payments may be made via PayPal at Please contact (904) 265-4702, (904) 764-1753, or, if you have questions or need additional information. 

Anyone interested in being seated with League members should contact Lanelle Phillmon at 904-382-4478.

Join the League at MLK Day Parade Jacksonville 2020

We are excited to announce that our League will be participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, Monday, January 20, at 10:00 am. We will join others in the city to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. King and his influential impact as an American civil rights leader.
We will have a car for those not able to walk the entire route and are taking orders for League of Women Voter sashes to wear in the parade. If interested in walking, contact Dianne Main at and if interested in purchasing a sash contact Sandy Martin at We’d love to have at least 10 League members and family join us.

19th Amendment Exhibit and Volunteer Opportunity

The American Bar Association has launched a 19th Amendment traveling exhibit, “100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Their Legacy, and Our Future,” which details the story of the battle for ratification and outlines the challenges that remain.

This exhibit will be in Jacksonville March 22 through April 4. Our League has been asked to act as docents and educators for this event when school groups come to see the exhibit. The exhibit will open at the Duval County Courthouse. On Friday, March 27, it will move to the Jacksonville Public Library main location, 4th floor Atrium.

Events related to the exhibit:
  • Tuesday, March 24: Welcoming reception, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Duval County Courthouse
  • Thursday, March 26: Staging of the Susan B. Anthony trial, performed in one of the ceremonial courtrooms, Duval County Courthouse

Please consider volunteering for a 2-hour shift as a docent. We will be highlighting important facts about the 19th Amendment and engaging the school groups to share what they know about ratification and America before 1920. To sign up, contact Sandy Martin at the January 8 Luncheon or by email at

League Lobby Days Are Just Around the Corner

The League of Women Voters will be hosting Lobby Days in Tallahassee February 4 and 5. This is an opportunity to meet with fellow League members from across the state, receive lobby training, get an update on League bills and issues and visit with your legislator.

A working agenda for Lobby Days has been published and registration is now open, both available at the LWV of Florida website. Keep in mind that registration for the Lobby Days and overnight lodging at Homewood Suites by Hilton are two separate registrations.

Volunteers Needed to Keep Your League Informed 

  • Do you have an hour or two once a month to help us make phone calls to members about upcoming events? 
  • Do you have an hour each month to help deliver flyers to your local library or college student union?   
  • Would you be interested in attending a city council meeting or committee hearing once or twice a month? 
  • Do you have time to listen in on state webinars or conference calls and provide feedback to the board?
Quite often, our League needs volunteers to help with small tasks that are not time consuming but vital to our leadership and membership. 
If you are willing to volunteer for any of these opportunities, contact Lanelle at to discuss topics and abilities.  


Stay up-to-date on all local Upcoming Events on the League of Women Voters Jacksonville / First Coast website.

For statewide news and action items, visit the LWV Florida Blog

The Regional Facebook Group, LWV Florida North Region Leagues, includes Alachua, Bay, Jacksonville/First Coast, Okaloosa & Walton, Pensacola Bay Area, and Tallahassee.


We look forward to hearing from you!

Phone: 904-355-8683


League of Women Voters Jacksonville First Coast



Voters Registered in 2019:


Our league works continuously to:
  • engage local citizens in registering to vote,
  • ensure their voter information is current, and
  • create awareness about the registration requirements for returning citizens.
For more information about voter registration, contact Dianne Main.


December Luncheon with Kay Ehas

Pictured above: Pam Korn (LWV), Kay Ehas (CEO Groundwork), Carol Hamilton (LWV), and Meghan Fiveash (Groundwork Development and Membership Coordinator).
The League was excited to host Kay Ehas, Groundwork Jacksonville CEO, for our December luncheon. Groundwork Jacksonville is the city’s primary non-profit specifically created to clean and redevelop Hogans and McCoys creeks and convert contaminated land into parks, playgrounds, trails, and other public spaces to create the “emerald necklace” championed by famed architect Henry Klutho in the early 20th Century.
Kay provided us with some beautiful pictures and history of the Atlanta Beltline and Chicago 606 to give us an idea as to similar work in other areas. These projects reflect the efforts being put into the Emerald Necklace that will ultimately bring Jacksonville communities together along approximately 19.7 miles of new trails, greenways and parks that encircle the urban core and link at least 14 historic neighborhoods to downtown, Hogans Creek, McCoys Creek, the S-Line Rail Trail and the Northbank and Southbank Riverwalk.
She also provided some information regarding the plants and trees that will be used throughout the project to help restore water run-off and water quality and are native and low maintenance.
To see more about Groundwork Jacksonville’s work or to request a speaker for an upcoming event, go to: We can also support their work by becoming a member for just $10 each month.


Thank you to our members who have made contributions since our last newsletter: 

Marianna Kane 
Carol Hamilton 
Joann Leimberg 
Sandy Martin 
With the help of your donations, we hope to implement the use of credit cards in the coming months. Stay tuned; we will let you know when we are up and running. 
—Sandy Martin, Treasurer


Thanks to all of the volunteers who donated their time in October, November, and December.

Bobbie Nord
Cathy Heffernan
Susan McCullough
Gale Chisholm
Carol Hamilton
Pam Edwards-Roine
Connie Pegram
Rebecca Lee-Duffell
Ann Weisz
Rhona DiCamillo
Maureen Herman
Maria Machin
Michelle Hollie
Susan Goldring
Barbara Gubbin
Kathy Turnowchyk


Susan Rodgers
Greta Lanier
Karen Parish
Diana Openbrier
Nina Goodwin
David Campbell
Mary Finnan
Theresa Hudson
Lauretta Gaylord
Clark Gaylord


We can't do it without you! Please join in recognizing our new and returning members from December.

New Members—Welcome aboard!

Lynn Kettell-Slifer

Returning Members—Thank you so much for choosing to renew!

Jessica Bress
Susan McCullough
Joan Carver
Jean Allen
Cathy Heffernan
Pat Gill
Dianne Main
Lanelle Phillmon

Please email if your name was missed.
Please use this address regardless of any forms or documents to the contrary.

League of Women Voters Jacksonville First Coast
PO Box 330353
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233


To stay up to date on the latest events and action opportunities, Like and Follow our Facebook page.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.
Copyright © 2019 League of Women Voters Jacksonville/First coast, All rights reserved.

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