The Voter
December 2019 Newsletter




Wednesday, December 4

Kay Ehas

Chief Executive Officer of Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc.

Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc. is a partnership between the City of Jacksonville, US National Park Service, US Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork USA, Inc. and is part of the Groundwork USA network. It 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 joined the organization in September 2017 and has already developed the first-ever master plan for the Emerald Necklace, in collaboration with the PATH Foundation, the organization responsible for building more than 270 miles of trails in Georgia. She is currently raising funds to design the first segment of the trail to begin construction by early 2020.

Kay has 15 years of experience in local government working with the City Council and a constitutional office, most recently as chief administrative officer for the Duval County Property Appraiser. She has more than 11 years of private-sector human resources experience including VP of Human Resources for a financial institution.

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

When: Wednesday, December 4, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

* RSVP Required no later than November 27 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.  

The January luncheon will be Wednesday, January 8. RSVP required by December 31.

Interested in Helping the League Develop Our Vote411 Guide for 2020?

The Vote411 Voter Guide allows voters to learn where candidates running for office in our community stand on the issues. In order 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.
This is a short-term volunteer opportunity but is 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 Thursday, December 5.


Friday, December 6
Friday, December 20
Naturalization Ceremonies at USCIS offices
Every month, we work with the USCIS 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

Human Rights Week Event

This event connects human rights to sustainable development. It can help us set local actions we would like to see in a global context.


BAWN Is Counting on US to Use These Last Two Months to Gather Petitions

With just over 30 days remaining in the calendar year, the opportunity to submit signed petitions in support of the Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN) campaign is drawing near.
If you have not already done so consider going to the BAWN website to download, print, sign, and mail a petition in support of BAWN.

If you still have the two-sided yellow petition form, please turn in the signed ones and discard any remaining copies. The new petition form can be downloaded at the BAWN site or you can obtain them from Lanelle Phillmon at or 904-382-4478.

MLK Day Jacksonville 2020!

We are excited to announce that we will be joining in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade Monday, January 20, at 10:00 am. We will take that day with others throughout our city to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. King and his influential impact as an American civil rights leader. Mark your calendars!
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, and if interested in purchasing a sash, contact Sandy Martin.

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.

The agenda for next year’s Lobby Days has not yet been announced but if interested, keep an eye on the LWV Florida website.

Save the Date for our Centennial Celebration!

Our League will host a Centennial Celebration February 15, at 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 League of Women Voters Florida, 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 is in need of volunteers who can conduct online and in-person research of the past 100 years of the national, state, and local League. If you are interested in supporting this committee contact Lanelle Phillmon at We will also need volunteers to help with logistics in the final weeks leading up to the event.
Tickets will be available online in the near future. League members will have an opportunity to purchase tickets before they are made available to non-members.

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.


You can make contact with our League in any of the following ways:

Phone: 904-355-8683


Facebook: League of Women Voters Jacksonville First Coast

We look forward to hearing from you!


Voter Registration—1,571 Voters 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.
Our volunteers had a rewarding and fun day at the FSCJ South Campus Fall Festival on Oct. 31 (pictured above). They registered 11 Voters and collected 15 Open Primary petitions and 13 BAWN petitions. Thank you for making this a successful event.

Healthcare Committee Report

Mary McLaughlin, Chairperson

Our committee’s most recent meeting was after the November 6 general luncheon meeting at Seasons 52. We reviewed the contents of the November 4 Health Care Committee conference call minutes. In general, this committee will be focusing on any bills that support access to care and affordable medical coverage.

They have already reviewed and recommend the support of LWVFL, at varying levels of priority, of the following:
  • SJR224/HJR247 AND SB164/HB219 Expansion of Medicare 
  • SB152 Dental Therapists 
  • SB116/HB109 Prescription Insulin Drugs -
  • SB348/HB6031 Kid Care
  • SB42/HB35 Donor Human Milk Bank
  • An Elder Abuse Fatality Review Team, and
  • SJR224/HJR247 AND SB164/HB219 Expansion of Medicare for which Trayce Polson, along with a physician, have offered to attend the Duval Delegation Meeting on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, 1:30 p.m. and make a presentation requesting them to support these bills. 
Our next monthly meeting will be a conference call on Tuesday, December 3. All LWVJFC members are welcomed to join us. Phone 605-475-4875, Access code 656905#.

More information on our current efforts is available here.

National Popular Vote

Pam Edwards-Roine

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is on the move! And since June 2018 the League of Women Voters has become increasingly involved both nationwide and in the state of Florida. 

Enacting the NPVIC is accomplished by individual states passing the legislation to join the compact. At this point, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation resulting in a total of 196 electoral votes of the needed 270 votes for the compact to go into effect. 

The NPVIC bill has already been filed in the Florida House by Representative Geller (Miami-Fort Lauderdale) as HB335. Senator Torres (south Orlando) is preparing to once again file in the Senate. 

What can you do to help see the NPV passed in Florida? 
  1. Contact your state legislators, and This is the best time of the year to do so, before the legislative session. 
  2. Approach groups you know and suggest that they bring us in to speak. All sorts of groups are often looking for speakers on hot topics: civic clubs, churches, informal groups of friends. Let’s get the word out. 
Thanks for your efforts on behalf of the NPV. More information is available at or contact Pam Edwards-Roine,


November Luncheon with Lori Hershey

Pictured above: Dianne Maine, Karen Parish, Lori Hershey, Lanelle Phillmon.
The Honorable Lori Hershey, Duval County School Board Chairwoman provided us with a wonderful overview of the great accomplishments of our Superintendent, Board members, teaching staff, and students.
Several key takeaways from her presentation include:
  • DCPS is the second largest employer in Jacksonville.
  • As an urban district, 70% of our students receive free or reduced cost lunches in comparison to 22% of those in St Johns, and 49% in Clay County.
  • As an urban district, 89% of our students receive their high school diploma in comparison to 94% of those in St Johns.
  • Locally, 95% of students graduate from Mandarin High School, 92% from Raines High School and 93% From Ribault High School.
  • Partnerships between DCPS, FSCJ, JU, Embry-Riddle, and Edward Waters College provide our students with excellent accelerated learning opportunities.
  • Career and Technical Education offer a number of programs that can facilitate students graduating and entering the workforce earning between $32k and $50K.
We can be proud of the leadership and vision provided to our schools by our school board and school leaders.


Thank you to all who have responded so generously to our Fall Fundraising letter.
We have raised $1,460 so far.

Jane Lockett
Kay McKenna
Carol Bryce
Susan Goldring
Billie Hayward
Kathryn Turnowchyk
Sheila Jacobson
Kristin Karpen
Ilene Levenson
Karen Parish
Frances T. Jones
Deborah Miller
Gale Chisholm  
Bobbie Nord  
Barbara Gubbin
Ruth Rosenfeld


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

New Members—Welcome aboard!

Theresa Hudson
Bonnie Hendrix
Nancy Staats
Suzanne Martin
Paul Kirkham

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

Karen Goertler
Georgia Reed
Barbara Handee
David Miron
Greta Lanier
Angela DeMonbreun
Mary Alice Phelan
Joyce Goodman
Gina Burrell
Bernadette Miron
Kiki Karpen
Laura Atkinson
Barbara Gubbin
Ann Weisz

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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