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Serving the People of Brevard County, Florida
Date: 12/30/2019
Subject: LWVSC January 2020 Newsletter
From: League of Women Voters of the Space Coast

LWVSC bi-monthly Newsletter Header

Happy New Year!  2020 promises to be an extraordinary year for League of Women Voters of the Space Coast (LWVSC) with many voter registration events already on the calendar, 100th Anniversary of the League celebrations in the planning process, Census activities and candidate forums ready to be scheduled. Please check the LWVSC website for events and opportunities to participate.
With the new year and the start of a new decade comes the opportunity to reflect and make resolutions. Here are the ones that I hope the LWV of the Space Coast Board will work on in 2020:
1.    A commitment to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
Diversity is a complex topic, but a good start for all of us is to review the diversity statement included in the 2019-2020 membership book (page 26) which states:
There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or affiliation and/or and other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.

Hopefully, throughout the year, the LWVSC Board will take the lead by holding events to help expand our understanding of DEI as well as exploring opportunities for diversification.

2.    Increasing Our Commitment to Voter Registration

Voter Registration is at the heart of what we do as League members and critically important to ensure that we have fair elections with full participation. In 2019 we established a Voter Services Committee that is busy developing ideas for increasing community outreach. The committee is also planning a voter registration training in February. Please make sure that you have taken the quiz to become qualified to do voter registration on behalf of the League and sign-up to help at one of the upcoming events.

3.    Celebrating our Volunteers

LWV of the Space Coast has some amazing volunteers and in 2020 we want to celebrate their dedication, passion and commitment on a monthly basis. Please let us know if you have suggestions for our “Volunteer of the Month Spot” which will appear in the “Newsletter” starting in February!

Thank you to all LWV of the Space Coast members who served on committees, on the LWVSC Board, worked on sustainability and environmental issues, participated in statewide conference calls or volunteered to help with events in 2019. On behalf of the LWVSC Board, I want you to know that all your efforts are truly appreciated.  What we do as League members is very important, but it should not be burdensome. So, let’s all look forward to having fun, meeting new people and making new friends as we plan for new challenges in 2020!   

In League,
Jo Shim
LWVSC President

Education Committee Report

Article written by Fran Baer
The days of “Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic” have long been expanded to include a myriad of subjects we label “Education”. Today’s classrooms involve everything from the basics to mental and physical health, safety and security, guidance and relationships, standards and equality. Whatever affects the students’ lives becomes a necessary part of the curriculum.

The Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast is well aware of the awesome challenges facing our public schools as reflected in our Program of Work.
We have decided the best way to understand, monitor and report the POW  is to go directly to the source. Speakers invited to attend our committee meetings continue to provide us with needed information which leads to action.

In November, Mike Alba, Director of Professional Learning and Development, Brevard Public Schools, attended and responded to questions raised about the use of substitute teachers in our classrooms. What did we learn?
 Shortages in finding qualified substitute teachers are attributed to pay and demographics. Daily pay ranges from $63.45 with a High School Diploma, at least 21 years old, to $121.88 for Retired Teachers who have been retired for at least one year. No benefits are included.
Title One Schools, 40 in number, or 49% of Brevard’s Public Schools are those schools that have a large concentration of low-income students and are having the most difficulty attracting substitute teachers.
On line training is offered and drug testing and finger printing paid for by the applicant are required.
When the teacher is absent for an extended period the substitute is considered a long term sub and teaching certification is preferred. When that certification is out of field from the regular teacher, i.e. English certification subbing in a math class, the best practice is to notify the parents.
In all instances, Brevard County reminds us that “Each day the substitute  teacher is in the classroom is still a day of education for our students.”

Our Committee concurs and will follow up with action to ensure our children receive the quality education their future and our county’s future require. Since pay and demographics result in shortages, we have offered assistance in notifying parents in our Title One Schools of the importance of filling out the necessary forms in order to qualify for the Title One Federal funding which can free up dollars to improve the pay and attract subs when needed.

On Monday, January 13, 2020, the eve of the opening of the legislative session educators, parents, and members of our Education Committee will travel by charter buses to Tallahassee to rally for public education. A forum to better understand the school budget process is in the planning stages for February or March. Stay tuned and involved as we explore ways to sustain and encourage the education system our children deserve. Interested persons can contact Fran at

2020 Census

2020 Census
Who Is Required To Respond?

Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

Why It's Required
Getting a complete and accurate census count is critically important. That's why your response is required by law. If you do not respond, the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response.
And while you are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information.

Special Living Situations
People in some special living situations may have questions about how to respond. This includes:
•    Students.
•    Service members.
•    People in correctional facilities.
•    People who move on Census Day (April 1, 2020).
•    People who do not have fixed addresses.

Visit Who To Count for information on how people in these groups will be counted.
Either link should work.

Article by Audrey Grayson

International Relations Meetings

The January Meeting for International Relations is on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the Satellite Beach Library from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Please note that our meetings start a half hour earlier this year.)
The January Topic is Artificial Intelligence and Data led by Martha Bradshaw.
The 8 topics for 2020 from the Great Decisions Publication are:
  • Artificial Intelligence and Data
  • China's Road into Latin America
  • Climate Change and Global Order
  • India and Pakistan
  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
  • The Philippines and the U.S.
  • Red Sea Security
  • U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
You are invited to join our monthly meetings where we learn about and discuss timely topics of international interest.  Public is invited.

Natural Resources Committee

Elimination and Rollback of Federal Regulations

by Maureen Rupe,

I keep hearing about the current administration's elimination or rollback of regulations as a good thing.    Most regulations are put into place to protect us, either our health or our quality of life even down to whether we are paid for all the time we work. I found an article in the New York Times by Nadia Popovich, Livia Albeck Ripka and Kendra Pierra Lous, last updated on Sept. 12, 2019.  I didn’t list all of them, but some are of concern.


Air pollution and emissions

1.Canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.

2.Revised and partially repealed an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions on public lands, including intentional venting and flaring from drilling operations.        

3.Loosened a Clinton-era rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters.

4.Stopped enforcing a 2015 rule that prohibited the use of hydrofluorocarbons, powerful greenhouse gases, in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

5.Repealed a requirement that state and regional authorities track tailpipe emissions from vehicles traveling on federal highways.

6.Reverted to a weaker 2009 pollution permitting program for new power plants and expansions.


Infrastructure and planning

43.Revoked Obama-era flood standards for federal infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges. The standards required the government to account for sea-level rise and other climate change effects.

44.Relaxed the environmental review process for federal infrastructure projects.

45.Revoked a directive for federal agencies to minimize impacts on water, wildlife, land and other natural resources when approving development projects.

46.Revoked an Obama executive order promoting “climate resilience” in the northern Bering Sea region of Alaska, which withdrew local waters from oil and gas leasing and established a tribal advisory council to consult on local environmental issues.


Toxic substances and safety

66.Rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.

67.Narrowed the scope of a 2016 law mandating safety assessments for potentially toxic chemicals, like dry-cleaning solvents and paint strippers. The E.P.A. will focus on direct exposure and exclude air, water and ground contamination.


Water pollution

71.Scaled back pollution protections for certain tributaries and wetlands that were regulated under the Clean Water Act by the Obama administration.

72.Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams.

73.Withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.

I didn’t list them all, but I couldn’t find many that although would help business, would not hurt our overall quality of life. 


1. Molly Domin has been chosen to be Gun Safety Chair for League of Women Voters of Florida.
2. Florida Legislature Session convenes on Tuesday, January 14th in Tallahassee.  The regular legislative session is for 60 days.
3. Have you read the information on the inside front and back covers of your 2019-2020 Membership Book?
4. We welcome new members who joined in December:
  • Anna Maria Curry
  • Sue Ebersberger
  • Lee Sorensen

Volunteer Opportunities


Upcoming On Our Calendar

Meetings for January 2020

Photos / Odds and Ends................

Photos from our Holiday Luncheon 2019
Photos from our Holiday Luncheon 2019

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