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Serving the People of Brevard County, Florida
Date: 1/31/2020
Subject: LWVSC February 2020 Newsletter
From: League of Women Voters of the Space Coast

LWVSC bi-monthly Newsletter Header




If you’ve looked at the February calendar on the LWVSC website
you will know that we all need to be ready for a very busy month. But first, I want to let you know that League of Women Voters Florida wants us to capitalize on the excellent She is Me Campaign, initiated last fall by LWVUS, to create content (videos and photos) for Florida’s Centennial celebration. The intent of “She is Me’ is to “explore diverse stories of women who have shaped past and present progress for voting rights and join us in this movement as we approach our 100 years of fighting for democracy.”  Over the next 6 weeks or so we will be using this campaign to feature the work of Space Coast League Members using video and photographs. Look out for posts on our website, Twitter and FB page.

January was a great month for voter registration as we participated in 5 voter registration events, but February will be even more demanding with 10 voter registration events already on the calendar. Please volunteer to help with these scheduled activities – it’s a lot of fun as you get to interact with other League members and connect with members of the community. Other events of interest include a Voter Registration Training on February 20th and a General Membership Meeting on February 24th – I hope to see many of you at one or both events.

On February 14th – the actual date of the 100th Anniversary of the League of Women Voters we have a voter registration event planned for the Cocoa Central Library from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm. We are calling it “Love to Vote” as of course it’s also Valentine’s Day. Other events to celebrate the 100th Anniversary are in the planning process so please keep tuned for more information!

Thanks, as always, to everyone who volunteered during January. All your hours of hard work are much appreciated, and you can be sure that your contribution does make a difference in the community. I’m leaving you this month with an inspiring quote from League of Women Voters founder Carrie Chapman Catt.

“The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America, the guarantee of your liberty”.

In League,
Jo Shim
LWVSC President

Important Events for February

Please look at all the possibilities for attending League events or volunteering for League in February.
  • Volunteer for Voter Registration
  • Volunteer for judging Science Fairs
  • Enjoy Black History Month Events
  • Attend a Committee Meeting (Education, Health, Justice, Local Government, Natural Resources) to see if you would like to be more involved.
  • Become a part of the Observer Corps
  • Voter Registration Training
  • Details will be coming soon for our Membership Meeting on Monday, February 24th.
Look at our February Calendar to see what is planned for the month.

Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Elaine Harris, LWV of the Space Coast’s volunteer of the month.  If you meet Elaine, you will be immediately struck by her cheerful disposition and enthusiasm. Since July of last year Elaine has volunteered at the South Brevard Sharing Center (SBSC) in Melbourne. Each month, she works along with league member Donna Morris offering voter registration, referrals for voter registration eligibility questions, and petition signing to SBSC clients. Elaine also served as Chair of the 2020/2021 Nominating Committee. Sadly, she will soon be cutting back on her LWVSC responsibilities to take on a new challenge as Chair of the Board of Trustees for her church. There is no doubt that Elaine will be missed, and we wish her every success with her new position.

Email Spoofing and Scams

 Barbara Williams, LWVSC Data Protection point of contact

Email spoofing is when the email header “From” address appears to be a legitimate contact but is really sent from a spammer/hacker (illegitimate source).  It is easy to do but it is illegal and should be reported, especially if the email intends to scam something of secure or monetary value from the recipient. This type of scam is call “phishing”.  It is unfortunate, but our local League has had phishing emails sent out that try to imitate members of our board.  To avoid being duped, members should always check that the email address associated with the contact name is an email address that is known to be that contact’s email address (click on the contact name in the email to see the email address the message was sent from). If the email address appears to be valid but the message is an odd request, it is possible that the email address was compromised through an email app while on an insecure network or by other means.  Never respond or act on a request without further verifying the request.  Our board members have reported spoofs to the FBI where money requests were involved but most email apps now include a button to report phishing emails.  If you use the Google Mail (Gmail) app,  when you have the email in question opened, you can click “More” which is next to “Reply” (on the classic version you might need to click the down arrow), to find a “Report Phishing” option.   It might be wise to use HELP or a SEARCH tool to learn how to easily report phishing from your favorite email application.   This is the best means to report phishing. Do not forward the message to others to report as accurate reporting data can be lost.

Census for 2020

Census 2020 by Audrey Grayson
Members of the U.S. Census Bureau are already working with various organizations throughout Brevard County to inform the community of the forthcoming 2020 census.  The U.S. Census is required under the U.S. Constitution to occur every 10 years and it will count every resident in the country, in District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island areas; which include the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Because The U.S. Census Bureau cannot conduct the 2020 Census alone, the League of Women Voters (LWV) has partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau and will participate in Complete Count Committees (CCC).  The League will work to share the importance of participating in the Census with people from all backgrounds and stations.  Complete Count Committees are volunteer committees established by tribal, state, and local governments and community leaders or organizations to increase awareness and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census. CCCs serve as state and local “census ambassador” groups that play an integral part in ensuring a complete and accurate count of the community in the 2020 Census. Success of the census depends on community involvement at every level. This League of Women Voters Space Coast (LWVSC) 2020 Census representative has attended several meetings with the Correct Count Brevard Coalition.  This is a group of community leaders, government officials and business representatives that discuss what all of us need to do to get the word out about the Census, which is why it’s vital we get a complete and accurate population count in Brevard County.  They also discuss the best strategies for reaching Hard to Count (HTC) populations.

The federal government uses census data to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds annually.  That money will help the state of Florida and Brevard county and Brevard communities receive federal funding each year for hospitals, schools, emergency services, bridges, tunnels, roads and other resources, such as Section 8 housing vouchers. The 2020 Census will also affect how much communities receive for job training centers, childcare centers, head start programs and senior centers.  Census results are also used to determine the number of congressional and state legislative representatives.  As you can see, the results of the census can affect your everyday life.

For the first time ever, the 2020 Census will be online.  The census can be completed by cell phone, tablet, or computer. Computers will be available at your local library or you will be able to call into 1-800- number where someone will help you complete the form.
You also need to know that your answers can only be used to produce statistics.  Your answers cannot be used against anyone in any way.  The U.S. Census Bureau cannot release information about individuals, households, or businesses and that includes law enforcement officials.  As a matter of fact, Census Bureau Staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information.
Your responses to the 2020 Census are protected under federal law.

“Title 13 of the U.S. Code.  
Federal law, under Title 13 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), requires the U.S. Census Bureau to maintain the confidentiality of the information it collects. The Census Bureau takes this responsibility very seriously. To uphold the law, the Census Bureau requires that any individuals with access to Title 13 materials adhere to the prescribed confidentiality and security guidelines.”
Now, a first invitation for you to respond will be sent to households as soon as March 15, 2020.  Census Day is April 1, 2020.  The Census Bureau will send multiple reminders to homes to complete the form. If you don’t respond, the Census bureau will send someone to knock on your door.  That person will have a valid ID. They will show you that ID when they come to your house.  
Finally, the 2020 Census is hiring. They are paying $16.00 per hour and paying $.58 per mile.  You must apply online at or you can call 1-800-JOB-2020.
Although these are only temporary jobs, anticipated to last “several weeks,” census taker work takes place under a rather formal framework. To get involved, you must be a US citizen, over 18 years old, with a valid social security number. You need to pass a background check and cannot do another job that could constitute a “conflict of interest.”
The Census data collected will be used to make decisions around education, healthcare, infrastructure, and political representation. Getting an accurate and complete count of every person living within the country is crucial to ensure that each state receives funding to support the number of residents in each state.

Committee Spotlights

More Student Opportunities by Fran Baer, Chair of Education Committee
The Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast, like all other League Committees, takes its Program of Work seriously.  In doing so, we have been reporting our progress and findings in this column as our way of “spreading the word”.
Item number 9 of our Program of Work instructs us to “research and monitor the career and technical pathways available to students attending Brevard Public Schools”.  Accordingly, in following up on information received at a Hot Topic featuring Port Canaveral last spring, the Education Committee invited Port Commissioner Vice Chair, Robyn Hattaway, to our December meeting to discuss the Junior Ambassador Program available to the nine public high schools and two private high schools within the Canaveral Port Authority Special District. As part of this outreach program, students home schooled up to age 19 are also eligible to apply. For this School Year, 2019-2020, twenty applications were received and ten selected , four  females and six males, by a committee which includes a Brevard County Public School Teacher and School Board Member, Misty Belford.

The mission is to share and involve the youth in the activities at Port Canaveral, providing them information about the job opportunities offered at the Port. Students meet with leaders at Port Canaveral in areas of maritime, hospitality, environment, engineering/construction, and recreation who share what they do at the port, what skills or certifications are required, what level of education is needed, and what salaries are the norm. Each application must have the signature of the School Principal or Guidance Counselor approving the student’s absence for the course which runs over four nonconsecutive days during the School Year.

The Education Committee is impressed with the opportunity offered to students interested in this new program offered by the Port and will follow up with the expected student evaluations. Commissioner Hattaway is hopeful more applications will be accepted as the program grows with the community’s knowledge and support.

April 22nd at 6p.m. at the Port Authority meeting room, the students selected this year will present their final projects and the public is invited. If you live in the Port Authority District and know a student in grades 9-12 who would benefit from this Junior Ambassador Program, contact Melanie Bradford, for an application which will be due in August, 2020.

While we are speaking about opportunities for Brevard’s students, we learned at a Chamber of Commerce meeting that while scholarship dollars are available, by not filling out the required applications students are losing out on dollars available for their post high school education. Again, adults are urged to talk to students they know about pursuing available scholarships through the guidance department of their highs schools. After all, it does take a village.

Report from Molly Domin, Chair of Justice Committee
The Florida legislative session is in full swing and we’re currently tracking many important justice and gun safety bills. An especially important group of bills, (SB 436, SB 228, SB 762, HB 165 & HB 347) address youth in solitary confinement. There is mounting evidence suggesting this punishment is the psychological equivalent to torture.

The League also greatly supports Senate Bill 7028 which would, among other things, require background checks for private sales like those online and at gun shows. This could help prevent those already prevented from buying guns, like domestic abusers, people with violent criminal records and people already prohibited from purchasing guns for mental health reasons.

We also support SB 114/HB47 which expand on the “red flag law” passed in the MSD Act in which law enforcement members are currently the only ones who can petition for a risk protection order. This bill would also allow for family members to seek a court order to remove firearms from at-risk individuals. Many other states allow for family members to petition for risk protection orders.

Senate Bill 460-462/HB 289
require background checks for the sale or transfer of ammunition. In short, these bills are vital to closing some jaw-dropping loopholes. SB 460 is being dubbed “Jaime’s Law” after Jaime Guttenberg who was murdered in the Stone Douglas High School attack. These bills ensure that those legally prohibited from purchasing firearms are also unable to purchase ammunition. As Jaime’s father, Fred Guttenberg said, “With 300,000,000 weapons already on the streets, we must make it harder for those who intend to kill to do so.” Like Rep. Dan Daley said, “If someone walks into a bar and orders a beer, a bartender is required by law to ask for their ID. Why isn’t a vendor required by law to ensure that someone seeking to purchase ammunition is legally allowed to do so?”

Gun safety is public safety and we hope to see the legislature vote for the safety of their citizens this year.

Additional Information

Over $700 in gift cards for Students in Transition were donated by members at our Holiday Luncheon.
Last day to register for March Primary is Tuesday, February 18th.
Are you qualified to register voters?

Topic for February International Relations Meeting is Climate Change and the Global Order
Tuesday, February 11th - 12:30 to 2:30
Satellite Beach Library
Susan Little is leading the discussion on Climate Change
Public Invited.  Please join us.

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

Regina Sheridan, LWV Florida Office Administrator
presenting Advocacy Training
Diane Callier volunteering
League Members and Others
Fran Baer, Krista Soboh and Jo Shim

League Members honoring Yvonne Minus when she was sworn in as President of the Space Coast League of Cities.
Left to right in the photo are: Diane Conaway, Yvonne Minus, Jo Shim, Brigitte and David Sinton. 

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