help_outline Skip to main content
Serving the People of Brevard County, Florida
Date: 3/30/2020
Subject: LWVSC April 2020 Newsletter
From: League of Women Voters of the Space Coast

LWVSC bi-monthly Newsletter Header

Now that we are in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, my first thought is to hope that you are all doing well, following all the required restrictions as well as CDC recommendations. If any of you need help or support of any sort, please get in touch with me or any board member and we will do our best to assist. It’s always good to see how the community pulls together in these times of need and I know that LWV of the Space Coast members can be relied upon to do the same.  

How much has changed in a month! It seems as if we have gone from a flurry of voter registration and League events to virtually nothing.
I have to admit that I am secretly enjoying the downtime and I have almost done everything on my “To Do List” which for me is always quite a feat. I’m now contemplating an attack on those items I gave up on months ago – yes, the forgotten brochure and PowerPoint may both get completed thanks to COVID -19. Gardening is also top of my list of things to do during a pandemic. Our backyard space is looking significantly better and may even look great if I have to stay home for just a few weeks more. Other positive consequences of changes due to the Corona virus are more time for reading, cleaning and the opportunity to do some really good baking.

Seriously though, these are unprecedented times and the COVID-19 crisis is just one example of how quickly the world as we know it can change. Climate change continues to take its toll, but at a slower rate and of course for us Floridians hurricanes and tornadoes are always a threat. That being said, as soon as it is safe to re-group we will do so. For the immediate future please put the LWVSC April 4th Annual Meeting on your ‘Save the Date’ list. We will continue to send out information on how to dial-in to so that you can participate in the meeting which will be held via conference call.
Wishing you all good health, please take care and stay well until we meet again.

In League,
Jo Shim
LWVSC President

Annual Meeting Information

Annual Meeting (3)
Our 2020 Annual Meeting will be a conference call on Saturday, April 4th at 2:15 p.m.
  • There is no cost but we would like to know who will be attending.
  • Please sign into Club Express and register for the meeting:
  • An e-mail was sent to all members on Friday, March 6th with details of the meeting. The e-mail had the proposed budget, nominating committee report and proposed changes to bylaws.
  • Another e-mail with these details will be sent before the April 4th meeting.
  • This is a link to the Proposed Programs of Work for the coming year.Proposed Programs of Work for 2020
  • We hope you will join us.  Thank you.

Volunteer of the Month

Doreen Archer - April Volunteer of the Month
Congratulations to Doreen Archer, LWV of the Space Coast Volunteer of the month. Doreen was born in Durban, South Africa and came to the US with her husband and children in the early sixties.  She quickly became involved in the community; working with many organizations including the American Association of University Women (AAUW), NAACP, and Nature Conservancy. At different points in time, she was PTA president of two different schools, a Cadette Girl Scout leader and was also twice president of AAUW. In the early nineties she was a founding member of the Coalition for Women’s and Children’s issues a coalition of eighteen organizations with an interest in issues relating to women and children.
Doreen has a long history with LWV of the Space Coast where she has served as president and secretary as well as being a longstanding board member.  Currently, she uses her wealth of knowledge and experience to guide the board as an effective and engaged League Advisor. She is an active member of the Education and Justice committees, participates in the Sustainability Book Group and is always willing to lend a hand with projects and any upcoming event. League members are grateful to Doreen for constantly making her house available for meetings. Never one to turn down an invitation to dinner or a party, Doreen continues to inspire us all with her capacity for volunteer work and zest for life.

Striving for Excellence in Troubled Times

Report from LWVSC Education Committee
Hanging over the School Board Members’ Heads in the District meeting room is a sign proclaiming the Brevard County Schools’ Vision: “To Serve Every Student With Excellence As The Standard”.
The Program of Work of the Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast has twelve components adopted by the full membership of the League. Five of which are devoted to the monitoring and reporting of the District’s policies and procedures that ensure equitable opportunities for all of Brevard’s students in the pursuit of excellence.
So, we on the Education Committee, can be encouraged with the steps the District is taking to meet the needs of the students even as they and we all grapple with the extraordinary challenges brought on by the Corona Virus Epidemic. The closure of the schools, at the minimum until April 15, necessitates action to ensure students continue the classroom experience from a distance. Just like social distancing, on line distance learning takes forming and practicing new habits. It can be done, but it takes creativity, communication, commitment and flexibility. With the diversity within our School System, it also takes acknowledgement that there are varying needs which require attention to meet the standard of excellence for every student.
With 42,000 students from low income families accounting for 51% of free and reduced lunches, it is heartening to see headlines in Florida Today describing how families may pick up breakfasts and lunches for their children by going through a drive through at designated sites. According to the article, parents must accompany their children.
With 2400 Students in Transition (Homeless), we are grateful for the Brevard Schools Foundation seeking financial contributions so they may distribute hygiene and other necessities to these students.
When an early childhood teacher called the Brevard Federation of Teachers to suggest books be provided for our youngest boys and girls who need the reinforcement of the printed word as beginning readers, BFT will buy the new books.
All teachers are working on setting up the required sites for remote learning and notifying their students and families. Those students who do not have home computers may arrange to borrow computers through their own schools.
All of these preparations are being done by people who care about the health and education of our children. While they thought about all of the challenges, questions arise. “What about the students whose parents don’t have a car or can’t because of work schedules pick up the meals?” “What about the need for internet accessibility in order to use the computer on loan?” “Are there audio and video capabilities available to communicate with the student’s teacher?” “What about homes without electricity?”  We raised the issues with the School District and the response was immediate.
According to Dr. Stephanie Soliven, Assistant Superintendent Secondary Leading and Learning, food sites have been expanded to 27 schools throughout the District, many within walking distance to the neighborhood. Anyone 18 years and under will be provided a meal and students may be accompanied by a neighbor, relative, or adult friend when a parent is not available.
Schools are checking out computers and families can stay connected on cell phones through the Brevard Schools’ Apps.
Several companies have opened up their hotspots for public access, and local internet companies are offering packages for free access for two months. Additionally, the District has ordered personal hotspots that may be distributed to families once they arrive.
Families with unmet needs are urged to utilize the community resource number 211 where guidance on food insecurity, housing, and other social services can be provided.
“Brevard Public Schools is committed to working with each of our families. Parents should not hesitate to contact their school with questions and concerns. Principals will work alongside District Staff to identify the best way to support each family” wrote Dr. Soliven.
Knowing there will be unforeseen problems, with Dr. Soliven’s response, our community can count on the School District listening and acting as we all strive to serve our students with excellence and good will in these troubled times.
Fran Baer, Chair of Education Committee

Committee Spotlights

Recycling Awards Program cancelled due to COVID-19
Marcia Booth LWVSC Recycling Awards Coordinator sent the following message to Brevard teachers who applied to the program.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak brought a lot of disruption to everyone's lives. With students being kept at home, the completion of projects, which should be submitted by April 20, is very likely to be compromised.
For that reason and out of precaution, we have decided to cancel our program this year so everyone can concentrate on the pressing issue of the moment and work on successfully finishing this school year.

On a positive note, the school that was recognized last year will have the chance to keep our plaque on display for one extra year. We will reach out to get the plaque back during next year's award cycle.
We will be sending information and posting new dates for the next award cycle as soon as we are ready. We hope you are able to participate and will apply again.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank BPS for their continued partnership in this program and to thank you for your efforts and understanding. Please do stay safe!
Thank you to:
  • Martha Bradshaw and Valorie Ryan for their help gathering teacher contact information.
  • Barbara Williams, Jacqueline Chandler, and Susan Little for volunteering to complete the program before it was cancelled.
Natural Resources Report
Good News on Bio Solids Fight by Maureen Rupe
According to a West Palm Beach TV article by Meghan McRoberts titled “Sunbreak Farms backs down from fight to use biosolids in St. Lucie County,” the Sunbreak farms finished their one year battle with the St Lucie County to allow the farm to apply bio-solids to 6500 acres of their property.  Sunbreak farms applied for their permit in 2018 with the South Florida Water Management District.  The SFWMD turned down the application as Sunbreak Farms refused to provide water quality monitoring as part of the project.  

The use of bio-solids is potentially harmful as there are unknown heavy metals, bacteria and nutrients that can cause algae blooms, harm sea life and kill vegetation.  I wish Brevard county would be so prudent, instead of doing things like approving so much new development that is causing harm to the Indian River Lagoon.


Odds and Ends

Remember to Re-Member: We hope that you will renew your dues by early April. Thank you.
Remember to complete your census form. For questions: 1-844-330-2020.
  • Thank you to all of our members who have already renewed their memberships.
  • A special thank you to our members who have been very generous in adding to their membership dues.
  • We welcome our new student member Jane Tkach.
  • The International Relations group will not be meeting in April.  We will notify you when we can join in person to study our Great Decisions Topics.
  • Most League meetings are cancelled for April but the Education Committee plans to have a phone conference on Wednesday, April 15th at 10:00 a.m.  An e-mail will be sent to Committee members a couple days before the meeting.


Jo Shim, Diane Conaway, Dr. Joe Lee Smith, Rob Grisar, Diane Callier, & Roger Williams
Jo Shim, Donna Morris, & Deb Peterson
Doreen Archer and Terry Mott -  Members of the Sustainability Book Club
Krista Soboh & Marilynn Collins - Members of the Sustainability Book Club

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Click on one of these options to support us or learn more:

Visit our website at