Welcome Members!

Check the calendar to learn about opportunities to get involved with upcoming League activities and other community events.

Thanks for attending the 2019 LWVOWC Planning Meeting

Legislative Priorities for 2019–20

Attendees at the 2019 Annual Planning Meeting agreed on the following priorities:

1. Legislation to approve the National Popular Vote
2. Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
3. Approval of Medicaid Expansion
4. Legislation to repeal restrictions on Amendment 4

Tentative Schedule of General Meetings for 2019–20

September: Our “Back to League” kick-off meeting will be on the National Popular Vote (NPV) initiative. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Friday, 20 Sep, in the café at Enlightened Studios (142 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, FWB). The NPV bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Explanation. It has been enacted into law in 16 jurisdictions with 196 electoral votes (CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA), and will take effect when enacted by states with 74 more electoral votes. Join us: relax with a drink and learn about this initiative from local Leaguer Katherine Rudolph. Bring a friend and RSVP today.

October: Our general meeting will showcase Mental Health in Okaloosa and Walton Counties with an expert panel to address pertinent issues, to include resources for residents dealing with post-hurricane issues (stress, PTSD, housing shortage/homelessness, food shortages, failure of Congress to appropriate necessary funds, etc.); the new requirement for Florida Schools to provide at least 5 hours of mental health instruction annually for students beginning in 6th grade; and the benefits Medicaid Expansion would have on mental health coverage.

November: Our general meeting will focus on personal responsibility regarding the environment; i.e., steps an average citizen can take (e.g., rain barrels, environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies/lawn care chemicals, conservation of water/energy, etc.) to improve the environment. The meeting will consider stormwater run-off, beach water quality and septic to sewer conversion (the State Legislature allocated $25M for septic to sewer conversion, but counties must provide matching funds to get a grant).

December: The annual League Holiday Party will be held from 1–3:00 pm on Sunday, 8 December, at Mary Blackwell’s house (1562 Glenlake Circle, Niceville).

January: Our educational meeting will focus on making folks comfortable with the census and urging them to cooperate, so we get a full count. For the first time the U.S. census will prioritize collecting responses online. Most households will get a letter in the mail directing them to fill out a form on a website. Households that don’t respond should get follow-up letters with paper forms, and a census taker could eventually be sent to collect the data in person, but nothing is certain. League wants to ensure a full count in our community, because our state’s future federal funding and congressional representation (to name but two important items!) depend on it.

February: League will sponsor an environmental forum featuring 3–4 local experts that will focus on environmental concerns at Eglin AFB, including open burning and contamination from fire suppressant foam (perfluorocarbons or PFCs), and how local water quality is/may be affected. League plan to partner with 3–4 other groups (Choctawhatchee Basin AllianceMattie Kelly Environmental Institute, etc.) to expand awareness of the event and increase attendance.

March: Your League will coordinate with the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women to recreate the very successful “Boots to Suits” Women’s History Month event held in 2015.

April: League will partner with other local organizations for the 50th annual Earth Day event, which will be held at Fort Walton Landing from 1100–1500 on Saturday, 18 April 2020.

May: The LWVOWC Annual Meeting (to elect new officers and approve the 2020–21 Annual Budget) will be planned by the current officers.

June: The 21st annual State of the County Report (SOTC) for Okaloosa County and the inaugural SOTC for Walton County will each feature 3 local elected officials (1 x County Commissioner plus 2 others) who report about the most important issues affecting their piece of county government.

2019 LWVOWC General Meetings

2019 Annual Planning Meeting

Thanks to all members who attended the 2019 Annual Planning Meeting in July. Attendees agreed on legislative priorities and a tentative schedule for next year’s general meetings (see details above). If you were unable to attend the Planning Meeting, read the minutes.

The 20th annual Okaloosa County State of the County (SOTC) Report

The 2019 Okaloosa County SOTC was held on 8 June at the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. The panel included County Commission Chair Kelly Windes, School Board Vice Chair Tim Bryant and County Judge Angela Mason. If you could not attend, read the meeting summary here.

2019 LWVOWC Annual Meeting

Your League is now ready for a new League year with new leadership. Learn about your new officers and board members here. If you could not attend, please check out the updated BylawsLocal Program and Nonpartisan Policy, and read the outgoing President's Annual Report.

Munitions Disposal: A threat to public health?

Did you miss the March 2019 presentation on health threats from munitions disposal? You can read it here, or watch this video about the true cost of burning military munitions.

Your Email Address: Be an informed League member

To effectively and efficiently communicate within the organization, League employs technologies—such as email —that achieve the broadest reach possible. LWVUS does not sell or trade member email addresses! They send national action alerts and weekly “Leaders’ Update” to those on the mailing list. Email is easily deleted if you don’t want to read it, but if you don’t receive it, you may miss out on important League information.

Be sure the League has your email address. Individual members can add their own email address to the national database through the national website.