LWV awaits state, national approval  


Elections were held and formal application approved to submit documentation to achieve full chapter status at last week’s second annual meeting of the Lower Keys League of Women Voters. In an informal “State of the League” address, President Joan Wallin reported a year of achievement — forums, outreach, Fifth Tuesday socials and “civics lessons” on local government.

After 17 months of work, the chapter is ready to move from provisional status to state and national recognition. Approved at the meeting and thus ready for submission to the Florida LWV are nine “exhibits” including “a Board List; By-laws; a Budget; a “Nonpartisan policy;” and lists of achievements and future plans for membership activities, programs, and voter service activities.

By-laws require that half the officers and board be elected each year. This year Vice President Linda Grist Cunningham, Treasurer Sandra Bergin, and board members with portfolios Joy Brown Taylor, voter services (two years), Jane Newhagen, membership chair (two years), .and Constance Gilbert, public relations (one year). This is Bergin’s second year as treasurer. Joy Brown Taylor served as vice president and program chair in 2013-14 and stepped down to fill the voter services chair. She was the group’s Unsung Hero at the Community Foundation’s recognition luncheon last month.

Congratulatory remarks were offered by Maribel Baliban, president of the 500-member LWV of Miami-Dade County. Also guest at the meeting was Claire Lang of Broward County LWV, who was among Florida LWV leaders who first convened the Key West meeting in August 2012 that led to the reestablishment of the League in the Lower Keys.

The next community event scheduled is the fourth in the League’s ongoing series of educational forums, this one on flood insurance from 10 a.m.to noon, March 22, at the Harvey Government Center.

PHOTO/CS Gilbert

Pictured after the Lower Keys League of Women Voters annual meeting and elections at the Pasta Garden are, standing from left, Vice President Linda Grist Cunningham, guest speaker Maribel Baliban, President Joan Wallin and guest Claire Lang. Seated are board member Joy Brown Taylor and Secretary Diane Johnson. Not pictured are Treasurer Sandra Bergin and board members Jane Newhagen and Constance Gilbert.

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