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Coalition Calls for Legislative Special Session to Address Gun Reform

A coalition of more than 60 local, state, and national organizations have called on the Florida Legislature to convene a special session by July 4 to ban assault weapons and strengthen background checks in Florida. A letter calling for the special session was hand-delivered to Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli a week after a gunman killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Led by the League of Women Voters of Florida, the wide-ranging coalition includes:
Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus Council on American Islamic Relations Doctors for America Equality Florida Florida Parent Teacher Association Hispanic Federation Nat'l Congress of Black Women Nat'l Council of Jewish Women Peace & Justice Institute    

No state official has responded.

"We're calling on our legislators to act now, to demonstrate they can rise above partisan politics to protect the lives of the citizens they were elected to represent," said Pamela Goodman, President of the Florida League.

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Welcome to the League of Women Voters Orange County

Our Mission  is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government, to work towards increasing understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.  Our Goal  is to empower citizens to shape better communities.


Dear League Members,

Sunday was surreal. With the sound of helicopters on TV and hovering over the Pulse nightclub a few miles from my home, I watched as somber community leaders confirmed that Orlando was home to the latest, and worst, mass shooting in America.

Yet even as I found myself sobbing at the news, the cadence of the news conference began to feel eerily familiar. So, too, the unfolding news coverage. The timeline of the shooting. The profile of the shooter. The interview with his bewildered father. The shock of the body count. The pictures of the grieving. The profiles of the victims as their names became known. The gestures of support. The piling on by people who are moved by hate to hate more.

Even my shaken and teary phone calls to my young adult children -- who are the same age as so many of the victims and to whom Pulse was a beacon of tolerance and acceptance during their high school days -- seemed a bit like part of a script. 

This is a scenario that has unfolded over and over again, from Charleston to Chattanooga, from Oregon to Colorado, from San Bernardino, California, to Orlando, Florida. 

This has become the new normal. 

I am proud of our community and the outpouring of love and grief and unity that has followed this deadly act of homophobia and terror. Within hours of the news on Sunday, lines snaked around One Blood centers across the region as people stood in 90-degree heat for hours to donate. Strangers brought strangers food and cold drinks. Donations poured into crisis centers. Go Fund Me sites set up for the victims have collected nearly $2 million. Vigils have sprung up around the community and across the world as people search for a way to demonstrate their sorrow and support.

And yet. It feels all too familiar.

On Sunday a friend posted on Facebook that “Something must be done. But it won’t be, it never is.” That, my fellow League members, is our call to action. 

First, we must grieve together, for the victims and their loved ones, for the hatred that has violated our community, for the fear that now pervades our lives. We must firmly and visibly unite behind the diversity and tolerance that defines Orange County as a vibrant and inclusive community. 

And then we must do what we Leaguers do best: fight fiercely, fairly and unflaggingly to right this wrong. We can and will advocate for concrete action to stop gun violence in our country.

It is truly enough. It is long past time for a new new normal.

In League, 

Florida Must Lead on Gun Safety

The time for action is NOW.  Guns kill people.  That is a fact.

Florida must be a leader NOW for necessary gun legislation.  Call your Florida Representative and State Senator.  We must have expanded background checks and extensive REQUIRED safety training for all permit holders.
This is a Public Safety issue.

We must all be responsible and take action for the safety of our citizens.
Elected officials need to hear from YOU.
Contact your Florida Representatives and Senators HERE
We have to take action.  It is only through our collaborative efforts that the LWVF truly make a difference and keep the Sunshine State safe.


Thank you,
Pamela Goodman
President, LWVF
Schedule a League member  to explain the voting process/ballots to your group today.                                                  
Ballots can be confusing!  There are the races you hear a lot about and those you hear a little about.  And then the other issues, like amendments - those ballot proposals that can leave voters uncertain and frustrated. If only you had a reliable, nonpartisan source for figuring it all out....                                                  Fortunately, now you do! 
The League of Women Voters Orange County will provide a speaker who will present a nonpartisan review of the ballot to your organization. We call these presentations Ballot Education.                                                                              
The presentation will include background on the Florida ballot issues as well as Orange County ballot initiatives. Candidate discussion is not a part of this presentation, but the issues are discussed.                                              
If you are interested in a 2016 Florida Ballot Education Presentation for your organization before November, please contact our SPEAKERS BUREAU for more information.





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