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The League of Women Voters of Collier County is part of a national and state organization and was organized in 1975. We are more than voter services and helping you to register to vote. We care about and study issues that affect your life, such as education, natural resources, public policy, local government, criminal justice, social and health care issues.

The league never endorses candidates, but we do, after extensive study, take positions on certain issues.

Who are we?

We are local citizens (both women and men). Our goal is to empower citizens to take an active role in shaping better communities. We want to inform you about issues that we all care about deeply and affect us all in our community. We are nonpartisan.

Examples of our volunteer work:

+ Candidate forums: During election cycles, the league holds candidate forums to give you the opportunity to hear candidate positions on issues. Many of our local candidate forums are televised and, whenever possible, they are available to view online after the forum has taken place. The league never endorses nor opposes candidates.

+ Issue forums: The league holds forums devoted to issues such as local referendums and amendments to the Florida Constitution. Remember Amendment One (pertaining to money for land acquisition and other environmental needs) and the solar amendment?

+ We often partner informally with other local organizations such as for the recent sea level rise study with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Community education, networking

+ Lunch and learn: We hear from experts on current events or local issues such as land development, changes in voter registration, water quality, local elections and sea level rise. (Lunchtime meetings are the second Monday of each month, at the Hilton Naples.)

+ Informal gatherings: Join us for “wine and wisdom” and meet people in your community who are passionate about their quality of life in Collier County and want to ensure it.

+ Monthly committee meetings and updates: Examples are voter services, social policy, environment and justice committees. Go to our website for the meeting time and day.

The social committee has provided outreach to help hurricane victims in Immokalee. The league is aware of the ongoing needs and is helping to get the word out. We hope to give extra support to the Immokalee PLAY project currently underway at the Farm Worker Village.

Of note

+ You can now register to vote online at www.Colliervotes.com.

+ Mark Strain, the county’s planning advisory chairman, who presented in November, says we are one of the healthiest and happiest towns in the country. He also discussed population growth. Florida’s older population (60-plus) will account for most of the growth. It is anticipated that by 2040 our population will be close to 500,000.

+ The petition to place the Voting Rights Amendment, to restore voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions (excluding murderers and violent criminals), on the 2018 ballot is at www.floridiansforafairdemocracy.com/sign-the-petition.

+ Our Jan. 15 program will feature Naples-area resident Erika Donalds, who will discuss the state Constitutional Revision Commission. (There are 2,200 amendment proposals.)

As we close 2017, we wish you a hurricane-free year and all the best for 2018. We hope you will engage in the many offerings from the league and other civic organizations to maintain the quality of life we all enjoy in Collier County.

Stay informed, join us for a meeting, forum, informal gathering or on Facebook. We look forward to your ideas and input. 

For more, go to www.LWVCollierCounty.org.

Michaels is a member of the environmental committee of the Collier County League of Women Voters.

Guest commentaries

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