The Democracy Commitment Takes a Closer Look at Proposed Amendments Oct. 15

A Closer Look at Proposed Amendments – League, UF and SF collaborate to educate voters Oct. 15

On Oct.15, area voters will have a unique opportunity to learn about proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution at a special education event jointly sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Alachua County, The Democracy Commitment at Santa Fe College, The Bob Graham Center for Public Service and the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the University of Florida.

Two well-regarded experts will lead the discussion of the 11 amendments which will be included on the November ballot. Jon Mills, constitutional law professor from UF’s Levin College of Law, and Rod Clouser, economics professor from UF’s IFAS/Extension, will provide the public with non-partisan analysis and Q&A, on Monday, Oct. 15  at 7 p.m. in the lobby of Santa Fe College’s Fine Arts Hall.

The amendments are wide ranging in content and their passage (or rejection) could have significant impact.  “Because of the number of amendments on the ballot, and their complexity,” noted Kathy Kidder, president of LWV, “many voters do not fully understand what their Yes or No vote really means.  That’s why we are pleased to be able to present this program to the public.”

The joint sponsorship signals the first of several collaborations among the four groups.  “The Bob Graham Center is designed to promote civic engagement,” explained Gail Sasnett-Stauffer, program director at the Graham Center on UF campus.  “We want to work with others in our community who share our goal to develop better informed students and future citizens.”

“Our Democracy Commitment at SF is part of a national initiative among community colleges to try to give every student an education in democracy,” Marilyn Tubb, campus coordinator for the Democracy Commitment.  “We’ve hosted a number of educational forums for students – this is the first one we’ve planned for both student and community members, as a collaborative public service with UF and the League.”

The amendments propose changes to a variety of issues, from homestead exemptions to new limits on state revenue sources, from health care reform to abortion laws, from how Supreme Court judges are selected to whether or not public funding can go to private religious institutions.  There’s even a proposal on the ballot to create a new state-level council of university student body presidents.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. and will conclude at 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The SF Fine Arts Hall is located on the northwest campus of the college, along NW 83rd Street.  

For more information contact Kathy Kidder at 352-378-0562, Gail Sasnett-Stauffer at 352-273-1080, or Marilyn Tubb at  352-339-4212.