The Junior League of Greater Orlando (JLGO) is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. True to our mission, the JLGO has tackled the toughest and most critical issues in our community for nearly 75 years. Our community is constantly changing, and the most pressing issues are complex. The JLGO seeks to bring about positive, meaningful, lasting change through advocacy on issues related to our mission as well as through targeted, strategic initiatives.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
In 2020, the Junior League of Greater Orlando’s DE&I committee was formed to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization as we strive to train women as civic leaders who provide meaningful community impact. The committee applied for and received an AJLI Accelerator Fund grant with funds being used 1) to train JLGO members on the DE&I efforts of local community organizations and 2) to provide outlets for community action. Also in 2020, our DE&I Ambassador program was created to provide opportunity for all JLGO leaders to create committee and council-level goals related to DE&I.
VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE
Voting is one of the most important civic duties that we hold as American citizens. In 2020, members of the JLGO participated in a voter registration drive and engaged with the community to encourage eligible voters to learn about the candidates and remind them to vote.
Learn more about our Voter Registration Drive here.
The Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) has been the advocacy arm of the Junior Leagues of Florida for nearly 45 years, monitoring the state legislative process and addressing issues of political importance to our members. The State of Florida boasts 22 Junior Leagues, with combined membership of over 11,000 women. Each Florida Junior League that chooses to participate in the advocacy process sends delegates to state meetings and conferences throughout the year to research and debate the issues of the day, and then:
- Advocate for specific legislation at the state and national levels that is relevant to our key issue areas
- Educate our member Leagues about advocacy and public policy
- Coordinate the exchange of information from community-based League projects to policymakers
Over the years, we have weighed in on various topics, including child safety seats (booster seats), bicycle helmets for children under 16, the Environmental Growth Management Act of 1995, the ‘911’ Emergency Medical System, child abuse, domestic violence, juvenile justice, education, healthy foods and human trafficking.
SPAC Legislative Priorities and How to Advocate
Being a member of Junior League of Greater Orlando means that we take action on local, state, and national issues that impact our members and the Greater Orlando community including our partners, projects, and impact issue areas. As a member of SPAC, JLGO supports legislation that SPAC identifies as being critical to the work of our member Leagues and you can read SPAC Position Statements (link this highlighted portion to the SPAC position statement attached with this) which are reviewed and updated annually.
How can you be an advocate?
Here’s some resources on how you can find a Florida State Legislator
Find a Florida State Legislator
www.leg.state.fl.us -Florida State Legislature official website -provides information about our legislators
The Florida Senate
Link to The Florida Senate
Florida House of Representatives – MyFloridaHouse.gov
Link to The Florida House of Representatives
Write a letter to your legislator
Personal letters from constituents can impact a legislator’s decision regarding an issue. Personal letters show you really care about the issue. Mail, fax or e-mail the letter, but remember if time is short, a fax or email works best.
To make your letter effective:
• Keep it short. Be concise and limit your letter to one or two pages.
• Use the correct title, address, and salutation, and remember to use spell check after completing your letter.
The Honorable John Q. Smith
The Honorable John Q. Smith
Florida House of Representatives
Florida State Senate
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dear Representative Smith:
Dear Senator Smith:
Identify yourself. Let your legislator know that you are a constituent, and a member of the Junior League of Greater Orlando.
Be polite. Like most of us, legislators will respond better to positive communication. Start by recognizing their support on other legislation and/or of the League.
Explain your position. Talk about why the legislation is important to the League and what impact it has. Include the League recommendations in your letter.
Request a reply to your letter. Be clear about what you would like your legislator to do. For example: vote for a piece of legislation, co-sponsor legislation, or offer an amendment.
Establish yourself as a resource. As a member of the League, let them know they can contact you if they need additional information. You can always contact the JLGO President, IBCI Chair, or SPAC President, if they have questions you cannot answer.
Write legibly. Handwritten letters can be as persuasive as typed letters, but your handwriting must be legible. Generally, writing in a professional capacity related to your employment lends credibility. If your letter is part of a letter-writing campaign, a handwritten letter gives the appearance of a grassroots “ordinary citizen” communication, rather than a communication from a “special interest group.”
SPAC website link – information about all aspects of SPAC including position statements, issue area information and voter registration information
ISSUE BASED COMMUNITY IMPACT
Issue-Based Community Impact leverages the community and civic leadership skills of League members to address the issues faced by their communities and to meet those needs with significant and sustainable solutions.
An issue-based approach to community impact is at the core of our Mission:
An organization of women…
- Understanding who we are as a non-profit, how we want to be regarded by the community and what we want to be known for doing well.
- Knowledgeable about our community and how it works, how decisions are made, where the power lies and where it does not.
- Building networks of relationships across and within sectors of the community.
Developed as civic leaders…
- Civic engagement is about deepening our (individual and collective) connection to our communities where we have a shared stake in the well-being and concerns of our communities.
- It is not about volunteering for the sake of volunteering but about how we build and mobilize support on an issue and how we position the League as a resource in combating the problem.
Creating community impact…
- Changing/improving/creating systems and services of importance to the community.
- Impacting communities beyond the immediate or personal sphere of interest of the membership.
- Developing/supporting civic leadership skills in delivering service, effective organizational systems, philanthropy, advocacy, public service, etc.
For more information on JLGO’s advocacy and initiatives, contact email@example.com.