Please check back here often to learn about the latest activities of UULMF and our partners around the State of Florida and the nation.
BIGGEST DAY EVER
20 UUs from all over the state participated in our 2012 UULMF Legislative Day in Tallahassee, advocating for fair voting registration, fair districts, ethics in government, equal rights for domestic partners in the workplace and before the law, and opposition to public prayer in schools. Congregations in Vero Beach, West Melbourne, Ormond Beach, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Buckman Bridge, Tarpon Springs, Sarasota and Venice were represented.
Kudos and special thanks go to UULMF Steering Committee member Barbara Sterling who coordinated the Tuesday reception, dinner and lobby training at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee. After wine, cheese, hors d'oeuvres and a delicious dinner prepared by caterer Carolyn Pardue, a professional presentation was given by former League of Women Voters State President Mimi Jones, with support from Tallahassee UU President Tom Moore, Social Justice Committee Chair Len Adams, former UULMF Steering Committee member Brian Lee, Carl Sherrod, advocate for Occupy Tallahassee, and Barbara Sterling. That was a truly outstanding, welcoming dinner and evening. Thank you to all.
Special thanks to the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility for providing the grant that allowed UULMF to pay for the hotel and dinner for all participants. Our state is so large that it is important to provide a special incentive to as many UUs as possible to make the trip to Tallahassee to participate in this important event to learn the processes of civic engagement.
Thanks also to Steve Segner for providing the publication "2012 Know Your Legislators" for each group visiting their state Senator and Representative on Wednesday morning, and to David Johnson of Jacksonville for providing a summary letter on key bills that was copied for all to use as desired and leave with their legislators. Some individuals came prepared with letters on specific issues. We all can become savvy about the process by following actions of our representatives on myfloridahouse.gov and flsenate.gov.
THANKS TO THE FLORIDA LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
We were very fortunate to be able to attend the Wednesday afternoon meeting of the Florida League of Women Voters with members of the House and Senate and other key individuals such as former State Senator Dave Aronberg and Capital Bureau Chief Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times, in the Governor's Cabinet Room from 12:00-4:00 PM. Each speaker gave their perspective on issues and answered questions from League members.
SEEING THE LEGISLATURE IN SESSION
Viewing the House in Session from the 5th floor gallery was another experience to remember.
The workings of our government seem much less mysterious once you see how our representatives operate. It is up to WE THE PEOPLE to elect good public servants.
It is with great joy that we welcome Gerald Goen back to our UULMF Steering Committee. Gerald participated in our UULMF Legislative Day with his wife Janet and decided he wanted to be an official part of our justice ministry again.
FEEDBACK FROM OUR PARTICIPANTS
o All welcomed the opportunity for exposure to the processes of our state government, the training we received on Tuesday evening, and the chance to sit in on the Cabinet room meeting with the League of Women Voters on Wednesday.
o Information on issues and bills was very helpful, even though rulings on the bills changed from day to day in the last days of the legislative session.
o Information on the lobby process will be good to offer all participants in coming years, perhaps in advance of the trip to Tallahassee, so they can study it and ask informed questions Tuesday night.
o A major recommendation both from participants and from the aides of legislators is to hold our UULMF Legislative Day EARLY in the legislative session, to have the most impact on issues.
Thanks again to all the UUs and Florida congregations that participated in our 2012 UULMF Legislative Day.
Kindra Muntz and Steve Segner, Co-Chairs
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida
This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.
The Movie the Media Does Not Want You to See!
Emmy-winning broadcast journalist Sue Wilson will answer those questions and many more as she brings her award winning documentary film Broadcast Blues to eleven Florida cities for the "2011 Florida Media Reform Tour, a Documentary and Discussion." The tour is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida (UULMF). The film highlights the Florida Appeals Court ruling that news does not, by law, have to be true.
"Almost everyone understands there is something terribly wrong with the quality of the news and information we get in this country," says Wilson. "What they don't know is that it's all a result of poor public policy. We the People can pressure our representatives to change those policies, and we must."
Wilson says consolidation of radio and TV ownership into a few corporate hands is the culprit, and that news is not the only problem. "We used to get tornado alerts on the radio, we used to hear local musicians, we used to get local high school football games. Local broadcasters used to serve the public interest, but local broadcasters have nearly disappeared. It's time to bring them back."
Kindra Muntz, organizer of the tour, says, "Sue Wilson's documentary Broadcast Blues lifts the veil on corporate media. It is time for people to see just how much corporations, and the media conglomerates they control, are directing the messages heard by the public. They use our public airwaves to convince voters to elect legislators to pass laws that enhance their profits, whether those laws benefit the American people or not. Sue Wilson shows there are real-world solutions. But for us to take our media back, We the People must stand up and speak out."
The tour kicks off at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale March 25 and goes to West Palm Beach, Mar. 26, Melbourne Mar 28, Orlando, March 29, Ormond Beach Mar 30, Jacksonville Mar 31, St. Augustine Apr 1, Gainesville Apr 2, Tampa Apr 3, Venice Apr 4, finishing In Fort Myers, Tuesday, April 5.
For more details and a complete tour schedule with contact information, click the following link:
BROADCAST BLUES TOUR DETAILS.
Dr. Steven P. Segner Named Chair of UULMF
Will Serve July 2009 through June 2010
ORLANDO, FL, July 8, 2009 -- The Steering Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida (UULMF) today announced the appointment of Dr. Steven P. Segner, Ph.D., to the position of Steering Committee Chair. Segner who resides in South Daytona, FL, will serve a one-year term from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.
Dr. Segner replaces the Reverend Dr. Meredith Garmon, Ph.D., who served as Chair from UULMF's inception in 2006 until he announced his resignation this June. Garmon will remain active with UULMF as a Steering Committee member.
As Chair, Dr. Segner will have overall responsibility for UULMF operations including Steering Committee recruiting and membership, personnel performance reviews and evaluations, fundraising, budget estimating and planning, public relations, and marketing. Dr. Segner will also oversee development and execution of UULMF's ongoing programs including its signature Legislative Day held each spring in Tallahassee. The organization's paid part time Coordinator reports to Dr. Segner.
Raised in suburban Chicago, IL, Dr. Segner earned his Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He went on to be graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Georgia. He received his Doctorate from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Segner attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hinsdale Illinois in the 1960's. While enrolled at NCSU, Raleigh, he joined the Unitarian Universalist Church there and became Cochairman of the College Student and Singles Outreach Program. He joined the UU Society of the Greater Daytona Beach area in 1979, where he has served on the Board of Trustees and as Treasurer. When UULMF was formed in 2006, he signed on as a charter member of the Steering Committee.
Dr. Segner's career in higher education spans many years and several roles. In 1985 he became Executive Director, CEO, of a small state-contracted Substance Abuse Agency, where he served for 24 years. During his tenure, the service capacity and annual operation budget increased by 500%, mostly due to Legislative grants. Since his recent retirement he has continued his advocacy for social justice with UULMF.
"I am humbled at being chosen by my UULMF Steering Committee colleagues to be their new leader," Dr. Segner said. "It is a distinct honor to be able to build on the momentum established by Meredith Garmon. He got us up and running successfully, and now it's my job to take us from strength to strength." Dr. Segner concluded, "UULMF will keep Homelessness and Climate Change as our two core issues for now, while adding other initiatives and programs as our constituents' needs dictate and our resources enable."