A Message From The President

March 2019

This month is famous for March Madness but there is so much more than basketball on the calendar.  Athena members will be reminded of the importance of elections. Our activities will begin with a very special meeting on March 7th addressing a cornerstone of Athena’s origin story: the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Our Program Committee (with some heavy lifting from Linda Saul-Sena) has invited the sponsor of the successful vote in the Illinois State House to be our guest speaker.  Wonder why? The answer is simple. Illinois became the 37th state to approve the ERA last Spring.

That close vote followed a favorable one in the state of Nevada the year before. Join us on March 7th to learn about the success in Illinois and discuss Florida’s opportunity to make history!

This month is a big one for another reason.  On March 5th the Florida Legislature convenes for its regular 60 day session.  They will debate and act upon a good number of proposals tied to Athena Position Statements.  For example, there will be attempts to curb the sale of assault weapons and others to broaden background checks on gun purchases. The arming of teachers will also be on the agenda.  Members of your Board of Directors have asked our own respective legislators to look closely at our positions on issues of non-violence and trust that you will consider contacting your representative and senator as well.

We’ll be tracking other key issues, too.  Voters here and elsewhere passed referenda supporting their public schools by taxing themselves to pay for school improvements and construction.  Despite these inspiring stories education advocates will face a fierce fight for adequate state funding of our traditional public schools. Finally, another topic, sexual harassment, will be a front burner topic for the second year in a row.

As is their custom, our conscientious Community Action Committee will endeavor to keep us informed in the weeks ahead.

By the time of our meeting, we should also know results from the City of Tampa March 5th Primary Election.  If you’re a city resident, it’s hardly over.  This will be a good time to prepare for the run-offs!

Program and Community Action aren’t the only committees with a hectic schedule.  Others are busy concentrating on our signature activities, including the Young Women of Promise and our Career Assistance Grants programs.  And our membership committee is combing through the outstanding nominations and will advise us soon about new member recommendations.

Thank you to all those working on these important committees.  Athena is and always has been a team effort. And what a wonderful team!

Thank you,