May 29, 2020

Women Leaders

Deirdre Macnab transformed the Florida League of Women Voters

Jason Garcia | 9/28/2017

Drawing critics

Republican leaders in Tallahassee scoff at the league’s claim of non-partisanship as the group has waded into more polarizing debates in recent years, such as gun control, Medicaid and school choice. The league has, for instance, lobbied hard against legislation to allow Floridians to openly carry guns or to bring guns on to college campuses.

Before the league got involved in gun debates, “I don’t believe that there was an organized group that was an antithesis or a voice that expressed a different point of view that was halfway as organized as the NRA is in Florida,” says Pamela Goodman, former president and CEO of clothing retailer Limited Express, who succeeded Macnab as the league’s statewide president in 2015.

Macnab remains a somewhat polarizing figure, particularly among those in the league reluctant to see it choose sides in deeply contentious issues. “I think perhaps the only brief concerns about her activism was that the league has a long history of studying issues and reaching consensus,” says Linda Chapin, the former mayor of Orange County, who describes Macnab as “a force of nature.”

Partially because of that internal resistance, Macnab lost a bid this year to become president of the national League of Women Voters. She’s now leading the Florida League-backed “FL SUN” campaign to develop co-ops linking groups of homeowners with contractors who will install rooftop solar panels.

“I love history and love to read about real people’s accomplishments,” Macnab says. “And that’s the thing that’s been the most gratifying to me with my work in the league — seeing everyday people begin to understand that they have the power to modify and change their community and their surroundings, to change their state and to change history.” — By Jason Garcia

Over the past decade, the Florida League of Women Voters has grown to more than 6,000 members (people who pay dues and volunteer their time) and nearly 100,000 supporters (people who have given money or signed up for email lists) around the state. The organization is nonpartisan and all-volunteer.

 

See other stories from Florida Trend's October issue.

Get Florida Trend's October magazine – print or digital. Select from these options:

EXISTING
DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBERS

Access Article Now!

DIGITAL
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue

$4.95

PRINT
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

$4.95
plus $3 postage & handling

PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

One year in PRINT

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

One year DIGITAL

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

ALL ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION

One year Combo
PRINT + DIGITAL

$24.95*
plus a FREE gift!


CURRENT  PRINT  SUBSCRIBERS

If you are already a print subscriber,
ADD DIGITAL EDITION ACCESS
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

 

Tags: Trendsetters, Women Leaders

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

What Florida’s broken unemployment system means for its workers
What Florida’s broken unemployment system means for its workers

Florida has drawn national attention for having one of the least supportive unemployment systems in the country. It has been one of the slowest states to pay claims, with some waiting since March, before the official safer-at-home order went into effect April 3.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you think Florida businesses are reopening too soon during the COVID-19 crisis?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Undecided
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2020 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.