ENCOURAGING AND FACILITATING INFORMED VOTING AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION
FOR COLLIER COUNTY VOTERS
Sandy Parker, who writes and publishes the Sparker’s Soapbox blog to encourage and facilitate informed voting in Collier County, cited these comments among others she received recently as proof that people want to know more before they vote. And it’s her mission to do all she can to help. Parker launched Sparker’s Soapbox in 2010 after realizing that the outcome of that year’s elections would not only set the direction for the country’s future but would have a significant effect on state and local government as well.
Collier voters would help choose Florida’s next Governor and Cabinet, three State Representatives and three School Board members, help decide whether four state Supreme Court justices and five district appeals court judges deserved to retain their positions, and vote on six proposed amendments to the state constitution.
Parker decided to research the candidates and issues and share what she learned on a blog, hoping that others would find it helpful in making their voting decisions. She vowed that her work would be objective, that sources would be cited/linked, and that when she was writing opinion, she would clearly identify it as such.
“Readership really skyrocketed leading up to the 2018 primaries,” Parker said. Beginning in April, she researched and wrote about the candidates for Congress, Governor, Cabinet, State Legislature,
County Commission, Clerk of Courts, State Attorney, County and Circuit Judges and School Board. In October, she wrote about the candidates for Mosquito Control, the judicial merit retentions, the
proposed sales tax and the twelve amendments.
“People spread the word,” she said. Sparker’s Soapbox is now read by upwards of 2,000 email
subscribers and 500 followers on Facebook. Even though the elections are over, Parker’s blogging will continue. “If we don’t monitor our representatives after we elect them, we won’t be informed enough to hold them accountable next time,” she said. Her monthly “State and Local News in Review” posts will help readers do just that.
Sign up for a free email subscription at
contact Sandy Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandy Parker has lectured about Florida Government since 2011. She is a former corporate finance executive, graduate of the Greater Naples Leadership program, and past president of the League of Women Voters of Collier County, where she currently chairs its Government Committee.