Economic Opportunities

Economic Opportunities

Economic Opportunities and Issues in Lee County


The League of Women Voters believes that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination and that responsible government should. . . share in the solution of economic and social problems

The League supports responsible government that is open, effective, efficient, accountable and provides leadership and coordination to solve economic and social issues and to assure needed services to all citizens. 

The League of Women Voters of Lee County seeks wise investment in initiatives that prevent or reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency for children and families.  Effective prevention and intervention are proven to strengthen families and communities, ensure children are healthy, safe, prepared to learn, and to have viable life choices.   Strategies and Solutions include:

  • Develop and Implement a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan for Lee County Human Services, the last was 2005. The Florida Kids Count 2021 Florida Child Well-being Index shows Florida as 35th of 50 states for overall Child Well-Being and Florida as 42nd of 50 states for Economic Well-Being.  Lee County is 20th of the 67 Florida counties for Child Well-Being. 1 in 5 Lee County children live in poverty.  Children are hungry and families are struggling to afford basic needs.
  • Increase Human Services Funding to meet needs. In the last 20 years, Lee County’s funding for essential human services has not kept pace with the growth in population or need.  According to the Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research Lee County spends $30.24  per capita for Human Services compared to the Florida average of $185.57.
  • Establish a Lee County Children Services Council (CSC).CSCs arean effective, proven way to generate resources and to coordinate critical service.  CSCs have a high level of accountability, allow creativity and flexibility and ensure that funds are spent wisely.
  • High quality affordable early education for all Lee County children.  –subsidized when necessary.  Less than a third of Lee County Children are ready for Kindergarten.  About 1000 Lee children are on waiting lists for early learning programs
  • Available and affordable transportation, job training and placement             
  • Affordable housing, including use of Sadowski funds solely for affordable housing
  • Increase Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Increase health care access and affordability.  Expansion of Medicaid for low income, uninsured, and under insured.  
  • Fully collect impact fees for infrastructure with waivers and/or sliding scales for low income families.


Alice Report, United Way ALICE Project | United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee (

Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Kids Count.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation (  Children under age 18 in poverty | KIDS COUNT Data Center

Center for American Progress, Center for American Progress   The Top 10 Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class.  ( solutions-to-cut-poverty-and-grow-the-middle-class/)

Child Well-Being Index:  Florida 2021 Florida Child Well-Being Index (  Lee County:  CWBI One-Pager LEE.pdf (

Children’s Defense Fund  Children's Defense Fund — Leave No Child Behind® (

FGCU Regional Economic Resource Institute Regional Economic Research Institute | Home (

Florida Alliance of Children’s Councils and Trusts  Florida Alliance of Children's Councils & Trusts (

Florida Chamber Foundation, Less Poverty, More Prosperity: The Florida Fiscal Cliffs Report ( florida-fiscal-cliffs-report)

Florida Chamber of Commerce    FortMyers-Metro-Skills-Report.pdf (

Florida Health Department

Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research lee.pdf (

Florida State University, Symposium on Applied Economics: Poverty, Benefit Cliffs and Incentive Problems for Families in Florida (

Florida Statute Title IX, Chapter 125, Part 5, Children’s Services, 125.901

Florida Tax Watch

Florida’s Center for Child Welfare  Florida's Center for Child Welfare | Home (

Future Makers Coalition Southwest Florida Educational and Workforce Outcomes Report 2020-2021  ewo2021.pdf (

Heckman Equation

Institute for Women’s Policy Research  Institute for Women's Policy Research | Informing Policy, Inspiring Change, Improving Lives (

Lee County 2005 Human Services Strategic Plan Lee County 2005 Human Services Strategic Plan     

Lee County Budgets  Financial Reports (

Lee County Gap Analysis, draft 2020  DRAFT Lee County Human Services Gap Analysis (

LWV Florida Study and Action Study and Action 2021-2023.docx (

LWV Florida, Ensuring Economic Opportunity for All  Poverty - League of Women Voters of Florida (

LWV US Impact on Issues, Social Policypages 113-148  LWV-impact-2020.pdf

Southern Poverty Law Center Southern Poverty Law Center (

Status of Women   The Economic Status of Women in the States: 2018 - Women in the States (

US Census Bureau   Census Quick Facts  U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Lee County, Florida