Meet this Orlandoan: Nicole Elinoff, League of Women Voters – OC

We’re back with another local we think you should know (thanks to Daniel Downer for the recommendation!)

Nicole Elinoff moved to Orlando in 2010 to attend UCF. That’s where she got her start in advocacy work and later pursued a career in public health. 

By day, Nicole is the Regional Sexual Minority Health Coordinator with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. Her role includes providing support to the local HIV service organizations, conducting strategic planning, and developing new initiatives to help address HIV prevention in the area.

In her spare time, she sits on the board of the League of Women Voters – Orange County (LWV-OC) as the new chair of its health care committee.

How did you get involved in LWV-OC? I have been following the impact the League of Women Voters of Orange County’s (LWVOC) has throughout most of my time in Central Florida. Before getting involved, I heavily utilized their Legislative Amendment guides around voting time and stayed up to date on their events and programs. After the 2016 election, I wanted to take action and work with the League but did not have the capacity. Post-election 2018, I had more time to commit to other initiatives and thought it would be a great time to become more involved, AND help build momentum for the next election. I became a member and got started at the beginning of 2019. I quickly was appointed to the Board and now serve as the new Chair of the Health Care Committee.

What is one common misconception that people have of LWV or a fun fact everyone should know? I think a fun fact AND misconception is that many people do not know the actual extent of what the League has been able to accomplish in the last 80 years— our local league recently celebrated its 80th anniversary.  Fun Fact- 2020 makes 100 years of Women’s Right to Vote!! In addition to the many voter registrations drives and get out the vote efforts, the League is organizing events and activities to commemorate the centennial of women’s suffrage. The League is made up of some incredible powerhouse individuals, both men, and women, and is one of the largest leagues in the country; all entirely volunteer-led. There are so many ways to become involved in an issue area that matters to you. We have several working committees, all of which can be found on our website.

A friend visits from out of town and you have eight hours to show ’em the ropes. Where do you take them and why? 

One of the first stops would be to pay respects at Pulse. For many of my friends from out of town, they want to take an opportunity to visit and hold space, to remember the 49. The Pulse tragedy greatly impacted people across the world, and obviously changed our community forever.

After our visit, we’d go grab a bite to eat. For brunch, we’d probably check out The Stubborn Mule (great brunch both Saturday and Sunday) or Seven Bites (it’s just so good, and a treat for someone out of town).

We’d then go on a walk around one of the beautiful lakes or parks— so many possibilities. I love going to Dickson Azalea park off Robinson or Mead Gardens in Winter Park.

Depending on the part of town we’re on, we’ll hit up a brewery in that neighborhood — maybe Deadly Sins or Sideward Brewing.

We then might grab a snack and coffee. Either at Drunken Monkey, CREDO, or Lineage (good reason to have Lazy Moon after).

Our adventures would center around food and the great nature we have here. But mostly the food and drink scene.😉

If you could change one thing about Orlando, what would it be and why? Our transportation infrastructure has some major growth opportunities. Navigating Orlando is hard enough with a car, but without one, it’s extremely challenging. Enhancing our transportation system would lead to major improvements across many areas: health, safety, and overall access to name a few. Imagine if we could have the Sunrail on nights and weekends. Imagine having a train directly to the airport! So many possibilities. Shameless plug- the League has an entire committee dedicated to advocating for an improved transportation system.

If you could give one piece of advice to people living in Orlando, what would it be? Never underestimate I4 traffic.

Who should our readers follow? @OrlandoBungalower, @TheShittyBeautiful, @Lemonhearted, @PeerSupportSpace, @TalkTestTreatCFL

Nominate someone we should feature next. Jose Aguilar with Bliss Cares

Know someone we should talk to? Or a business or organization all Orlandoans should know? Drop us a line at [email protected] and tell us who/what/why!