JULY 21, 2020 WEBINAR SUMMARY
WHY THE DEMOCRATS NEED A COMPELLING STORY TO WIN IN 2020
Here is the link to our video of our July 21, 2020 webinar
Here is the link to our video of our July 21, 2020 webinar
Most of us who grew up with “Officer Friendly” probably were unaware that being inebriated could put you in handcuffs or that a traffic stop could lead to your being killed or that, no matter how well-dressed or on your way to work or shop, you could be patted down for drugs. From deaths to indignities, these are the contacts with police that too many people of color have experienced. if we didn’t know about it before, we have surely learned about disparate treatment in the justice system.
The mood of the country, especially among young people, is to acknowledge the need and to support change in both law and practice. Congress is currently facing a stalemate on police legislation. The Senate’s Republican bill that encourages change is considered too weak by Democrats; the House bill requiring change will not be considered in the Senate. Effective legislation is needed. If the size and diversity of the protests all over the country is any indication, change is coming. Systemic racism has too long been a shameful part of American history.
In Florida - Unlike in several other states, Gov. DeSantes has not called a special session to deal with policing issues. In addition to fighting the return of voting rights to ex-felons, the Governor cancelled this year’s clemency hearing; more than 17,000 Floridians are waiting to have their clemency cases heard. In DeSantis’ first year in office, only 24 people have had their voting rights restored.
In response to the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School Shooting almost 200,000 petitions were signed and collected by the Ban Assault Weapons Now movement for an amendment to be on the November ballot.. No - we don’t get to vote on it because the Florida Supreme Court rejected the language on the ballot initiative as “confusing”.
DeSantes has signed another school voucher bill. This one ups the income level for which families can receive a voucher for students to attend private and religious schools. These students are not required to take state accountability assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Included in the bill is a reduction in the state’s oversight of these programs from one to every three years.
Controlled news, approved news seems to be a White House priority. Remember Stars and Stripes, the Armed Forces’ own newspaper? The White House wants it cut out of the military budget. The Voice of America's two top executives stepped down following Senate confirmation of President Trump's pick to run the agency that oversees the international broadcaster. “Critics fear that Michael Pack, a close ally of Trump would jeopardize VOA’s independence, giving more favorable coverage of the Trump Administration” (The Topping 6/16/20). According to Dos Kos 6/28/20: “Vice President Mike Pence ordered government health experts to route pandemic news through his office in the relentless Republican repetition of the truly insane Trump insistence that all news personally embarrassing to him is actually ‘fake’.” Don’t underestimate the reach and influence of Fox News and local and nationally syndicated radio to support and spread Trump misstatements, false accusations and conspiracy theories.
The U.S. Post Office is a vital part of our economy and the personal lives of so many of us; its funding is at risk. Call Sen. Marco Rubio 202/224-3041, Sen.Rick Scott 202/224-5274, Rep.Vern Buchanan 202/225-5015.
To register to vote - or for a Vote By Mail ballot - or to check if an earlier request needs to be updated - call the Supervisor of Elections at 941/861-8600. VBM ballot requests are good for two election cycles.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” Martin Luther King jr.
Susie Taft married into the Ohio Taft family which has produced a President of the United States, a Supreme Court Justice, a Governor and a US Senator. She is a passionate Democratic and a long-standing friend of LBKDC Board member Bob Gary. Susie and Bob had this very interesting email exchange recently. Susie Taft has been engaged in many presidential campaigns and understands our democracy is on the line in 2020.
Susie Taft — America is in (justifiable) chaos tonight while Trump is hiding out beneath his desk in the White House, the pandemic is killing thousands while tearing apart our economy, and Trump's record shows he has been remarkably facile at dismantling our democratic agencies and institutions in just 3+ years. I'm in this fight through the 2020 election, but my heart is faltering. I applaud all efforts, but tell me when some impact will be registered on the swing states. Just looking for rays of meaningful light.
Bob Gary — Susan, your email resonated with me. It reflects the concerns that so many Americans harbor regardless of party. I know how passionately you wish to see our country return to the basic values of decency and honesty which have been trampled on so callously by President Trump.
You say “my heart is faltering” and ask if I have any “assurance that what we do will register any impact on the swing states.” I hear your fear. It is true that we are are close to the abyss. We are close to losing our democracy. I hear your plea for “rays of meaningful light” that the fight will bring about positive change.
I cannot offer false promises. The reality is that each of us individually and collectively must engage fully with whatever tools are available. The day after the election we must all be able to say, regardless of the outcome, that we left nothing on the table. We must be able to say we expended every ounce of creativity and energy to extricate our beloved country from the grip of this man without soul or empathy, a man who plays on our darkest impulses to divide us.
We will win because we cannot afford to lose. We will engage at all levels because the battle involves our children and grandchildren who without our efforts may be governed by a malignant kleptocracy that serves only itself.
We cannot condition our tireless efforts to turn out the vote, end voter suppression, advance ideas of fairness and justice on the assurance of a positive result. There is no such assurance. If we lose we lose everything. We have to fight with all we have because there is no option, no alternative, no time to question.
David Verinder & Michael Boorstein Discussion of Current, Future Impacts of Covid-19: Summary
Board members of the Longboat Key Democratic Club were pleased to have worked with Sarasota Memorial Health System so that our members and the community at large could gain a better understanding of the impacts of Covid-19 on Sarasota and Longboat Key.
In addition to the discussions with Dr. Manuel Gordillo, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and control at Sarasota Memorial, and Dr. Kirk Voelker, Medical Director of Clinical Research and the Covid-19 clinical trials, our Board member Michael Boorstein had a very interesting and productive discussion with David Verinder, President and CEO of the health system. Here is a summary of Mr. Verinder’s responses to Michael’s questions.
- Mr. Verinder emphasized the challenges that the patients, his staff and the community have faced in coping with this crisis. Physicians and staff at the hospital have worked around the clock to provide the best care possible. The hospital has received enormous generosity and support from the community including daily meal deliveries for the hospital’s frontline workers and homemade masks. Local organizations have provided critical equipment, supplies and funding for critical Covid-19 research. This outpouring of support has been tremendously uplifting to all Sarasota Memorial staff.
- Through all of this, Mr. Verinder told us that the pandemic has had a severe financial impact on the health system. Sarasota Memorial experienced a $16 revenue reduction in revenue in March. Surgery cases fell by more than 50% and there were significant volume decreases in the hospital’s two Emergency Care Centers and seven Urgent Care Centers. The Urgent Care Center at St. Armand’s Circle has been temporarily closed.
- Fortunately, the situation has begun to turn around for the better. The hospital’s elective and non-emergency volume has now begun to increase and staff are being called back to work. The hospital and physician offices are now better prepared to care for patients because of safeguards and work practices they have put in place.
- The hospital is confident they can now safely resume care to all patients. The hospital has a small number of Covid-19 patients and they remain isolated from other patients. Hospital staff caring for these patients are dedicated only to their care. Their top priority has been and always will be for the safety of patients, staff and others visiting or working in their facilities.
- Mr. Verinder assured us that the hospital is now prepared should their be a resurgence of Covid-19. The health system is receiving a steady shipment of supplies. The hospital has ample supply of ventilators, critical care beds, and Intensive Care Unit capacity. He is confident that the hospital has the capacity to manage any future spread of the virus.
- He encouraged citizens to visit the SMH website, www.smh.com/covid19 for the latest updates on the virus and related topics.
In summary, we are very encouraged by our discussions with Mr. Verinder and Drs. Gordillo and Voelker. Not only is the hospital now fully prepared to care for all patients, but the clinical trials they are doing with Covid-19 treatments could have a significant impact on the management of the virus going forward. We are indeed very fortunate to have the Sarasota Health System in our community.
To Plymouth Harbor Democrats...and others who care: May, 2020
Your signature verifies your ballot. If your signature has changed (a tremor or injury, or it just varies), request and return a new voter registration application from the Supervisor of Elections. It's a good idea to make and keep a copy of the signature you use.
To support Margaret Good for U.S. Congress District 16 against Vern Buchanan go to margaretgood.com For volunteering to help the local Democratic party: sarasotadems.org/volunteer.
In Florida… Gov. DeSantis signed a bill making it more difficult to get citizens’ initiatives on the ballot, adding more requirements for gathering voter signatures. The bill passed the GOP-led Legislature along partisan lines, Democrats opposed. Republicans again opposed expanding Medicaid that would have afforded 800,000 Floridians’ access to health care. As of mid-April, Florida lagged behind 21 other states in coronavirus testing.
In Washington…confusion continues in dealing with Covid-19. Dr. Trump provided dangerous podium proscriptions. The man tapped by HHS Sec’y Azar for coronavirus response is a former dog breeder with no medical or public health experience, and the FDA has failed to validate many of the needed coronavirus tests.
With more than a million cases and 60,000 deaths, Trump is turning over responsibility to the states and Jared
Kushner claims the federal government response to the challenge “is a great success”.
How our lives and activities have changed! The news is very much concerned – as it should be – with the coronavirus. Less attention is being given, unfortunately, to some actions of the Executive branch.
The US Postal Service is in real jeopardy. Democrats in Congress want more money for it, especially with the importance of voting by mail. Trump opposes help for the Post Office and Republicans have long wanted private corporations to take it over.
At a town hall meeting broadcast by FOX News recently, President Trump said “We'll be cutting entitlements like Medicare and Social Security” His 2021 budget also includes cuts for CDC and NIH.
The Dept of Justice is still fighting the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in court. President Trump has refused to extend the enrollment period to assist those who are now without health care.
The EPA plans to devalue the importance of science and research when weighted with economic considerations. Another cancer-linked pesticide that can drift and contaminate groundwater was approved and fuel efficiency standards have been lowered. Yet another gift to polluters: Covid-19 is being used by the EPA to announce that they would not be actively enforcing environmental protections for the duration of the crisis.
Trump has made one of his signature defense priorities building Gateway Nukes - nuclear weapons seen as “more usable” in conventional wars if the president decides it’s ok to use them. The administration has also lifted the United States prohibition against the used of landmines.
Trump has eliminated independent oversight over the Coronavirus relief funds.; there is limited public information on where business grants were going. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has $500 Billion in corporate relief money to sprinkle on friends, family and Trump donors. Sen. Rubio 202/224-3041; Sen, Scott 202/224-5274; Rep, Buchanan 941/951-6643 or email them. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”Alice Walker.
House Resolution 1 (H.R.1) “For the People Act” passed by the House in March 2019 is critical legislation that protects our voting and elections from both foreign and domestic attacks. This omnibus bill strengthens our democracy by legislating changes in voting rights, ethics, and campaign financing. Dr. Dale Anderson spoke to the Longboat Key Democratic Club (LBKDC) in October, focusing his remarks on H.R.1. The bill is crucial for the future of our democracy, but it is currently being blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. H.R.1 will only be passed if the Democrats win the Senate in November. In addition to defeating Donald Trump, the legislation is a "rallying cry" to get all Democrats to vote in November.
Below is the H.R.1 brochure developed by Dr. Anderson and the LBKDC, which contains Dr. Anderson's presentation material. Pages 1-4 provide summary details about the 700 page H.R.1. Pages 5 and 6 present the Republican party's undemocratic rationale for are trying to block it. You can download a copy of our brochure HERE.
I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well during this very difficult time. My name is Molly Ingalls, and I'm the Lead Coach for Florida with Organizing Corps 2020. I’m reaching out to share information about Organizing Corps 2020, a project to train organizers to work on the presidential campaign for the Democratic Party.
Organizing Corps 2020 is offering Virtual Bootcamps to ensure that the future presidential nominee has the staff needed to take back the White House and put competent leaders in seats up and down the ballot. Now more than ever, campaigns will need smart, effective, and trained organizers who are ready to problem-solve, adapt best practices to a physically distanced world, and develop creative ways of connecting with volunteers and voters in order to bring new possibilities to life and make campaigns and elections truly accessible. I’m contacting you because I want to make sure that the opportunity to join Organizing Corps 2020 in this work is available to your community.
In May, Organizing Corps 2020 will host 1-week virtual organizer trainings for those with local connections to AZ, FL, GA, MI, NC, PA, & WI. Admitted corps members who complete the program will receive a $500 technology and supplies stipend as well as direct support in securing a full-time, salaried position on the presidential campaign through November 3, 2020. The deadline to apply is April 18th. Program details and the application can be found at organizingcorps2020.com.
Can you share this opportunity with your network, and help Organizing Corps 2020 connect with people interested in working on the presidential campaign? I especially hope that this message can reach:
- People living in or going to school in Florida or other battleground states who are fired up & ready to go
- Recent graduates and those interested in (re)launching their careers in politics/campaigns
- Adults working in career development services
- Other mission-aligned networks and communities, student groups, and alumni lists
To Plymouth Harbor Democrats…and others who care: April, 2020
Hate in the time of COVID-19. Xenophobia didn't start when candidate Trump descended the golden escalator to rant against a Mexican invasion. Xenophobia, racism and exclusion have long been a part of American history; Irish, Italians, Jews, Hispanics, Asians, Moslems, Blacks, Native Americans have all known it. But hate crimes have become more prevalent and white supremacists bolder in the past three years. Now, with the coronavirus affecting our lives in so many ways, fear and hate have infected the susceptible. “Asian Americans report over 650 racist acts over last week. (NBC News 3/26/20)
An Op-Ed in USA Today 3/20/20 by Andrew Yang, formerly a Presidential contender and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League sounds an alarm. Some excerpts -