Stephanie Ballo opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. About 60 people attended. She thanked the hosts of the Fiddler’s Creek Meet and Greet in January that had about 70 attendees; Chris Chase for her efforts in arranging voter registration places; Linda Brown and Ana Leyland for helping with voter registration at the Haitian Church on Rt. 41; and Lisa Furlong for her work getting all the members to volunteer with voter registration. We now have 150 members, which will provide more volunteers to the Collier Democrats for their get out the vote efforts. She reminded people to go to collierdems.org and click on the mobilize link to sign up for volunteer activities. Dues of $35 are now due. You can pay by check or cash. Send your DWCMarco dues to Sally Mc Dowell, treasurer, 4695 Winged Foot Court #101. Naples, FL 34112.
Jane Schlechtweg gave a brief summary of Tally Days in January that she and Karen Blum attended.
· They met with our state representatives, Senator Kathleen Passidomo and House Rep. Bob Rommel who refused to put the ERA on the floor for a vote.
· She reminded members that our club needs a legislative liaison (it’s in our by-laws). The legislative sessions run for 6 weeks. Of the 3,000 bills proposed, only 200 get passed. The Florida Budget is the only bill that is required to be passed.
· Go to legiscan.com to view bills that are coming up and report on issues.
· If you are interested in being the liaison, please contact Jane.
· She encouraged members to send postcards to our legislators to tell them to pass the ERA.
· Bob Rommel will be speaking to our club in April.
Lisa Furlong, Volunteer coordinator
· Reminded people to go to Mobilize on the Collierdems.org site to get engaged by volunteering. You can also contact her at 603-387-5888
· Asked if we have any members who live in gated communities to help us to be able to knock on Democrat’s doors for our voter registration effort. Please contact her.
Dawn Rubin, social coordinator
· Tuesday, Feb.25 from 6-8:30 pm is our next social at Bonnie Watson’s home. Dawn will send out emails with detail. Please RSVP to Dawn.
Annisa Karim, Chairwoman of the Collier Democratic Committee
· Encouraged people to attend the Celebration of the Women’s Right to Vote on April 10, 2020. Lilly Ledbetter (of the Fair Pay Act) and Deb Henretta (former president of Procter and Gamble, Asia) will be speaking.
· There is a matching gift today only to the Collier Dems organization in honor of women.
· Collier Dems is an all-volunteer organization and relies on donations for all of its work.
· NAACP 37th Annual Freedom Fund Gala is Saturday, Sept. 22, 202 from 5-10 pm to recognize the first graduates of the Raising the Bar program for girls in the stem program.
Marilyn Michaels and Anne Daily from Voter Protection
· They have been training poll watchers since January.
· The next training is Feb 18 from 10-noon and 1:30 to 3:30 at 6710 Lone Oak Blvd., Naples.
· She will do personal training if you can’t make that date because poll watching is so important.
· Why is voter protection Important?
o Every county in Florida does voting differently. The supervisor of elections is a partisan position – it is elected. They choose where the precincts are and where the voting takes place. Need to make sure people are able to vote.
o Jennifer Edwards, Marilyn feels, does a good job in working with them because Collier is well funded, but other counties are not necessarily the same. Still, there are issues in Collier:
o Voting precincts are changed causing confusion on where to vote.
o Voting is now taking place in some gated communities, which can cause an issue with access.
o Annisa said polling places must be ADA equipped with ample parking.
o Floridians get no paid time off to vote.
o Must register 29 days before Election Day.
· Because of early voting of 7 days, we need many poll watchers to cover.
· Vote by mail or vote in person. Mail the vote by mail ballot and go online to check to make sure your ballot has been counted. Every vote by mail ballot is counted, unlike absentee ballots in other states that are only counted if the vote is close. If you vote by mail, you must request a ballot to be mailed to you.
Margie Stein of Future Now
· Future now is a PAC working to turn state legislatures blue by financially supporting candidates across the US who have a good chance of flipping seats from red to blue based on data analysis. Many seats were lost in last election by thin margins.
· They are working on 8 states and Florida. Goal is to raise $8 million overall.
· Margie is with a Giving Circle called Rising Tide (part of Future Now) whose focus is on funding democratic candidates in Florida who have a good chance of turning the seats blue.
· They have a target of 50K for Florida and have raised 20k already. They are targeting 23 seats in Florida to win 13 in order to turn to legislature blue.
· Dawn and Dave Rubin will be hosting a Giving Circle Rising Tide fundraiser at their home next week at 7 pm. Dawn will send emails about the event. Margie will be there with more detailed info.
· All monies from Rising Tides Giving Circles stay in Florida.
· All gifts welcome. Median gift is just under $200. Average gift is $450 to date.
Donate to FutureNow.org/givingcircle/rising-tide
Barbara Wagner from the Bloomberg campaign
· Barbara is the local Collier representative of the campaign.
· Spoke briefly about Mike’s platforms,
o Climate change – has closed 300 coal fired plants through his funding of the Sierra club
o Healthcare –Will expand ACA, have a Medicare public option, cap premiums at 8.5% of income, options for dental, hearing and vision
o Tax increases on the wealthy
o Gun safety -- Not taking people’s guns. Focusing on gun registration; fighting the NRA
o There are 24 platforms on his website: mikebloomberg.com
o He is not eligible for debates because he is a donor of one –himself. He is not soliciting donations.
· March Meeting – March 10
o Cindy Banyai and Dave Holden who are running for the 19th Congressional district will be speaking. Also, we will have Marco Island Police Chief Tracy Frazzano as a guest speaker.
Meeting adjourned at 6:35 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Linda Brown, Recording Secretary 2.11.20