Democratic Women’s Club of Marco Island
General Meeting November 10, 2020; Via Zoom 7-8 pm
President Stephanie Ballo opened the meeting and asked for a moment of silence for the people who for our front line workers who are treating Covid-19 patients and also for the joy of the election. She thanked all of the volunteers who came out for the election effort, including those who wrote postcards, called, texted and delivered election materials. We contacted 1,200 people on Marco. She turned the meeting over to Annisa Karim, Collier County Democratic Chair, for an update on the campaign efforts in Collier County.
Thanked the Democratic Women’s Club of Marco for the great work they did on the ground in Marco and Collier. She gave some general statistics for the campaign
· Collier Dems had the highest voter turnout
· 97,000 voted for Biden/Harris. Historic Dem vote for the county
· Collier did one of the best jobs in turning out Democrats in Florida. Had the highest Democratic turnout in the state of any county, and that was in a red county.
· The voter turnout effort is more than just electing Biden, but electing down ballot candidates as well since election have consequences for policy decisions.
She acknowledged the hard work Sara McFadden did in running for the Florida State House in a very blue county, winning over 36,000 votes. She was endorsed by, among others, the Better Government Committee above the Republican candidate.
Volunteers in Collier made:
· 49,000 phone calls
· Delivered 80,000 mailers in Collier
· The Voter Protection team made 1,700 contacts to cure ballots in Collier, 900 in Hendry and also helped in Glades as well. This was the first year the Florida had a Voter Protection effort for the entire state.
· Minimum wage amendment passed state wide with 60.88%. Amendments must receive at least 60% to pass.
· Conservation Collier passed by 75% in Collier, even though the Republican party was against it.
· Regarding Vote by Mail: ¼ of VBM came from new voters statewide; 85% of VBM turned in their ballots.
Push for coming year:
· Immediate: work to elect Democrats in Georgia Senate runoff in January – Collier Dems has info on their website on how to help.
· Need to continue to push VBM. Registration for VBM expires 2 years after you register for it, so will need to engage those voters whose VBM are expiring
· Build coalitions
· Work to unseat Rubio and DeSantis in 2022 and Scott in 2024.
· Question came up about felons: 75,000 were eligible to vote, but not all voted (didn’t give a #).
DWCM focus for 2021:
Stephanie introduced Chris Chase, outreach coordinator for the club to talk about the focus of the club for the coming year.
Chris thanked all who helped for the election and said all of our efforts didn’t bring the results we wanted for local election. Too many voted for Trump and down ballot Republicans. She said we are tired, but we can’t give up. She said her efforts had been focused on publicity for our club and voter registration but now our primary focus should be on getting Democrats elected. Focus will be on targeting Rubio and DeSantis for 2021. Take a rest in December and get reenergized in January to call, text, write and network for this effort.
Stephan said that our club was formed in 2017 after Trump’s inauguration. We had 50 people attend the first meeting, 17 became members, and now our club membership is 150.
To help get an idea of what areas our members are interested in helping, Karen Tessel-Blum had everyone participate in a 4 question poll. We will publish the results soon. We do need people to hold office of the club, as Stephanie, Karen and Jane will be completing their second two-year terms. Offices are President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, Secretary, Treasurer, Legislative Liaison and Corresponding Secretary. We also need people to volunteer for general activities, to call, text, write, our federal and state officials when votes are coming up, to chair club committees and to provide financial support.
Sarah McFadden, who was the club’s first legislative liaison, has agreed to take on that position again. She will provide updates on Florida legislative issues and votes.
After the poll was discussed, one member of the club expressed disappointment that Collier didn’t have any kind of celebration after Biden’s win as she saw in New York, Boston and other cities. It was mentioned we didn’t do that because of Covid concerns, but that we should have a Zoom celebration after Biden’s inauguration.
Stephanie was thanked for her work as club president.
Meeting adjourned at 8 pm.
Linda Brown, Recording Secretary