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Fix our broken elections: A non-partisan nation-wide movement to end corruption in government

June 13, 2019

Democratic Women’s Club of Marco - General Meeting

June 11, 2019, 5-6:30 pm

Rose Hall, Marco Library


Stephanie Ballo opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.


She thanked the following volunteers and board members for their help: Chris Chase and Lisa Furlong for connecting with Manatee Middle School; Dawn for socials, Pat Capobianco for taking charge of the venues for our general meetings



  • The June social will be at a local restaurant, so we can support local businesses. Detail will follow in an email. 



  • Sara, Jane, Steph and Barb attended Leadership in Blue Conference in Orlando, which was a training session for people in the Democratic party, focusing on volunteer recruitment, training, and retention as well as voter registration and protection and individual caucus issues. 

  • If you encounter voter fraud or other issues, you can call the Hotline 1-833voteFLA.

  • The Women’s Caucus was vocal about helping to pass the ERA amendment in Florida. They are working to get a petition initiative on the ballot. Sara said Bob Rommel prevented the ERA amendment from being heard in committee, because, he said, “We don’t need it.” You can write to Bob Rommel at 7633 Mulberry Lane, Naples, FL 34114 to let him know how you feel about the ERA. He lives in Fiddler’s Creek.

  • Plan for a Fiddler’s Creek Meet and Greet in the Fall. Karen has addresses and some phone numbers to contact people there. 

  • July there is no Dem Club meeting

  • August 13 meeting Kathleen Passidomo is scheduled to talk. Come prepared with questions about her positions.

  • All meetings are at the library until October, when they are back at Mackle Park.

  • Sept 12-15 is the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida conference in Orlando. 67 districts from around the state will be there. Good opportunity to meet women from other parts of the state and see the diversity of the clubs in Florida. Deadline to register is August 22. We can share rooms with two queen beds. Contact Jane if interested.

  • Phone banking on June 15 from 1-5, and Sunday June 16 from 4-8 pm at Dem headquarters for Kelly Smith who is running in a special election for House District 38 in Pasco County. Possible for her to flip the seat. Please help if you can. 

  • Also, on June 15 there is a rally for impeachment proceedings at 9 am at the Courthouse corner of Airport Pulling and Tamiami Trail. 

  • Marco Dem Club Board meeting Friday, June 14 at Jane’s house. Begins at 1 pm for board members. All general members invited to come from 2-3pm. RSVP to Jane if planning on attending. 



Outreach Committee Report – Chris Chase:

  • Purpose of committee is to help the local community and market Democratic values.

  • Laces of Love donations from last meeting were $754 and 47 pairs of shoes.

Volunteers are needed at: 

  • Our Daily Bread

  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – help with summer programs

    • Habitat for Humanity on Henderson Creek Road, Tues – Sat 7:445 am – noon; Call Habitat at 239-775-0036 to volunteer.  Or log onto their website: habitatcollier.volunteerhub.com

Dem Club business cards – hand out to friends and acquaintances to promote our club.

Manatee Elementary School meeting with Chris and Lisa

  • Volunteer opportunities are available; they are eager for help

  • Need help with teacher recognition – no funds available for that from PTA

  • A program called “This is Me”- based on 7 Habits of effective people.

  • More to follow from the board on how our club could be of help


Evening Speakers:

Chris introduced two speakers for the evening: Francie Hunt from Represent.Usand Nina Tomaino, a clinical psychologist, about steps to take when engaging with others with opposing views.


Francie Hunt

  • Is with Represent.Us, a national organization that is working to fix our broken elections,stop political bribery and end secret money in politics through the Anti-Corruption Act. She is with the SW Florida Represent.Usgroup.

  • Website is www.represent.us; Represent Southwest Florida is the local chapter and Facebook page. Email is representswfl@gmail.com

  • Group has been active for 1.5 years locally in getting petitions signed regarding ethics issues in Naples government. The group got a petition on the ballot to improve ethics guidelines, but it is now tied up in courts. 

·       She showed an effective 12-minute video narrated by Jennifer Lawrence (the video is on the represent.us website) about how to work with cities and states to pass the Anti-Corruption Act. Goal is to go around Congress to get states to pass this act. Statistics show that once the  number of states reaches the tipping point on important issues, the process will trigger Federal laws enacted in support. The goal of the act is to: 

  • Stop political bribery by making it illegal for lobbyists to lobby a politician and donate to their campaign. You can lobby, or you can donate, but you can't do both.

  • End secret money so Americans know who is buying political power.

  • Fix our broken elections so the people, not the political establishment, are the ones in control.

  • She encouraged members to join represent us.





Nina Tomaino

  • Nina is a clinical psychologist who worked for the U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the Rehabilitation Dept. and as a behavioral counselor in a family practice setting working with patients and doctors.

  • She followed Francie Hunt’s talk with suggestions on how to talk with others who have different views than you.

  • Used play acting with Chris and Sara to show how to use 7 Key Active Listening Skills:

    • Be attentive

    • Ask open ended questions

    • Ask probing questions

    • Request clarification – when and what?

    • Paraphrase

    • Be attuned to and reflect feelings

    • Summarize

  • She suggested asking open ended questions such as, what issue is important to you and why is it important? Nina suggested asking, “ Do you feel like your government is working for you?”

  • Group suggested that Nina provide us with a list of talking points we can use in discussing political issues with others. 


Meeting Adjourned 6:30 pm



Respectfully submitted,

Linda Brown, Recording Secretary


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