Upper Manatee, Bradenton, Florida
Panoramic photos courtesy of Joe Patterson

Welcome


Welcome! The Democratic Executive Committee of Manatee County is proud to welcome you to the party of inclusion. We are the party that is dedicated to creating jobs, protecting the health of all Americans, preserving our environment and standing behind soldiers, seniors, businesses and students in their pursuit of quality of life and happiness.

Since 2008 President Obama and the Democratic Party have stabilized a devastated economy, saved tens of thousands of jobs in the automotive industry and throughout the nation, secured the college loan system, and steadied banking, mortgages and the stock market.

We have passed healthcare legislation that will mean it will soon be illegal for insurance companies to drop you when you are sick. Seniors who fell into the donut hole and could not afford their medications will now receive help instead of doing without. Countless millions will be insured who would otherwise be left vulnerable. Insurance companies will be required to spend 80% of their premiums on actual coverage, and children with pre-existing and/or terminal conditions nationwide will get the coverage they and their families deserve.

The party that brought Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, college loans, the G.I. Bill, small business loans, clean air and clean water to the nation is now working on job creation, an American health care safety net and a common sense immigration policy.

There are many ways to get involved locally such as joining our great clubs or the Democratic Executive Committee, or participating in events and volunteer activities. You can also receive our e-mailed newsletter or informational e-blasts. I encourage you to join us. You are part of a larger American family and we, the 67,368 Manatee Democrats, welcome you.

Patty Benson, Chair
Manatee County Democratic Party
(941) 761-8385
Send an email.

 



About Us


The Manatee County Democratic Executive Committee is the official governing body of the Manatee County Democratic Party and works in cooperation with the Florida Democratic Party and the National Democratic Committee.


The Manatee County DEC conducts Democratic Party campaigns in Manatee County under the general direction of the Florida Democratic Party. It is responsible to build the party, to register Democratic voters and to encourage Election Day turnout among Democratic voters.


The essence of the Manatee County DEC mission is to encourage participation of all Democratic voters and to disseminate the Democratic message, platform and philosophy. The Manatee County DEC is the official charter of Democratic clubs and groups in the Manatee County area. There are five active clubs in the county.


Manatee County Democratic Executive Committee
P.O. Box 10605
Bradenton, FL 34282
(941) 761-8385

 



GET OUT THE VOTE RALLY


“I WANT THEM TO FIGHT FOR IT. I WANT THEM TO KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE. I WANT THEM TO GO DOWN THERE, AND HAVE TO WALK ACROSS TOWN TO GO OVER AND VOTE.” -Mike Bennett, Manatee County Supervisor of Elections.

Hear Rev. Charles McKenzie, Henry Lawrence and other political and religious leaders of Manatee continue to lead the way in our 50-year fight for the RIGHT TO VOTE at the GET OUT THE VOTE RALLY at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 9th!

After the rally, we will be going door-to-door to register voters to make sure they know their new precinct, or fill out the form to Vote by Mail.

The rally will be at Mount Carmel, 1301 2nd Ave. West, Palmetto. This is around the corner from Lincoln Middle School on 17th St. West.

Call Susie Copeland at 447-2189 Black Caucus, Cornell Maxfield at 351-4279 Black Caucus or Democratic Headquarters at 761-8385 for further information.

 



Florida Democratic Party Voter Rights Resolution June 2014


Whereas, the right to participate in our democracy is rooted in the United States Constitution and Florida Constitution;

Whereas, voting is recognized as the foundation of our democracy;

Whereas, there is a movement in the State of Florida to restrict voter access to the electoral process;

Whereas, new voter restriction laws disproportionately affect citizens of color, women, the economically disadvantaged, and students;

Whereas, the Florida Legislature and the Florida Division of Elections has acted to restrict access to polling locations, early voting and vote by mail;

Now therefore we, the Florida Democratic Party, affirm the right of all Florida citizens to vote without barriers to their participation in the electoral process.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party urges our elected officials to ensure all precincts be accessible to every citizen regardless of any physical disability.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party condemns any restriction placed upon a citizen’s right to vote.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party advocates the restoration of voting rights when a citizen’s debt to society has been satisfied.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party and all citizen’s Florida solemnly requests the Florida Legislature and the Division of Elections to remove all barriers to voting for every citizen.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party calls upon our elected officials in the U.S. House and Senate to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

Therefore, the Florida Democratic Party reaffirms the Democratic principle that every vote counts.

Download all of the Florida Democratic Party Resolutions.

 



REGISTER TO VOTE!


Pick up an application at the Supervisor of Elections office, libraries, post offices or the Democratic Headquarters. MAKE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS CORRRECT! Call the Supervisor of Election at 941- 741-3823.

Vote by Mail

We encourage you to sign up for an Absentee Ballot just in case something comes up on Election Day. Remember, even if you request an Absentee Ballot, you can still vote in person, at the polls, but make sure to take the absentee ballot that you received in the mail with you to your polling place.

EARLY VOTING BEGINS ON AUG. 16-23
• Bradenton Area Convention Center: 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto
• Lakewood Ranch Town Hall: 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., LWR
• Rocky Bluff Library: 6750 U.S. Hwy 301, Ellenton
• Supervisor of Elections Office: 600 301 Blvd West #118, Bradenton

BRADENTON POLLS OPEN FROM 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Verify your polling site. Many have been changed. Check your Voter ID card for the proper polling location today and do a dry run to your new polling place.

 



Democratic voter expansion project for 2014 moves to Florida


The Democratic National Committee's nationwide voter expansion project is headed to Florida. The DNC says it plans to build a "new permanent infrastructure for the Democratic Party and its candidates" in key states, and hired Zach Learner, a Broward lawyer who until last month was chief of staff for County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, a candidate for a Florida House seat.

Learner, 33, is a 2008 University of Miami law school graduate. He worked on voter protection efforts in both of President Barack Obama's campaigns in Florida and for three years (2009 to 2012) was a legislative aide to Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood...read full Tampa Bay Times article.

 



Join us Aug. 4 in celebrating Obama's Birthday


We're celebrating President Obama's birthday and organizing for the 2014 elections! Our best birthday gift to President Obama is to elect Democrats in November. We will share our campaign plan and show you how you can be a big part of electing Democrats locally and sending Rick Scott on his way! We might even sing a few bars of "Bye-Bye Buchanan!"

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, 6 p.m.
Democratic Party Headquarters, 6233 14th St. West, Bradenton

We will provide sandwiches, drinks and birthday cake. Let us know if you will bring a dish to share. (Encouraged, but not required!) RSVP to Sheryl Wilson at CHSBWilson@aol.com or 941-322-6396.

 



The Myth Behind Public School Failure

Feb. 24, 2014, http://truth-out.org/

Until about 1980, America’s public schoolteachers were iconic everyday heroes painted with a kind of Norman Rockwell patina—generally respected because they helped most kids learn to read, write and successfully join society. Such teachers made possible at least the idea of a vibrant democracy.

Since then, what a turnaround: We’re now told, relentlessly, that bad-apple schoolteachers have wrecked K-12 education; that their unions keep legions of incompetent educators in classrooms; that part of the solution is more private charter schools; and that teachers as well as entire schools lack accountability, which can best be remedied by more and more standardized “bubble” tests.

What led to such an ignoble fall for teachers and schools? Did public education really become so irreversibly terrible in three decades? Is there so little that’s redeemable in today’s schoolhouses?...read full article.

 



Have you seen this?!


Michael Bloomberg is spending $50 million this year to support Every Town for Gun Safety: http://everytown.org/who-we-are/.

And Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:
http://www.momsdemandaction.org/.

Downloads:
2014 Gun Sense Voter Federal Candidate Questionnaire

Washington Post article: Bloomberg's gun group to start 2014 midterms strategy by surveying candidates

 



The Big Picture: This Month's Jobs Numbers

July 6, 2014

You might be seeing a lot of news about the economy creating more jobs.

That's because at the beginning of every month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report on our country's general employment situation for the previous month -- and this month's showed good news.

What's it all mean, and why should you care?

There's still much more to do to keep moving forward, but we've put together a few key points about how our economy is doing generally. Take a look -- and if you learn something new, pass it on.

Our country hasn't seen this kind of job creation since the 1990s -- and we've been adding more than 200,000 jobs a month for five months straight.

The 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any half since 1999. What's more, this is the first time since September 1999-January 2000 that we've seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months.

Auto sales in June are also the highest they've been since mid-2006 -- before the financial crisis.

Let's not forget that the American auto industry is continuing to bounce back -- adding 18,000 jobs this past month for a total of 463,000 jobs added since Chrysler and GM came out of bankruptcy in June 2009.

Meanwhile, we're continuing to produce more oil at home than we're importing from overseas.

In addition to doubling renewable electricity generation from sources like wind and solar, last October something big happened: For the first time in nearly two decades, we started importing less foreign oil than we were producing at home.

It's progress -- but we've still got work to do.

Want a more in-depth look at what the jobs numbers mean, complete with more charts, numbers, and economist-speak?

Take a look at this post from Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

And if you're looking for more great charts and infographics related to the economy, visit our Shareables hub.

 



Update Letter from the Chair

July 2, 2014

Dear Democrats,

I wish to thank all those who have supported the Democratic Party this year, whether you have attended an event, worked in the office, made phone calls, or knocked on doors. I truly hope that you know how appreciated you are. You are the life blood that makes it possible for us to carry on this fight.

We need to get out for the Primary Vote on August 26th. Early voting will be held from August 16-23rd @ Supervisor of Election Office @600-301 Blvd. West, Rocky Bluff Library @ 6750 US 301 in Ellenton, Lakewood Ranch Town Hall @ 8175 Lakewood Ranch Town Blvd., and Bradenton Convention Center at One Haben Blvd.

Hopefully, you have all called the Supervisor’s Office to vote by mail at 941-741-3823. You can also have your address changed if necessary. Go to the web site of the Manatee County Supervisor of elections for any information you may need.

We vote for our Democratic Presidential candidate by August 26th! It will be: Charlie Crist, Nan Rich, or other Democratic challenging candidates. The primary is when the Democrats choose the candidate to go against Scott. Our school board candidate Rodney Jones is being challenged by Charlie Kennedy (NPA). The County Commission incumbent is being challenged by Corie Holmes and Charles Smith. This is a district challenge and will not be on all ballots. We also have magistrate races but we cannot offer a choice.

We wish all of our candidates “Good Luck.”

Please come in next week and pick up a list to call Democrats to Vote by Mail. We have made almost 9,000 calls at this point, but the Republicans are beating us with their returns.

Please, Please! If you are willing and able, we could really use your help.

Patty Benson
Chair

 



I-75 Construction Update


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District One is designing improvements to Interstate 75 (I-75) from north of Fruitville Road to north of University Parkway in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The 3.5 mile design project also includes reconstructing the I-75/ University Parkway interchange from the existing diamond design to a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) design, the first DDI in Florida to advance to the final design phase...

Download and read the project newsletter (PDF).

 



Crist starts grassroots campaign to take Tallahassee back


Welcome to the People's Team -- you're now a key member of the grassroots force that's going to put the people back in charge in Tallahassee. There are three things you can do right now to get started.

(1) Ask three friends to join us - We need all hands on deck to fight back against the millions that Rick Scott's going to spend. Will you recruit three friends to join us? Send them this link:

http://action.charliecrist.com/Time-to-Join-Us

Or go here: http://action.charliecrist.com/Ask-Three-Friends

(2) Sign up to volunteer - If you want to knock on doors, make some calls, or just find out what's going on in your neighborhood, sign up here and an organizer will be in touch soon: http://action.charliecrist.com/Be-a-Volunteer

(3) Own a piece of the campaign - Charlie is committed to being the people's governor -- he will always be fighting for all Floridians, not just the ones with millions of dollars to donate. Own a piece of this grassroots campaign by chipping in what you can today: https://donate.charliecrist.com/Own-a-Piece

 



Vote By Mail


Click here for more information.






























 



Florida Republicans Admit Voter Suppression Was the Goal of New Election Laws


By Aviva Shen, ThinkProgress

Floridians endured election chaos and marathon voting lines this year, largely thanks to reduced early voting hours, voter purges, and voter registration restrictions pushed by Republican legislators. In an exclusive report by the Palm Beach Post, several prominent Florida Republicans are now admitting that these election law changes were geared toward suppressing minority and Democratic votes.

Former governor Charlie Crist (R-FL) and former GOP chairman Jim Greer (R-FL), as well as several current GOP members, told the Post that Republican consultants pushed the new measures as a way to suppress Democratic voters. Crist expanded early voting hours in 2008 despite party pressure, but Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) targeted early voting almost immediately when he took office in 2011. Scott’s administration claimed the new laws were meant to curb in-person voter fraud, despite the fact that an individual in Florida is more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud.

Current party members and consultants confirmed the motive was not to stop voter fraud but to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote:

• Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal. “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,” Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations.

• Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008.

• [...]A GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern. “I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.

Though the state ultimately went to President Obama, the Republican effort to suppress votes was largely successful. A post-election report found that new voting restrictions led to a huge increase in provisional ballots, which are cast when there is some question of the voter’s eligibility.

While crying voter fraud, the Florida GOP had to confront its own scandal when a voter registration firm they hired turned in hundreds of fraudulent registration forms in several Florida counties. The GOP hastily cut ties with the group when the state opened a criminal investigation into their operations.

 



Petition for a Manatee County Human Rights Ordinance


This petition is to call on the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County, Florida, U.S., to create a Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) that protects individual civil rights and prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in all of Manatee County, Florida.

Across the United States, a myriad of States, Counties, Boroughs, and Municipalities have enacted HRO’s to ensure basic anti-discrimination civil rights, foster healthy economic and societal development, and encourage new employers and residents to locate to their areas. Local HRO’s also augment federal and state civil rights protections, some of which are limited to large employers and contain other loopholes.

Here in Florida, HRO’s have been enacted by Alachua, Broward, Leon, Orange, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Volusia Counties, and by the municipalities of St. Augustine, Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami, Sarasota, South Miami, Tampa, and Venice.

However, currently neither Manatee County nor any of the six municipalities in Manatee County provide basic civil rights anti-discrimination legal protections for LGBT people, active duty, Reserve, or National Guard military personnel, or veterans of the armed forces.

I want all of Manatee County to move forward with the other counties and municipalities in Florida and across the United States by taking a stand for the civil rights of all people by enacting a comprehensive HRO that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in all of Manatee County, Florida. Enacting a Manatee County HRO would send a clear message in support of economic development, fostering a diverse and resilient workforce, and make clear whether you work, live, vacation in, or visit Manatee County, that, “Everyone is truly welcome here.”

Sign the Petition

 



When radical Republicans control the Legislature...


This March, a very different kind of madness has struck Republicans up in Tallahassee.

As you may have heard, Florida has the chance to provide free medical insurance to more than one million families making less than $30,000 per year – and the federal government will pay the total cost of $51 billion! But the leaders of both chambers (radical Republicans each) have refused to give the issue any traction. That’s despite the fact that this is free money to provide health insurance to more than a million people – most of them women.

Our champions are working hard to convince them otherwise, but until we send them more allies, Republican power brokers just don’t have to listen. That’s why we’ve recruited Judithanne McLauchlan to run against Senator Jeff Brandes – the only senator who voted against taking these funds last year. Daisy Baez has been training with us for three years and is now running against Rep. Erik Fresen, who has one of the worst voting records on this issue and reproductive rights. And we must defend our at-risk incumbents – especially Reps. Karen Castor Dentel, Linda Stewart, and Barbara Watson – to make sure they are re-elected.

That’s why we so appreciate your support of Ruth’s List Florida and our work to elect (and re-elect) Democratic, pro-choice women to state and local office. Thank you. It’s great to have you on our team. March 31 marks the end of a very important fundraising period for us. At the end of the month, we'll report all the money we currently have on hand to defeat those radical Republicans who are holding up medical care for millions of Floridians.

Help us finish the month strong and give the GOP a good shock. Please make a special contribution now to help us power up these and other great candidates. Make it recurring to support us all the way to November.

Ellis M.M. Robinson, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Ruth's List

 



Are You Covered?


The League of Women Voters of Florida is urging uninsured Floridians to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Thousands already have. See the League's press release below.

Even if you already have insurance, you could save thousands by shopping for your insurance on www.healthcare.gov. You owe it to yourself to check it out, but time is short. The deadline to sign up is only 2 weeks away!

Coverage Countdown: League Urges All Uninsured Floridians to Sign Up for Healthcare Under the Affordable Care Act

Tallahassee -- With Monday marking two weeks until the enrollment deadline, the League of Women Voters of Florida is urging all uninsured Floridians to sign up for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act before it is too late. Florida has the second-highest rate of uninsured citizens under the age of 65 in the nation, with nearly 3.8 million residents living without healthcare coverage. To encourage enrollment, the League has produced an audio news release which will be aired by radio stations across the state between now and March 31.

"The clock is ticking -- if you are one of more than a million uninsured Floridians who have not signed up for affordable healthcare yet, you need to act now," says League President Deirdre Macnab.

Recently, enrollment in Affordable Care Act insurance plans has surged in Florida, with more than 442,000 Floridians signing up so far, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While Florida has refused to expand Medicaid, preventing nearly 1 million Floridians from receiving affordable healthcare coverage, HHS estimates that 53% of Florida's uninsured should be able to buy a plan through the open marketplace for $100 or less a month. The deadline for enrolling in the open marketplace is March 31.

Floridians can sign up for healthcare coverage by visiting www.healthcare.gov or calling 800-318-2596.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, please visit the League's website at: www.TheFloridaVoter.org.

 



Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act - renewed hope for marijuana patients


Many Floridians at Capitol at this very moment to be a part of this historical day! The proposed legislation is named after Cathy Jordan, president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, because she has thrived despite a terminal diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease for more than 28 years. Cathy has advocated for access to this plant for nearly three decades renewing the hope for cannabis patients in Florida as this bill is filed into the Florida legislature today by Senator Jeff Clemens and Representative Joe Saunders.

Take A Minute Right Now To Encourage Your Representative To Take Leadership On The Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act!

The Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act is currently Filed. Step 2 of 6 of the Legislative Process. Click to learn more.

You can learn more about the bill and track its progress through the legislature on its way to becoming a law at the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act page.

Remember, donations are appreciated and confidential since we are not a division of United for Care. Visit the crowdfunding page and share it onto your friends!

Know where your elected officials stand on cannabis?

The Florida Cannabis Action Network, with you assistance, maintains a scorecard ranking each member of the Florida legislature on their position on cannabis reform. Click to learn more.

Visit the Let Florida Decide Legislative Scorecard page to help us further identify your member's position on cannabis reform and the Florida CAN Plan. With sensible cannabis policies that support the Florida CAN Plan, Florida will:

• Increase Public Safety
• Improve the Quality of Life for Patients
• Open Opportunities for Research
• Save Taxpayers Money
• Create a New Economic Engine

Don't you agree? If so, endorse the Florida CAN Plan!

 


Join our Mail List Click here to volunteer with the Manatee County Democratic Party Contribute to the Manatee Democratic Party Voter Information Join the Manatee Democratic Party GLBT Action Section

SCHEDULED MEETINGS

Precinct Development Team:

• Aug. 8, 2014, 1:30 p.m.
DEC Headquarters, 6233 14th St. W., Bradenton.


Steering Committee Meeting:

• Monday, July 21, 6 p.m.
DEC Headquarters, 6233 14th St. W., Bradenton.


DEC Monthly Meeting:

• Monday, July 28, 6 p.m.
DEC Headquarters, 6233 14th St. W., Bradenton. For info, call 941-761-8385.
Program: Circuit Court Judge candidates Susan Maulucci and Art Jackson will present. We will also discuss the activities for the election cycle and door-to-door campaigning.



See Clubs and Caucuses for their regular meeting information.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Celebrate President Obama's birthday & organize for the 2014 elections! We will share our campaign plan & show you how you can be a big part of electing Democrats locally & sending Rick Scott on his way! Join us at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 4 at Democratic Party Headquarters, 6233 14th St. West, Bradenton. We will provide sandwiches, drinks & birthday cake. Let us know if you will bring a dish to share. RSVP to Sheryl Wilson at CHSBWilson@aol.com or 941-322-6396.

Hear Rev. Charles McKenzie, Henry Lawrence and other political and religious leaders of Manatee continue to lead the way in our 50-year fight for the RIGHT TO VOTE at the GET OUT THE VOTE RALLY at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 9! After the rally, we will be going door-to-door to register voters to make sure they know their new precinct, or fill out the form to Vote by Mail. The rally will be at Mount Carmel, 1301 2nd Ave. West, Palmetto, around the corner from Lincoln Middle School on 17th St. West. Call Susie Copeland at 447-2189 Black Caucus, Cornell Maxfield at 351-4279 Black Caucus or Democratic Headquarters at 761-8385 for further information.



REMEMBER!

You can pay for upcoming events & make donations online
through PayPal!

Visit our Contributions page!





Visit the Calendar for events.

Visit the Clubs page for monthly meeting info.

LINKS

Florida Chain
A consumer health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all Floridians.

State Committeeman Mitch Mallett has returned to the Airwaves.
Listen & call the politically-charged,
Pro-Democrat radio talk show
"It's Your Gavel" from 9-10 a.m.
on 1490AM Tampa Bay.

The Rational Majority


Healthcare Outreach
Your individual participation is needed! Click here!


Affordable Care Act
Read some or all of the law here!


Useful Websites
www.whitehouse.gov
www.healthcare.gov
www.cuidadodesalud.gov
(Spanish version)
The White House on YouTube
www.barackobama.com
www.fl.barackobama.com
Find Insurance Options in Florida
Preventive Care Benefits
New Preventive Care Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries
Benefits for Young Adults
Benefits for Women
Benefits for Children & Families
What’s Changing — and When
Pre-Existing Condition Plans





The Rational Majority is a Pro- Obama group designed to confront the myths & misconceptions of Obama's first term in office. By reading daily Snap Caps, you can learn about factual pieces of legislation pertinent to current issues.

http://www.therationalmajority.org/

Paid for by the Manatee County Democratic Executive Committee, PO Box 10605, Bradenton, FL 34282,
(941) 761-8385, and not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate's committee.