The Florida Democratic Party is asking residents to check their voter registration status and party affiliation in response to reports that some voters had their party designation switched from Democrat to Republican.
Florida Dems said there is evidence that Republican-affiliated canvassers targeted elderly and non-English-speaking Democrats in public housing complexes in Cuban- and Haitian-American areas of Miami-Dade County. No reports of party switching have surfaced in Manatee County.
Manatee Democrats conduct voter registration and Vote By Mail enrollment at Democratic Headquarters, 435 Cortez Road, the Orange Blossom Shopping Center, Bradenton, (941) 301-4336. Registration efforts are scheduled in selected neighborhoods, as well as at community events.
Contact the Supervisor of Elections office, (941) 741-3820; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.votemanatee.com/ to check on your registration status. If you need help checking your registration or know of an incident of voter suppression, call the state Voter Protection Hotline at (833) 868-3352.
An esteemed political analyst, Jonathan Alter, explains where the Democrats have botched their messaging to voters – and how they can fix it and win elections. Watch the video by clicking the link below.
Jonathan Alter is an award-winning author, political analyst, documentary filmmaker, columnist, television producer and radio host. The author of three New York Times bestsellers, Alter is a former senior editor of Newsweek and a longtime contributing correspondent and political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. https://jonathanalter.com
By Donna Hartman – The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF) endorsed Nikki Fried, Florida Agricultural Commissioner, for Florida governor at its 39th Annual State Conference May 22.
DBCF’s endorsement of Fried could help her capture a majority of the 1.5 million Black voters represented by the DBCF in the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial primary. Fried, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and state Sen. Annette Taddeo are running for the Democratic nomination.
“This endorsement means everything to me, my team, and our supporters fighting to beat (incumbent Republican governor) Ron DeSantis,” Fried said.
During her participation at the DBCF's conference, Commissioner Fried convinced the DBCF executive committee that she knows how important the Black vote is to get her elected. She got 67 percent of the committee’s vote, beating Crist and Taddeo to win the endorsement.
“Black voters are the backbone of our party and too many candidates think they can phone it in and call it a day,” Fried said. “But that is not how this works. From day one of my administration, I have broadened the power and influence of Black farmers, business, owners and advocates. And that is exactly what I’m going to do as the next governor of Florida.”
DBCF President Trevor Mallory said the DBCF and its 27 local chapters “have been diligently working to let the state know that the Black vote is very important, deciding what candidates may win or lose in November 2022 and 2024. And we will not be taken for granted.”
“Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” said Mallory, citing the theme of the 2022 DBCF Conference. “We are going to do the grass roots work, partner with other organizations, churches, community leaders to register, educate and get voters to the polls to elect a Democratic governor and more Democrats throughout the state in November."
"This is just the beginning of a concerted effort by DBCF and our partners and supporters to stop the attacks by the DeSantis Administration and improve the lives of communities," Mallory said.
Manatee County Democratic Black Caucus (MCDBC) members attending the conference included Michelle Grimsley, president, Glenn Pearson, first vice-president, Florence Shelton-Clark, second vice-president and the Rev. Joreatha Capers, member.
In addition, MCDBC was recognized as the local chapter with the greatest number of new members.
The Manatee County Democratic Black Caucus (MCDBC) is having great success registering voters at area venues in our county. Recent registration events have been held at The Tree and Looking Good men's clothing store.
The MCDBC invites you to join them every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for voter registration. Phone banking has flexible hours. They have been so successful in their voter registration efforts and signing up people to vote by mail that they were awarded the Bill McGrath Memorial Award at our April annual Gala event.
If you would like to volunteer for voter registration or phone banking, contact the MCDBC second vice-chair Florence Shelton-Clark at email@example.com.
By William Clapper – The Manatee County Democratic Gala was certainly a night to remember.
A sellout crowd of 320 Democrats cheered as three of the gubernatorial candidates gave solid reasons why the current governor must be voted out of office. Former governor Congressman Charlie Crist, current Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried and state Senator Annette Taddeo shared personal stories and each gave rock solid reasons why they should be the next governor of Florida.
Two local awards were presented during the ceremonies. Michelle Grimsley, chair of the Manatee County Democratic Black Caucus accepted the Bill McGrath Memorial Award on behalf of the MCDBC for its efforts to register voters and promote vote-by-mail. Graciela Greenberg, former chair of the Manatee County Democratic Hispanic Caucus, accepted the John Lewis Memorial Award for her lifetime dedicated to community and democratic values. The Lewis Award commemorates the legacy and contributions of Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who fought for civil rights and the elimination of racial segregation.
Manatee County Democratic Party chair Tracy Pratt gave the assembly a glimpse of the party’s accomplishments the past year and prepared county Democrats for the battles ahead. “With right-wing attacks on our school boards and overt corruption on our county commission, we know we must remain vigilant and fight for our Democratic values at all levels of government,” said Pratt.
She further exhorted the crowd to become involved. “We know we stand with the majority of Americans who support voting rights, reproductive rights and acceptance of individuals regardless of race or sexual identity and orientation.”
Gala night was a series of firsts:
· The first major Democratic in-person event in three years,
· A sellout of 320 people,
· The first time military service people and first responders were officially recognized at the Gala,
· The first time all three major gubernatorial candidates were on stage together to answer questions,
· The first time a professional moderator, Rob Lorei of WEDU-PBS Television, ran a Manatee County Democratic Party candidate forum,
· The first time that part of one of our candidate forums received television coverage from Florida This Week, WEDU-PBS,
· The first time the program is available for online viewing,
· The first time Manatee Dems are contributing $555 to the World Central Kitchen on behalf of the Ukrainian people,
· The first time there were eight live auction items earning $19,800,
· The first time the Gala raised more than $50,000 to support party activities, advertising and promotion.
“Thank you to everyone who attended and everyone who helped before, during and after the Gala. We hope this is the beginning of many more firsts for Manatee Democrats,” said 2022 Gala Co-Chairs, Lucy Lapides and Robin Sathan.
In this critical election year, Democrats need to have a presence at community events or specific locations throughout the county. Staffing an event or maintaining a specific location is an alternative to canvassing door-to-door to obtain voter registrations and enrollments in Vote by Mail.
There are many events in Manatee County that pose as ideal opportunities to set up an information table or roam through a crowd. Food distribution drive-throughs are also ideal places to establish a voter registration presence.
Volunteers work with Manatee County Democratic Party representatives and receive training, clipboards and forms to be filled out by folks attending the event. To volunteer for these event activities, Sign Up Here with the Manatee Dems. You will be contacted as needs arise. If you are new to voter registration, you will have opportunities to shadow experienced volunteers. If you know of potentially productive events or locations, contact Phyllis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registering new voters is not enough to ensure that they actually vote. Recently registered voters need contact from like-minded voters to provide encouragement and comfort to build confidence and pride in the voting process.
The Follow-up Call Team is an initiative Indivisible Manatee developed to provide support to the voters who register during neighborhood canvassing efforts. A volunteer will call the voter after their registration becomes official. The newly registered voter will be congratulated and asked if they got their Voter ID Card. Closer to the elections, calls will be made to ensure each voter received a mail ballot, answer questions they may have and let them know which candidates and measures Democrats support.
Indivisible provides guidance and training. You will not be given more names than you can handle and calls will be to Democrats. For more information, contact IndivisibleManatee@gmail.com.
By Barbara Ehren and Cyndy Rosso – The deep-water injection well slated for Piney Point concerns many Manatee residents. As coastal Floridians, we are especially concerned with the quality of our water. The Piney Point situation has been unsettling to say the least, and we want to feel confident that the solution underway is a sound one.
On April 14, 2022, the Anna Maria Island/West Manatee Democratic Club and the Manatee Democratic Environmental Caucus co-sponsored a webinar on Zoom to explore the science of deep-water disposal wells with speaker Jesse Ehren, an expert in water disposal. Our focus was not on the politics of this issue for this webinar; the talk was about the science.
Mr. Ehren is Director of Water Treatment for Bosque Disposal Systems, Fort Worth, TX. He is a native Floridian with a master’s degree in planning from FSU, focusing on natural resource management.
(Barbara Ehren is president of the Anna Maria Island and West Manatee Democratic Club and Cyndy Rosso is co-chair of the Manatee Democratic Environmental Caucus.)
Don't miss the radio interview with Ed Sabol, president of the Longboat Key Democratic Club and Paul Hylbert, a member of the Republican Club of Longboat Key.
Ed and Paul answer pressing questions about the Miracle on the Key, the groundbreaking project happening right here that fosters civil political discourse in these divided times.
The show aired Tuesday, April 5, on Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly current affairs show (89.7FM) and you can hear the recording on the WUSF website. Click here.
Manatee Matters now publishes twice a month, on the first and third Mondays.
In the June 20 issue: Important date for voting, a new public education caucus, phone banking, voter registration events, state Dems urge you to check your voter registration, some fun and informational Democratic group events scheduled.
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