Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee
General Meeting Minutes for August 24th, 2017
Called to Order in the Roosevelt Marriott Hotel at 7:10 PM by Chairwoman Susan McGrath, followed by Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairwoman’s announcements: Secretary Monica Dixon had to step down because of work conflicts, and Bonnie Agan would fill in as acting secretary. D69 Chair Charlie Tucker stepped down, and that vacancy needs to be filled. Pinellas Young Democrats have been activated, and board has been elected. She stressed the importance of all Pinellas Democrats working to defend the St. Petersburg Mayor’s seat.
Vice Chair Amos Miers was absent, as he was testing new GOTV software.
Linda Varonich moved to approve July minutes, Raemona Mae Clark seconded, and they were approved by voice consent.
Treasurer Ryan Cobin said there have been some good fundraising months, and thanked Finance Chair Larry Biddle for his mail campaign, which resulted in 2-$1000 donations just today. He said details, including date, on Prelude to Victory Dinner will be announced soon. Ryan submitted PCDED Treasurer’s Report for August 2017.
State Committeepersons, Wanda Schwerer and Rick Boylan talked about 2017 State Democratic Conference Oct. 27-29, and motion to approve the current 50 applicants, plus tonight’s 12 additional applications, was made by Toni Walker, seconded by Mike Fox and unanimously approved. Information regarding accommodations was made available.
Credentials Chair Doug Landau submitted the following new members for approval – Bryan Beckman, Dist 66, William Norsworthy, Dist 65, Lawrence Biddle, Dist 70, and Vicky Foster Dist 69. Joe Barkley moved to approve, Helen Briley seconded, and they were approved by voice vote.
Outreach Chair Trevor Mallory reported progress on the Kriseman campaign in south St. Pete, and thanked everyone for their efforts.
Campaign Chair Mike Fox said Kriseman campaign is on the right path, and Dems are now ahead on returned VBM ballots. He recalled Paul Wellstone’s 3 asks of a campaign – volunteer, take election day off to get out the vote, and write a check. He passed out volunteer sheets for election day. He said $2000 was needed to fund the office this month, and guest Philip Levine pledged $1000, followed by 3 pledges for $100, 5 for $50, and 22 for $20.
Newly activated Young Dems’ Chair Johnny Boykins announced the new board members, and said the members planned to canvas for Kriseman this weekend. His goal is to tap into young St. Pete, and focus the party on their needs, while building political talent. They now have a Facebook page.
Chair McGrath introduced guest Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach. He said the large crowd and their enthusiasm were a tribute to her. He said he was a personal friend of Mayor Kriseman and stressed the importance of keeping that seat to turn Florida blue. He talked about his education and successful business career, and how travelling with Bill Clinton inspired him to run for mayor. He knocked on 6000 doors, because he wanted to meet the city’s customers. The big issue there, as here, is sea level rise. He hired engineers, raised roads and installed underground pumps, but there’s still much to learn and do. It was all done without federal or state money. He reformed the police force, earned a perfect Human Rights Index score, passed first living minimum wage in Florida, and banned plastic and Styrofoam. He showed a video of him on various news shows for Hillary. He described himself as pro business and pro people. He said better public school funding is needed to create an ecosytem for business, and that NASA could be Florida’s Silicon Valley. Infrastructure and public transportation needs could get done with help from the state, but local control needs to be returned to the cities and counties. The road to the White House goes through Florida, and he plans to announce whether he’ll run for governor in October.
Chairwoman McGrath thanked Mayor Levine, and said September speaker would be Rep. Charlie Crist, October will be Gwen Graham, and there will be no monthly meeting in November.
Helen Briley is hosting a Meet & Greet for at large School Board candidate Karl Zimmerman Sept. 10.
Linda Lucas said South St. Pete Dem Club will hold a forum for all St Pete’s remaining city countil candidates post primary Sept. 9 at Noon.
Raemona Mae Clark said a demonstration will be held Saturday at 10:30 AM in front of the Clearwater courthouse.
Mike Fox announced St. Pete Dem club’s Labor Day picnic from Noon-4 at Walshingham Park in Largo.
Mark Skogman urged everyone to see Al Gore’s film, now showing.
Donald Hackett, Jr., submitted a handout regarding free speech and liberty.
Linda Lucas moved to adjourn. Seconded by Raemona Mae Clark and approved at 8:52 PM.