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Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee
General Meeting Minutes for September 28th, 2017


Called to Order in the Roosevelt Marriott Hotel at 7:07 PM by Vice Chair Amos Miers.

Bill Bucolo moved to approve the agenda, and it was seconded by Raemona Mae Clark, with unanimous consent. Miers noted Mayor Rick Kriseman’s success in the St. Pete Mayoral primary, and Democrat Annette Taddeo’s recent election to FL Senate D40, switching that seat from R to D.  Also Barbara Scott was just elected Chair of D67. He said contact information for all district chairs would soon appear on the Pinellas County Democratic Party’s website. He also encouraged attendees to sign up for available committee positions listed and placed on the seats.

Charlie Tucker moved to approve minutes from August meeting, seconded by Terri Kramish Weeks, with unanimous voice consent.

Ryan Cobin gave the Treasure’s Report (attached separately), and noted the fundraising success of the first 2 of 3 mailers sent out. Finance Chair Larry Biddle noted the 3rd mailer is going out next week. Mike Fox asked for volunteers to make follow-up phone calls to recipients of the mailers.

State Committeepeople Wanda Schwerer and Rick Boylan said 58 delegates from Pinellas will attend the 2017 State Democratic Conference in Orlando. Jasmina Forcan asked if there was money for scholarships to the convention, and 3 people stepped up to fund it. Boylan reported that the state Charter and By-Laws Committee voted to eliminate the current weighted vote system, and that a new system was in development. A motion by Joe Barkley to state one person/one vote was a fundamental democratic principle was seconded by Linda Varonich and approved by voice vote. Also the Loyalty Oath is no longer a requirement, and that clearer language in that regard is being determined.

Credentials Chair Doug Landau noted incoming members completed orientation before tonight’s meeting, and presented new members for approval. Joe Barkely moved for approval and Terri Kramish Weeks seconded. The following were approved by unanimous voice vote:

D65  Dawn Burke and Dustin Guinta

D66  Gary Baker and Judith Leah St.Onge

D67  Denise Coet

D69  Kay Aude, Bryan Brookes, and John Chetney

Also, precinct training for D64 was announced.

Campaign Chair Mike Fox solicited new sustaining members to cover monthly expenses, one-time donors and volunteers for the fundraising committee. He also directed members to the sign up table for a Kriseman victory in November. A victory was essential to set the table for 2018.

Mike Fox then talked about a recent 4 hour Town Hall Congressman Charlie Crist, from Florida’s 13th U.S. District, held in Clearwater, and introduced guest speaker Rep. Crist as a man who works for all Democrats, citing his tireless work on behalf of Mayor Kriseman. Crist said he was proud of the cooperation of local and state officials with FEMA in Hurricane Irma, and was grateful for the Bay area’s narrow escape from the worst of the storm. He urged the members to continue to work to keep and elect progressive city council members, as well as the mayor in St. Petersburg. He said his friends from college told him he was always a Democrat at heart, and that, as Republican governor, his hug with President Barack Obama both ended his career as an R, and opened his eyes. He praised Senator John McCain for helping stop Health Care part 2,and said he could not understand the cruelty of it, since it eliminated $800 million from Medicaid. In the debate he took the House floor to quote Jesus, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me”. He said there’s something going on with the defeats of Republican bills in Congress, along with victories of Kriseman and Taddeo, and urged members to keep the momentum going. He was encouraged that the checks and balances of 3 branches of government were working, and asked all to work hard and be hopeful.

Outreach Chair Trevor Mallory announced a Childs Park Friday food drive, and said the margin of victory for Kriseman in the general election needed to be increased.

Largo Club President Mary Lou Ambrose talked about how the club has grown to 170 members, and provides grass roots workers for elections. They meet the 3rd Monday of each month.

Veterans Caucus President Joe Barkley said his group meets quarterly, and will meet with the state caucus at the State Convention.

Karen Leiberman from Defend Our Democracy said the final reading of the proposed St. Petersburg ordinance was Oct. 5 at 8:30 AM, with an 8 AM rally preceding it in front of City Hall. Bill Bucolo moved to endorse passage, Patti Norkiewicz seconded, and it was approved by voice vote.

In New Business Brenda Probasco said Rep. Kathleen Peters is sponsoring a fracking ban in the upcoming session, and asked for volunteers to call Speaker Corcoran. She also said Doug Jones in Alabama needed volunteers to call from home. Bill Bucolo moved for the DEC to pass the People’s Platform Resolution, and Terri Kramish Weeks seconded. It was approved. Joe Barkley moved to affirm that Healthcare is a Human Right, and Wanda Schwerer seconded. It was also approved by voice vote. Jane Morris presented the Pinellas DEC with a check for $3781, raised by the Stonewall Democrats’ political action committee at this years’ PRIDE events.

Candidates introduced themselves and asked for support. They were Florida House D66 candidate Alex Herron, St. Pete City Council candidates Gena Driscoll (District 6) and Barclay Harless (District 2).

Announcements were from South St. Petersburg Club President Linda Lucas with the St Pete City Council forum Oct. 7 at the Sanderlin Center, and Jane Morris with the Stonewall Democrats’ Fundraiser Oct. 9 at Queenshead Restaurant.

The meeting concluded with The Pledge of Allegiance, and adjourned at 8:53 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Bonnie Agan, Acting Secretary.