PLEASE NOTE that our office will close about 15 minutes early on Friday, April 16^th due to work on the outside of the building by management.
Democratic Women’s Club Awards $7,500 in Scholarships
For its 33^rd year, the Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River held its scholarship program, awarding $1,500 in scholarships to each of five outstanding students from Vero Beach High School. Recognized by the Club were Adina Birnholz, Mackenzie Cooley, Briel McMillan, Alondra Munoz (The Albert and Josephine Gallo STEM Scholarship), and Emily Olsson (The Steve Erickson Music Scholarship). DWC Club President Pat O’Hara said, “I am so impressed with all these students!” A big congratulations to these outstanding scholars from all the organizations that comprise the Democrats of Indian River! Thank you to the DWC for supporting this worthy activity each year!
Saying Goodbye to U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans
This week Officer Evans was honored in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda -- a place he no doubt walked through many times. President Biden attended the ceremony and spoke from his heart to the family. You can watch and read more here: [link removed]
ACTION NEEDED! Sign the petition to fire Trump’s USPS Director, Louis DeJoy
A Myriad of Attacks in the Florida Legislature
Last night, the House voted in favor of banning transgender students from participating in sports (HB 1475). Those students who have already been playing, will now be forced to quit. It was nothing but an attack on students for simply wanting to be who they are. What a sad day for Florida and children.
Here is a recap of last week in the Florida Legislature:
1) The DeSantis Anti-Protest Bill (HB1) passes its only Senate Committee and is on its way to the Senate Floor (it has already passed the House)
2) Gutting of the state retirement system passes the Senate (SB84)
3) Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust sweep moves through the House and passes cutting affordable housing dollars in half
4) The anti-abortion bill (SB1664/HB1221) passed its last House committee and is on the second reading calendar in the House
5) Campaign financing bill that will likely limit contributions to grassroots organizations is on the special order calendar on the House Floor on 4/13/2021 and on the Senate Floor on 4/14/2021
6) The "Drones" bill that gives law enforcement the right to use drones without a warrant is getting fast tracked despite its unconstitutional challenge to the right to privacy. It passed in the Senate and is in messaging to the House. This bill would further enhance HB1 by allowing drone surveillance to be used as evidence in surveillance of a peaceful protest.
Is this the state government you want? If not, then get ready to get to work in 2022. We desperately need a Democratic Governor and more Democratic representation in our legislature. There is a lot of work to do!
Impact of Growth Bills
With hundreds of thousands of new residents moving to Florida each year, managing the impacts of this growth is essential if we are to maintain our quality of life. A series of damaging bills this session would severely curtail the ability of our communities to plan for growth and shift the costs for new development to existing residents.
ACTION NEEDED! HB 421 on “property rights” will have a chilling effect on the ability of local governments to properly enforce their comprehensive plans and land development regulations, and protect natural resources by expanding the definition of “government action.” The broadened definition changes the trigger for the application of the Act from when a property owner seeks a permit application to the date of adoption of any ordinance, resolution, regulation, rule or policy. This change will result in a chilling effect on the ability of local governments to properly enforce their comprehensive plans, land development regulations, and overall ability to protect natural resources. This bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee House. Please email the Committee members and ask them to not consider this bill.
ACTION NEEDED! SB 1274 on small-scale amendments will reduce oversight of proposed development projects by increasing five-fold the size of development required to undergo review by the state. Currently, a comprehensive plan amendment that proposes a change in a land use designation on a local government’s Future Land Use Map can avoid any input from other state agencies like DEO, FDOT and the water management districts if the property is ten acres or less or twenty acres or less in rural areas. This bill seeks to increase the qualifying acreage for expedited review and lack of oversight by five times to fifty acres and one hundred acres in rural areas. This bill is currently in the Senate Rules committee. Please email the Committee members and ask them to not consider this bill.
ACTION NEEDED! Ask Disney, Publix, Cruise Lines and Legislators to Stand Up for Florida Voting Rights
City of Vero Beach Stormwater Utility
Currently our lagoon is no longer considered fishable or swimmable by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It is a threat to our health, as well as to its marine inhabitants. A healthy lagoon is needed to support our boating and fishing industries and our property values. The recreational and aesthetic values of a healthy lagoon are immeasurable. It is no secret that restoring our lagoon will cost money, but what will be the cost if we do nothing?
The City of Vero Beach is considering the formation of a City Stormwater Utility to fund water quality improvement projects that will reduce toxic run off to our lagoon and the ocean. It is important to hold and slow stormwater runoff to allow aquifer recharge and filtration of pollutants. A City stormwater utility would raise dedicated funds through a fee based on the impervious area of a property and assessed on all properties. Those dedicated funds will enable the City to qualify for matching cost share grants from Federal and State agencies such as the St. Johns Water Management District and would leverage City funds to plan and execute needed stormwater projects. Over 170 municipalities in Florida already have operating stormwater utilities, including our neighboring communities. It is estimated that the fee for the average homeowner would be about $5 per month, less than the cost of a Big Mac meal or a Starbucks Latte. For larger properties there would be an incentive to reduce
their fee by retaining more run off on their property.
The new utility will be the subject of a City Council workshop on April 27th at 9:30 am. The Clean Water Coalition and the Indian River Neighborhood Association ask you to support their campaign for a City Stormwater Utility by either sending a letter of endorsement to the City Council or signing the petition referenced here. (www.bit.ly/COVBSWU) Let’s do the right thing for our Lagoon!
The Emerson Center Presents “Trouble in Paradise”: What’s Happening To Florida’s Water Supply?
What’s happening to Florida’s natural water supply? Is the Floridan Aquifers system endangered? Can smart planning avoid water wars in the future?
The Emerson Center in collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach Social Justice committee presents “Trouble in Paradise”: What’s Happening to Florida’s Water Supply,” the free Earth Day Educational Forum on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021. The Pelican Island Audubon Society will be providing a free tree-give-away at 6:30PM; including one-gallon pots of Bald Cypress, Mahogany, and Live Oak seedlings. The featured film “Saving Florida’s Springs” created by filmmaker, Sami Kattan, starts at 7:00PM. Panelist David Cox, Board Member of the Soil and Water Conservation District of Indian River County, Panelist George Glenn, Legal Advisor to the Pelican Island Audubon Society and the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County, and Panelist Alexis Peralta, Stormwater Educator for Indian River County will discuss the informative film at 7:45PM followed by an open Questions and Answer Session.
Limited social distance seating available. Please register for FREE by calling (772)778-5880 (Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM) or by e-mailing: [email protected] and remember to include the number in your party.
The DWC Book Group will meet on April 23rd at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Fareed Zakaria’s book, "10 Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World”. If you aren't a book group member and would like to join in the discussion contact Rita Milelli at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
NOW Lobbyist Barbara DeVane will be the guest speaker at the next DWC Virtual Program on May 8th at noon. If you are not a DWC member and would like to attend, contact Pat O'Hara at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) .
CANDIDATE & CAMPAIGN TRAINING
National Democratic Training Committee Upcoming Trainings
Free trainings for candidates, Democratic organization volunteers and organizational basics can be found at:
All this year, Progressive Change Campaign Committee is running a series of one-hour special online trainings for candidates on how to get out the vote, build your campaign team, recruit volunteers, and fight for progressive policies!
Whether you are a candidate running for office this cycle or simply thinking about running for office down the line, these are the trainings for you.
7:00 p.m. - Fellsmere City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to www.cityoffellsmere.org/citycouncil
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
8:30 a.m. – Vero Beach City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to
9:00 a.m. – IRC County Commission
For agenda and meeting information go to
Thursday, April 22, 2021
9:00 a.m. - Indian River Shores City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to
TCCH is taking appointments for 2 locations – Fellsmere and South County Park. Call 772-257-8224 for an appointment.
Indian River County Health Department Vaccinations
Indian River County and the State Health Department in Indian River County launched a new COVID-19 vaccine registration system through Everbridge. Florida residents who are 65 years and older or are frontline healthcare workers can now register for the waitlist. To sign up, eligible residents should
complete the online registration form ([link removed]) Here ([link removed]) . Residents who need technical assistance with online registration or do not have Internet access can also register by calling our call center (772) 226-4000, which is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Appointments for Publix vaccinations can only be made online. Once you are on the website, scroll down to the county you live in and if there are appointments available it will indicate that.
Here is a video that explains how to sign up for the vaccine at Publix:
Guide to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Publix - YouTube ([link removed])
Hint – there have been reports that the page refreshes itself when making an appointment. Don’t refresh the page yourself or you will lose your spot. Here is the link to the sign up page:
Sharecare Statewide System
The state recently announced the launch of a statewide preregistration system to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for individuals 65 and older and frontline health care workers. Individuals can pre-register for vaccine appointments and be notified when appointments are available in their area by visiting
This website will allow individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to be proactively contacted when vaccine appointments are available through your local health department. On the site, residents can select their county and submit their contact information. Once appointments are available, individuals will be contacted by phone call, text or email and will be assisted in scheduling an appointment.
** Other Retail Options
Walmart and Sam's Club – [link removed] ([link removed]) and [link removed] ([link removed])
When you’re 7 years old you should be going to school, playing with friends, and riding your bike. But not Kamryn. She was advocating for girls everywhere when she wrote to Old Navy asking them to put real pockets in their girl jeans. What happened after she wrote her letter? Find out here:
Our mailing address is:
Democratic Executive Committee of Indian River County
2345 14th Ave.
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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