Rick Scott Wants to Bypass the CDC for Cruise Ships
From Senator Rick Scott:
Florida is a tourism state, with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines and maritime industries. Throughout his time as Governor of Florida, Senator Rick Scott proudly welcomed more than 100 million visitors every year, shattering annual tourism records. Tourism – including our all-important cruise industry – has huge impacts for states across our nation and the thousands of jobs that rely on its success.
As we continue to work to recover from the coronavirus and get our economy back on track, Senator Scott remains committed to doing everything he can to support our tourism industry in Florida and across the United States. Unfortunately, while many sectors of the economy have been safely operating for months under CDC guidelines, Floridians, and those across the nation that rely on the cruise industry for work, continue to wait for updated guidance from the CDC.
This week, Senators Rick Scott, Dan Sullivan and Marco Rubio introduced the CRUISE Act, which would revoke the CDC’s current No Sail Order on cruises and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations. Cruises can resume safely, and Senator Scott will keep working to get our tourism industry open.
Please let Rick Scott and Marco Rubio know that the health and safety of Americans is more important than private cruise ship companies making money. You can email or call them here:
Phone: (561) 514-0189
Rubio: [link removed]
Phone: (561) 775 3360
ACTION NEEDED! SB 426/HB 267 Seaport Regulations
The Mayor and residents of Key West have been fighting the Seaport Regulations Bill in the Florida State Legislature this session.
HB 267 and its companion Senate bill SB 426 State Preemption of Seaport Regulations is a classic example of Republican Big Brother overreach in Key West and we urgently need you to OPPOSE it. This bill would never have been conceptualized had it not been for the fact that Key West dared to put three pro-environment amendments on their ballot last November 2020 because of concern that cruise ships were causing significant damage to their coral reefs and ecosystem -- unquestionably the lifeblood of their tourist economy. They won with overwhelming support from their voters. In fact:
More than 60% of voters decided to ban cruise ships with a capacity of more than 1,300 people from docking and to limit the number of cruise visitors who can disembark each day to 1,500; and Over 80% of their voters agreed that cruise lines with the best environmental and health records should be prioritized to dock in their city.
This will of the voters infuriated the Republican Legislature. So, they created HB 267/SB 426 which will void Key West's new ordinances and will prohibit all future similar local ordinances in Key West and other municipal ports that deal with restrictions on cruise ships.
Key West is a national treasure. It contains North America's only barrier reef and Republicans in typical fashion are prioritizing their love of corporations over the health and safety of our environment and health of Floridians.
Currently the bill is waiting to be voted on in the Senate. Please write the Senators and ask them to vote no on SB 426 and keep Key West environmentally safe and reject this power grab.
HB 1, the “Anti Riot Bill” Signed Into Law by DeSantis
On Monday, Governor DeSantis signed into law his “Anti Riot Bill” he created and pushed the legislature on as a response to the Black Lives Matter protests. The bill creates barriers to peaceful protesting and prohibits de-funding police. You can read more about the bill below, which also has a link to the language.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Keynoting Rally at IRC Fairgrounds
An "America First" rally with a lineup of conspiracy theorists and election deniers, to be headlined by controversial U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, is now scheduled for the fairgrounds as a public event on Saturday morning. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and the event is to run from 8:30-10 a.m. The event will be public and the county is charging $1,586 for the venue and equipment rental.
U.S. Congressman Bill Posey who represents Indian River County supports the rally: “This rally is about putting America first by strengthening America’s economy, securing America’s borders, combatting Chinese and Russian aggression and supporting our freedom and Constitutional rights," Posey said in a statement to TCPalm. "These are principles I hold in common with those sponsoring the rally."
Because of the potential for conflict or violence, the Democrats of Indian River do not recommend protesting or participating.
Letters to the Editor by loyal Democrats have appeared in the TCPalm. Here is an excellent one written by Pat McNamee:
** Do our elected Republicans agree with Greene?
I was disappointed (but not surprised) to see the Indian River County Republicans have invited Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to speak here.
I hope TCPalm will follow up by asking every elected Republican whether they agree with Greene's views.
Does U.S. Rep. Bill Posey believe the conspiracy theories of QAnon? Does Florida Sen. Debbie Mayfield believe the Parkland shooting was a false-flag operation and support Greene's calling Parkland survivor David Hogg #littleHitler?
Does Florida Rep. Erin Grall share Greene's "like" of the Facebook post about Nancy Pelosi that "Through removal or death, doesn't matter, as long as she goes."?
Or will they be at (the fairgrounds) Saturday to roll out the red carpet for this disgraceful woman?
Patrick McNamee, Vero Beach
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!
TONIGHT! 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 March 2021 Volunteer of the Month is Dionne McNamee! Dionne has been our Treasurer for the past three years and works diligently to make sure she is a good steward of our organization’s funds. It’s a very big responsibility. She is also a Precinct 18 Co-Captain. Thank you Dionne for all that you do for the Democrats of Indian River! It’s a lot of work and we appreciate you!
The Club Board will meet via Zoom on May 5th at 4:30 pm.
Club Membership Dues cover from July 1st to June 30th of each year. Members can pay their membership dues by going online to: democratsofindianriver.org, click the “Local Democrats” tab, then click the “Democrats of Indian River Club” tab, then click the “Join or Renew Your Membership Today” tab. You can choose to either to renew your membership or to become a new member. You will have the option to pay by credit card or PayPal or to mail a check to the DEC office.
For Members who have joined in 2021, there membership dues will be valid through June 30, 2022.
Annual Membership Dues are $25.00, however additional donations are greatly accepted.
The next meeting of the Club will be Wednesday, May 12^th at 6:00 p.m. The Guest Speaker will be Paul Seldes. You can read an article about Paul here:
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Democratic Club, you can contact the Club President, Al Griffiths, at [email protected], 203-537-1762 call or text.
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]
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.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
5:00 p.m. – Democrats of Indian River, DEC Steering Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Superintendent Workshop, School District of Indian River County
For agenda and meeting information go to
6:00 – 8:30 p.m. – School Board Business Meeting, School District of Indian River County
For agenda and meeting information go to
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
6:00 p.m. - Sebastian City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to [link removed]
Friday, April 30, 2021
2:00 p.m. – Democratic Women’s Club Book Club
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])
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 [link removed].
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])
Being trapped in our houses due to the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. Pajamas, old t-shirts and yoga pants have become our daily outfits. But when Sunday comes around, La Verne Ford Wimberly of Tulsa dresses for virtual church in her Sunday best. You can check out her fabulous style here:
Our mailing address is:
Democratic Executive Committee of Indian River County
2345 14th Ave.
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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