APRIL VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
April's Volunteer of the Month is a powerhouse and a leader who has led our organization for the past 2+ years and recently stepped out of her role as Chair.
Adriana de Kanter started out as a Vice-Chair and soon stepped into the role of Chair of the Democratic Executive Committee. Under Adriana's leadership, the Democrats of Indian River County have seen measurable success and growth. 2 Democrats have been elected into local public offices - Vero Beach City Council and the School Board. We saw a shift towards Blue in the last general election. We saw a 32.93% increase in vote by mail since 2016. Our volunteer pool has increased substantially. A new social club, the Democratic Club of IRC, was formed. We hired a paid employee to run our office and operations. We moved to an office 3x the size of our previous one. These are just a handful of accomplishments under Adriana's leadership.
Adriana is a natural leader. She quietly leads, encourages and supports those around her to do better and be better. Her leadership, friendship and ability to inspire will be greatly missed. Thankfully, she will still be involved as a Precinct Captain and Communications Chair.
There is no way to fully thank Adriana for everything she has done for the Democrats of Indian River, but we want to make sure she receives the recognition and accolades she so rightly has earned.
Thank you Adriana, we are so very grateful for you!
United States Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) Releases Fact Sheet on Justice In Policing Act
The Justice in Policing Act is the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, end racial profiling, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives. The Justice in Policing Act would: (1) establish a national standard for the operation of police departments; (2) mandate data collection on police encounters; (3) reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs; and (4) streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 will:
* Work to End Racial & Religious Profiling
* Save Lives by Banning Chokeholds & No-Knock Warrants
* Limit Military Equipment on American Streets & Requires Body Cameras
* Hold Police Accountable in Court
* Empower Our Communities to Reimagine Public Safety in an Equitable and Just Way
* Change the Culture of Law Enforcement with Training to Build Integrity and Trust
* Improve Transparency by Collecting Data on Police Misconduct and Use-of-Force
* Make Lynching a Federal Crime
You can read the full fact sheet here: [link removed]
6 Key States That Will Impact The Future Of The Senate (Yes, Florida is one of them)
Pennsylvania (open seat): The Keystone State has been a swing state for decades, so seeing Pennsylvania at the top of the list probably doesn't need much explanation. Two-term incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has already announced his retirement, so this seat would be a gain for Democrats if they win it.
North Carolina (open seat): Another Republican retirement—three-term Sen. Richard Burr—makes North Carolina the Democrats' second-best shot at flipping a seat from red to blue. North Carolina has emerged as a crucial swing state in recent years, and if Democrats can win here and in Pennsylvania, there's a good chance they'll retain their majority.
Georgia (Democratic): Sen. Raphael Warnock flipped this seat from the Republicans in a stunning special election runoff, but now he has to run for a full six-year term next year. Georgia's razor-thin margins for Democrats have provoked an enormous backlash from Trumpists in the Peach State, and a new voter suppression law passed this year has drawn national condemnation and a flurry of lawsuits. Warnock is sure to be the focus of an intense campaign of attacks from Republicans.
Arizona (Democratic): Sen. Mark Kelly is the second Democratic incumbent who won a special election in the last election and now faces a regularly scheduled election in 2022. Arizona is a historically Republican state that's rapidly shifted toward Democrats over the past decade. Next year's election will be the first test of Democratic strength in the post-Trump era, and Republicans have already declared Kelly to be one of their top targets.
Wisconsin (Republican): Two-term Republican incumbent Ron Johnson is on the retirement watch list, but this race will be a close one whether or not he runs.
Florida (Republican): Florida is always a swing state and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking a third term.
We will be watching these races and will call on you for help when the time comes!
Debbie Mayfield Supports Voter Suppression
Debbie Mayfield has released the statement below in regards to the Voter Suppression bill signed by DeSantis. Clearly, Senator Mayfield has joined the Republican party in the attempt to suppress voters and obstruct the voting process. While she advertises the information below as a positive, this is a blatant attempt targeted at minority, disabled and elderly communities. It is also an attack on Supervisors of Elections across the state making their job harder and creates possibilities of questionable elections.
Read Mayfield’s statement here:
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Safeguard the Sanctity of Florida Elections
Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 90, Florida’s new election integrity bill, strengthening voter identification, prohibiting the mass mailing of ballots, banning ballot harvesting and prohibiting private money from administering elections in our state. “Florida leads the nation in election reforms because the Florida Legislature and Governor have taken a proactive approach to review and address any election issues,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson.
Senate Bill 90:
strengthens existing voter ID laws,
bans ballot harvesting,
prohibits unsolicited mass mailing of ballots,
increases election transparency, and prohibits private money from administering elections.
requires additional identification information when changing any voter registration information, or requesting a vote by mail ballot, preventing fraud and securing the voter rolls.
Under this law, a person may not handle more than two ballots other than those of immediate family members. There is an exemption for ballots collected during supervised voting at assisted living facilities and nursing homes to make sure no undue burden is caused for Florida’s most vulnerable.
The proposal bans the mass mailing of ballots, ensuring that vote-by-mail ballots are only sent to the individuals that requested them, and only if requested for each election cycle they intend to vote by mail. The bill also increases election transparency, allowing each political party and candidate guaranteed access to observe signature matching reviews by the canvassing board, and allows for appointed watchers on their behalf.
The bill bolsters reporting, requiring that every county have access to live voter turnout data, updated hourly by Supervisors of Elections (SOEs). SOEs will also be required to post, beginning at 7 p.m. on Election Day, the number of vote-by-mail ballots that have been received and the number of vote-by-mail ballots that remain uncounted. This reporting will be updated at least every hour.
Finally, the bill will prohibit private money from administering elections by prohibiting our Election Supervisors from accepting donations or grants to fund any aspect of election administration or operations.
Erin Grall Supports Individual Liberties Instead of The Health and Safety of Communities
Erin Grall voted in support of a bill aimed to address the threats posed by pandemics. Health threats? No. Attacks on the personal liberties of individuals. You can read her public statement here:
Florida needs to be prepared for threats posed by pandemics and other public health emergencies while defending individual liberties and minimizing the negative effects of extended emergencies.
SB 2006 (HB 7047) – Emergency Management – requires the Surgeon General to develop a public health plan to prepare the state for every foreseeable public health emergency; prohibits a business, government entity, or educational institution from requiring individuals to provide vaccine passports; and provides a presumption that schools and businesses should remain open during an extended public health emergency, if possible.
This bill requires political subdivisions to limit any emergency order that limits the rights or liberties of individuals or businesses to 42 days and allows the Governor to invalidate such orders if the Governor deems it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.
The bill requires the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to maintain an inventory of PPE and increases emergency order transparency by requiring orders to include an expiration date and be posted online in a searchable format for public viewing. Related to SB 2006, SB 1892 creates the Emergency Preparedness Response Fund for the Governor to use during emergencies, which will be exclusively for emergencies.
SB 2006 (HB 7047) passed the House 78-36 and the Senate 23-15 on Thursday, April 29, and was signed by the Governor on Monday, May 3.
Governor DeSantis Expands School Vouchers
On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis signed a bill expanding school vouchers for approximately 61,000 new students at a cost of $200 million.
These vouchers can be used to attend charter and private schools that have less oversight and accountability. Often, these choice schools leave students in the lurch and alter their educational progress.
It also does away with the McKay and Gardiner scholarships for students with special needs and rolls that money into these school vouchers.
You can read more about this damaging bill here:
Florida families to get more school vouchers as DeSantis signs $200M choice expansion (msn.com) ([link removed])
School Board of Indian River County
If you haven’t been paying attention to what is happening in our school district, it is time to pay attention.
A very outspoken group of conservatives in our community have been showing up to our school board meetings for over a year now. Initially, their focus was anti-mask. Then, they moved on to opposition of the Equity Director position. Now, they have moved on to curriculum and educational materials that they claim have Culturally Responsive Teaching and Critical Race Theory. Their voices are loud and are beginning to influence our school board members and Superintendent. If you want a flavor of who they are and what they are saying, you can watch the School Board meeting on Tuesday night here: School Board Business Meeting 6 p.m. 5/11/2021 - YouTube ([link removed])
If you believe in our educational system, you can start watching the school board meetings, paying attention to the agendas for the meetings, contacting school board members and the Superintendent, and become more engaged.
In the next few weeks, a group of pro-students, pro-teachers, pro-staff and pro-public education supporters will begin organizing to create a group of concerned citizens to counter these loud, dangerous voices. If you would like to be involved, please contact [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
These are OUR public schools, not the public schools of a loud group of conservatives.
It’s Kitten Season!
H.A.L.O. No Kill Rescue in Sebastian is in need of help for the kittens. They need the items listed below that can be purchased either online or at a local pet supply store. You can either have these items shipped to H.A.L.O. or deliver them in person to the adoption centers in Sebastian or inside the Mall.
And don’t forget to let them know you are a Democrat! We want to let them know the Democrats of Indian River support our furry friends!
Kitten Milk Replacer - AmazonSmile : PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder - Prebiotics and Probiotics - Newborn to Six Weeks - Kitten Formula - 12 oz : Pet Milk Replacers : Pet Supplies ([link removed])
Club Annual Membership Dues are due in July. Dues cover July 1st through June 30th of the next year.
To pay membership dues go to:
Click on the “Local Democrats” tab
Click on “Democrats of Indian River Club”
Click the “Join or Renew Your Membership Today”
You can choose to either renew your membership or become a new member. You will have the option to pay by credit card or PayPal. You may also send a check, payable to “Democratic Club of IRC” to DEC Headquarters, 2345 14th Ave., Vero Beach FL 32960.
For Members who have joined in 2021, their membership dues will be valid through June 30, 2022.
Annual Membership Dues are $25.00. Additional donations are greatly appreciated.
Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River
The next DWC Book Group meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 28th at 2:00 p.m. on Zoon. Club member Carol Bristol will lead an interactive program, "American Vernacular: The Dialects We Speak." If you are not a DWC member and are interested in attending, contact Rita Milelli at [email protected]
CANDIDATE & CAMPAIGN TRAINING
If you are thinking about running for office, but it seems a bit daunting, here is a course offered by the National Democratic Training Committee.
If you are thinking about helping on a campaign or running for office, Kevin Winchell is excellent. It is worth the $35.
Campaign Management Training for Candidates and Campaign Teams
Description: Interested in running for office or being on a team that gets others elected? This live, online, interactive workshop, hosted by the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida and the Blue Wave Coalition, covers all the essentials of campaign management that will make you a more effective candidate or campaign leader, including strategies and best-practices for candidates, committees, clubs, and caucuses.
About the Trainer: Kevin Winchell is the Founder and Executive Director of Democracy Strategies, a civic engagement consulting firm based in Florida specializing in training political candidates, clubs, caucuses, and committees in how to turn their passions into policy through evidence-based, values-driven campaigning.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
8:30 a.m. – Vero Beach City Council
For agenda and meeting information go to [link removed]
9:00 a.m. – IRC County Commission
For agenda and meeting information go to
Walmart and Sam's Club –
[link removed] ([link removed]) and [link removed] ([link removed])
Sharecare Statewide System
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.
Go to: [link removed] for a complete listing of Covid testing sites. Home testing kits are also available at local pharmacies.
The Parachute Story by Charles Plumb
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.
The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept pondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform - a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor."
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory- he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year...recognize the people who pack your parachute.
See you next week!
Stay Safe and Well!
Our mailing address is:
Democratic Executive Committee of Indian River County
2345 14th Ave.
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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