Thanks to all the motivated people who showed up for a large, enthusiastic rally to protest the overthrow of the will of the people (seems to be a common thing these days) at Bayview Park in Key West on Saturday morning. We cannot allow a small minority of people impose their religious beliefs on us.

The Middle Keys Dems also put together a protest and had a great turn-out. Check out the Fla Keys Democrats Facebook page for pictures.

The best sign I saw Saturday was one word – “SHARIALITO.” Think about it! Ironic, right?

Speaking of religion, in my readings this past week I have learned about some of Putin’s motivations in the Ukraine invasion – The Russian Orthodox Church! Seems he is thinking Holy War. (Because he is such a devout Christian?) Apparently, they are not forgiving the Branch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

In the USA right now, we have a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court who seem inclined to bend us to their belief system. Maureen Dowd in the NY Times yesterday talks about the influence of religion on members of the court and quotes Mario Cuomo from 1984: “The Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy — who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics — bears special responsibility,” Cuomo said. “He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones — sometimes contradictory to them; where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion.”

She goes on: “The explosive nature of Alito’s draft opinion on Roe has brought to the fore how radical the majority on the court is, willing to make women fit with their zealous worldview — a view most Americans reject. It has also shown how radical Republicans are; although after pushing for this result for decades, because it made a good political weapon, they are now pretending its no big deal. We will all have to live with the catastrophic results of their zealotry.”

As I said yesterday at our rally – votes have consequences. Those consequences are judge appointments. And now we know just how much they will LIE (since that is the new trend) to get approved.

All elections and races are important, up and down the ballot, ALL!

Let’s make sure we all vote in August and November. Drag your friends and relatives to the polls. Help them sign up to Vote by Mail. Let’s get this thing turned around!

Government Meetings This Week

Wednesday, May 18 – The Key West City Commission will meet at 5pm in City Hall, 1300 White St., Key West, Fl. The Agenda is available here. There are items I am not crazy about on the consent agenda. Item#20 to be specific. Please read this agenda and go and speak up. I will be out of town and cannot attend!

Coming Events

Wednesday, May 18 – The Upper Keys Dems will meet in the community room at the Key Largo Public Library, Tradewinds Plaza, at 5:30pm. This will be in-person only, no ZOOM. Our Guest Speaker will be Danial Horton-Diaz, Candidate for Fl. House Dist. #120 seat.

Thursday, May 19 – Monroe County School Board Candidate Sue Woltanski is holding a Meet and Greet at the Barracuda Grill, 4290 Overseas Hwy, in Marathon from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Stop in to meet Sue and then come to the DEMS meeting!

Thursday, May 19 – The Middle Keys Dems will meet in the Community Room at the Marathon Public Library at 5:30pm. Our Guest Speaker will be Kevin Macauley – candidate for Marathon City Council. This will be a hybrid in-person/ZOOM meeting.

We are looking for some volunteers for our next texting campaign – email Phil at vice-chair@keysdems.com

Pride Fest is coming up! We need some volunteers to man the Voter Registration Booth at the Street Fair on June 4 and walk with us in the Parade on June 5. I need some help with putting together our mobile entry in my truck! Email me – chair@keysdems.com

This is always a fun event and we get into lots of great conversations!!!

That’s it for now, See you this week!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

PS – I feel like I should say something about the domestic terror that continues to plague our country, egged on by the likes of Carlson/Hannity and Fox “News”, but I am unable to understand how our elected officials continue to allow the NRA free reign (with Russian money). The death toll is staggering and senseless! There are no words.

 “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and their politicians as a joke!” – Will Rogers

Kudos to all the women, and a few men, who showed up on Tuesday in Key West and Key Largo to protest the news about the leaked document. There was another protest in Marathon on Friday as well. There will be more! WE WILL NOT GO BACK!

In my reading this week I found this gem from Fabiola Santiago in the Miami Herald. “Nearly one in four US Servicewomen report being sexually assaulted in the Military” (the Times reports). “Why has it been so difficult to change the culture?” The answer to the question dwells in the same territory as the abortion debate: because the needs of women take a backseat to the agenda of males who run the country.

Wake up America!

Maureen Dowd in the NY Times had a few choice words for “Justice” Alito. (That sounds like an oxymoron.)

“The founding fathers would be less surprised that there’s a popular musical about Alexander Hamilton than they would be that, in an age of space travel, the internet, Netflix and in vitro fertilization, the majority of the court is relying on a literal interpretation of a document conceived in the agrarian 1780s.

They would be devastated that the court is just another hack institution with partisan leaks. Alito helped open the door to dark money and helped gut the Voting Rights Act, but he wants to ban abortion largely because, he says, the Constitution doesn’t expressly allow it. That’s so fatuous. The Constitution doesn’t mention an awful lot of things that the court involves itself with. But while it expressly prohibits state-sanctioned religion, this court seems ready to let some rebel public school football coach convene a prayer session after games. These rogue justices are always ready to twist the Constitution to their purposes.

They are strict constructionists all right, strictly interested in constructing a society that comports with their rigid, religiously driven worldview. It is outrageous that five unelected, unaccountable, and relatively unknown political operatives masquerading as impartial jurists can so profoundly alter our lives.

Chief Justice Roberts has been trying to protect the court’s reputation by working to split the difference on some of these explosive decisions. He may be doing that in this case. But he has lost control of a lost-its-marbles majority. To borrow an image from the great Mary McGrory, “Roberts seems like a small man trying to walk a large dog. At this point, he can’t even see the end of the leash.”

She was way kinder than I would have been!

The Keys Dems voting members passed a resolution this week asking the senate and the President to throw out the filibuster and get some important legislation passed – codify Roe vs. Wade in its original form. Then we could pass national voting laws – simple rules that govern every election and get rid of the electoral college. This is being sent via certified mail.  However, I did email the President and Chuck Schumer. You can do that too! Take a few moments out of your day and make a call, send an email, write a letter.

Government Meetings This Week

Tuesday, May 10 – The Monroe County School Board will meet at 4:30pm in the Media Center At Coral Shores High School, 89901 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL. For details & agenda, click here.

Tuesday, May 10 – Marathon City Council will meet at 5:30pm in Council Chambers at 9805 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL. For details, click here.

Wednesday, May 11 – The Utility Board of the City of Key West (Keys Energy Services) will meet in the Board room at 1001 James St, Key West, FL at 5pm. For details click here.

Thursday, May 12 – The Islamorada Village Council will meet at 3pm in the Founders Park Community Center, 87000 Overseas Hwy, Plantation Key. For details, agenda and zoom link, click here.

Thursday, May 12 – The City of Key Colony Beach City Commission will meet at 9:30am in the City Hall Auditorium & via Zoom. For more detail and agenda, click here.

Coming Events

Wednesday, May 11 – The Lower Keys Dems will meet at the Coral City Elks Club, 1107 Whitehead St, Key West, FL at 5:30pm. This meeting will be an in-person/hybrid zoom for those not ready for face-to-face. Our guest speaker will be Ray Warren, a retired attorney, and Circuit Court Judge. He will speak about the leaked Alito opinion and its ramifications.

Thursday, May 12 – The Keys Immigrant Coalition will meet at 5:30pm in the Klaus Murphy Center (between St. Mary’s Cathedral and Mary Immaculate School) on Truman Ave. Zoom or call in available.

Thursday, May 12 – The Stock Island Association will hold it’s monthly meeting at 7pm in the Bernstein Park Building. For more info, call Diane at 305-896-8678.

Saturday, May 14 – Bans off our Bodies Rally at Bayview Park, corner of Truman Ave and Eisenhower Dr. in Key West from 10am to noon or longer. There will be speakers, voter registration, music, and sign-making or bring your own. Sign letter to our elected officials in DC. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat, and a chair if you cannot stand. This event is being put on by members of NOW, ACLU, Women’s March, Ruth’s List, and the Keys Dems.

Saturday, May 14 – Pro-Choice Rally/Protest will be held from 10am – noon in Marathon on US1 in front of the old K-Mart store. Bring your own signs or use some of ours. Local activists and the Keys Dems are participating. Time to step up!

Wednesday, May 18 – The Upper Keys Dems will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room at the Key Largo Library.

Thursday, May 19 – the Middle Keys Dems will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room of the Marathon Public Library.

WAKE UP AMERICA!

Now is the time to get involved. Sign up to volunteer!

I hope to see you soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept!” – Angela Davis                         

Here is the good news! Macron won! Despite a rise in inflation and nationalism (same as us), France decided to go with Democracy and the EU. That bodes well for us. Biden knows he is not responsible for the inflation or the price of gas, but he is sincerely trying to do something about it. Sincerity does not get much press, but folks are paying attention. Do not always believe the polls!

Meanwhile, DeSantis has been off campaigning for president this week, hoping that folks will forget the mess he made in attacking Disney. Apparently, his attempt to punish the mouse has come up and bit him in the butt! The original deal has a clause that says the deal cannot be undone if there is debt. Unless the state wants to pay the debt. HA! I do not think that is happening. I see this going away very quietly, maybe.

Last week our Democratic Ag. Commissioner, Nikki Fried, has revoked the concealed carry permits for six men arrested in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Bravo Nikki!

Not to be messed with, the Guv announced he wanted to make Floriduh an open carry state with no restrictions, meaning no permit, no background checks, all wild, wild west! Undertakers & law enforcement, stock up on body bags!

Wake up Florida!

Here is our Hero of the week – Michigan State Senator, Mallory McMorrow. See her speech this week in the Michigan Senate as she fired back at GOP Lies! Watch it on YouTube here.

I ask you to consider attending local government meetings and letting your elected officials know you are watching and paying attention. Call them on their BS! Praise them when they do their jobs! Use your VOTE to get the government you deserve.

Government Meetings this Week

Tuesday, May 3 – The Key West City Commission will meet at 5pm in City Hall, 1300 White St., Key West. I did not see anything too offensive but make your own decision. Details and Agenda are here.

I have a wish list. Can you help? Here it is.

I would love to have a volunteer for each government meeting held in Monroe County. Watch via ZOOM or attend in person. (I think in-person is better for monitoring the crazy in the room). That person would then email me what is happening that we need to track. Our job could be to build community activism and increase citizen involvement/attendance.

Coming Events

Thursday, May 5 – Drinking Liberally will be meeting at 5:30pm in the back room of Sally O’Brien’s (the former Shanna Key). It is also Cinco de Mayo, so, Irish/Mexican food?

Friday, May 6 – Join the Black Lives Matter protest from 4-5pm in front of the Murray Nelson Govt. Ctr on US#1 in Key Largo!

Petition Drives

Currently the Keys Dems are working on the Single Member District issue, which would change the way the voters in Monroe County elect their County Commissioners from at-large voting to SMD. This means you will only vote for Your Commissioner, who must also live in your district. Check out this op-ed from Linda Grist Cunningham, the publisher/editor of Key West Island News. Read the article here for a great explanation. You can print a copy of the Single Member District petition at www.keysrep.com.

We are considering another statewide petition to protect our water with a Constitutional amendment, since the state really does not care about how Big Development impacts water quality throughout the state. More on that one soon.

Ballot initiatives are a true symptom of an out of touch government. Vote them out if they only respond to their donors. Again, Tallahassee is the best legislature money can buy!

Remember – DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT!

Democrats have delivered many good things for the American People over the years. However, for us to continue to guide our country to a future of equal opportunity and equal justice, we need to elect enough Democrats up and down the ballot to break the GOP hold on our state. They (the GOP) have shown us who they really are, and it is not a pretty picture. I, for one, do not want to go back to 1960 in terms of women’s rights and civil rights! We are experiencing the emergence of a tyrant! He talks more like a Russian dictator than the governor of a state in the USA!

WAKE UP AMERICA!

More good news! Brandon Jones, one of our newest volunteers, has taken on a few more chores. He has been running our Facebook page for a few months now and doing a fantastic job. Now, he has also agreed to help with the website and will be editing the BLOG! So, if you have an article you would like to share or comments in “letter to the editor” style, please email them to blog@keysdems.com

Special thanks to Helen Dodderidge, the designer/creator of our website who will be working with Brandon to get the site up to date and ready for the 2022 election cycle.

If you are having trouble getting my newsletter on a regular basis, please add Bert Sise chair@keysdems.com as a contact in your email.

Stay safe and well friends!

See you soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

“In a time of destruction, create something.” – Maxine Hong Kingston

(I think we can create the new and Improved Democratic Party!)

Good morning everyone!

I sincerely hope you are all practicing your social distancing skills and feeling fine!

Since I know many of you are spending a bit more time on the computer than normal, check this out. The Keys Dems have just launched our new website. Give it a look www.keysdems.com

We have great plans for it as a way to share information and let our members share their thoughts in a blog that will be launched soon on the site.

Kudos to Helen Dodderidge for her work (Phil’s Daughter). We are delivering it into the capable hands of our local webmaster, Bob Gold. Please email Bob (data@keysdems.com) or myself (chair@keysdems.com) with your thoughts. If you wish to submit a local story to the blog, there will be an email address for that as well (coming soon).

The Steering Committee has a Conference Call meeting today and your regional managers will be getting in touch with you to let you know what comes next for us in the age of COVID-19.

By the way, here’s a link for you to check what’s going on in the county regarding that subject
https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/1169/COVID-19-Coronavirus.

On the upside, I was able to get into a few grocery stores in Key West yesterday and actually found food. People were polite and did not bump into you! LOL!

We are going to get through this, folks, I promise. In the meantime, take care of yourselves, your families and the rest will work out!

The orange menace is revealing his true self in ways that make him even more repulsive. The Oligarchs have taken over before in our history, and they have been overturned by an angry electorate. This is why they work so hard to curtail and denigrate a free press, dumb down the education system and have become masters of voter suppression. Do not be fooled! There will be a day of reckoning. It’s our job to make sure that happens!

Please support our local restaurants by ordering take-out. I always wanted to be able to get cocktails to-go and now it’s legal!!!

Don’t forget our Be Blue-Vote Blue Campaign. Get some blue solar landscape lights and let’s show the world where we stand. Just a little effort to counter-act those hideous orange menace banners that are starting to fade from the sun, (LOL) while we will be using the sun to show our true colors. Post your pix on FB. Text me the pix (305-747-4569) and I will post on our FB site.

Love you all-stay well!

Bert Sise/Chair
KeysDems

PS – Informative binge-watching opportunities…
The Family – Netflix
The Great Hack – Netflix