Heather Cox Richardson, in her 9-16-22 email, shared a lot of information about the history of immigration in our country. If only some of our politicians would stop lying about what is truly happening and do something meaningful to fix it.

But NOOOO, not when the Florida Fascist wants to make political points by kidnapping and trafficking a group of migrants, much like the Russians are doing forced relocations in Ukraine or Hitler did in WWII. Will the Texas half of this Dangerous Duo top that with his busloads to Washington DC? It seems they are having a contest to see who gets the most press coverage in their race to be the biggest ass____ in the GOP!

Or maybe they want to be more like their idol – Victor Orban, the White Supremacist “Christian” Nationalist who has made Hungary into something akin to the “Aryan” nation.

WAKE UP AMERICA!

This kind of behavior is un-American. We are all descendants of immigrants! Your personal religious beliefs do not have anything to do with me. Women are not anyone’s property, nor should they be relegated to forced breeding stock. LGBTQ people did not make a choice one day to be “different”. Science has already acknowledged there are genetic differences. We are all members of the human race/species.

These are not RED or BLUE issues. These are basic Human rights issues!

We need to VOTE to make sure we get this train back on the tracks. (Thanks JOE!)

By the way, the class act we elected as our President, Mr. Joe Biden, has had quite a few victories lately. Wins for the American people, as it should be. He was great on 60 Minutes last night. Calm, discreet, a man with a plan to unite our country.

DEMOCRACY is NOT a Spectator Sport as Debra Walker is fond of saying.

Join us and find out how you can help!

Coming Events

Wednesday, September 21 – The Keys Dems Upper Keys Group will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room of the Key Largo Public Library, found in Tradewinds Plaza, 101437 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo. We are welcoming back our Upper Keys leader and State Committeewoman – Debra Walker. Adam Gentle, candidate for Fl. House seat #120, will be our Guest Speaker. Phil, our Vice-Chair, will bring us up to speed on our August Successes and strategy going forward.

Thursday, September 22 – The Keys Dems Middle Keys Group will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room at the Marathon Public Library, 3490 Overseas Hwy, Marathon. This will be a combination ZOOM/in-person meeting. We welcome back our Middle Keys Leader Laurie Swanson from her summer travels. Our Guest Speaker will be Aramis Ayala, our candidate for State Attorney for the state of Florida. We really like her!

Government Meetings This Week

Tuesday, September 20 – The Key West City Commission will meet at 5pm in the Commission Chambers, 1300 White St., Key West, Fl. For agenda and other details, click here.

Tuesday, September 20 – The Monroe County Mosquito Control Board will meet at 5:05pm in their headquarters, 503 107th St, Marathon. For details and agenda, click here.

Tuesday, September 20 – The Marathon City Council will hold their final Budget meeting at 5:05pm in City Hall, 9805 Overseas Hwy., Marathon. For details and agenda, click here.

Thursday, September 22 – The Key Colony Beach City Commission will meet at 9:35am in the Temporary City Hall. They have a formidable agenda that you can access here.

October is going to be a crazy busy month with candidate forums and fundraisers.

I will have much to share next week. Watch this space for more info!

Visit our website for info on candidates and how you can help the Keys Dems work to get Democrats elected!

I hope to see you soon!

See you soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

I had an interesting experience as I parked my car at Publix Sunday morning. A car pulled up behind me and said she was following me to read all my bumper stickers. We had an interesting discussion and she admitted that this year was the first time she had ever voted in a primary election! (Yes, she was a Democrat) WOW! We still have so much work to do educating voters about the importance of primaries and down ballot races!

Right now, I am proud to be a Democrat. Our president has called out the Fascist leanings of the MAGA GOP and the Orange Traitor they follow. Should 45 be punished? There must be accountability! If not, in my opinion, January 6 will simply have been a training mission.

As Democrats we have some great candidates running this year. We need to support them because they hold the future of our country in their hands. When someone asks me about 2024, my response is this: If we do not elect the right people NOW, 2024 will be a disaster. If you don’t know why, you need to wake up!!!

Here is our lineup for 2022:

  • Val Demings is running for US Senate against a bootlicking weasel. This should be an easy vote to cast. If you want more info, check out her website here.
  • Robert Asencio is our candidate for US Congress, Dist. 28. He has spent his life serving the public in the military and as a police officer. He deserves your vote and any other support you can give him. We need to defeat Gimenez the traitor with a decent, ethical man committed to serving his community. To learn more about him, click here.
  • Charlie Crist is our candidate for Governor, and I personally believe his choice for Lieutenant Gov. was brilliant. Karla Hernandez – a Teachers Union leader signals his commitment to a real education, not the watered-down sanitary version of BS favored by the fascist DeSantis Regime. Check out his website here.
  • Adam Gentle is our candidate for Florida House Dist. 120. He is passionate about his commitment to stop the corruption in Tallahassee, restore Home Rule and represent his constituents, and I have learned he should not be underestimated. Rep. Mooney, look out! Learn more and support Adam here.
  • Kim Highsmith is our candidate for District 4, Key West City Commission. She is bright, fearless and has a wicked sense of humor. To learn more about Kim, click here.

Let us unite behind these candidates as they run to protect Democracy from Key West to Washington, DC. As President Biden said this week, “people have a right to be idiots.” He is right. They do. But in government we need folks who know and accept the truth and respect the Rule of Law!

We must all vote to achieve that goal. GET INVOLVED!

Coming Events

Monday, September 12 – The Keys Dems will meet tonight at 5:30pm in the Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St, Key West. The entrance is in the rear off Bahama Lane. There is a city parking lot a block away. We have candidates to talk to and updates on the August Election and more on our strategy going forward to Roevember!

Monday, September 12 – The Upper Keys League of Women Voters will host a discussion about voting for judges. The speaker will be retired Judge Reagan Ptomey. This event starts at 6pm at the Jewish Community Center, MM93, US#1 oceanside. Sounds interesting.

Government Meetings This Week

Monday, September 12 – The Monroe County Board of Commissioners will meet at 5:05pm for their first PUBLIC Budget hearing tonight at the Harvey Govt. Center, 1200 Truman Ave. in Key West. For more info click here.

Tuesday, September 13 – The Marathon City Council will meet at 5:30pm in City Hall at 9805 Overseas Hwy, Marathon. For details click here.

Wednesday, September 14 – The Utility Board of the City of Key West (Keys Energy) will meet at 5pm in the Board Room at 1001 James St, Key West. For agenda and details click here.

Thursday, September 15 – The Islamorada Village Council will meet at 5:30pm in the Founders Park Community Center, 87000 Overseas Hwy, Plantation Key. For details and agenda click here.

We had a great event last night at the Gardens Hotel in Key West. Special thanks to Larry Baeder, Terri White and the friends who joined them. It was hot and so was the music!

Thanks to the Fundraising committee for their work in putting together another successful event. Thanks to the candidates who joined us and mingled with the crowd. And thanks to the Gardens Hotel and their staff for accommodating us!

I am not much in a ranting mood at the moment. I know it’s temporary. There is much to be concerned about, but spending last nite meeting with fellow DEMS, some I only knew from Facebook, some brand new who want to volunteer, gave me hope. Thank You!

We all have a part to play in preserving our democracy and making sure we elect good people to work for us. But we must pay attention to what happens after we elect them.

So, I hope to see you soon at meetings and events up and down the keys. Let us re-energize the Democratic party!

See you soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

It’s Labor Day! For those if us living in the keys, it means heavy northbound traffic on US 1 but thankfully no school busses. Heather Cox Richardson did a great piece today about Labor Day. Google her and read it.

Let me talk about “school” for a moment. I have just spent a week with two recently graduated high school students. If you know me, you know politics is every day. I consider it my civic duty to be involved and pay attention to our elected officials. These two young people have never had a civics class, had no idea how their government worked and were not sure if they were registered to vote! (They live in another state)

Sue Woltanski is right when she says the GOP wants to dumb down education, destroy public education and make it a for profit enterprise. What DeSantis is doing to education in Floriduh is criminal. This country is graduating young people who do not have the tools required to be a productive, informed citizen. We must do better. We can start by electing more Democrats and a new Governor!

I am so proud of our president who this week called out 45 and the MAGA tribe for their continuing efforts to destroy our Democracy. Calling for attacks on government officials who are just doing their jobs is criminal. Do they all think they are above the law?

DARK BRANDON ROCKS!!!

As we move into the General Election, we will be holding events to help you meet our candidates and help us raise money to support getting out the vote.

Coming up on Sunday, September 11 from 5-7:30 pm we will be hosting a Fundraiser at the Gardens Hotel, 526 Angela St. in Key West. We are calling it “get Jazzy with the DEMS!”

A $50 donation gets you in the door with 2 drink tickets (Blue cocktails or Blue champagne) lite munchies and 5 door prize tickets. We will have great live music provided by Larry Baeder, Teri White and friends. Better yet, we will have 3 candidates that you can meet and chat with: Robert Asencio, Adam Gentle and Kim Highsmith. All this in the beautiful garden setting next to the pool. Let’s say we are celebrating our wins in August and looking forward to the challenges we face in ROEVEMBER!

Reserve your ticket in advance on this link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/keysdemsgetjazzy

Coming Events

Wednesday, September 7 – Key West Drinking Liberally will meet at 5:30pm in the back room at Sally O’Brien’s, 1900 Flagler Ave. Key West.

Sunday, September 11 – Get Jazzy with the Key Dems at the Gardens Hotel – a Fundraiser. Details above.

Monday, September 12 – The Keys Dems meet at 5:30pm in the Parish Hall at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St. Key West. There will be candidates to meet along with an update on our plans for the General Election.

About a year and a half ago we started a new fundraising effort whose purpose was to directly provide financial support to candidates. We invested in three races in the August election: Sue Woltanski, Teri Johnston, and Kim Highsmith. We intend to invest further in the general. We call this group of donors our Seahorse Society. If you are interested in joining this group, please email me and I will forward you the details! chair@keysdems.com

Government Meetings This Week

Tuesday, September 6 – The Monroe County School Board will meet at 4pm in the Media Ctr. At marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Rd. Marathon. For details and agenda, click here.

Wednesday, September 7 – The Key West City Commission will meet at 5pm in City Hall, 1300 White St. Key West. For details and agenda, click here.

Thursday, September 8 – The Key Colony Beach City Commission will meet at 9:30am in the temporary City Hall. For details and agenda, click here.

Thanks to our texting team who have been busy reaching out to women voters in Monroe County!

The coming election is of vital importance to our community, state, and nation. Talk to your friends and explain the importance of down ballot races as well as the names at the top of the ballot. There will be state judge retention questions on the ballot as well. We will have more info shortly on them. There are also some ballot initiatives.

Do not forget the Single Member District Petitions. We are still working toward that goal.

I hope to see you Sunday. Let’s relax and get Jazzy!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

I must start with an apology regarding our “watch party” at Sally O’Brien’s. The owner and I obviously had a failure to communicate. We must both share the blame. Please forgive me.

Moving on to the good news . We had some big wins, up and down the state. Now we know who the candidates for State and Federal level offices are and we need to support them! Check out our website for more info on these candidates and how you can help them by clicking here.

Here are a few interesting statistics that Phil has put together, now that we have the final numbers from the Supervisor of Elections.

Out of the 67 counties in the state of Florida, Monroe County was #4 in Voter turnout (percentage of Our voters) at 45.19%! (still abysmal in my opinion, but the highest county was Sumter with 49.9%)

We were #2 in terms of how much we outvoted the GOP – 7.25%!!!

And another one just for fun, a comparison of how well we turned out our voters compared to past mid-term primaries:

  • 2014 – 33.6%
  • 2018 – 43.6%
  • 2022 – 45.2%

Huge Kudos to Phil, our Vice chair for his analysis and diligence, Dad jokes on social media and assistance to Democrats across the state regarding voter research and messaging.

Again, this is a TEAM effort. From our Precinct Leaders and their teams of volunteers who texted, knocked doors and addressed postcards, to our Executive Committee members who are always on Duty, recruiting more volunteers, helping with Fundraising, and registering Voters! We are on a mission to elect good people who will work for their constituents!

I am grateful for every one of them!

I would be remiss if I did not mention our Digital Marketing Team, Duval St. Media. They are experienced, creative, and fun to work with. I am constantly learning from them! Thank you, Chris, Jamie, and Jasmine. Get ready for round 2!

If you can help support our Digital efforts going into the General Election, please click on this link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2022digital

We think we can win a few more. With your help, we are sure of it!

Speaking of fundraising, we have scheduled a relaxing event at The Gardens Hotel, 526 Angela St. in Key West from 5-7pm on Sunday afternoon, September 11. Cool Jazz with Larry Baeder, Teri White & friends. A $50 donation gets you 2 blue drinks, lite munchies and 5 door prize tickets. There will be candidates to mingle and chat with while you enjoy the beautiful gardens surrounding the pool. RSVP & get tickets at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/keysdemsgetjazzy

Government Meetings This Week

Tuesday, August 30 – The Monroe County School Board will meet at 4:30pm in the Media Center at Coral Shores High School, 89901 Old Hwy, Tavernier, Fl. For details and agenda, click here.

As we all recover from the frenzy of the beginning round of this Election cycle, remember, this coming weekend is Labor Day Weekend. So, traffic, tourists, and Tropical Storms? Maybe, keep your eyes on the weather as things appear to be heating up.

Be safe and stay well! We need you.

One more thing. Several people reported not getting their absentee ballots. Please remember you must sign up every election year. The Supervisor of Elections will send you a card to remind you to sign up. NEVER throw away any mail from the Supervisor of Elections. She wants you to vote!

Thanks again for voting and supporting the Keys Dems!!!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

Yesterday’s “We Won’t go Back” march went off without a hitch! It was hot, but there were planned water stations along the way, electric cars for those who could not walk and a police escort. We had great music before we stepped off and we ended up at the Truman Waterfront overlooking the harbor. We had some brief speeches by local activists and more cold water. This event was planned by pissed off young women who had never done anything like this before. Kudos to Kathryn, Jessica and Vanessa! Well done!!!

Now, make sure everyone you know has voted. No excuses! If you think your vote doesn’t count, eventually you and the things YOU care about won’t count to the folks making the rules.

Now for a little good news from President Biden’s Chief of Staff – Ron Klain:  “We now have a presidency where the president has delivered the largest economic recovery plan since Roosevelt, the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower,… the most judges confirmed since Kennedy, the second largest health care bill since Johnson, and the largest climate change bill in history.”…. “The first time we’ve done gun control since President Clinton was here, the first time ever an African-American woman has been put on the U.S. Supreme Court …I think it’s a record to take to the American people.”

I think it’s a record we should all be talking about!!!

There is a distinctly different philosophy about the role of Government between the GOP and the DEMS. Especially now since the GOP has devolved into a fascist cult.

GOP – cut taxes to the rich, eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and destroy public education. (The better to con the little guy) Make the USA a White Christian Nation! (prove me wrong) Encourage violence towards anyone who does not agree with the Cult leader. (!)

DEMs – use government to level the playing field for all citizens, provide a robust Public Education system (remember when we were first in the world?) which allows them to thrive and succeed, and ultimately buoys the economy!

Vote Responsibly!

Here are the Keys Dems endorsements for August 23:

  • Key West Mayor – Teri Johnston
  • Key West City Comm. Dist. 5 – Kim Highsmith
  • Monroe County School Board Dist. 5 – Sue Woltanski
  • Yes on all the ballot initiatives.

Government Meetings This Week

Wednesday, August 24 – The Utility Board of the City of Key West (Keys Energy) will meet at 5pm in the Board Room, 1001 James St. Key West. For agenda and details click here.

Thursday, August 25 – The Key Colony Beach City Commission will meet at 9:30am in their Temporary City Hall. For details and agenda, click here.

Thursday, August 25 – The Islamorada Village Council will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Center at Founders Park, 87000 Overseas Hwy., Plantation Key. For details and agenda click here.

Activist Events This Week

Tuesday, August 23 – ELECTION DAY! There is something for everyone on this ballot so, if you have not done it yet, DO IT NOW! If you are not sure of your polling place you can look it up here, https://www.keyselections.org/Polling-Location/Find-Your-Precinct and then find your polling place

You can watch the election results come in from home on Comcast channel 76 or AT&T channel 99 starting at 7pm. OR, you can join a bunch of Democrats in the back room at Sally O’Brien’s in Key West. The polls close at 7pm and that’s when the local broadcast will start.

Wednesday, August 24 – Key West NOW will hold their Monthly meeting at 5:30pm in the Back Room at Sally O’Brien’s. Ladies now is the time to join. We will not go BACK! There is another protest to plan!

Thursday, August 25 – The Keys Dems will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room at the Marathon Public Library, 3490 Overseas Hwy., Marathon. We will celebrate our wins and talk to some new candidates in Local Municipal Elections! This will be a hybrid in-person/zoom meeting. I will publish the link Weds morning.

Friday, August 26 – Women’s Equality Day! HA! There will be small protests everywhere! Check out Key West NOW FB page or hold your own!

If you would like to hold signs for your favorite candidate on Election Day, please reach out to them:

  • Mayor Teri Johnston – 305-797-0862
  • Kim Highsmith – 954-249-4078
  • Sue Woltanski – 305-240-1565
  • Adam Gentle – 305-709-9881
  • Dan Horton-Diaz – 678-698-8180

Just remember, if you hold signs near a polling location, you must be 150 ft away from the building.

VOTE !!!

See you soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

You can tell it is an election year. There is something going on every night: Candidate Forums, candidate Meet & Greets and political Fundraisers!

Just to mix it up, here is a list of events related to all the above this week:

Wednesday, August 17 – The Keys Dems will meet at 5:30pm in the community room of the Key Largo Public Library in Tradewinds Plaza, Key Largo. Our Guest Speaker will be Robert Asencio, Candidate for Congressional  Dist. 28. He will be first on the agenda so be on time. He has another event to get to.

Wednesday, August 17 – The Upper Keys Business & Professional Women are holding a “Meet the Candidate” event at the Rooftop Sandbar at Whale Harbor. Doors open at 6pm with event starting at 6:30pm. You must register to attend and there is a fee, Go to their website: www.upperkeysbpw.org

Thursday, August 18 – The Keys Dems are Hosting a candidate Meet & Greet for three candidates from 5:30 to 7pm at the Restaurant Store, 1111 Eaton St. Key West. Teri Johnston – incumbent Mayor of Key West, Kim Highsmith – candidate for Key West City Commission Dist. 4, and Sue Woltanski – incumbent Dist. 5 School Board Member. Join us to meet some of the smartest and bravest women I know! Bring a friend!

We really need to be grateful for all the good things that the Biden Administration has done in the past 2 weeks. I wish the media would stop covering the Orange Traitor Tot’s latest lie and celebrate the progress and Legislative Successes the Dems have accomplished, while making the GOP look like the evil, vengeful, power-hungry Fascists they have become. I loved the plane flying over Mar-A-Largo with the HA-HA-HA-HA-HA banner!

Citizen activism works. Remember last week when the GOP killed the PACT Act because the Senate DEMS united and used the reconciliation process to pass the Inflation Reduction Act? This was revenge politics as only the GOP practices it. However, they got a LOT of blowback from their constituents! HAHAHA! They changed their tune and passed it a few days later.

Therefore, we must pay attention. Here is you list of meetings for this week.

So, let’s talk good news!

Government Meetings This Week

Monday, August 15 – There will be a special meeting of the Islamorada Village Council at 3pm in the Founders Park Community Center, 87000 Overseas Hwy., Plantation Key. I am thinking they will be discussing the recent court decision denying the 300 Building permits then Gov. Rick Scott* illegally gave to them in a flagrant vote buying scheme. *Remember this guy? Another con artist whose company defrauded Medicare out of Millions of dollars and when he was in court, he took the 5th! And WALKED! We have 2 years to find someone to run him out! For details click here.

Tuesday, August 16 – The Key West City Commission will meet at 5pm in City Hall, 1300 White St, Key West. For details and agenda, click here.

Tuesday, August 16 – The Monroe County Mosquito Control Board will meet at 1pm in their headquarters, 503 107th St. in Marathon. For detail and agenda click here.

Tuesday, August 16 – The Marathon City Council will hold a special meeting at 11:30am in City Hall, 9805 Overseas Hwy. to discuss the 300 permits that they, too, have lost. For more info, click here.

Wednesday, August 17 – The Monroe County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9am in the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave. Key West, Fl. For details and agenda click here.

Activist Events This Week

Sunday, August 21 – “We Won’t Go Back”! A protest event for Women’s Rights!

11am – 2pm, marching, speeches, information booths. Watch for more details!!! (this is a national event)

Election Information

Early Voting ends Saturday, August 20. – If you still have your mail-in ballot, drop it in the drop boxes at the early voting sites. It is a bit late to count on the Post Office – remember the Okeechobee Mail Facility Fiasco?

Election Day is next Tuesday, August 23. VOTE!!!

Non-Partisan races: School Board, Key West City Commission and County Judge.

The Keys Dems endorse Mayor Teri Johnston, Kim Highsmith for City Comm. and Sue Woltanski for School Board.

There are partisan primary elections on both sides. We, the Keys Dems, are not allowed to endorse in a primary race, but we need you to vote for your favorites so we can help them win in “Roevember”!

If you can contribute to the cause, visit our website donation page: https://keysdems.com/join/

Or pick what activities you can support:

Office Supplies – https://secure.actblue.com/donate/office22

Digital/print Marketing – https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2022digital

Candidate Support Fund AKA Seahorse Society – https://secure.actblue.com/donate/seahorsesociety

Thank you for your support. Please encourage everyone you know to VOTE!

I hope to see you at one of these events around the keys!

Stay Well!

Bert Sise/Chair

KeysDems

PS-Thanks to all who attended our Back-to-School Social yesterday at Mangrove Mama’s! We collected a pile of school supplies for the United Teachers of Monroe to hand out to children, enjoyed some great food and music and heard from four candidates!

Here is a little reminder of what The President & Congress have accomplished: https://youtu.be/OvSNQG1_kXQ