As a resident, homeowner and real estate professional for 33 years in Monroe County, I would like to speak out against the No #3 Constitutional Amendment on the November 8 ballot.

Our county has seen a huge increase in property values over the past ten years, which is great for property ownership equity. The problem becomes one of affordability for our needed workers in the Keys. While we enjoy this investment as homeowners, our public workers who depend on our tax dollars for their salaries find themselves priced out of the home market, or barely scraping by because they are underpaid. Many of our public workers who came to work in the Keys because of the lifestyle, have had to leave the area We must keep our quality teachers and other public workers by paying them a decent salary.

A cost of living pay raise would be the correct answer to solve this problem. Instead, Republicans put forward this amendment, which will only decrease taxes for workers who own their homes by about $50. And it will be of no help to those who have not been able to buy property and must continue to rent.

I oppose this amendment because it does nothing to solve the real problem causing our teachers and other workers to struggle financially and gives false hope to those who do not understand how little they will get.

Judy O’Hara Vetrick
Tavernier, FL

Let me comment for a minute about the Jan 6 Committee. For many of us who pay attention and have been around a while, we knew what we were looking at the minute 45 took office – a traitor, a con-man, and a bully.
I know that to get this far the committee had to be sure of every little fact and its place in the narrative. They did well. I was pleased to hear Ms. Cheney say they were referring to DOJ information on several individuals, not just the POS who started this coup attempt.

The insurrectionists, the plotters and the spoiled brat at the top must be held accountable, or we will see more of the same.

Here in the Gunshine State, the Gov. has been acting more like a governor, making it easier for folks to vote in the three counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. He does not want to lose those county’s voters which makes me think this race might be closer than we think.

As voters we have serious decisions to make. On the Federal Level we have Marco Rubio being challenged by Val Demings. For $174,000 per year salary, he sure doesn’t show up for work very often. (And he says lots of stupid stuff)

Rep. Gimenez is another member of the Coup team and an old Trump Ally. In recent candidate forums he spouts standard GOP fear mongering rhetoric, which makes me wonder why he is so afraid of Biden’s re-staffing of the IRS. (Gutted by the GOP a few years back – Reagan & Bush#1)
He needs to go. Vote for a decent man who has spent his life in public service and cares about his country and honoring his oath of office, Robert Asencio.

On the state level we have an opportunity to get rid of a dangerous man – Ron DeSantis! A little man who takes big money from private interests, stirs up non-issue culture wars and solves NONE of the state’s problems. In fact, he, like his orange mentor, does not think the law applies to him. See page 61 of Sunday’s Miami Herald. Charlie Crist deserves our vote. He is not too progressive, but not too conservative, He’s just right!!!

There are State cabinet positions that need flipping as well. Adam Hattersley and Aramis Ayala are running for State CFO and State AG, respectively. Both are courageous and smart!

Adam Gentle is giving Rep. Mooney a run for his money. His sorry excuse for voting in favor of the 15-week abortion ban in Floriduh shows what he is made of.

As Democrats we must remember what we stand for and loudly call out the Lies! Reps Cheney and Kinzinger stood up to the ex-pres. The rest are spineless sycophants hoping the droppings from the King’s table fall their way.

Here is what you can do to help pull this country back from the brink! VOTE!
SUPPORT the Candidates!
Support the Keys DEMS efforts to increase informed voter turnout!
For more info on issues and candidates – visit our website page devoted to VOTING!
While on our website, check out our membership page or help us with office supplies or our Digital marketing efforts:

I have recently seen the ads by the GOP in the Keys Weekly regarding “Biden’s” inflation. Really!? The previous guy set the stage for this when he refused to act responsibly in the initial stages of the Pandemic. Meanwhile, America’s Oligarchs are having a banner year! Profits are up! Whatever happened to having a social conscience, doing what is best for your workers and the country?


If you are not reading Heather Cox Richardson, you should. Yesterday she put much of what is happening around the world in perspective. We are living in Dangerous times and we, the voters, must protect and defend our Democracy!

In Sunday’s Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts Jr. quotes from a Norah Jones song – American Anthem
“All we’ve been given by those who came before
the dream of a nation where freedom would endure
The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day
That will be our legacy? What will our children say?


Political Events this week

Wednesday October 19
• The Keys Dems will meet at 5:30pm in the Community Room of the Key Largo Public Library in Tradewinds Plaza, 101437 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo. Join us as we shift into high gear for this election.

• The Upper Keys BPW will host a Political Forum at 5pm in Islamorada at Whale Harbor Events. This event requires registering online and there is a fee. Check it out on their FB page.

Friday October 21
• The Keys Dems will host a Fundraiser on Key Colony Beach at the Home of Fred and Laurie Swanson. Fish & Sip with us as we enjoy fresh keys seafood and taste great wines. Bring a dish to share, we provide the fish and wine. More info and tickets, click here.
Thanks to the Volunteers who bundled up the post cards for us. If you can help address and mail these cards, please email Susie Trost – our Volunteer Coordinator.

Thanks again to the crew of the Argo Nevis. Our sunset cruise was a success. Many fresh faces and great conversations!

Thanks to our Fundraising team for another lovely event!

Thanks to all who have already voted. If you have not mailed your ballot, DO IT NOW!

You can also drop your ballot in the drop boxes at the early voting locations. Reminder, you can only drop your personal ballot, unlike previous years when you could pick-up ballots from friends and neighbors and drop those as well. (Thanks Ron-not)

Early voting starts next week – October 24. For all kinds of info on voting, click here.

If you want to be a poll watcher on Election Day, email Tricia King TODAY.

I hope to see many of you this week!
Stay safe and well!

Bert Sise/Chair

PS – the owner of the umbrella has been found!

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.


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


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


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?


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:

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! [email protected]

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


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:

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:

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