Letter From the Chair – May 22, 2023

Picture of chairs on sandy beach

The Good News is that it looks as though DeSantis’ endorsement is about as valuable as Trump’s! Jacksonville was a great indicator that perhaps he is not as popular as he thinks he is! LOL! GO DEMS!!!

From THE WARNNG, words of hope and truth from Steven Schmidt and Willie Nelson: “The United States — its creation, foundation, ideas, ideals, progress, and contributions — rank among humanity’s greatest achievements. We are a nation of 330 million souls spread across a vast swath of the Earth made up of people from every nation. We are united by a constitution that guarantees freedom and justice under a rule of law that has endured for nearly a quarter of a millennium. That is an astounding achievement, and one worthy of great collective celebration and introspection. Soon America will be 250 years old. “We the people” will have to make a decision to embrace the future by imagining a different path than the fast track over the edge of the cliff the nation is accelerating towards. 
American power is multifaceted. The impact of the nation’s artists is impossible to quantify, not just in binding a country through expressions of freedom, but through their global reach. America has always been an idea and a dream as much as it has been a place. America is a song that has lit the world and given hope to millions. Consider these lyrics from the song “Living in the Promiseland,” sung by Willie Nelson:

Give us your tired and weak
And we will make them strong
Bring us your far off song
And we will sing along
Leave us your broken dreams
We’ll give them time to mend
There’s still a lot of love
Living in the Promiseland
Living in the Promiseland
Our dreams are made of steel
The prayer of every one
Is to know how freedom feels
There is a winding road
Across the shifting sand
And room for everyone
Living in the Promiseland

The American dream exists in a space where it is simultaneously real and mythological, elusive, and attainable, believed and disbelieved. It is steeped in a faith of optimism that rejects limits, boundaries, and pessimism. 
The words from the Willie Nelson song are an expression of the American dream, and the idea that it is available to all people from everywhere who can come here and become Americans. This is elemental towards America’s identity and history. We are a nation of dreamers, strivers, and believers because we are a nation of immigrants. Whether it is the Black family that fled the Jim Crow south during the great migration, or German, Italian, Polish, Irish, Japanese, or Chinese families that arrived 100 years ago or 100 minutes ago, what connects them is the shared experience of closing their eyes for a final time in a place that was home before leaving for America. With each arrival the story is refreshed, and the dream renewed. It is the wellspring of American power and hope. 
Remember the American dream when you listen to the announcement speeches of the MAGA/GOP candidates who are joining the 2024 presidential race this week. Remember how small their pettiness and arrogance is. Remember how small the MAGA cause is. Remember how great the United States is, and how powerful and real the American dream is. Even though it is battered and bruised it is very much alive. Its expansion and restoration should be at the center of the crucial debate ahead. The country can’t continue to tread water. It must move forward and enter a season of renewal. The place to start is by allowing the American dream to take root again. How? Faith and belief are a start. Hard work comes next. Remember though, anything is possible in this place.  Never stop believing in it.”

In other news. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nailed it when commenting on a former Seal Team 6 member’s reaction to discovering there was a Navy Yeoman who moonlighted as a Drag Queen and tweeted “I can’t believe I fought for this bullshit”. Kareem’s take: “I’m not clear what he thought he was fighting for if not the U.S. Constitution and the rights it conveys to all people to have free speech and live without being discriminated against. That’s the gig. You aren’t fighting to protect your personal beliefs and preferences.” Amen brother!

Do we, everyday Americans, have a part in our government?
Absolutely! Democracy is not a Spectator Sport! (Although if your only participation is watching CNN/MSNBC or FOX et al it certainly is). Becoming involved on the local level is where we have the most impact on policy and results. Attending these meetings is eye-opening. These elected Officials work for YOU! Please Pay attention!


Govt. Meetings this week

(*for Monroe County meetings – scroll to the bottom of the County website for the calendar, then click on the date for all county listings below)

Monday May 22

  • There will be an Upper Keys Community Meeting* to discuss changes to the floodplain management ordinance at 5:05 pm on a Webinar hosted by the BOCC. For link to webinar and more info: https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/

 Tuesday May 23

  • The Marathon City Council is hosting a “Special Call(?)” meeting at 5:30pm in City Hall, 9805 Overseas Hwy. Marathon. No details available? Hmmmm
  • The Monroe County Development Review Committee* will meet at 1:00pm “virtually” to discuss major conditional use applications, one on Big Pine Key and the rest are Key Largo. Check it out and get the link: https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/
  • The Monroe County Mosquito Control Board will meet at 1:00pm in their headquarters on 109th St. in Marathon.
  • The Board of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority will meet at 11am at their headquarters, 1100 Kennedy Dr., Key West.

Wednesday May 24

  • Monroe County Planning Commission* will host a hybrid in-person/zoom meeting at 10am in the Marathon Govt. Ctr., 2798 Overseas Hwy. Marathon. Lots of Zoning variances on the table here from Little Torch Key to Key Largo. For details and Zoom link: https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/
  • The final hearing on the Key West noise ordinance will be at 5:00pm in the commission Chambers at City Hall, 1300 White St. Key West

 Thursday May 25

Activist Meetings this week

Tuesday May 23

  • The Keys Dems – Middle Keys Group meets at 5:30 pm in the Community Room at the Marathon Public Library, 3490 Overseas Hwy., Marathon. Join us in person or via ZOOM. We have info on petitions for Florida Constitutional Amendments and the latest updates on the Key Colony Beach City Hall citizen-led revolt! Democracy at work!!! https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85807214057

Wednesday May 24

  • Key West NOW meets at 5:30 pm in the back room of Brady’s Pub, 1900 Flagler Ave. Key West. Darlene will fill us in on the State Convention! And – petitions!!!

Readers, for a small county out in the middle of the Gulf Stream, we have much to be grateful for. However, we must never take our rights and freedoms for granted. Our Governor is determined to prove what a big man he is by being mean and cruel to the extreme. That tells us everything we need to know about him and others of his ilk! Please watch the video at the bottom. Politics Girl nails it!

I hope to see you all soon!

Bert Sise/Chair

Your video of the week – https://youtu.be/bcvoo64C6QM
And, because we need to laugh – https://youtu.be/R2M5ZeJSZHM