Issue 34 | May 2023
Support the
Lee County
Democratic Party
Listen to our podcasts. Log on and keep up with
Political Perspectives from Lee County Democrats.
It’s Official! The Biden-Harris Team is Seeking Reelection
No surprise—but last week, in a video announcement, Joe Biden made it official. He and his running mate, Kamala Harris, are running for a second term leading the nation. They are running on values—the video emphasized freedom and protection of our democracy as the work of their first term. They are also running on a strong record of achievement including:
The Inflation Reduction Act--lowers costs for families, combats the climate crisis, reduces the deficit, and finally makes the largest corporations pay their fair share. Now Medicare can negotiate the price of certain high-cost drugs and a monthly supply of insulin for seniors is capped at $35.
The Infrastructure Law--a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure. To rebuild our roads, bridges, ports, and airports, upgrade public transit and rail systems, replace lead pipes to provide clean water, clean up pollution, provide affordable high-speed internet, deliver cheaper and cleaner energy to households and businesses, and creating good-paying jobs
Speaking of Jobs, 2021 and 2022 were the two strongest years of job growth in US history more people are working than ever before.
Making more in America--ensuring the technologies of the future are made in America, and bringing back supply chains from overseas.
Taking Care of Veterans-- expanding benefits and services for veterans exposed to toxic substances.
Bipartisan legislation--protecting marriage for same-sex and interracial couples as well as the first meaningful gun violence reduction legislation in 30 years.
Reproductive rights—executive orders to protect reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
Health Insurance -More people with health insurance than ever before.
Veterans-expansion of Benefits and Services for Toxic Exposed Veterans.
Restoring America’s Global Standing including rebuilding democratic alliances across the globe, and championing America’s values and human rights.
Support for Ukraine in response to Putin’s aggression.
But wait!!! There’s plenty more (and plenty more to do): go here. Do your homework! Be prepared to share information with your friends. Let’s help the Biden-Harris team finish the job.
It’s Not Too Soon to Think About Running for Office in Lee County

With the Biden-Harris announcement, we have great candidates for the top of the 2024 ticket, but we need more good Democrats to come forward and run for office. There’s a Senate race in Florida (let’s ditch Scott!!!) and there are two Congressional seats up for grabs in Lee County, Districts 17 and 19. (Mini-MAGA man Byron Donalds must go!!!). We need people to step up and compete in State House (districts 76, 77, 79, & 80) and State Senate (districts 27 & 33) as well as a variety of County elective positions (Clerk of Court, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, School Superintendent, School Board districts 2, 3 & 7 and County Commissioners districts 2,4, &5). Local posts at stake include the Bonita Mayor and City Council districts 2, 4 & 6; Cape Coral districts 2, 3, 5 & 7; Fort Myers districts 2, 4 & 6; and Fort Myers Beach, A, B, & C.

Consider joining one of these races. If you’d like to become a candidate, there’s help for you. The Lee County Democratic Party is offering to help candidates with training, aid in setting up a PAC, and help getting on the ballot. Contact Lee County Democrats Vice-Chair, Jim Rosinus.
Become Part of the
Democratic Society of Lee County.
Your $1000 donation will provided much needed support for Democratic causes that are important to you. Democratic Society members will have a chance to meet with special guests several times a year. Contact
Help Wanted—Join the GOTV Field Team

When candidates come forward, Lee County Dems need to be sure we turn out the voters. That job is already under way and you can help. The Lee Dems GOTV Field Team needs volunteers to work as Neighborhood Coordinators, Precinct Leaders, and Canvassing Mentors!

Right now, a key focus of the GOTV Field Team is getting our people re-enrolled in Vote By Mail. Thanks to our wonderful Data Team, we know that Lee Dems who are enrolled in Vote By Mail are 3-4 times more likely to actually vote! We also know that everyone in Florida was kicked out of Vote By Mail after the last election. That means EVERYONE NEEDS TO ENROLL OR RE-ENROLL IN VOTE BY MAIL! So, first things first! HAVE YOU RE-ENROLLED?

DO IT NOW at Lee.Vote or (even easier!!!) call 239-533-8683 M-F.

Next, help us help our fellow Dems enroll in Vote By Mail. Join our next GOTV Field Team meeting on Thursday, May 25. Contact Eileen McHenry for more information and a link to the meeting.
School Board Update
Become Part of the Purple Group and Save Lee Schools 

Ed. note: Are you distressed by DeSantis’ “anti-woke” anti-freedom education policies as well as the antics of groups like Moms for Liberty? The ID’s education writer, Sharon McGill, fills us in on what you can do to support quality education in Lee County.

By Sharon McGill
The PURPLE GROUP shows up with numbers too big to ignore! The group attended both the School Board Action Meeting and the Curriculum Advisory Committee Meeting (CUAC) in April. If you are not aware, the PURPLE GROUP is a group of concerned Lee County residents, including parents, who are speaking out against any kind of restrictive book policies in our schools. Why Purple? Access to books should be a non-partisan issue. Blue + Red = PURPLE. This represents all children in the district. The group is trying to post information on under The Purple Group on all things related to media materials information.
Check it out and meet some members of the group, or contact Maddie Stewart.

Support the Lee County Democratic Party
HB 999 and the Threat to Higher Education

By Madison Fitzpatrick
Universities, trade schools, and colleges are meant to be open grounds for conversation and debate. They encourage and facilitate discussions that challenge viewpoints. This role is under threat. Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, is at the forefront of the right’s fight against anything they deem “woke” coming into Florida’s public education. Although those intent on banning such content and discussions cannot provide a firm definition as to what qualifies as “woke,” that does not stop them from trying to implement legislation that affects postsecondary students across the state. Take HB 999, for example. HB 999 is legislation introduced in late February in the Florida House of Representatives and signed into law to take effect July 1st, 2023. Among other actions, HB 999 threatens the use and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, listed as “Prohibited Expenditures” in the bill, and limited in their classroom use. Prohibiting DEI expenditures on campus and banning their usage in practical applications such as programs, scholarships, and even whole college majors are all a part of this legislation. So, if our representatives and senators want to ban diversity, equity, and inclusion across universities, trade schools, and colleges, what room does that leave for open conversation? How will the very core of these intellectual breeding grounds be affected? It is no secret that the lawmakers who voted for this legislation are trying to silence those who oppose their political viewpoints. Right-wing politicians who ban DEI are closing down the conversation and debate counterparts and students on the left. Students are already beginning to feel the chilling effects of this bill. Professors are having to dilute the content of their courses and class discussions to meet the unrealistic demands of our lawmakers. Florida has fallen victim to the selfish whims of those whose only concern is restricting education for their own political benefit. Our lawmakers are gaining political power at the expense of a fair and free environment for intellectual exchange.

Madison Fitzpatrick is an FGCU student.
A Call for the Rights of Women

By Howard Sapp
As we see, even from a nationwide view, the battle continues as the Abortion debate is one of those topics that will remain front and center for quite sometime. From a local view there is no difference. The Florida legislators are pressing forward with some of the most discriminatory and destructive bills I have ever seen. HB7 (The Abortion Bill), now reduces the ability of a woman to make a choice of her body. It says that a woman now has 6 weeks to make a decision about her body. This is a decision that the government should NOT be in. A woman should always have the right to decide about her body. No matter who agrees or disagree. Just because one person or group does not have the same belief as another, they should not be discriminated against. We have laws that stand against discrimination for the very same reasons. The process of childbirth is one that requires so many critical decisions that a woman has to go through physically, emotionally, financially and they are HER decisions to make with her doctors, family, spiritual leaders, etc.

This Bill (HB7) was one crafted by Jenna Persons-Mulicka that is seated in the Fla. House Dist. 78. I certainly stand against her in this battle of choice. I will fight to bring back common-sense legislation and fight for the rights of women and our kids.

If we want to help ensure kids have a chance to be successful and fulfill their purpose let’s do that instead of banning books in school and putting more guns IN SCHOOL. There are so many kids now struggling educationally, mentally and emotionally but you, our current republican legislators seem to be focused on political stance instead of human rights.

I wonder what you tell your kids at night.

Democrat Howard Sapp is a candidate for Fla. House Dist. 78
Right to Clean and Healthy Waters

As Southwest Floridians, we rely upon our waters for a multitude of features. Of course, we need clean drinking water. Safe drinking water for everyone regardless of your socio-economic status, location of residence or type of water delivery system you can access should be a right…a fundamental right. We also need/want clean and healthy waterways. Waterways that allow for safe fishing, swimming and recreational use should be a right…a fundamental right. For the past several years those with residence history here have witnessed the degradation of our environment. Attempts to protect and restore our waterways have resulted in frustration and a continual degradation of our waters.

Clubs and Caucuses
Labor Caucus
Commemorating Workers’ Memorial Day

By Laura Griffin
Workers' Memorial Day falls annually on April 28th in the U.S. and around the world.

The day honors those who lost their lives while on the job, those who suffered occupational injuries and illnesses, and it also recognizes the impact these tragic losses have on the families and co-workers left behind.

The first Workers' Memorial Day was declared by the AFL-CIO in 1989 on the 19th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA established a new order for the workplace. It made having a safe job a fundamental right for workers by giving the federal government the authority to place and enforce policies, procedures, and training standards for the country's work force. For the first time in history, workers had protection and employers were held accountable. In 1970, there averaged 38 work related deaths per day in the U.S. Today, that average is 13.

On Workers’ Memorial Day, our caucus looks toward the future … to make real change in workplace safety and health starting with the core belief that every worker regardless of job, age, gender, race or the language they speak, should go to work knowing they will be protected from hazards, and they will return home in the same condition as they left.
The Progressive Club of the Island Is Back in Business

The Progressive Club of the Island has resumed its first-Thursday-of-the-month Happy Hours. Join them at Tutti Pazzi Restaurant on Sanibel on Thursday, May 4 @ 4:00 PM. You can also join them via Zoom for their monthly meeting on May 18 @ 4PM. Florida ACLU Director Emeritus - Howard Simon will speak about "Resisting the Slide Towards Authoritarianism - - Please email us at for the Zoom Link. You can also view the event live or subsequently on our Facebook page by clicking here.
The Democratic Club of Bonita Springs

By Steven Blumrosen
President Democratic Club of Bonita Springs

Florida has become the Gator Monarchy. There is nothing to stop the voracious R-gators from gobbling up whatever they are told to want. There is nothing checking and bringing back into some sense of balance the R-gator narcissistic mentality. They are what the Framers of the Constitution feared – pure greed and competition without competitors.

Leadership Blue gala this summer
The Florida Democratic Party invites all Democrats to a gala at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on July 8. Early bird rates for gala and hotel apply until May 15. Funds raised will support the very essential work of the Democratic Party in Florida. Click here for more information.
In Memorandum: Thomas Ross Prather

By Kari Lerner
I am sad to report that we have recently lost a fierce advocate for Democratic causes.

Mr. Prather was a leader throughout his life. As testament to his good works in Rotary, Iona-Hope Episcopal Church, Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, Dutch Apple Dinner Theater (Lancaster PA), and the Democratic Party, people traveled from all over the country to attend his memorial service held at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater on Monday, April 17th. In attendance were the Sam Galloway family, the Commissioner Frank Mann family, Lee County School Board Member Debbie Jordan, the Mayor of Fort Myers, various professional performers who attribute their careers to Mr. Prather, and a host of family and friends.

Family was everything to Mr. Prather and he was very proud of his two sons and his grandson. In his own words on a video played at the Celebration of Life, Tom expressed that he was satisfied with his life and his only regret was how hard his passing was going to be on his beloved wife Debbie.

I personally was honored to have been able to share some wonderful moments with Mr. Prather at our luncheons where we would discuss all thing Democratic.
He was a lovely man who will be dearly missed.
If you didn’t make it to the 2nd Annual Democratic Party Music Festival in April, you missed out on a great time. The gathering was a great success and exceeded our fundraising expectations.
Plan on joining the fun next year in January at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Shire Lane.
Mark your Calendars for our Second Annual Liberty Golf Tournament at the San Carlos Golf Club on May 30.

Not a Golfer? Join us for lunch! (But sign up soon. . .lunch spots for non-golfers are limited!
Also you can still sponsor a hole. Sign up at
Published monthly by the Lee County Democratic Party
Editor: Melissa Butler
If you have comments, questions, ideas about features you'd like to see, or would like to volunteer to help, contact us at
The Democratic Party of Lee County is an all-volunteer organization. We do not receive any funding from the Florida Democratic Party nor the national Democratic Party.
Did you receive this newsletter from a friend? Sign up to get your own copy delivered once a month!