Bob Schaeffer spoke on the topic, "How to Capture Progressive Victories This November." His presentation reviewed recent primary election results and assess the local, state and national races where significant wins are most likely. Among the topics covered: the many controversial ballot questions facing Florida voters.
The Club hosted a forum featuring four candidates for election to the Lee County School Board. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Here are short bios of the four candidates attending:
Karen Putnam-Watson holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from FGCU. She worked 22 years for Lee County School District where she taught Head Start, working with pregnant moms, infants, and toddlers. Devoted to modeling best practices and providing resources, Putnam-Watson advocated for moms and children 0-3 years while tutoring and offering a Family Home Child Care.
Career teacher Betsy Vaughn spent 38 years in the classroom, both in Texas where she was English Department Chairman for l9 years and the last eight years teaching Language Arts and Reading at Estero High School. Her BA in English is from Upsala College and her M. Ed is from the College of New Jersey. Vaughn is currently Chair of the CSI School Board Advisory Committee and a Guardian ad Litem child advocate.
Mary Fischer has served on the Lee County School Board since 20l0 and is now a candidate for re-election. She has served as Lee County School District School Counselor, Teacher, and Prevention Specialist. Fisher is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and is nationally certified Trainer in BullySafe, USA. Her B.A. in Social Science and M.A. in Counselor Education are from University of South Florida. She received the Lee County School Counselor Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Charles Dailey is a retired educator for Lee County who has served in various capacities including Dean of Students, Principal of High, Elementary-Middle School, Principal of Alternative High/Middle Schools, Principal of Community School and Co-ordinator of Desegregation and Director of Adult and Community School. Selected as Middle and High School Principal of the Year, Dailey was selected as Administrator of the Year for the State of Florida in 20l2.
On Thursday, March 22nd, the Club hosted Dr. Howard Simon, Florida Director of the ACLU, discuss the topic ”Defending Human Rights in the Era of Donald Trump”. The meeting will take place at the Sanibel Community House located at 2l73 Periwinkle Way, at 7:00 p.m. in the Founder’s Room. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Simon discussed the challenges facing the almost l00 year old non-partisan civil rights and civil liberties organization as it confronts the comprehensive program of the Trump Administration to roll back advances in human rights over the last several decades. With over l00 lawsuits, ACLU is challenging the Trump Administration on women's rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, LGBT rights, as well as First Amendment and criminal justice issues.
Dr. Simon was awarded his Ph.D. in Legal and Political Philosophy and Social Ethics by the University of Minnesota in l974. He has served as a state affiliate Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for more than four decades, and is the longest serving director in the nation.
During Simon’s tenure, the organization has played a central role in issues addressing school vouchers, religious practices in the public schools, abortion rights, end of life care issues, and numerous controversies involving separation of church and state. He will address the recent Florida Legislative Session and the major challenges to fundamental values of privacy and religious freedom, and separation of church and state that are likely to confront voters this November, as a result of the Constitution Revision Commission. Simon will also discuss proposed Amendment 4 that has been certified for the November ballot, and is an historic opportunity to restore the right to vote to those who have committed a crime, but who have completed their sentence.
On Thursday, January l8th, the Club featured a debate between Democratic Candidates Todd Truax and David Holden at 7:00 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House Founders Room, 2l73 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.
Truax and Holden are vying for the l9th Congressional District seat now held by Francis Rooney, which represents Sanibel. Board member Chet Sadler will moderate the debate.
Todd Truax holds degrees in psychology and social service administration, with concentration in mental health and aging, from Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University. He earned certification from the Fisher College of Business in Nursing Home Administration and was licensed as a social worker in Ohio in l992 and in Florida in 2002. Truax served as the founding member of the Coalition for Optimal Behavioral Health and Aging, which was instrumental in bringing the Royal Palm Psychiatric Hospital to Southwest Florida.
David Holden earned a degree in political science from Temple University and his Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2009. This unparalleled training in leadership and organizational development, led him to California, where he served as Deputy Director of the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies. CASRA is a pioneering non-profit in the field of mental health. Holden’s educational experiences have formed his deep commitment to quality public education and affordable access to higher education for all Americans. He and his wife are currently partners in a financial planning practice in Naples.
Representatives from the following organizations, who have presented programs for the Democratic Club, were present with materials to share, which support their specific cause or issue: Black Lives Matter; SURJ (Stand Up for Racial Justice); Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW); Equality Florida (LGBTQ Concerns); Planned Parenthood; Immigration Attorney; Children’s Services Council; Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense; Lee Freedom Now; Water Issues; Artist-Activist Myra Roberts.David Holden and a representative of Todd Truax, who are running for Congressional Seat l9 now held by Francis Rooney, were also present to briefly discuss their positions and answer questions.
More than 100 members and guests attended
Program: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
Presenter: Lynn Moore
When Congress failed to act after the slaughter of 20 first graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, Professor Lynn Moore joined MOMS DEMAND ACTION For Gun Sense in America. As a member she served as Local Group Lead in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Moore retired as Professor Emerita from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. A life-long activist in Minnesota’s Democratic Farmer Labor Party, and now the Democratic Women’s Club of Lee County, she became the Lead for Southwest Florida BE SMART Campaign. MOMS DEMAND ACTION for Gun Sense developed from the SMART framework to help parents and adults prevent child gun deaths. Children’s education and welfare was a priority which led her to volunteer at a local Head Start Center.
Moore will discuss the effort to change our laws as well as our culture, Florida Senate victories, as well as Federally Mandated Conceal Carry Reciprocity (CCR), and how attendees can help support reducing gun violence, as well as the opportunity to join MOMS DEMAND ACTION for Gun Sense. A discussion will follow.
The two top leaders of the Florida Democratic Party - Stephen BIttel, Chair, and Sally Boynton Brown, President -- spoke at a rally in Fort Myers on Friday, July 7. They came out to Sanibel for lunch wih the DCI Board and guests. Jill Dillon was our gracious hostess, and co-chair Elaine Schaeffer acted as the moderator during an extented Q&A session.
Steve Bittel and Sally Boynton Brown with DCI Board members and guests
Steve Bittel, Elaine Schaeffer, and Sally Boynton Brown
Elaine and Sally