727.327.2796 office@pinellasdemocrats.com

Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee Board Meeting

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Meeting called to order by the chair, Susan McGrath, @ 7:10

Words from the Chair:

  • Susan introduced herself to all new individuals and thanked them for being here.
  • Over half the room raised their hands as first time attendees.
  • On December 12, 2016 nominations and elections were made for new members.  Susan expressed her gratitude for everyone voting her in and stated she is going to do her best to make changes.
  • Susan expressed how we were able to elect a democrat for the first time in 15 years.
  • Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski was challenged and at the end was retained her seat as Mayor of Dunedin
  • Joanne Lentino was elected to our school board
  • Susan introduced the officers at the table and acknowledged the 2016 Board and how they were able to get democrats elected.
  • It was shared with everyone that there is plenty of room to be involved with the DEC.  Looking for individuals to:
    • Help with communications
    • Plan events
    • Volunteer in the DEC office
    • Be a part of the finance committee and outreach team
    • Assist with voter registration
    • Recruiting candidates

We have a place for you

  • As far as voting in October 2017 we can do online voter registration and it was announced today that ballots will be available in Spanish.
  • There were 150 more registered republicans than democrats; in a county of 640,000 it’s very even; that’s why our county is very important.
  • We have a brand-new chair of the Florida Democratic Party from Miami, Stephen Bittel.  He’s a real estate developer from Miami and looking forward to come and meet with us soon.  

Minutes from Last Meeting

  • No minutes were posted on the Website from 2016.  We will have them next month.

Report from Vice Chair

Since last meeting attended reorg meeting 1/14/17 along with Susan rep.

  • D&C Rick Boyle and Amos didn’t win the set but they made it to the final rounds; there were several candidates running; a very positive experience and leave with a lot allies and looking forward to working ahead
  • A unity project was formed and they made sure that who was elected the state chair would update the state bylaws
  • We wanted to make sure we came through the election unified and 60% of the members signed on to the project.  Thanks to everyone.
  • Saturday, January 21st Women’s March St. Pete was held and the sized quadrupled. It was estimated to be about 20,000 marchers.  Very positive event with a message that supported women’s rights; we showed our togetherness and common ground interests.  We all stood unified together
  • At the march the DEC booth gathered over several 100 signatures and registered a lot of democrats as well. Most of the people there were registered already.   Thanked everyone that helped with the booth, especially Mary Lou Ambrose
  • Betty Valentine commended Linda Lucas, Nelson and Marilyn from the steering committee that made the organization happen.
  • March municipal elections coming up – to get Sharon Janice or Brook Ahern
    • The below cities have democrats running:
      • Gulfport
      • Indian Rocks Beach
      • Indian Shores
      • Safety Harbor
      • St. Pete Beach
      • S. Pasadena
      • Tarpon Springs
  • Amos expressed how focused, forward thinking and positive everyone in the room is.  Things are not as bad as the perceived but people are standing up and moving forward; there’s a lot of work to do.  We can make great things happen with your help

Treasury Report

  • Adam expressed how great things were with the finance due to the remarkable job We Bill Walker had done.
    • Liability at $25k a year
    • Assets $52k
  • Adam informed any incoming or current treasures that he was willing to assist them in any manner and feel free to reach out to him
  • Getting a square to take donations at any time.  

Motion by Linda Varonich to accept the treasury report and 2nd by Yan

Campaign Chair

  • Ballots need to be out 45 days before the elections in mid-March.  We need to be campaigning right now.  To assist please see Sharon Janis or Mike Fox.

Credentials Chair

  • Sixteen applications submitted since elections in December. Thirteen were present tonight and each stood as their name was called
  • All were duly elected by the board and all was in favor.  The room won.

Susan opened the floor for candidates that are running in the municipal race to come up and speak briefly:

  • Joe Ayoub: Safety Harbor Former Mayor and Commissioner.
  • Terry Hamilton-Wollin: Vice Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach.  Running for 6th term.  
  • Corey Givens Jr.: Served as outreach chair with Susan and President of the DEC Black Caucus
  • Nicole Carr: Running for school board at large in August 2017

These candidates running are very important and need our help.  Remember Marco O Rubio started out on W. Miami City council.  Sign petitions, volunteer and make a few phone calls.  Help them out

Speaker Jeff Clemens – Palm Beach, Florida

  • 1.5 million people that can’t vote because Rick Scott will not let them; Changes are needed
  • 25 vs 15 in State Senate right now
  • Pinellas County is where two of the 6 seats are gonna happen
  • Anything is possible by working together and tell people the story; we fight for the middle class, the poor the ones that work, women and children.  In Tallahassee, they fight for themselves.
  • Stated he will come back and visit us
  • You must pledge to help the people in your house district
  • We must do a better job at registering minorities in the minority communities.
  • In order to win an election, you need 50% +1
  • Asked everyone to not lose the energy in the room.


  • What are the chances of felon restoration rights being passed?  It’s because of voter suppression.  You must integrate them into society.  There is a petition drive there has been enough signatures
  • The lack of funding for mental healthcare.  What is legislation looking on increasing funding?  49th for funding for children mental health. Think things are gonna be done in the Senate but it takes a lot to get the House to see things in a different light.
  • Bill Walker made a plea for Credential Chair.  Bonnie nominated and motioned Jim Donelon; Jennifer Webb 2nd
  • Jim Donelon nominated Toni Walker and Everett Paul 2nd.
  • District Elections:
District 64 District 65
Chair Garry Miracle Chair Paul Ford
Vice Chair Ed Helm Vice Chair Carrie Wadlnger
Secretary/Treasurer Karen Miracle Secretary/Treasurer Janet Goen
Rules/Bylaws Comm. Rules/Bylaws Comm. Jennifer Young
Outreach Comm Outreach Comm Destiny Puzzanghera
Grievance Comm Adrien Helm Grievance Comm Kevin Jensen
District 66 District 67
Chair Mary Lou Ambrose Chair Charles Tucker
Vice Chair Roger Warn Vice Chair Helen Galletly
Secretary/Treasurer Donna Dennis Secretary/Treasurer Linda Varonich
Rules/Bylaws Comm. Bill Walker Rules/Bylaws Comm. Diane Lebedeff
Outreach Comm Deb Anderson Outreach Comm Ryan Rigdon
Grievance Comm Toni Walker Grievance Comm Chris Peoples
District 68 District 69
Chair Denise Lombardi Chair Jennifer Webb
Vice Chair Sharon Loughry Vice Chair Churck Terzian
Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Kelly Secretary/Treasurer Mike Fox
Rules/Bylaws Comm. Ida Kass Rules/Bylaws Comm. James Donolon
Outreach Comm Sheira Hope Outreach Comm Jennifer Griffith
Grievance Comm Everett Paul Grievance Comm Jan Lund
District 70
Chair Matthias Byrd
Vice Chair Sharon Janis
Secretary/Treasurer Joshua Rumschlag
Rules/Bylaws Comm. Manuel Sykes
Outreach Comm Albert Hill
Grievance Comm Doloras McNair
  • Rep Bilirakis is having a Health Care listening session. Support him February 4th from 10-12pm at the Center of Palm Harbor on 16th Street and February 11th 10-12 in Pasco.

Mary Lou the 3rd Monday had 94 people attend the last time.  AT the Loft got 200-300 names total.  Speaker will be Rev. Charles McKenzie

  • Linda Lucas meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month; all are welcome to join.
  • Joe Barkley; the Veterans Caucus just had an election and Joe was elected President.  Plea for more veterans to meet reach out to Joe.
  • Amos all clubs and caucus are on the web calendar
  • Wanda reminded everyone that all clubs and caucus have dues and they are due now.
  • Chuck doing a community organization training on 2/28 of Wake Pinellas
  • February 2-5 Tampa hosting at USF campus; 5 performances to support the Veterans; two seat available to Plains GA to see Jimmy Carter

Susan thanked everyone for attending; we will look at getting a larger room.  We need everyone to come back.  We are the solution; we don’t control all branches of government but our voices make a difference.

Motion to adjourn by Susan 2nd by Jennifer Webb at 9:13

Respectfully Submitted,

Monica Dixon, Secretary