At a dinner honoring their hard work and astounding success, the PCDEC recognized the volunteers from Districts 68, 69 and 70 who stepped up to sweep St. Petersburg's municipal elections. PCDEC Chair, Lucinda Johnston, was joined by District 68 Chair, Sharon Loughry, District 70 Chair, Joan Carfora, Lead Neighborhood Organizer, Mary Fahy, District 66 chair, Bryan Beckman, District 64 Chair, Christian Trinidad and Vice-Chair, Ilene Heinke. District 69 Chair, Gerni Oster, and District 65 Chair, Lacy Hollings, were unable to attend, but their work did not go unappreciated.
In candidate remarks, Mayor-elect Ken Welch said that it was going to be good to work with a Council that shared his Democratic values, and Councilman-elect Copley Gerdes thanked the Democratic Party, his wife, Cecily, his super volunteer, and added that he was excited to begin the work that will make St. Petersburg all that it can be. Councilman-elect Ritchie Floyd promised to keep working hard for all of the people of St. Petersburg and committed to knock on as many doors as it takes to help re-elect Copley in two years and secure his own seat again in 2025. "He's a door-knocking machine," Gerdes said, to which Ritchie replied, "What can I say? I love knocking doors."
Lucinda Johnston talked about the tremendous importance of volunteers in our elections and throughout our history when expressing her thanks for their hard work and dedication. Volunteering is "in our DNA," she said. She also outlined some of the challenges Democrats face in the 2022 election cycle, one of the "most important in our history." Her remarks follow:
"On April 19, 1775, a small group of 70 volunteers stood up for freedom and democracy against the most powerful army in the world on Lexington Green in Massachusetts. By the end of the day, they and other volunteers who joined them drove the British army back to their quarters in Boston, launching the American Revolution.
Volunteering is still part of the DNA of America, and you are the volunteers who make democracy work.
Democracy is under attack again, and it will be volunteers like you who will stand up again for our American ideals, our Constitution and our democratic values. Our opponents would grant privileges to the rich and powerful, and provide nothing for the hard working people who built this state and nation.
Our success in St. Petersburg’s elections shows us that it is hard work by volunteers like you that win elections. It’s not just money, but people like you talking to their neighbors, knocking on doors, dropping lit, making calls, and addressing postcards that create winning campaigns.
The 2022 midterm elections will be some of the most important in our history.
We need to elect a Democratic Governor who will veto the excesses of our Republican controlled Legislature.
We need to retire Marco Rubio.
We need to send a Democrat back to Congress from the 13th Congressional District, and Replace Gus Bilirakis in the 12th District with a Democrat who will serve the people of Florida, rather than Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
We need to fill every municipal and Legislative seat with a Democrat who will represent the people of our communities rather than special interests.
You did it in 2020, you did it in 2021, and we need to do it again in 2022. What our opponents fear is our commitment and our ability to organize strong volunteers. They may outspend us, but they will never outwork us. That’s our secret weapon: hard work by you and people like you all over this county, this state and this nation.
Thank you for what you have done and thank you in advance for what you will do to protect our democracy in the future. "