New leadership at the Miami-Dade Dems!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party held elections for our chair and programs vice chair positions. After a well-run campaign from multiple candidates, the Democratic Executive Committee elected Robert Dempster (D-North Miami Beach) and Allison Sardinas (D-Homestead) as the new chair and programs vice chair, respectively. 

 

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Statement from Steve Simeonidis on his resignation as Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party

Dear Democrats: Thank you. Thank you for all the volunteer hours. Thank you for voting in record numbers. Thank you for your record-breaking donations. Thank you for breaking the glass ceiling and electing Daniella Levine Cava as county mayor - the first democrat in 20 years and first woman ever.

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Miami Dade Democrats' Statement on the Protests in Cuba

Statement regarding the protests in Cuba

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Statement on Gun Reform Executive Orders

Miami-Dade Democrats' Statement on Biden's EOs for Gun Reform

The Miami Dade Democratic Party commends President Biden for his Executive Orders, which represent a significant step forward towards the reduction of gun violence in our country. We hope Congress will follow suit by taking action to enact meaningful gun safety measures.

When announcing this legislation, President Biden stated: “They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress, but they’ve passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence Enough prayers. Time for some action.” We agree with the President. Executive Orders are merely a start but cannot be a finish.  

These Executive Orders, in summary, work to stop the proliferation of ghost guns, regulate pistols modified with stabilizing braces, help states enact red flag laws, and support community violence interventions.

Ghost guns are guns that can be built from kits or with a 3-D printer.  This weaponry has no serial numbers making them almost untraceable. Currently, a background check is not required to purchase the kits used to build them.

Red Flag or Extreme Risk Laws allow family or law enforcement to petition a court to prohibit a person exhibiting symptoms of a desire to commit violence against themselves or others from being able to purchase a firearm. 

President Biden’s executive order directs the Department of Justice to draft a model statute for states to enact, one model that will survive court challenges. We support such laws, so long as they afford individuals the opportunity for due process under the law. 

Finally, a stabilizing brace allows pistols to be used in the same manner as a rifle and circumvents regulations on short-barreled rifles.  These often make a pistol easier to conceal than a rifle.

The text of the 2nd Amendment permits the regulation of the right to bear arms. President Biden’s common-sense measures are constitutional and will withstand judicial scrutiny. 

We urge Congress to also consider other rules that will protect us all from gun violence, such as closing the Charleston loophole, which allows persons to purchase firearms without a completed background check, making waiting periods effective, and banning high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and other such conversion devices.

We stand in solidarity with all the victims, families, activists and organizations in Florida who have stepped up to bring these issues forward and are grateful to the Administration for taking action that is long overdue. It is now on Congress to act. We need gun reform now. 

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Statement on Chauvin Verdict

 

Miami-Dade Democrats' Statement on the Chauvin Verdict

"The Miami-Dade Democratic Party supports the Minnesota jury’s decision to find officer Derek Chauvin guilty to the fullest extent of the charges filed. While no court ruling will ultimately reverse this injustice, we are encouraged by the outcome. The Miami-Dade Democratic Party believes that while this is a step in the right direction, the struggle to defeat systemic racism at all levels of government must continue. We commit to fighting for a day when a badge does not allow you to get away with murder, as it has so many times before."


Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair Steve Simeonidis issued the following statement: "I'm thankful that Mr. Floyd and his family received some measure of justice, but I still feel for the countless others who are still looking for theirs. We must continue to fight for equality and equal justice under the law. Black Lives Matter."


En español:

"El Partido Demócrata de Miami-Dade apoya la decisión del jurado de Minnesota de declarar culpable al oficial Derek Chauvin al máximo número de los cargos imputados. Si bien ningún fallo judicial en definitiva revertirá la injusticia cometida, el resultado es alentador. El Partido Demócrata de Miami-Dade cree que este es un paso en la dirección correcta, sin embargo, la lucha para derrotar el racismo sistémico a todos los niveles de gobierno debe continuar. Nos comprometemos a luchar por el día en el que una chapa de oficial de la policía no permita a alguien salirse con la suya, como lo ha sucedido en innumerables oportunidades."

Steve Simeonidis, Presidente del DEC: "Estoy agradecido de que el Sr. Floyd y su familia hayan recibido cierta medida de justicia, pero todavía siento por los otros innumerables que persiguen la suya. Debemos seguir luchando por la justicia e igualdad la de condiciones bajo la ley. Black Lives Matter."

 

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Dr. Victor Vázquez Obtiene la Victoria en la Carrera del Consejo de Miami Springs

En una victoria rotunda, el Dr. Víctor Vázquez ganó fácilmente la elección para el escaño del Grupo 4 del Consejo de Miami Springs. Vázquez, residente de muchos años de la ciudad y con profundos lazos comunitarios, obtuvo el 70 por ciento de los votos en la contienda del 6 de abril.

In English: Dr. Victor Vázquez Wins Big in Miami Springs Council Race

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Dr. Victor Vázquez Wins Big in Miami Springs Council Race

In a landslide victory, Dr. Victor Vázquez easily won election to the Miami Springs Council, Group 4 seat. A longtime resident with deep community ties, Vázquez captured 70 percent of the vote in the April 6 contest.

En Español: Dr. Victor Vázquez Obtiene la Victoria en la Carrera del Consejo de Miami Springs

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Miami-Dade Democrats' Statement on the Passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings

Miami, FLA--Miami-Dade Dems' Statement on the Passing of Alcee Hastings

 

It is with great sorrow that we recognize the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida’s 20th Congressional District. Hastings was a man and leader of fierce determination, a relentless refusal to surrender, and a striking capacity to institute change on behalf of his constituents.

As the longest-serving Democratic member of Congress from Florida, Rep. Hastings’ contributions to our Party and country will always be remembered. From his passion to ensure more Americans have affordable healthcare to working to end the power of the gun lobby, Rep. Hastings was a tireless voice for the values and needs of working and marginalized people.

“We are heartbroken by the passing of one of Florida’s strongest advocates for civil rights, Congressman Alcee Hastings. We have lost an irreplaceable cornerstone of our community with this tragic news. My thoughts are with his family, his friends, and all who were touched by this great man. May he rest in power.” -- Chairman Steve Simeonidis


Es con gran pesar que reconocemos el fallecimiento del congresista Alcee Hastings del Distrito 20 del Congreso de Florida. Hastings era un hombre y un líder de feroz determinación, una implacable denegación a rendirse y una capacidad llamativa para instituir el cambio en nombre de sus electores.

Como el miembro demócrata más largo del Congreso de Florida, representante. Las contribuciones de Hastings a nuestro Partido y a nuestro país siempre serán recordadas. Desde su pasión por asegurar que más estadounidenses tengan una atención médica asequible hasta trabajar para poner fin al poder del lobby de armas, Rep. Hastings fue una voz incansable para los valores y necesidades de las personas trabajadoras y marginadas.

“Estamos desconsolados por el fallecimiento de uno de los defensores más fuertes de los derechos civiles de Florida, el congresista Alcee Hastings. Hemos perdido una piedra angular insustituible de nuestra comunidad con estas trágicas noticias. Mi pensamiento está con su familia, sus amigos y todos los que fueron tocados por este gran hombre. Que descanse en paz y poder-- El presidente Steve Simeonidis

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Florida’s Voting System Ain’t Broke, So Why Are Republican Politicians Trying to Fix It?

Everyone from Donald Trump to Ron DeSantis acknowledges that Florida’s 2020 election was well-handled, and Republicans did well up and down the ballot. So why have Republicans in Tallahassee put up a series of bills that will make it much harder for people to vote by mail, end the use of drop-boxes, and threaten to close our neighborhood polling places, and make it a crime to give water to a voter on line?

Because, in 2020, for the first time, more Democrats voted by mail than did Republicans, almost 900,000 more. And since most of those voters signed up for vote-by-mail in 2019 or 2020, they’ll automatically be receiving vote-by-mail ballots in 2022. And since Governor DeSantis won his race by less than 35,000 votes, eliminating the Democratic vote-by-mail advantage heading into the Governor’s re-election campaign has become a priority.

What specifically are they trying to do?

The worst of the pending bills, SB 90, is such a blatant effort to destroy the vote-by-mail system that even its sponsors haven’t been able to articulate a plausible need for it. It is loudly and consistently opposed by all of the state’s 67 supervisors of election, most of whom are Republicans, and the editorial boards of every major news outlet. SB 90 will:

  • Wipe out all of the millions of vote-by-mail requests currently on file
  • Force every voter who had a request on file to file another one
  • Limit new vote-by-mail requests to one general election (half the length of current requests)
  • Eliminate entirely the safe, secure, ballot drop boxes used without incident by more than 1.5 million Floridians in 2020
  • Make it a serious crime for anyone but a member of a voter’s immediate family to take their vote-by-mail ballot to the mailbox (so no friends, neighbors, or caregivers can help)

Because there is no funding for it in the bill, county taxpayers will have to bear the multi-million-dollar cost of complying with these changes and letting voters know about them.

Is there a discriminatory element to all of this?

The focus on undoing vote-by-mail will clearly have a disparate and unfortunate impact on the elderly and voters with disabilities, but there is more. Using drop boxes to return vote by mail ballots played a significant role in overcoming historically well-justified fears, particularly in many of Florida’s Black communities, of the ability of the postal service to get the ballots in on time. And drop boxes also made it feasible for voters working in the service industries and others in underserved communities to quickly ensure that their ballots were cast without taking substantial time off of work or other obligations.

There is an even greater risk of suppressing Black votes in the threat that the presence of suburban “super voting sites” could serve as legal cover and pretext for shutting down neighborhood polling places, which are in walking distance for many urban voters. Countless combinations of super voting locations and precinct closings have the potential to suppress Black votes in numbers large enough to change or guarantee outcomes up and down the ticket in 2022.

What can be done?

We have seen that protests of some of these awful provisions in this and other legislation have been effective.  So, we need to add all our voices in protest of these horrible provisions.

We must contact our local Republican elected officials (you can find them here) and tell them to vote no on SB 90. Tell them to fix or forget SB 774/HB 635 and SB 656. And tell them you care about access to the vote. Then share this post with your friends and networks, and ask them to do the same.

Read the full post here.

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Party of the people: Reflections of a working class mom on the American Rescue Plan

The working-class is of different identities, races, and ethnicities, and yet we all get up every morning to provide for our families. I have been a single parent of two boys since they were babies, persevering through hard financial and emotional times. My parents have owned a small medical clinic for over 20 years, employing me and providing support during my divorce.  Despite the financial struggles I went through in those times, none have compared to the challenges of this past year. This pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of our communities and shown why it is so necessary that our most vulnerable receive the support of our government systems. This is what makes the newly passed American Rescue Plan so significant. The bill focuses on the working-class families who have been asking our elected officials, our government, and our system to finally work for us.

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