Thank you to all who attended our February 2021 General Membership meeting! Here's a quick recap of what happened. You can also read the meeting minutes here. Please also join us for our March General Membership meeting on Monday, March 15, at 7 PM! This will also be held via Zoom conference - register here.
Our first guest was City of Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg. She has been focused on a lot of issues locally including issues with the 63rd St. bridge, which goes up more often as more recreational vessels (and some illegal charters) hit the water. She also discussed the City of Miami Beach Covid vaccine distribution program. If you are 65 or older you can make an appointment at 305-604-4255 but there is a limited supply. She also spoke about the Miami Beach Youth Commission and the Miami Beach History series, focusing on Black, Jewish and LGBT+ contributions to the city. She alerted us to current state legislation that would preempt decision-making abilities of cities and municipalities, which can affect plastic bag bans, controlling short term rentals, local hire preferences, city zoning ordinances, and voter suppression. Find contact info for Micky on our Contact Electeds page.
We also welcomed Melba Pearson ESQ, attorney and Director of Policy and Programs for FIU's Center for the Administration of Justice. She hosts "Mondays with Melba" every Monday - tune in on her Facebook page. Her next meeting will be about the upcoming legislative session. She will strongly advocate against the anti-protesting bill (HB1/SB484), which allows people to be held without bond for protesting, and provides civil court protections for running over protestors. She also spoke about SB90 which is an attempt to restrict vote-by-mail as it currently stands and will disenfranchise voters. She urged us to contact our representatives to pressure against these bills.
Tim Johnson of the Nominating Committee announced that we have one candidate for each position that is open for our upcoming Board Elections. The current candidates are:
- Vice President - Amanda Knapp
- Secretary - Janet Silverman
- Parliamentarian - Jeff Staugler
- Board seat #1 - Aaron Bos-Lun
- Board seat #3 - Oliva Fernandez
Elections for the new board will take place at our March meeting. Nominations can be made from the floor at the March meeting. In order to vote in board elections, you must have become a dues-paying club member by February 22. You can email [email protected] to confirm your membership status. Learn more about the voting process on our blog.
President Matthew Land reported that the Miami-Dade DEC is looking for a new Executive Director and asked the attendees to forward any recommendations. He then spoke about Vote-by-Mail, and that there will be a concerted effort to get people to sign back up. He also noted that the DEC is doing wellness checks to the community (please check their social media and emails for future events). He said to expect socially distant outreach coming soon. He said that the DEC has expanded their committees, and that we will be sending out information about how to get more involved. He spoke about the upcoming legislative session, which started March 2nd and lasts 60 calendar days. He noted that Michael Grieco and Jason Pizzo have championed some efforts such as free access to feminine hygiene and debt forgiveness for public defenders amongst other legislation, but that there are a lot of bad pieces of legislation that have been filed. We will keep you updated on actions to take as they become available.
Interim Secretary Patrick Breshike reported that the club had 143 paid members. Dues are just $25 for the year, and can be paid through our website.
Treasurer Patrick Breshike reported that our current bank balance is $5992.50, expenses were $243.92 (text service, storage service, and Zoom), and that income was $483.67 (dues renewals plus Period donation drive which will be passed along).
Campaign Chair David Geller reported he is in the early stages of planning the candidate forum for the November elections. If you have ideas on people you would like to speak, please send an email to [email protected].
Communications Co-Chairs Oliva Fernández and Steve Hawes reported that our email communications go out to about 4000 people with about a 15% open rate. They noted that we also send texts to members for key events, and that we are active on social media, with around 1000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, and nearly 700 followers on Twitter.
Neighborhood and Building Organizing Chair Aaron Bos-Lun reported that we are looking to build a network of outreach by divvying up our turf into South, Mid and North Beach sections. If you would like to get more involved please reach out to Aaron so we can start building our team early to be in a good position for 2022. [email protected] 305-609-9632.
Outreach Chair Amanda Knapp introduced Adrian Delgado the President of the Miami-Dade Young Democrats who thanked the club for participating in the Period drive and announced that they raised around $1000. She then noted that we will be hosting another beach clean-up, likely on Sunday, March 28th but exact location and time is still TBD.
Program Chair Bill Warren reported that he and the Program Committee are still discussing ideas for events to host this quarter. Please contact him at [email protected] with any ideas that you might have.
Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 15 at 7 PM. We will be holding or club elections for Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and two Board of Director positions.