January 2019 Meeting Recap

Couldn't make it to our last membership meeting? We've got you covered!

Here's what went down:
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins greets members before the start of the meeting
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins greets members before the start of the meeting.

Welcome New Members!

We had about 50 attendees at our first membership meeting of the year. We closed out 2018 with 61 dues-paying members, and we added 14 new members at this meeting. Welcome!

President's and Vice President's Reports

Club President Dan Royles reported on the recent voter registration drive that he and Club Secretary Ileana Oroza participated in at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade in Liberty City, along with other members of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. Between Liberty City and a similar effort in Homestead, we registered over 150 new voters!
Club Vice President Ariel Morel also reported on his work revising the club bylaws with the executive committee. The revised bylaws will come before the general membership at a later meeting. 

Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative

Medicaid Expansion
Members also circulated a petition to put a measure on the statewide 2020 ballot requiring Florida to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage to the 850,000 state residents caught in the healthcare "coverage gap."
  • The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) required—and funded—states to expand their Medicaid programs.
  • The Supreme Court's 2012 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act struck down the Medicaid expansion requirement. Some states, including Florida, decided not to expand Medicaid. However, federal money is still available for states to do so.
  • This ballot measure would require Florida to accept federal money to expand Medicaid.

During the meeting we collected twenty signatures supporting this important initiative!

Commissioner Eileen Higgins

Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins represents District 5, covering much of Miami Beach, as well as Downtown, Brickell and Little Havana. Commissioner Higgins updated us as to her work on our behalf.
  • efforts to make the government shutdown less painful for federal employees in Miami-Dade
  • work to ease the impact of construction for Flagler Street businesses and residents on Indian Creek Drive
  • continued support for public transportation projects

Non-Profit Spotlight: Latinos Salud

As part of our ongoing effort to engage non-profits in the community, the club heard from Latinos Salud, which focuses on health services for gay Latinos, including HIV/AIDS prevention. Learn more about their work.

State Senator Jason Pizzo and State Representative Michael Grieco 

Senator Pizzo and Representative Grieco
Two newly elected members of our state legislature, Senator Jason Pizzo (left) and Representative Michael Grieco (right) updated club members on their work in Tallahassee.
  • Representative Grieco has introduced a bill authorizing needle exchange programs
  • it is currently a felony for HIV-positive people to not disclose their status to sexual partners, which hinders HIV prevention measures; Senator Pizzo is introducing a bill to reduce that to a misdemeanor
  • Representative Grieco is introducing a bill to ban conversion therapy in Florida
  • Senator Pizzo is cosponsoring the "Florida Inclusive Workforce Act" with the Republican majority leader of the Senate, which would provide employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity through Florida's 1992 Civil Rights Act
Both Pizzo and Grieco urged members to be in touch:

Director Elections


Amanda Knapp and Aaron Bos-Lun

We held elections to fill two open director spots on the club's board. Amanda Knapp and Aaron Bos-Lun were elected to the board, and will help make administrative decisions for the club. Both Amanda and Aaron were previously leaders with the Miami-Dade Young Democrats. 

Miami-Dade Democrats Fundraising


Will Byatt, treasurer for the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, asked members to become sustaining members so that we can run a ground-up campaign without relying on the Florida Democratic Party. Support the Miami-Dade Democratic Party by becoming a sustaining member today!


Don't miss our next meeting!

Monday, February 25th at 7pm

Hôtel Gaythering (1409 Lincoln Road)


Coming Up


Valentine's Fundraiser

Valentine's Fundraiser

Come to our Valentine's Day fundraiser!
  • National Hotel—1677 Collins Avenue
  • Monday, February 11 at 7 pm
  • $8 tapas and 2-for-1 drinks
  • Bid on a 30-minute coffee sessions with a local leader
  • Piano bar
  • Dress to impress!

And it all goes to support the work of the Miami Beach Dems!


Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) Meeting

Miami Dade Democrats

Want to get more involved in the Democratic Party at the county level? Join us on February 18th at 7 pm (doors at 6) for the next DEC meeting. This is a great opportunity to get to know other local Democrats who are trying to shake things up, shape the direction of the party, and learn about issues of importance to our community. This will also include an election to replace Juan Cuba as chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.

Reminder: February Meeting Rescheduled

Due to a conflict with the February DEC meeting, our meeting next month has been pushed back a week to Monday, February 25th. We will resume our regular meeting schedule in March.

Dues! Dues! Dues!

Your dues payments keep the club running, so that we can help elect Democrats to all levels of political office. You can pay your $25 annual dues in person (cash, check, or credit) at our meetings, or via PayPal. Not sure if you're paid up? Email our club secretary Ileana Oroza ([email protected]) to find out.