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Video: Eric Swalwell Town Hall on Gun Violence

A day after announcing his Presidential campaign, Congressman Eric Swalwell was in Sunrise for an event billed as a Town Hall on gun violence, with participation from survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and their families and members of Moms Demand Action and allied groups prominent in the audience.

If that is an important issue for you — if you still remember the horror of realizing what happened in our community on Valentine’s Day 2018 — I recommend you watch the Facebook Live video replay I’ve embedded here (unfortunately, you’ll have to fast-forward through about 20 minutes of dead air in this version before the program starts).

Whether you ultimately vote for Swalwell or someone else in the primaries, he is performing a valuable service by putting this issue front and center in his campaign.

I worried that the Town Hall event’s focus would slip from gun safety to campaign rally, but for the most part it stuck to gun violence prevention. There were a few questions from the audience that Swalwell responded to on other issues such as healthcare.

Parkland parent activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was among the mass shooting victims, is asking that we all make at least a small donation to help Swalwell clear the threshold of demonstrated popularity required to participate in the Democratic party debates that will start this summer.

Yes, it’s crazy how many people are running, making it tough to welcome one more person entering the race. I like several of the other candidates quite a lot and could happily vote for just about any of them, I think, if they should make it to the general election.

Personally, I was impressed with Swalwell and believe he is right both on gun violence and the anti-corruption agenda he has pursued with regard to the Trump Administration. He is considered a long-shot, but I would like to see him emerge as a contender.

Here’s Swalwell’s clip from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he made it official that he was running:

The New, Improved, Simpler to Work With BlueBroward.org

Formed following the heartbreaking of re-election of President George W. Bush, BlueBroward has existed in one form or another since early 2005. A lot has changed in 14 years. Some of the most grandiose plans I and a cofounder had at the beginning didn’t work out, but the site evolved into a pretty good community calendar for Broward Democrats.

What BlueBroward looked like in March 2005.

Over the past few weeks, I have gone through a housecleaning intended to make it easier and simpler for members to post events and blog articles to the website. I was getting a lot of feedback that too many of the technological “improvements” I had added had only served to complicate things and confuse people.

If you are on the BlueBroward email list, you can post events to the website. You can also post your opinions, your analysis, and your ideas about how to campaign more effectively. You can see in the screenshot above that part of the original idea was to create a “Brain Trust” of smart, experienced activists. The goal lives on, but I would love to see a greater diversity of participation.

If you don’t already have a password, you can get one by verifying your email address.

When you log into the website, the new, improved member’s dashboard looks like this:

Basic Usage

Click Post an Event to post an event or Post to the Blog to post to the blog. Use blog posts for opinions such as candidate endorsements or any information you would like to share with the community that’s not tied to a specific date.

You will use the same editor — a web-based word processor — in either case. The only difference is that for an event, you will first visit an Event Setup screen that prompts you to specify the event date. (If you regularly post events for a club or other organization that meets on a regular schedule, see the section below on Event Templates).

You can ignore the other event checkboxes on the page, unless perhaps you wish to collect RSVPs (registrations for an event). The underlying RSVPMaker software can collect event registrations for you. However, the features related to collecting online payments are not enabled.

Adding a link

A few tips for working with the editor:

  • You can simply type the content of your blog post or your event description, or copy and paste from a program like Microsoft Word.
  • Select any word or phrase within your content, and you will see a menu that allows you to make that passage bold or italic or add a link to a web address.
  • To add images or other types of content, click the (+) button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. If you hover your mouse between any two blocks of content, you will see a popup (+) button that allows you to insert content in that spot..
  • You can copy-and-paste the link to a YouTube video, and the video player will automatically be embedded in the content of your post or event description.

BlueBroward is based on WordPress, the world’s most popular web publishing software.

Working with Event Templates

If you represent a Democratic club or other organization that meets on a regular basis, using the event template system makes it easier to represent your club more consistently, for the software to track your events, and for multiple club leaders to share editing rights.

If you have been granted access to an event template, you should see it listed in the Your Templates widget on the dashboard with a number of associated options.

For each template you have access to, you will see the following options:

  • Edit next event – if there is already an event on the calendar associated with the template, you have an option of updating it. It’s a good idea to pre-post the basic details for your events but then update them closer to the time of the event — for example, with details on speakers or activities.
  • Add Event – add a single event based on the template.
  • Create / Update – add multiple future dates based on your template. For example, if your template says the club meets on the first Monday of each month, the Create / Update event will show you future Mondays and allow you to check off one or more to add events for. (More on this later).
  • Edit Template – update the boilerplate details in your template, for example if your meeting schedule or location has changed.
  • Grant another user editing rights – share editing rights with another trusted member of your organization.

The dashboard also shows a listing of all the templates currently active on the website. If a template is already listed, and you need access to it, you can get access from one of the currently authorized editors or from the webmaster, david@bluebroward.org.

If no template for your club or organization exists, you can create one by going to the Add New / Event Setup screen and clicking the New Template link in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Switching from New Event to New Template mode.

Instead of asking for a specific date, the New Template version of this screen asks for a schedule such as First Monday. You will still supply a start time and other details that should be included in all events based on this template.

Setting a Template schedule.

After you submit the form, you will find yourself in the WordPress editor. The Document panel on the sidebar shows that we’re in an event editor, not the editor for a specific date.

Editing an event template

Once you edit and publish your event, you will see a prompt at the top of the screen suggesting that the next step is to do one of two things — Add Event based on the template or Create / Update a batch of event based on the template.

Prompt after a template is published or updated.

If you click New Event based on a template, you will be taken to the event setup screen and prompted to confirm that you wish to add an event for the next projected date based on the schedule supplied in the template.

An event created this way will be loaded into the editor as a draft (not yet published) including the content and other settings from the template.

An event post based on the template. Notice the calendar display in the Document tab on the right, showing the event date and time.

If instead of following the New Event path you choose Create / Update, you will be presented with the option to add multiple events as a batch operation.

If you previously posted events for one or more dates, the same screen will show checkbox options for events to be updated as well as events to be added. For example, if you change your meeting location, you might want to update any previously published events that would direct people to the old location.

Checkboxes for updating previously scheduled events, as well as adding new ones.

When you post a batch of events, the confirmations displayed on screen include links you can follow to edit or view any of the individual events.

In this way, you can post a batch of projected meeting dates and immediately edit the next upcoming event with the names of speakers or other updated details.

I hope everyone who posts events to BlueBroward will find these to be improvements. If you have suggestions for further improvement, please share them with david@bluebroward.org.

Additional RSVPMaker Options

Most event editors can stop reading now, but there are a few options related to collecting event registrations that must be set on separate screens.

Menu linking to related RSVPMaker screens.

From within the editor, you will see an RSVP / Event Options link on the black menu bar that appears at the top of the screen when you are logged in. There are several other items under that menu for altering the registration form or setting up automated event reminders.

More details at rsvpmaker.com

No Sunday Calendar Email March 31 (Website Reboot)

This website is recovering from a series of technical problems, including the registration of accounts apparently belonging to Russians (based on their .ru email addresses) and website overload.

While cleaning up after these issues, we’re taking the opportunity to do some housekeeping. Club leaders have not had an opportunity to update their event entries, so the calendar is probably slightly out of date.

The reboot will probably take about a week.

Democratic Women’s Club of East Broward

Mod Sixties Wine: 1826 E Sunrise Blvd, Ft Lauderdale on Thursday April 18, 2019

Meet & Greet 6:30pm ~~ Meeting starts at 7:00pm

Guest speaker:

Teresa Williams, President of our sister club, Democratic Women’s Club of West Broward, will share her vision of Criminal Justice Reform for Broward County. Please join us to find out more about upcoming plans and events for our new club and what you can do to elect Democrats.

HILLS DEMOCRATIC CLUB

Sunday Brunch March 17th 11:30 A.M.

How can we maximize the Hispanic Vote in 2020?  Special Guest–Professor Eduardo Gamarra, PHD, Full tenured professor of Political Science Florida International University’s Department of Politics and International Relations will fill us in on the results of his extensive research and polling of Hispanic demographics and voting.

In addition to his wide ranging consulting work in Latin America and the Caribbean, (which includes testifying before Congress) on such diverse areas as Drug Trafficking, violence and revolution, and authoritarianism, Dr Gamarra also focuses on political culture, campaign and elections.

Emerald Hills Country Club, 4100 North Hills Drive, Please RSVP to Muriel Kirschner 954-963-6891 $18 per person The caterer really insists on k nowing how many to prepare for

Now Here’s a Suggestion That You Almost Never Hear From Me

  	Good evening, everybody!    	Donald Trump wants to build a wall on our border with Mexico.  Congress disagrees and refuses to give him the money to build that wall.  So he exceeds his constitutional authority and declares a national emergency in order to try to redirect money designated for other projects to pay for that wall.  Then the House of Representatives passes a resolution disapproving of this attempt to divert funds.  And now, the Republican-controlled Senate has also voted  to overturn Trump's declaration of a national emergency, with 12 Republicans siding with Senate Democrats!    	I am so encouraged by the passage of this resolution, that I am going to suggest something I don't believe I have ever suggested before: Praise Marco Rubio!  Yes, I am going to call Marco Rubio's Office to thank him for his courageous vote and for putting the Constitution ahead of his allegiance to Donald Trump.  If enough people contact Rubio to thank him, maybe in future votes, he'll again put the country first.  Marco Rubio:  202-224-3041 (DC); 305-418-8553 (Miami)    	And if you live in any of the following states where a Republican Senator supported the resolution of disapproval, call up and give them a shout-out:  Kansas (Jerry Moran); Tennessee (Lamar Alexander); Missouri (Roy Blunt); Maine (Susan Collins); Utah (Mike Lee and Mitt Romney); Alaska (Lisa Murkowski);  Pennsylvania (Patrick Toomey); Ohio (Rob Portman); Kentucky (Rand Paul); and Mississippi (Roger Wicker).    	This has been another good week for voter registration and petition collection.  With the help of Lonnie Supnick, Marsha Eisenberg, Michael Goldfarb,  Lauren Tate, and Debra Longberg, we registered 7 voters (including 2 felons!) and collected 129 Medicaid Expension petitions.    	We will be out at the West Regional Courthouse again next Monday and Wednesday, March 18th and 20th, from 10 AM to 2 PM.  As always, we will have  our canopy to protect is from the sun, a table and chairs for people to use while registering, and all the voter registration and petition forms we need.  The only additional thing we need is for you to come out and join us (even for 2 hours).  Please let me know when you can help out!    	One last thing:  If you believe that arming teachers in Florida schools is a terrible idea, please sign the following petition (Thank you, Kathryn Reeve)  and forward the link to your contacts:  

https://act.everytown.org/letter/tell-fl-lawmakers-oppose-arming-teachers?fbclid=IwAR2M5pXVCYS8NIvM9uBZ35jTsXW9KqijcjqM6hROqr-oLAkPmyWepGMYBgk

Alan

  

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Come and Vote on Tuesday Night!

  	Hello, everybody!    	It was another good week at the West Regional Courthouse.  Along with our wonderful volunteers Lonnie Supnick, Beth Mumby, Marsha Eisenberg, Michael Goldfarb,  Lauren Tate, and Debra Longberg, we registered 13 voters (including 3 felons!) and collected 114 Medicaid Expansion petitions.    	We will be back at the Courthouse on Monday and Wednesday, March 11th & 13th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, and we can sure use your help.  Let me know.    	And for all members of the Plantation Democratic Club, Tuesday night starting at 7 PM, we will be electing  officers and Board members.  Come out and vote!  As always, we meet at the Deicke Auditorium, 5701 Cypress Road in Plantation.    	Alan  

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West Broward Democratic Club

The West Broward Democratic Club, (WBDC), will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 07:00 PM. The meeting will be at the Sunrise Soccer Club, 10200 Sunset Strip, in Sunrise.

This month’s guest speakers include Florida Democratic Club Chair, Terrie Rizzo, AND, our newest elected State Representative, Dan Daley. They will have a lot of CURRENT information for us!

Vote Scott J. Brook for Mayor of Coral Springs on March 12

Quick story about why I will vote for Scott J. Brook to be the next mayor of Coral Springs, in the special election following the death of Skip Campbell.

My wife and I first met Scott at a Democratic organizing event when John Kerry was running for president. During a lull in the proceedings, when other attendees had broken off into caucuses we weren’t involved in, we struck up a conversation with Scott and he said one thing that always stuck with me: that the chance for Democratic victory would be stronger if “our side” spent more time saying positive things about John Kerry, rather than negative things about George W. Bush.

I think there was some truth to that. The Kerry campaign was the first one where we actively volunteered and had our heats broken, after W. was reelected despite lying us into war in Iraq. There were plenty of bad things you could say about George W. Bush, but perhaps we should have shown more enthusiasm for Kerry (an imperfect candidate, but aren’t they all?).

The reason I tell you that story about Scott is that it reflects his relentless positivity. For a cynic like me, it’s sometimes hard to take the way his biggest fans gush about him. But he is a fundamentally decent person, with the experience to lead as mayor because he has done it before.


After we ran into him at the Obama-Roosevelt Dinner, my wife Beth Anne went around the room telling anyone who would listen how she appreciated the way he had stayed involved in the community even when not in office through things like youth leadership programs. He also worked with the Parkland youth organizers following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

The other candidate I’ve heard the most about from other Democrats is
Nancy Metayer, who has a strong record as an organizer and activist. I just don’t think mayor is the right office for her to pursue. When the mayor election is over, I would rather see her pivot to run for an open city commission seat that will also be the subject of a special election. That one opened up with Dan Daley’s uncontested election to the State House, after Jared Moskowitz became director of the state Division of Emergency Management. Not only would Metayer be more likely to win a Commission seat, but that would be the right way for her to build experience if she wants to be mayor.

The Sun-Sentinel just gave its endorsement to Scott Brook, which I’ve excerpted below with a link to the full article (a very detailed analysis). Coral Springs voters can also view the video of a League of Women Voters Forum (debate).

Sun Sentinel

With Coral Springs in transition, Scott Brook best choice for mayor

With Coral Springs in transition, Scott Brook best choice for mayor

On March 12, Coral Springs voters will decide which of four candidates is best prepared to fill the big shoes left by the passing of former Mayor Skip Campbell.

Two of the candidates — Scott Brook, 54, and Vincent Boccard, 63 — have previously served as mayor. Both did a good job, though their terms were not drama-free.

The other two candidates — Nancy Metayer, 31, and Kurt Gardner, 36 — are well-meaning newcomers, but both lack the experience needed to lead the city through this time of change.

The mayor’s post is not the only seat in flux on the city’s five-member commission. Commissioner Dan Daley’s election to the Florida House of Representatives will soon open a second seat. And when you consider that a third seat was just filled by newcomer Joshua Simmons in November, you see the transformation taking place at City Hall.

The question is, who’s best suited to soundly lead the commission during this transition?

In weighing their choices, voters should be guided by the legacy of Campbell, who, before his sudden death in October, was known as a bridge builder and leader among peers. He spoke out against constructing a Taj Mahal-like city hall, spoke up for school resource officers in every school, and stepped up to lead a statewide initiative to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons.

Campbell’s stature is hard to match, but attorney Scott Brook comes closest. We endorse Brook for mayor.

Brook served on the commission, including a term as mayor, between 2003 and 2010. He says the top issue facing the city is what “residents consider to be high property taxes.” He wants to bridge the divide that erupted in late 2017, when the commission ignored a citizen’s outcry in raising property taxes 23 percent. Six months later, and without Campbell’s support, commissioners asked voters to raise taxes again via three bond referendums. All three were shot down, suggesting the commission was out of touch with its constituents.

“I would have held town hall meetings before making that decision. I doubt I would have put it on the ballot,” Brook said during a joint candidate interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board. That said, though, “I trust that our government did the right thing.”

Read more:

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/endorsements/fl-op-end-scott-brook-coral-springs-mayor-20190302-story.html

Our President Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know How Stupid He Is

  	Hi, everybody!    	Did you see any of Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress today?  Much of it was a very revealing look inside the ego and character of our 45th President.  I can't decide whether my favorite anecdote was Cohen's revelation of the threats Trump had his lawyer make against all of the colleges that Trump attended  to prevent any of them from releasing his grades, or the fact that Trump had his people purchase the painting of himself for the highest price paid for the items  auctioned off in that sale (to make it seem like his portrait was the most valuable item sold that day!)    	It has been a very productive week for voter registration and petition collection.  On Saturday, at the Community Block Party in Sunrise, organized by Ellen  Moltz, our wonderful team of volunteers including Janet Thompson, Robin Adell, Michael Goldfarb, Tina Kaplan, Ruby Foster, Ronnie Heller, and Ruby Foster  helped to collect 6 voter registration forms, 115 Medicaid Expansion petitions, 22 Assault Weapons Ban petitions, and 6 Minimum Wage Increase petitions!  And our new Area Leader, Cheryl Levin, collected more voter registration forms and petitions at the Block Party.    	Then, on Monday, Lonnie Supnick, Norman Levy, and Marsha Eisenberg helped to register 7 voters (including one felon) and collect 1 vote-by-mail request,  and 64 Medicaid petitions.  And yesterday, Lauren Tate, Debra Longberg, and Marsha Eisenberg joined me to collect 4 voter registration forms and 76 Medicaid  petitions.    	New volunteers are needed to come out and help with these efforts!  So don't hesitate.  Let us know when you can help out.    	On Saturdays, you can work with John Ziegler at the West Regional Library from 10 AM to 4 OM in three 2-hour shifts.  To volunteer for one of those shifts,  please contact John at 954-232-3918 or johnjoeziegler@aol.com.    	And on Monday and Wednesday, March 4th and 6th, I will be back at the West Regional Courthouse from 10 AM to 2 PM.  We can really use your help, so  please let me know when you can join me.    	Alan      

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