Email Newsletter


24th April 2019

What: Awake the State Rally
When: March 8, 2011, at 5:00 -- 7:00 p.m.
Where: Munn Park, 100 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
Who: Polk County Democrats, Polk PEA, The Sierra Club,
Homeless Coalition of Polk, Educators of Polk County,
City Commissioners, NALC, Utility Workers,
other Labor Leaders, Emergency Services.

Why: To rally against Gov. Scott's and the Florida
legislature's irresponsible and dangerous budget
which guts education, healthcare, public safety, and support for the poor.

All across Florida on March 8th, rallies will be held in protest of the reckless and irresponsible gutting of public services and personal freedoms being put forward by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida legislature.

The most unpopular governor in U.S. history, he is ranked with only 28% of the state now supporting him, after three months after taking office, Gov. Scott is proposing the disemboweling of nearly every government service in the state save his own, which he is doubling to the tune of $600 million:
  • Thousands of teachers' jobs gone. Education severely cut.
  • Federal funds for a high-speed rail project that would create tens of thousands of new jobs rejected.
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures for the poor and elderly gone.
  • Medicaid cut severely, with federal matching funds opted out of and privatized to the hilt.
  • Veterans' Affairs funding slashed in half.
  • Collective Bargaining rights for state employees in jeopardy.
  • Firefighter, police, and justice system budgets drastically cut.
  • The Office of the Homeless, which creates programs and shelters for the state's ever-growing homeless population wiped out.
  • Funding for HIV prevention and drug assistance -- gone
  • Pensions for our policemen, firefighters and state employees cut deeply.
Polk County citizens too, will be heard on March 8th. Lakeland will be host to a rally to Awake the State from 5:00 -- 7:00 p.m. on March 8 at Munn Park, near the flag pole, in downtown Lakeland. Speakers at the rally will include city council members, teachers, parents, union leaders, members of law enforcement and emergency services, advocates for the uninsured, the disabled, and the poor. Members of all communities affected by the legislature's unconscionable push to balance the state's budget by destroying people's jobs and lives rather than closing corporate tax loopholes are invited to attend. For groups and organizations that plan to participate, please contact Karen Welzel at 863-318-1087.

Awake the State Rally!!
March 8, 2011, at 5:00 -- 7:00 p.m.
Munn Park, 100 S. Kentucky Ave.
Lakeland, FL

"...the right- wingers are out to break the back of the progressive movement, it's easy to miss the strategy that guides their selection of specific targets. Their attacks are all carefully aimed at the same critical juncture: institutions that work for people in their daily lives and in the political arena, those that connect people's personal struggles around the country to the political struggle in Washington."


A Recipe for Disaster Looms in the Florida Legislature

A Formula for Decline: Lessons from Colorado for States Considering TABOR
By Iris J. Lav and Erica Williams
Updated March 15, 2010

Evidence shows that Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, contributed to a significant decline in the state's public services. This has serious implications not only for the 5 million residents of Colorado, but also for the many millions of residents of other states in which TABOR-like measures are now being promoted.

  • Between 1992 and 2001, Colorado declined precipitously from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income. As of 2006, the state maintained its low ranking among the states at 48th.
  • Under TABOR, higher education funding per resident student dropped by 31 percent after adjusting for inflation; after TABOR's suspension, it declined by another 3 percent.
  • Under TABOR, Colorado declined from 23rd to 48th in the nation in the percentage of pregnant women receiving adequate access to prenatal care, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Under TABOR, the share of low-income children lacking health insurance doubled in Colorado between 1992 and TABOR's suspension, even as it fell in the nation as a whole. Colorado now ranks last 47th among the 50 states on this measure.

Teachers Protest Senate Legislation
Opponents of state Senate bill say move would destroy education system.
By Merissa Green

LAKE WALES | Motorists honked their horns in support of teachers who waved signs Friday afternoon protesting state Senate bill 736. The bill, which is scheduled for a Senate vote Wednesday, would tie teachers' salaries to student achievement, a move teachers said would destroy the education system. A similar bill was vetoed by then Gov. Charlie Crist last year. Marianne Capoziello, Polk Education Association president, said she was proud of the teachers who protested. "They work themselves to death every day and they still cared to come out," she said.



Florida Budget Cutters Focus on Public Employees

Associated Press

Layoffs, salary reductions and employee benefit cuts are among the budget balancing proposals waiting for lawmakers when the Legislature convenes in regular session starting Tuesday. Scott has advanced the most drastic measures. He has proposed about $5 billion in spending cuts - including $3.3 billion for education - and the elimination of 8,645 state jobs, or nearly 7 percent of current positions, with only about 2,000 of them vacant.


MARCH 03, 2011

Chamber airs radio ad warning of 'bully tactics' as teachers protest outside legislator offices

The problem is, the ad is wrong. A small group of teachers protesting pending legislation aimed at limiting their pay and benefits protests at the offices of Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Heathrow, Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, and Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Oviedo. "They were local protests done by the local Seminole county union,'' said Mark Pudlow of the Florida Education Association. "There's nobody been bused in.''

The chamber, which does not disclose which corporate donors finance its operations, paid for the ad, said Edie Ousley, chamber spokesperson.


New voucher bill 'smacks of favoritism,' critics say

By Ron Matus, Times Staff Writer

In Print: Friday, March 4, 2011

Giving voucher providers special access to restricted state information. Step Up for Students" a Tampa nonprofit that awarded vouchers to 33,000 low-income children statewide this year" would get a list of the 100 biggest payers of corporate income taxes to aid its fundraising. "I want Step Up for Students to be able to fish where the fish are," said the bill sponsor, Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee. But that information would continue to be off-limits to everybody else.


Scott May Be Holding Himself Above Law In Case of Airplane Sales
Published: Friday, March 4, 2011 at 12:01 a.m.

Claiming that the first two months of Gov. Rick Scott's governorship have been a disappointment would be an understatement. A Ledger article says state Rep. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, claims Scott's sale of the state aircraft could have been an illegal move ["J.D. Alexander Questions Plane Sale," Feb. 18, page B14.]. As a state possession, he needed approval from the legislature to make that sale.
If he did, indeed, break the law that is grounds for impeachment. Voters should be contacting their representatives about this move that appears to have been swept under the rug.



Why Washington Doesn't Care About Jobs
Christopher Hayes

Remember when everyone agreed that what the American people wanted from Washington was, in John Boehner's words, a "relentless focus on creating jobs"? In the past few months the unemployment rate has barely budged, and yet lawmakers of both parties have jettisoned the jobs agenda in favor of an austerity program that will barely reduce the deficit but will almost certainly hurt employment. If the Republican proposal to trim $60 billion from the fiscal budget puts thousands out of work, well then, says Boehner, "so be it." This disconnect between the jobs crisis in the country and the blithe dismissal thereof in Washington is the most incomprehensible aspect of the political moment.


Gov. Scott Walker Has Lost The War 

Rick Ungar: The Policy Page

In what may be the result of one of the great political miscalculations of our time, Scott Walker’s popularity in his home state is fast going down the tubes. A Rasmussen poll out today reveals that almost 60% of likely Wisconsin voters now disapprove of their aggressive governor’s performance, with 48% strongly disapproving.



We need your help to elect Democrats who will speak for the working class people of Polk County. In order to do this, we need your financial support to fund local Democratic candidates so please consider a donation today to assist us in our goals. The more Democrats we elect to Tallahassee and Washington D.C., the louder our middle-class voices will be heard from Polk County. Thank you for your support.

Upcoming Meetings:

Polk County Democratic Executive Committee will meet on, Monday, March 14th 7:00pm in the County Commissioner's Chambers, Bartow. All are invited to attend.

Club Meetings:

Auburndale Democratic Club will meet on Tuesday, March 2nd, 6:30p.m. in the Auburndale VFW.  All Democrats are invited to attend.

Greater Winter Haven Democratic Club will meet on Tuesday, March 22nd, 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Complex. All Democrats are invited to attend.

Lakeland Democratic Club will meet on Thursday, March 3rd, 7:00p.m. at The McArthur Center,  811 S. Lakeside Avenue. All Democrats are invited to attend.

For More Information Contact: Andy Crossfield, President Lakeland Democratic Club, Phone: 863 640-6641 - Email:

Lake Wales Democratic Club will meet on Monday, March 21st, 7:00 p.m. at the B Street Center. All Democrats are invited to attend.

For More Information Contact: Jennifer Nanek, President Lake Wales Democratic Club, Phone: 863-678-1807 - Email:

Young Democrats of Polk County will meet on Thursday, March 24th, 7:30 p.m., Location: TBA.

For More Information Contact: Jessica L. Barrett, President Polk Young Democrats, Phone: 863-207-5330 - Email:

Solivita Democratic Club will meet on Wednesday, March 9th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Solivita Community Ballroom. All Democrats are invited to attend.

The content enclosed does not necessarily imply any endorsement by the Polk County DEC.