The Blue Gala Provided the Opportunity to Reflect on the Democratic Party’s Many Successes in 2017


The Democrats of Indian River transformed the county’s party through the six “Democrat Ds.”

Tonight, I am only concentrating on our accomplishments because I think we all know we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but tonight is a night of celebration and to congratulate ourselves for defending, delivering, deploying, developing, defying, and distinguishing ourselves this year.


WE have DEFENDED our Democratic principles and our rights under the Bill of Rights.  We have marched for immigration rights, against hate, and to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  We took a stand for children at school board meetings, standing against policies that are neither written fairly nor applied fairly to all Indian River County students and are used to punish our children of color and keep their education performance low.  We have rallied on street corners and constantly called our congressional delegations to keep the Affordable Care Act viable and honored as a human right.  We have drafted resolutions important to our community against fracking and the Sabal pipeline, for common sense gun control, and for our “Dreamers.”  We have made public statements when we witness the injustices and hate of Charlottesville, the gun violence of Las Vegas, or the be-littling of American heroes.  We celebrate our diversity at Drag-O and fight for LGBT rights and respect.


WE have DELIVERED new branding of our logo, our message, and our web and social media presences, as well as our physical Headquarters presence, to ease access of information for the citizens of Indian River County.   We are delivering messages on complex policies and issues so that they can be readily understood by all our residents.  We want our residents to know that the Democrats of Indian River are a party working for working families and seniors and preserving our Democratic principles in the face of an extreme Trump Agenda.  We want them to know we aim to Vote Out Hate;


WE have DEPLOYED leadership to accommodate members’ organizational strengths so that every resident who wants to be a member of the Democratic Executive Committee or volunteer to save the environment, protect public education, retain viable healthcare, preserve voting rights, protect civil rights, promote diversity, support immigration, and bring jobs to the county that are part of the environmental economy can participate with us;


WE We have DEVELOPED and adopted new “get-out-the vote” tactics and strategies so that we can win National, State, County, and municipal elections in 2018.    Our chairman’s goal is to triple the membership of the Democratic Executive Committee because this will help us develop the leadership we need on-the-ground in our precincts and neighborhoods. This is how we can turn Florida BLUE.  I am so happy to recognize Mary Higgins with the Florida Democratic Party who is our regional chairman and working with us on this effort.


WE have DEFIED the odds and dared to deliver a candidate for city council election in 2017 who was a Democrat, thus paving the way for a new generation of candidates in 2018.  Thank you, Megan Hoots, for your far-reaching and inclusive campaign which showed us the power of a strong, progressive and young woman in a ballot-box fight unfairly pitting big, corporate financial interests against our working families and seniors.  We are so proud you are a Democrat and we are proud to call you leader and friend.  Please join me in an ovation for Megan Hoots!  And, finally,


We have DISTINGUISHED ourselves by coalescing into this strong coalition of financial contributors that has exceeded our goal of raising $20,000 tonight for the purpose of our getting out the vote and electing Democrats in 2018.  Thank you to co-chairs Silvia Cancio and Barbara Spellman and your Gala Team for providing us with the spirit and resolve to hold a beautiful, elegant event with such an important purpose.  Please join me in a round of applause for our co-chairs and their committee members.


Now, to close this re-cap of our many achievements, we would like to dedicate the next few moments to recognizing our veterans of the United States Armed Forces on this November 11th, Veterans’ Day.  Please join me in honoring our veterans’ distinguished service.  We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude for their many sacrifices.  If you are a veteran with us tonight, will you please stand so that we can give you a warm round of applause?

Thank you.  And now, Dane Ullian, both a veteran and local attorney, will lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance


–Abridged welcoming remarks by the Vice-Chair, Democratic Executive Committee