Young Democrats Sponsor Successful Countywide Listening Session

About one hundred of Indian River County’s citizens gathered last evening with their elected officials at a countywide listening session held at the Vero Beach Community Center. There, concerned residents offered testimonials detailing the impact that President Trump’s proposed federal budget cuts will have on their lives. The event was sponsored by The Young Democrats of Indian River County.

Congressman Bill Posey was invited to the listening session but did not attend, nor did a member from his staff.   Megan G. Hoots, Chair of the Young Democrats of Indian River, had noted in her invitation to Representative Posey that Indian River County constituents are eager to engage with their representatives, “We invite you… to bear witness to the concerns of your constituents. We request your presence as a show of respect for the people you represent.” Present, however, was a representative from Erin Grall’s staff, as well as Indian River County Commissioners Solari and O’Bryan.

The topics discussed at the event included how the extreme Trump agenda and budget cuts will hurt our environment and the Indian River Lagoon, in particular; scale back precious education programs for our children and youth; make our working class and low-income families more vulnerable by eliminating Indian River County’s Community Service Block Grant; and dismantle federal healthcare guarantees for families and seniors.

Notable were were the testimonials from Keeley Koch, who lives on disability because of a chronic illness while raising a child, and Bobbi Gomez, whose daughter relies on health care from the Affordable Care Act because of a pre-existing condition. Both speakers received a standing ovation. The listening session provided a safe venue for giving voice to democratic values and support for working families within the county.