Fired up and ready to go!
Shannon Armstrong, founder, South Florida 912, kicked off the meeting outlining the very full agenda and modifications. We were waiting for an honor guard from PBC Fire/Rescue to arrive so we held off on our prayer, pledge and Star-Spangled Banner until later in the program. Meanwhile, leader Jason Shields played taps on his trumpet.
First up was member Dominique Feldman who is our resident Social Media expert. She led a brief interactive discussion on FB and said she’d be offering another class on how to use FB and Twitter for “social media banking”. So watch the website for her next class which should be in the next couple of weeks.
Jim Hunter, leader, sang a beautiful rendition of a song from “Act of Valor”.
Fred Scheibl, leader, spoke to two topics. First – he covered his analysis of the upcoming electorate and the reach we’ve had with our South Florida 912 Leaders’ picks in 2010 and in the August 2012 primary elections. We can use this to good effect in the vital November 2012 elections. Next, Fred provided an overview of the FL State and PBC Amendments that will appear on the ballot. They are fairly complex, as are the implications of a Yes vote. He encouraged our members to get educated. Leaders’ picks on the amendments will come later.
We had two speakers to address the PBC Slot Machine amendment. Mat Forrest of the Coalition for More Jobs, Better Schools, A Stronger Economy spoke on behalf of the amendment, and Virginia Brooks, Chairperson of the PBC Faith and Freedom Coalition spoke against. Both made compelling cases and it will be difficult for many to make up their minds on this amendment.
By now it was clear that our PBC Fire/Rescue team was busy doing their jobs – so Doug Armstrong, co-founder, led us in an Invocation, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Barry Carson, member, led us in the Star Spangled Banner. And we commenced with our 9/11 Memorial.
Dennis Lipp, leader, produced a heart-wrenching 9/11 memorial video. As many wiped away their tears, Shannon Armstrong, co-founder, segued into why the group is called 912 – stressing the unity the country felt on the day after 9/11. She went through our Mission and Principles and Values and listed all of the ways in which we have to get involved.
Tami Donnally, candidate for FL House District 86, continued, personalizing the ways people could help her campaign or any of the other local campaigns. She stressed that one needn’t live in her district to help. Palm Beach County needs conservative legislators and district boundaries aren’t the important thing – it’s getting these folks to Tallahassee. Melanie Peterson, candidate for FL Senate District 25 echoed a lot of Tami’s sentiments and discussed the vital role agricultural has in Palm Beach County’s economy and how she brings experience not addressed by current leadership.
By now we were running quite late but had time for James O’Hara, candidate for FL House district 81 and Cesar Henao, candidate for Congress District 21 – running against Ted Deutch. Both reiterated the importance of helping the candidates with time and money and spreading the word about their candidacies.
Jim Hunter regaled us with another song and Jason Shields held the 50:50. Janeen Capizola won and donated her winnings to the candidates. Thank you Janeen.
And thanks to all of the South Florida 912 members who helped set up and break down the room.
Now – go out there and make a difference!