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Two separate meetings were held this past Saturday, The FDP Central Committee meeting and the FDP Executive Committee Meeting. For more details on any of the following, please contact either Kari Lerner (karillerner@gmail.com) or Mike Bonacolta (mikebonacolta@gmail.com).
Florida Democratic Party Central Committee Meeting:

The FDP Central Committee is comprised of a Chair and Vice-Chair from each of the Congressional Districts. Mike Bonacolta is Chair and Kari Lerner is Vice-Chair for Congressional District 19.

  • Voted to accept rules for conducting the meeting.
  • Nearly 77% of those in attendance voted to adopt the 2021 proposed budget.
    • The Budget and Finance Committee had already voted to adopt the proposed budget.
    • Those who opposed the proposed budget indicated they wanted more detail because the lack of transparency of the last FDP leadership led to severe financial hardship.
    • It was pointed out that no hiring or organizing could begin until the budget was adopted.
    • Chair Diaz expressed his request that the specific details of the budget be kept confidential as it demonstrates the FDP strategy going forward.
    • Both Lee County State Committeewoman Kari Lerner and Lee County State Committeeman Mike Bonacolta voted to adopt the budget.
    • Please contact either Kari or Mike for more details about the budget, it will not be published here as requested by Chair Diaz.
Florida Democratic Party Executive Committee Meeting:

The FDP Executive Committee is comprised of the state chairs of certified clubs and caucuses, DEC chairs, state committeemen and state committeewomen, and the officers of the FDP.

  • Reports were provided by the Chair, Judicial Council, and Rules Committee.
  • Chair Diaz apologized for the lateness in appointing the remaining committees, explaining it was due to the dire financial issues faced. The FDP bylaws require all committee appointments be completed within 60 days, this meeting was day 63.
  • The members voted for State Senator Audrey Gibson of Duval County to replace Marcus Dixon’s position with the DNC.
  • Marcus Dixon, Executive Director, reviewed the adopted budget in detail
    • Once again, confidentiality was requested of the members
    • More than half the budget will be for Grassroots Organizing
    • The State Committeewoman from Brevard County made a motion to restrict spending to 25% of the budget until this body could review and approve the details of the programs. The Parliamentarian informed the Chair that according to the bylaws, the FDP Central Committee and Budget and Finance Committee have the responsibility to oversee the budget. To bring that power to the full body of the FDP Executive Committee would require a change in the bylaws. The Committeewoman’s motion was deemed out of order by the Chair.
    • Chair Diaz has forfeited his salary to contribute toward the financial stability of the FDP.
  • A Resolution condemning the opening of the Homestead Detention Facility and calling for an end to all for-profit detention centers was brought forward.
      • This resolution had not been presented to all members prior to the meeting, and many who had seen it believed that it needed work.
      • Discussion became heated.
        • Chair Diaz expressed that we are all Democrats and should not be attacking each other, rather we need to work together within the processes set forth in our bylaws, keeping in mind the goal of this body is to elect Democrats.
        • The valid point was made that the Chair had not yet appointed a Resolutions Committee, therefore the body should immediately vote on this resolution because time is of the essence.
        • Chair Diaz offered to appoint the members of the Resolutions Committee hopefully by the end of this week but definitely within 14 days and to give those appointees 7 days to provide a fully vetted resolution to be presented to the body either electronically or call a special meeting for an up or down vote. The author of the resolution objected to any delay or corrections.
        • Lee County Committeeman Mike Bonacolta spoke passionately in support of taking an immediate vote and passing the resolution as presented.
        • Lee County Committeewoman Kari Lerner did not have the opportunity to speak before adjournment, but as a former legislator, believes the resolution needed work and the Homestead Detention Facility issue should stand alone and be separated from the broader for-profit detention centers ban. She strongly supports both resolutions and believes the, at most, 21-day delay to vet the wording is appropriate.
        • The meeting was adjourned without a solution on this resolution.

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman