Opinion: Space Coast Progressive Alliance Recap

By  //  January 10, 2013

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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – It has been a busy year for the Space Coast Progressive Alliance and you helped make the world a better place.

This is how we made a difference in 2012.

Our 2012 1st Thursday programs included:

 Movie night – “Hot Coffee the Movie” – The award winning HBO Documentary by director Susan Saladoff

 Social Media Presentation by Ray Myers and Betsy Lassiter

• Stop the War on Women! – Featured Speaker – Sue Idtensohn, Former President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Orlando

• Keeping Laws Fair – Expert panel members included Attorneys Sammy Cacciatore, John Alpizar, David Gunter, and Stephen Charpentier

• Trayvon Martin and Stand Your Ground Forum – Distinguished Panel included John Alvarez – Democratic Candidate Florida State Representative District 53, Ryan Vescio, Democratic Candidate for State Attorney of the 18th Judicial Circuit in Brevard and Seminole Counties, Adrian Moss-Beasley, Deputy Sheriff and Democratic Candidate for Brevard Sheriff, Robert Johnson President South Brevard NAACP, and Hazel Buggs Secretary South Brevard NAACP and Candidate Melbourne City Council

• Climate Change – Featured Speaker Randall Parkinson PhD, Chairman of The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and Space Coast Climate Change

• The 2012 Florida Constitutional Amendments – Featured Speaker Joyce Hamilton Henry, Ph.D. Director, Mid Florida Regional Office ACLU Florida

• Movie Night – “Koch Brothers Exposed” – the highly acclaimed documentary by Robert Greenwald, founder and president of Brave New Films.

 A Night With The Left – Special Guest – Matt Reed, newspaper columnist

 2012 Brevard County Nov. 6th Ballot Referenda Presentations with Dr. Binggeli, Brevard Superintendent of Schools and Patrick Biddix President of Melbourne Greyhound Park

• Annual Holiday Pot Luck Celebration

In fact, our highly successful 1st Thursday programs necessitated a larger venue. We researched and moved from the Henegar Center to our new venue at the Front Street Park Community Center.

Space Coast Progressive Alliance members screened the film “Koch Brothers Exposed” in Brevard last year. (image courtesy of KochBrothersExposed.com)

Large-Scale Events

Additionally, following our highly successful PROGRESSIVE VOICES with Alan Grayson and Dan Gelber late last year we co-hosted with WFIT – AN EVENING WITH AMY GOODMAN -Independent award-winning journalist, best-selling author, host and Executive Producer of Democracy Now!

In Oct. we held our Bi-annual Progressive Fest – COMMUNITIES IN ACTION with a record number of 80 plus participating non-profits, agencies, candidates and businesses.

Through our web presence and social media, the SCPA launched a new website thanks to the expertise and dedication of Ray Myers.

Our social media presence has grown. We’ve had thousands of hits, more than 520 “Likes” on our Facebook Page and more followers on Twitter.

Thanks to the efforts of Fred Markham our SCPA Enews reaches 3000+ subscribers.

Our presence in the media grew dramatically in 2012.

Members and officers had dozens of separate mentions in newspaper articles, SpaceCoastDaily.com, editorial columns, and Letters to the Editor. I had the pleasure of appearing along with Brevard NOW President Terry Sanders for a full half hour on Matt Reed’s TV show  and spoke about the war on women.

SCPA was also represented by Board members on the Progressive News Network, WFIT, the Bill Mick Radio Show, the Ed Dean Radio Show, The Amy Tidd Show, and The Seeta and Friends Radio Show.

The Election and Politics

 Our members volunteered countless hours for OFA, and our progressive candidates. We attended and supported our progressive candidates at all six of the local political forums/debates.

 We attended and sponsored our member candidates at the Satellite Beach Woman’s Club Candidates Forum.

• We attended and spoke at numerous Brevard County Commission, School Board and City Council meetings.

• We attended the DEC’s Brevard County Judges Forum.

 We attended and challenged Congresswoman Sandy Adam on a number of her votes at one of her Town Hall meetings.

 We spoke for progressive causes at the annual Brevard County Legislative Delegation Meeting.

 We contributed to the North Brevard County Branch NAACP’s Freedom Fund.

 We co-sponsored a petition with ECARD (Edgewater Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development), and the Volusia and Flagler Sierra Clubs.

 We signed on as an organization with coalition partners against the proposed 2012 Legislative initiated Constitutional Amendments 5,6 and 8.

 We signed on as an organization in support of “Move To Amend” rejecting the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

 We filed a complaint with the Brevard County Government complex for allowing ACT!Space Coast Florida (a group listed by The Southern Poverty Law Center) to use our facilities in Viera for their meetings.

 We initiated a petition urging Publix Supermarket to stop their sponsorship of ALEC.

 And we continued our support and sponsorship of Space Coast Climate Change.

Protests and Actions

 We joined Brevard NOW and PFLAG in support of our gay friends, neighbors, and family at the Chik-Fil-A Protest.

 We held our banner high for civil rights and peace at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March in Melbourne.

 We joined Brevard NOW Standing Up For Reproductive Rights at a demonstration in front of Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ office.

 We spoke and marched in the National Day of Action, WE ARE WOMEN March and Rally in Orlando.

 We participated in the Hands Across The Sand events in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

 We donated blood at the 4th Annual Raj S. Shah Memorial Blood Drive.

 We participated in Brevard Awake the State.

We participated in solidarity with our unions at numerous events.

 We attended actions organized by Melbourne and Space Coast OCCUPY.

Our Outreach

The SCPA was well represented this year in a multitude of events and organizations across the state and nation including the DEC’s annual Banquet, 2012 CANFest, Citizen Exit Poll, Brevard County’s 10th Annual Hispanic Business Expo & Health Fair, The Florida NOW State Conference, The 2012 National NOW Conference, Brevard NOW meetings, Pride Fest, Planned Parenthood, Democracy Matters and strategy meetings with ACLU.

I thank everyone who contributed to make 2012 a successful year. Thank you Board members Richard Anderson, Bill Gabrenya, Spence Guerin, Pat Jotkoff, Fred Markham, Suzy McNeil, Ray Myers, Joe Pishgar, Kathy Stanton, Ken Previti, and Mary Lou Previti; and a very special thank you to our Vice President Susan Martin.