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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, October 09, 2010

    Tampa/Hillsborough County, FL Focus

    LOCAL CANDIDATES IN TAMPA/HILLSBOROUGH AREA:

    April Griffin for Hillsborough County School Board District 6

    This is actually one of the more important races in the country. I have been focusing a lot on Texas School Board elections because of the considerable influence Texas has on textbook publication throughout the country. But a Daily Kos article has alerted me to another important school board race: April Griffin for Hillsborough County School Board District 6 in Florida.

    Here's info on April Griffen from her website:

    April Griffin was elected to the School Board in 2006. She is one of seven members responsible for making policy decisions and overseeing a budget of $3.1 billion for the 8th largest school district in the nation, which is also the county’s largest employer with approximately 25,000 employees.

    In spite of the financial crisis that has affected our entire nation, the Hillsborough County School Board, unlike other school districts; has not laid off one employee, closed one program, or closed one school, and still managed to bring $100 million dollars to the school district from the Gates Foundation to empower effective teachers. April remains steadfast in her commitment to these priorities.

    She has been active in her children's schools for many years. Prior to her full-time commitment to the school board she was a successful business owner and long-time child and elder advocate. The Weekly Planet (now known as Creative Loafing) honored April with a "Best of The Bay" award for her humanitarian work with the medically needy.

    She currently serves on the national Board of Directors of Youth Crime Watch of America, the Juvenile Justice Board for the 13th circuit, the Hillsborough County Council of Governments, and the Kids Healthcare Foundation. She is a Tampa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Tampa alumna.

    April was born, reared, and educated in Hillsborough County. She and her husband Brian Griffin celebrated their 20 year anniversary in 2009. They are the proud parents of two sons. Her oldest son Randy graduated from Hillsborough County Public Schools in 2010 and her youngest son Chase still attends Hillsborough County Public Schools.

    April Griffin stands ready to continue bringing positive change such as growing and improving career and technical programs, fiscal responsibility, and administrative oversight and accountability to the Hillsborough County School District.


    April Griffin is being challenged by a right wing fundamentalist who seems about the worst kind of religious fanatic you can find. His name is Terry Kemple and he is a proud Teabagger. He is an anti-science creationist who also opposes sex-ed in schools and believes in the discredited abstinence only program (which has been shown to increase teen pregnancy). This is precisely the kind of fool we want to keep OFF our school boards. You can read more about Terry Kemple's insanity in this Daily Kos article.

    This race is a prime example of a competent, intelligent, pro-science, pro-education member of a school board being challenged by a crazy, fundamentalist fanatic who wants religion to replace science...just like the Taliban. Please help support April Griffin for Hillsborough County School Board District 6. It is exactly this kind of race that gets ignored by progressives, allowing right wing fundamentalists to extend their control.


    Russ Patterson for Florida House District 60



    From Democracy for America:

    Russ Patterson felt a calling to enter public service and he answered that call by joining three different campaigns as a community organizer, regional field organizer or field director. Later in life he answered that call as a substitute teacher in Hillsborough County while earning my teacher certification.

    Now Russ is answering the call in running for Florida State House -- and his grassroots campaign for change earned him DFA's Florida All-Star endorsement.


    Here is Russ Patterson's statement to DFA:

    I am a Career United States Air Force officer, serving all over the USA and the world. I left home at 17 to attend the USAF Academy, and after I graduated and was commissioned, I flew as a navigator on KC-135s, the same type of planes as those stationed at Macdill. The Air Force gave me the opportunity to work with many different types of people in many different countries. I learned how to succeed, even with limited resources and to succeed when working in high-pressure situations. My military career, combined with my service later in my life has prepared me to be an effective representative for the District 60.

    This is why I am running: We can do better! I see us striving for sustainable economic development focusing on local business and job growth that does not over task our water supplies or make our traffic worse; for us to strive for a sustainable environmental policy where we develop long term energy and transportation policies that don't rely on more and more petroleum - we should take advantage of being the "Sunshine State;" and finally, to have educational policies where schools are held accountable fairly and where teachers and administrators at the school level are given the latitude needed to provide the good education our children need for future success. I will be a representative to help make this happen. I will be “Russ for us!”

    Throughout my career, and especially my career with the US Air Force, I worked successfully with many different types of people in many different places to effect positive change. I know what it is like to meet many different challenges and succeed. My career also gave me the freedom to give back to my country with public service. I will represent the people of District 60 and not the special interest groups that seem to control our legislature today. I’ll be a representative of the people like our founding fathers envisioned back in 1776.

    Background
    1974 – 1994 USAF, stationed in OK, CA, NC, The United Kingdom, and The Netherlands
    1995 – 1999 General Manager, Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme, Cambridge, UK
    2000 - 2006 Community Organizer, Field Organizer, Field Director, MO, PA, VA, CT, RI, ME, LA, AR, FL for Democratic Campaign Management School
    2001 – 2002 Executive Director, Wilson County Fair, Wilson, NC
    2006 – 2007 Regional Organizer, Equality Florida, St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 – 2010 Guest Teacher, School District Hillsborough County, FL
    2009 - Present Certified Public School Teacher, Social Science, Grades 6 to 12

    Goals:

    We can do better! My vision for Florida and District 60 is different from what the legislature has been doing the last 10 years. I see us striving for sustainable economic development focusing on local business and job growth that does not over task our water supplies or make our traffic worse; for us to strive for a sustainable environmental policy where we develop long term energy and transportation policies that don't rely on more and more petroleum we should take advantage of being the "Sunshine State;" and finally, to have educational policies where schools are held accountable fairly and teachers and administrators at the school level are given the latitude needed to provide the good education our children need for future success.


    Find out more at Russ Patterson's website.


    Anita de Palma for Congress:
    She seems like another honest, straight-talking Democrat...which is what we need in Congress



    Find out more from Anita de Palma's website.


    Kathy Castor for Congress:



    (In Espanol)



    Find out more from Kathy Castor's website.


    Blogging Tampa Area:

    thefos: Patriot and Florida Kossack

    The Spencerian

    YBOR City Stogie: A Rudimentary "Cut And Paste Job" Of Tampa Bay And The Sunshine State

    Political Bloviation


    Tampa Bay Reports: Republican Rick Scott cited as example of ethics violations in textbook fraud case:

    Textbook fraud? Troubles at Rick Scott's hospital chain featured in business ethics classes...

    Rick Scott is featured in Case #13: The Healthcare Company: Learning From Past Mistakes (PDF).

    Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA, which the textbook describes as a company where "health-care services and staffing ... often took a back seat to the focus on profits." The case study describes Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Charlotte as the focal point of a federal investigation that resulted in $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud fines.
    The textbook points out that federal investigators alleged that Scott and another executive "were briefed routinely on issues relating to Medicare reimbursement claims that the government charged were fraudulent..."


    So Florida Republicans are literally textbook examples of ethics violations!


    Your Opportunity to Buy Green Energy in Tampa: Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program:

    When you participate in Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program, you're joining others who support the use of cleaner renewable sources like the sun and biomass (plant materials) to produce electricity. Our program gives you the opportunity to purchase renewable energy in 200-kilowatt “block” units at $5 each per month. There is no limit to the number of blocks you can purchase. Learn more about the benefits of renewable energy and how your participation will produce a positive environmental impact – and check out Tampa Electric's solar panel installations installed throughout the community.

    How to participate

    Both residential and business customers can participate. Residential customers can sign up online for as little as $5 per month added to your electric bill. Tampa Electric will create a customized package for business customers who wish to join our list of Power Partners. Learn more about becoming a Power Partner.

    Customers can also sign up and learn more by calling 813-228-4848.



    For those who love combining social interaction with political action, I recommend Drinking Liberally. This is the ideal venue for those who love to enjoy life while they work for positive change. There are two chapters in Hillsborough County.

    South Tampa Drinking Liberally:

    Third Wednesday of each month, 7:30 pm
    Rock-N-Sports, 1600 E 8th Ave, Ste. E20 (Above Starbucks, Across from Muvico, Next to Adobe Guilas)

    Brandon Drinking Liberally:

    Every Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Giordano's, 11310 Causeway Blvd

    "Promoting Democracy One Pint at a Time"


    And for those with a more erudite approach to politics: Democratic Book Club
    Meets monthly, 1st Mondays, 7:00pm at the Barnes and Noble, 213 N Dale Mabry (just south of I-275)
    Contact: Tim Heberlein at tim_heber@yahoo.com


    HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC DISABILITY CAUCUS
    For information and meeting locations, please contact:
    President: Jackie Beiro, jdbeiro@gmail.com , phone: 813-412-6256, cell: 813-466-8767
    P.O. Box 151674, Tampa, FL 33684

    Hillsborough Co Hispanic Caucus:
    The Hillsborough County Democratic Hispanic Caucus holds its General Membership meeting
    every third Tuesday, at La Teresita Restaurant - 3246 W. Columbus Drive, Tampa, 33607

    For more info:
    (813) 767-5295
    hillsboroughhispanicdems@gmail.com

    Hillsborough Co Black Caucus
    Hillsborough County Black Caucus meets third Wednesday each month, at 6:30 pm at the East Tampa Business & Civic Center located at 2814 N 22nd Street, Tampa 33605

    Join us and become part of the Change!

    For more information, contact Dr. H. Bruce Miles at 813.237.3999, or hbmilesdds@verizon.net

    Hillsborough County Young Democrats
    Meets 2nd Thursday at 7 pm at Tahitian Inn - 601 S. Dale Mabry, Tampa

    President: Jennifer L. Fenn (jen.fenn@gmail.com)
    Vice President: Timothy Heberlein (tim_heber@yahoo.com)
    State Committeeperson: Dave Haynes (dphaynes77@yahoo.com)
    Secretary: Brian Willis (willisb@gmail.com)
    Treasurer: Tifini Hill (tifhil23@gmail.com)
    Website: Young Democrats

    Hillsborough County Democratic Women's Club
    Meets monthly, 1st Mondays, 6:30pm at Mimi's Café, 11702 N. Dale Mabry (Carrollwood)
    President: Naomi Ryan
    Website: hcdwc.org

    Hillsborough County GLTBA Democratic Caucus
    Meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm at Tahitian Inn at 601 S. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa.
    President: Sally Phillips (katlvr952@aol.com) 813.382.8172
    Vice President: Ken Key (kkey2@verizon.net) 813.416.8208
    Secretary: Dave Cutler (PrdFLDem@verizon.net ) 813.892.5905
    Treasurer, Fundraising Chair : Marilyn Cappiello (Cappyflorida@aol.com) 813.205.6454
    Membership Chair: Ercilia Albistu (Nolebabe1963@aol.com) 813.774.1887
    By Laws/Rules Chair: JJ Crane (jcrane13@tampabay.rr.com) 813.503.3432
    Campaign/Political Action Chair: Dave Cutler (PrdFLDem@verizon.net) 813.892.5905

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