By Paul Blythe
"We are fired up, and ready to go!" our president, Sara Miller, started off. "When I say, 'Fired up,' you say, 'Ready to go!'''
"Ready?" she asked, then shouted,"WE ARE FIRED UP!"
"And ready to go," we answered in slight disarray.
"WHAT? she shouted again. "WE ARE FIRED UP!"
"READY TO GO!" we cried in unison, getting the hang of it in just two tries.
Sara's Speech: Includes introducing new intern Jordon Vasallo
Sara and the rest of the new board of the North County Democratic Club of Palm Beach County started off their tenure with a beach blast Friday evening, commemorating their first monthly meeting by "partying with their party" at Ocean Cay Park in Juno Beach.
About 70 dues-paying and new members and guests showed up for good food, smart thinking, great conversation and serious motivation.
"Tonight, we are focusing on positive things Democrats can do to get VOTERS TO THE POLLS!" Sara continued in her speech. "The next presidential election is only 18 months away. We have to start working! We have to make a difference! We have to protect things that matter!"
"And what matters?
"Public schools matter!
"Climate change matters!
"Freedom from gun violence matters!
"Health care matters!
"A woman's right to choose matters!
"Affordable housing matters!
"Protection from soaring insurance prices matters!
"Protecting Social Security and Medicare matters!
"Protecting equality and inclusion matters!
"The right to vote and democracy matter!
"WINNING ELECTIONS MATTERS!"
And our party -- the party of 70 or so people gathered together on a beautiful April evening in Florida -- reflected the principles Sara was drumming into our psyches, just as the Democratic Party of Florida does. Sure, we had a lot of oldsters, but our party also had teenagers, millennial couples with toddlers, and Gen Xers. We were white, Hispanic, Asian, and African American. Talking, breaking bread, laughing together.
Hanging out together because we value each other. And because we know we need each other.
"We have a huge challenge," Sara said. "We need to build an army, and I mean an army of volunteers in advance of the next presidential election cycle. We need every person to join because no one is going to save us. There is no 'they.' The real words are WE, US and TOGETHER.
"North County Democrats want to be more than just a club. We want to be the group...that delivers results."
And even though Sara made a point of not mentioning that other party, those are the differences between our party and Republicans. We care about others, and we deliver government that delivers results for people, rather than try to dismantle government, tear down the other side and take away long-established rights like a woman's right to choose.
Look for QR Codes on Columns
But Sara didn't get bogged down in that morass. Instead she pointed to QR codes posted on columns of the pavilion and urged everyone to scan them with their smartphones to update their vote-by-mail status because that status expired for all Florida voters on Dec. 31, due to Republicans, who control the Florida Legislature, passing a law that complicates life for voters by requiring them to renew their vote-by-mail status every two years instead of letting them do it once and be done with it until they decide they don't want to vote that way anymore.
Sara reminded folks to check out the fun Democratic buttons and to "be brave enough to wear them" and she handed off the mike for a free raffle of plants symbolizing our party's growth.
But not before some famous, favorite last words to bring us full circle.
"Now let's get this party started! And show everyone we ARE the North County Democrats, and we ARE...FIRED UP!"
To which the crowd replied -- well, you already know...
"READY TO GO!"