Newsletter, Collier County Florida Democratic Party

November 2023


Jane Schlechtweg
Collier County Democratic Party Chair

Letter from the Chair

As we enter the month of November and we collectively recall our blessings, we should be thankful for having a president who works for the American people because their commitment to public service is at the heart of democracy. 

Elected leaders who prioritize the well-being and interests of their citizens strengthen the foundation of our nation. They promote unity, protect our freedoms, and strive to improve the lives of all Americans. President Biden has shown us that he is dedicated to serving the people. His administration embodies the principles on which the United States was founded and keeps the promise of a government of, by, and for the people alive.

Mainstream media ignores or is intentionally blind to the accomplishments of the Biden/Harris administration. Some of the Biden/Harris accomplishments include (but are not limited to) these top items:

  •       Rescued the economy and changed the course of the pandemic.
  •       Lowered costs for families’ everyday expenses.
  •       Created over 13 million jobs.
  •       Passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, rid us of lead pipes, and bring high-speed broadband to our most rural locations.
  •       Enacted historic expansion of benefits and services for veterans injured by toxic exposure and their families.
  •       Historic student debt relief for middle and working-class families.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been making changes that affect the everyday lives of Americans. We must support the Biden/Harris administration and make sure that they have four more years.

We must ignore the polls and the bad press claims that President Biden is too old to run this country. He has surrounded himself with the most competent team of experts to lead our nation. Given the chaos and the clown candidates offered by the GOP, our clear choice is to reelect Joe Biden.

Confirm your voter registration and request your 2024 vote-by-mail ballots today at

Jane Schlechtweg
Collier County Democratic Party Chair

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Florida’s “Constitutional Carry” Gun Law Promotes Fear,

Not Freedom

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0

In the wake of our nation’s 566th mass shooting this year, including 18 dead and 13 wounded in Lewiston, Maine on October 25th, rising calls for common sense gun regulation should be addressed.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, provided to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. It reads, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In 1791 almost every household worldwide would have owned a firearm for hunting and defense in a time when grocery stores and civilian police protection largely did not exist. Following the Revolutionary War, “well-regulated militias” were a clear and present concern.

232 years later, the Second Amendment is cited as a right to self-defense. But if we’re so afraid of American society that we must arm ourselves at home, in public, in our places of worship and in our schools…that is not freedom. That is fear.

Some politicians parrot the line “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” So why give people easy access to guns? They claim “bans don’t work,” but their attempts to ban abortion, drag shows, LGBTQ+ Americans, accurate black history, and books show that is a blatant lie.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed “Constitutional Carry” into law on April 3, 2023, just two days after the 128th mass shooting of 2023, at a Tennessee elementary school. The unusually private signing ceremony was attended by gun rights advocates, including members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), but without notifying press except for FOX News.

Previously, Florida’s concealed weapons license required additional fees, mandatory background checks, and a firearms training course before you could legally carry hidden firearms on your person or in a vehicle. Now, no background check or training is required to carry a concealed weapon almost anywhere in FL – exceptions include the House and Senate chambers where the bill was passed, and any public event where DeSantis appears.

A poll by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found 77% of Floridians, including 62% of Republicans, do not support allowing unlicensed carry of weapons.

Of all the civilian guns in the world, 1/3 are in the hands of Americans, the only country on the planet where guns outnumber people. In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 400 million guns were present in the U.S., including the military, police, and civilian owners. Over 98% of the nation’s guns were in civilian hands, equivalent to 120 firearms per 100 citizens. In 2023, the number of firearms in America increased to around 466 million due to record breaking sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More Guns = More Gun Deaths

Multiple studies show that where people have easy access to firearms, gun-related deaths are more frequent. America has more deaths from gun violence than any other developed country per capita. Every country in the world has crime, anger, and those who suffer from mental illness, but our availability of guns means a much higher incidence of guns being used.

One in Five Americans has had a family member killed by gun violence. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 54% of US adults have either personally been affected or had a family member affected by gun violence.

U.S. Gun Violence Incidents in 2023 as of October 27, 2023:

  • 35,383 people died of gun violence so far this year
  • 566 mass shootings
  • 1,408 children and teens (0-17 years old) have died, and 3,822 were injured


Gun violence is the #1 cause of child deaths in America.

The number of children and teens killed by gunfire in the United States increased 50% between 2019 and 2021, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of annual mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Thousands of children have been killed and injured since January, but guns are highly encouraged in our schools – including in Florida’s new Constitutional Carry law. In Florida, the right to bear arms is more precious than our children.

It is time to demand our more fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness cited in the Declaration of Independence. Our right to life supersedes the right to easy access to firearms everywhere we go. It is time to hold accountable all politicians signing bills with the NRA at their side, while offering nothing but repeated “thoughts and prayers” to the millions of Americans mourning the senseless and preventable loss of loved ones.

Your vote is your voice. Vote for freedom over fear in the 2024 elections.

Collier County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) Meetings

The DEC is the local official arm of the Florida Democratic Party and is comprised of elected Committeemen and Women. Official meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM. Please note there is no DEC meeting in November.

The next meeting of the Collier County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) will be held on
DECEMBER 6, 2023, in person
at Democratic Party Headquarters
600 Goodlette-Frank Rd # 110, Naples, FL 34102
Register to attend here.

Registered Democrats may attend and observe as guests, and guests must register ahead of time. Only DEC members may vote and participate in the meeting. Attendees are encouraged to join 10 minutes early to get settled before the meeting begins.

Mark your calendar and RSVP now for a Wine Tasting, Thursday December 7, 2023 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

This event will feature 16 wines and hors d’oeuvres at the Zagat-rated and Wine Spectator Grand Awarded French restaurant!

We continue to gear up for the 2024 election season and need your support to build our resources for upcoming election activities: radio time, digital and print ads, billboards, social media and more.

We hope to see you there!

Bidenomics Scorecard

We’ve gathered some data on various economic measures to see how things have been going since the Biden Administration took office. 

Data Sources:
U.S. Treasury – Fiscal Data
U.S. Dept. of Labor
Federal Reserve Bank

Prepared 8.15.23

Save the Date for our 2024 Flagship Event!

Mark your calendars for our flagship event in 2024! Join your fellow Democrats for a fun evening of food, drink, guest speakers, and a silent auction. Tickets will go on sale later this year.

When: Saturday, March 2, 2024 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Where: Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail N, Naples FL, 34103

Some photos from the 2022 Cocktail Event:

Noticias Políticas Para Hispanos

Hispanos influyentes lanzan un PAC para elegir más Demócratas Hispano

Hispanos influyentes lanzan un PAC (Comité de Acción Política) para elegir más Demócratas Hispanos al Congreso. Compuesto por el actual gobernador de New Mexico y dos previos congresistas, uno de California y el otro de Texas, este PAC estará centrado en asegurar que candidatos hispanos tengan suficientes recursos para vencer a su oposición en carreras políticas estrechas. Este apoyo será brindado a actuales funcionarios electos, como también a nuevos candidatos. 

Llamado Bold America, esta organización reconoce que el voto Hispano compone actualmente al 14% de los votantes en los Estados Unidos y es el segmento creciendo más rápidamente (duplicándose en los últimos 20 años). 

En el Congreso de los Estados Unidos hay actualmente 53 congresistas hispanos (12% de un total de 435) de los cuales 37 son Democratas y 16 son Republicanos.

En el Senado hay 6 senadores hispanos (6% de un total de 100) de los cuales 4 son Demócratas y 2 son Republicanos.

Importancia del Registro de Votantes Hispanos Dado Su Creciente Factor en Elecciones A Través de U.S.A y la Florida

Aproximadamente 34.5 millones de Americanos Hispanos serán eligibles para votar en 2024.  Uno de cada cinco residentes en U.S.A son Hispanos y ahora constituyen el segundo más grande grupo de ciudadanos eligibles para votar según el Pew Research Center. 

En los próximos años más de un millón de ciudadanos Latinos cumplirán 18 años cada año. Este joven segmento tendrá una importante influencia sobre las elecciones locales y nacionales.

Florida con su población hispana del 27% del total, estará en el centro de esas encuestas políticas. En el Estado de la Florida el voto hispano compone 17% de todos los votantes. De tal modo será un importante y creciente factor en el éxito de futuros candidatos en muchos distritos electorales.

En noviembre del 2022, a través del país 60% de los votantes hispanos votaron a favor de candidatos Demócratas comparado a 39% a favor de candidatos Republicanos. Esta ventaja de margen, sin embargo, fue menor que la realizada en el 2018 cuando 72% de los votantes Hispanos votaron a favor de candidatos Demócratas y 25% apoyaron a candidatos Republicanos.

En Florida, un estado con una grande pero muy diversificada población hispana, los márgenes presentan un fuerte desafío para los Demócratas. De los 14 millones de votantes, 37.4% son Republicanos, 33.2% son Demócratas y 27.2% son no afiliados. Actualmente esto representa una ventaja de 589 mil votantes para los Republicanos.

Lo antemencionado subraya la importancia para todos eligibles ciudadanos hispanos para:

  1. Registrarse como votantes   – haga el Clique a
  2. Ejercer su voto en los periodos designados para votar en persona o registrarse para votar mediante boleto por correo – haga el Clique a

Democratic Club and Caucus News and Events!

Collier County Democratic Club

The CCDC will gather together for a Potluck dinner at Veteran’s Community Park – Pavilion #1. The club will provide the main dishes of pulled pork and bar-b-q chicken, corn on the cob, and mac & cheese. Please bring your favorite side dish to share and a beverage of your choice.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

The picnic will be held on Monday, November 13, from 5:00-7:00 pm. Register here.

Democratic Women’s Club of Marco

The next meeting of DWC Marco will take place on Tuesday, November 14, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in person at Mackle Park Community Center, 1361 Andalusia Terrace (Marco Island).

Our featured speakers will be Linda Cullen and Melodee Hardy from the Collier County DEC Communications and Messaging Team. Our topic will be “Biden’s Accomplishments” where we offer an explanation of “Bidenomics”, key Administration accomplishments thus far, and a challenge on whether Biden is “too old”.  We will learn the facts and then discuss how to use our talking points for constructive conversations with family and friends.

JOIN US! Doors open for sign-in at 4:45pm, and we begin promptly at 5:00pm. Please be on time.

Community members interested in joining the club and promoting our Democratic values while supporting its charitable efforts can go to or contact us at

Collier County Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (CCDECF)

The climate crisis is glaringly evident here in Southwest Florida – impacting our local environment, economy, and health. With nearly 25 years of Republican rule, our state has become increasingly more unlivable, due to overdevelopment, more polluted waterways, skyrocketing insurance premiums, and rising utility costs.

Did you know? The Biden Administration has devoted billions of dollars to help us protect our communities from climate disasters and transition to clean energy. And Biden authorized 40% of all funds directed through the HUD Administration be earmarked for underserved communities.

The 2024 elections are critical if we want to see that progress in Washington continue and be funneled into our local communities. If we organize in 2024, WE WILL WIN.

The Collier County Democratic Environmental Caucus is organizing 2024 election activities to educate voters and help elect democratic candidates who will take action to protect our communities against climate impacts. And we need your help!

Here are some of the ways you can get involved –

1. Join the Legislative Action Committee and help develop our FL Environmental Platform.
Our state caucus, DECF, is engaged in several activities to support good Democratic environmental candidates and elected leaders including:

  • conducting legislative research, tracking, and advocacy
  • developing recommendations on policy for candidates and legislators
  • recruiting and endorsing candidates using our endorsement procedures
  • developing communications for campaigns, newsletters, social media, and webinars

Please reach out to Judy Freiberg to discuss how you can help support these efforts. This can be done from home on your own time.

2. Host a Democratic house party, happy hour, or meet and greet.
House parties are a fun and effective way to help your neighbors understand the importance of voting in our local elections. By offering information on local environmental issues and the legislation and candidates impacting it, you can help protect our communities from the impacts of climate change while socializing with your Democratic neighbors and having fun! Reach out to Liz Sunderland to learn more.

3. Help underserved communities protect their homes from extreme weather.
The Biden Administration has allocated billions of dollars to help low- and moderate-income communities withstand future catastrophic storms, like they endured during Hurricane Ian. Members of our Caucus are helping to notify residents of underserved communities about how they can access federal resources to protect their homes from future storm flooding.

Help Needed!

The Army Corps of Engineers is studying ways to protect Collier County communities from storm flooding and will present their study to the Collier County Board of Commissioners for approval. We seek to ensure that the individual needs of the residents of River Park and other Collier County inland communities are included in the study.

We need your help to notify residents in those communities about a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineering Study Team, being held specifically for their participation. Judy Freiberg, Vice-President of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, is assisting the Army Corps in notifying residents of the meeting by placing a notice on the doors of residents in those neighborhoods.

If you are interested in learning how you can help, please register for an informational meeting on November 21st. Please register if you wish to help, even if you are unable to attend the meeting. We will contact you with information. For questions, contact Judy Freiberg

4. Volunteer for a Caucus committee.
The Caucus is preparing for a busy 2024 election cycle and looking for people who want to contribute their skills and time to help us. Committees will be developed over the coming weeks and begin work in early 2024. Reach out to Liz Sunderland to learn more.

Interested in contributing but don’t have time to volunteer? Donate here. Your donation will help us fund environmental education, advocacy, and election activities.

Collier County DECF November Meeting

will be held on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:00 P.M. via Zoom. Email for the link.

The CCDECF has a mission to elect candidates at the local, state, and national level who will promote sound environmental policies. To do this, our Caucus engages in activities that educate voters and candidates about best approaches to our environmental challenges. Reach out to Liz Sunderland ( with any questions and connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Reminder to Re-register for Vote By Mail

Due to voter suppression laws passed in 2021, EVERY FLORIDIAN WAS KICKED OFF THE VOTE-BY-MAIL ROLLS AT THE END OF 2022. Even if you have voted by mail in the past you will not receive another mail ballot unless you submit a new request. REQUEST YOUR MAIL BALLOT TODAY, even if you intend to vote in person. This way you have an option.

Voting by mail is a proven winner. Here in Collier County, 79% of Democrats who requested a mail ballot actually voted, as compared to a disappointing 54% turnout for in-person voting. Year after year, statistics show that people who request a mail ballot are far more likely to vote.

Seriously, don’t move on to the next article until you have clicked the link above and completed your mail ballot request!

Learn About the Party and All the Volunteer Opportunities!

Come to an orientation session to learn about the Collier County Democratic Party and join our dedicated group of volunteers.

There is lots of work to be done as we approach the 2024 Election and WE NEED YOU!

There are many opportunities to choose from; contribute your time and talent to an activity you select.

CLICK HERE to register for an orientation session to learn about the organization and the multiple Committees that advance our mission. If you cannot find a time that works for you, contact Vickie McCormick at and she will find a time that fits into your schedule.

Other upcoming events that Democrats may be interested in…

Register here to help register voters and gather petition signatures.

Email if you would like to attend the NAACP meeting.

Other ongoing meetings – Make your voice heard in local government!

Collier School Board  

Collier County Board of County Commissioners  

Naples City Council