The Democratic Dispatch - Newsletter of the Collier County Democratic Party

April 2024

Letter from the Chair

With the conclusion of the Presidential Primary, our attention now turns to the upcoming August Primaries. Locally, critical positions such as the school board, a county commissioner seat, and the Supervisor of Elections office are up for grabs. Additionally, we need to select a candidate in August to challenge Senator Rick Scott. These elections are crucial not only for upholding the integrity of our democracy but also for the welfare of Collier County citizens.

If you’re feeling anxious about the upcoming elections, there’s a way to make a difference – get involved! Volunteering at the Democratic headquarters is a great way to ease your worries and help us succeed in August and November. Whether it’s staffing the office, registering new voters, or hosting educational campaign meet-and-greets, your efforts will contribute to the democratic process and help protect our democracy.

By volunteering, you can turn your concerns into action, forge connections, and shape the future together. And if you’re unable to donate your time or talent, consider supporting the cause with a monthly or one-time donation.

Please continue reading to discover how YOU can get involved and help change the course in Collier County.

Collier County Democratic Executive Committee
REGISTER
The Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) will meet
APRIL 3, 2024 – 5:30 PM Meet & Greet, 6:30 PM Meeting
at Collier County Democratic Party Headquarters

600 Goodlette Road #110, Naples FL 34102

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. We will hold a public Meet & Greet at 5:30 PM at our April meeting. Please join us!

Registered Democrats may attend and observe as guests, and all attendees 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.

Collier County Democratic Club
REGISTER
The Collier County Democratic Club (CCDC) will meet
APRIL 15, 2024 – 6:00-7:30 PM

Collier County Education Center – 6710 Lone Oak Blvd, Naples FL 34109

Featuring SUZANNE LOW, JD

Presentation topic: DECIPHERING THE NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE. Suzanne Low will discuss The National Popular Vote (NPV) law, which, if enacted, will guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and D.C. combined. The law will ensure that every vote will be equal throughout the U.S., regardless of where you live, and that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election. Our goal in Florida is to pass this law by 2026. Currently, the Presidency is won through an electoral college system as described in the US Constitution.

Suzanne Low is District Chair of Floridians for National Popular Vote (NPV) and NPV Chair of the League of Women Voters of Collier County. She has lived in Southwest Florida since 1997, serving as Director of Florida Operations and financial advisor for an independent wealth management firm until her retirement in 2016. Before moving to Florida, she worked as an attorney for 16 years in New Jersey.

Suzanne has a BA with Distinction from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, an MA from Indiana University and her JD from Rutgers School of Law.

👈 Please RSVP using the registration button!

Democratic Women's Club of Marco
REGISTER
The Democratic Women’s Club of Marco (DWC Marco) will meet
APRIL 9, 2024 – 5:00-6:30 PM

Mackle Park Community Center – 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island

Featuring DEB HENRY, candidate for Marco Island City Council

Our featured speaker will be DWC Marco 1st Vice President, Deb Henry, who is running for Marco Island City Council. Deb will be formally announcing her campaign, and sharing her vision for Marco Island. Bring your ideas as she plans to have an open dialogue with our members as to what is important to you and what you expect from our local government.   She will also have sign-up sheets so that you can help with her campaign.  

DWC Marco is proud to be working with Manatee Elementary for their Gift Giving for Mother’s Day. We are asking for donations of costume jewelry and gently used purses so that every child has an opportunity to present his/her mother or important female with a Mother’s Day gift.  Please bring your donation to the April Meeting.

Join Us! Doors open for sign in at 4:45pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 5:00pm. Please be on time.

👈 Please RSVP using the registration button!

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

Collier County Democratic Environmental Caucus
The Collier County Democratic Environmental Caucus
If you are interested in environmental and climate issues, this is for you.
  • Advocacy: work with residents of the River Park East Community to bring resources that will help protect their homes from coastal storms and flooding.
  • Social: work with Collier Dems and Democratic social clubs to hold fun events with registered Democrats to meet with other Democrats and help us all understand how to vote in local elections and on upcoming ballot initiatives.
  • RTCW: Join the renewed effort to get the Right to Clean Water Amendment on the ballot in 2026.
  • State Caucus Activities: Recruit and support Democratic candidates to run in EVERY state and congressional race, so NO Republican runs unopposed at that level in November.
If you are interested in any of those activities at our county or state level, contact Judy Freiberg.

 

Elect Convention Delegates!

April 18, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

OR

April 20, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Locations:

Collier Dems HQ (600 Goodlette Road, Suite 110) if you live in Congressional District 19.

Golden Gate Community Center (4701 Golden Gate Parkway) if you live in Congressional District 26.

The 2024 Democratic National Convention will take place in Chicago August 19-22. Florida’s 146 pledged District-Level Delegates to the convention will be elected throughout the state by votes cast at the Congressional District Caucus locations in April. Elections for delegates from Collier County’s Congressional Districts will be held on April 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and on April 20th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Collier County Democratic Party headquarters for residents in CD 19 and at the Golden Gate Community Center for residents in CD 26. Come out and cast your vote!

 

Rally to End the 6-Week Abortion Ban

April 13, 12:00-2:00
Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Join Floridians Protecting Freedom for a Rally in downtown Orlando to end the 6-week abortion ban. We are calling on all supporters, near and far, to join us in person in Orlando to help raise awareness on the 6-week abortion ban and help us OFFICIALLY kick off the “Yes on 4” Campaign. We will be joined by the top state and national reproductive leaders, patients, and health care providers to shine a light on the pending public health crisis.

Grab your signs, raise your voice, and stand in solidarity with FL’s 82,000 abortion patients.

Click for more information and to register.

 

LEADERSHIP BLUE 2024

May 3-5

The Florida Democratic Party is excited to announce Leadership Blue 2024 will take place from Friday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 5th at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL!

“Leadership Blue is the Florida Democratic Party’s most important fundraising event of the year,” said FDP Executive Director Phillip Jerez. “Democrats from Pensacola to Key West will gather in Orlando for the final time before the August primary elections, and the funds raised will play a critical role in our plan to take back Florida.

“Last year, we shook up the formula for what a Florida Democratic Party fundraiser could look like — our sold out gala raised over three quarters of a million dollars in an action-packed evening featuring keynote speaker Bradley Whitford, multicultural creative talent from all across Florida, and the launch of our new party brand. We’ve got even more surprises in store this year for Florida Democrats, so make sure you get your gala tickets before they’re gone.”

Leadership Blue Gala

Individual tickets and table pricing are available now for the Saturday evening gala. To honor our partnership with our DECs, Clubs, and Caucuses we have provided a discounted rate available only to your organizations. Act quickly as this pricing is limited! See leadershipblue.com to get your tickets and email finance@floridadems.org with any questions.

Room Block

We have secured a special rate for Leadership Blue guests at both Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. A limited room block is available at the Contemporary for $365 per night before taxes and fees. We have also secured a limited block at Port Orleans – Riverside for $249 per night. Be sure to book your room before the April 3 deadline, as we expect to sell out. You can book directly on leadershipblue.com.

 

 

ONGOING MEETINGS – Make your voice heard in local government!

Collier County Board of County Commissioners

Collier County School Board

Naples City Council

The time to act is NOW!
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More and more people have been asking us for specific ways they can help out in this extremely important election year. There is so much that needs to be done! All hands on deck!

Do you have a little bit of time ⏲️, or a lot 🕒? Do you want to volunteer from your home 🏠, or out in the community 🏙️? Do you enjoy talking to people 👋, or do you prefer to work in the background 💻? What are you passionate about? What expertise can you share? Can you help with a one-time donation, or a monthly amount? No matter your availability or skills, there’s a way for you to get involved during the next 7 months! Check the icons for each opportunity to get an idea of the time, location, and interaction involved.

Here are just some of the current and upcoming opportunities:

Get your feet wet…

Join one of our online Saturday morning “Welcome to the Collier Dems Party” virtual programs to learn how the Democratic Party works in Collier County and about volunteer opportunities. Upcoming sessions: April 6th, 13th, and 27th at 11:00am. ⏲️🏠

Help us staff the Democratic Party HQ office on Goodlette-Frank Road. The office is currently open on weekdays from 1:00 to 4:00, but with more staff, we could extend those hours to assist the growing number of people who stop by or call. Contact Vickie McCormick, HQ office manager. ⏲️🕒👋🏙️

Attend DEC (Democratic Executive Committee) meetings on the first Wednesday evening of each month, as a guest, or learn how to become a Precinct Leader. There are 67 voting precincts in Collier County, and there are currently one or more Precinct Leaders in 21 of those. We would love to have representation for ALL precincts in the DEC! Precinct Leaders are voting members of the DEC, and they help coordinate Democratic activities within their precinct. Learn more or contact Jane Schlechtweg, Chair. 🕒🏙️👋

Join one of the other local official Democratic organizations to meet other like-minded folks, learn about issues, and have fun! Information about the Collier County Democratic Club, Collier County Chapter of the Democratic Environmental Caucus, and the Democratic Women’s Club of Marco is in the Events section above. 🕒🏙️👋

👉 Amplify our voices by following CollierDems on social media (see the bottom of this newsletter for all of the accounts), forwarding this newsletter to friends and family, and signing up to receive our Legislative Alerts. There are over 53,000 registered Democrats in Collier County, and another 60,000+ voters registered as “No Party Affiliation”, many of whom may be progressives. However, our mailing list for this newsletter and other important announcements has only 18,000 subscribers. Our Legislative Alerts mailing list has only about 400 subscribers learning about and taking action on issues at the local and state level. Please help us spread the word more broadly in this crucial election year! Share these links to subscribe to our general mailing list and our Legislative Alerts. This is an easy one! ⏲️🏠

Join a team…

Do you like to plan parties? Join our new Meet & Greet committee, and help coordinate and assist with neighborhood social/educational get-togethers. Or sign up to host a meet & greet in your neighborhood! The Meet & Greet committee can help with planning and logistics. Contact Judy Freiberg and/or join the April 8 Zoom call to find out how you can help! Learn more. ⏲️🕒👋💻🏙️

Help get out the Democratic vote in Collier County by joining the Voter Registration committee! The VR committee is currently focused on registering new voters, especially in underrepresented areas, and on making sure all Democrats have re-registered for Vote By Mail. There’s work to be done out in the community, but also administrative and planning tasks. Closer to the election, the focus will turn to getting out the vote. Contact Katie McNutt and/or register to attend Voter Registration training at HQ on April 20. ⏲️🕒👋🏠🏙️💻

As we get closer to the elections (both Primary and General), our Voter Protection Team goes into action. Help will be needed to cure mail-in ballots by calling and emailing voters to make sure their vote counts, greeting voters at the polls, and observing activities inside the polling places. Contact Anne Daley to learn more. ⏲️🕒👋🏠🏙️

People need to hear the Democratic message loud and clear! That’s the job of our Communications committee, which meets each Wednesday afternoon via Zoom to plan and produce content, including this newsletter, the Collier Dems website (see especially the new FYI printables available on the Issues pages!), and pieces to submit to local publications. There are also subcommittees dedicated to Social Media and Legislative Action messages. Contact Melodee Hardy to learn more. 🕒🏠💻

Our Community Events committee gives us visibility in the community by marching in local parades and participating in events. Upcoming events include the Naples Pride Festival and the Juneteenth celebration, both in June. Come out to one event, or many. Contact Cindy Marino-Clark to find out how to join this crew! ⏲️🕒👋🏙️

Other opportunities…

– Do you have bookkeeping experience (including with accounting and other software)? We’re looking for someone to assist with our financial functions on an ongoing basis. 🕒🏠💻
– Are you a member of the Haitian community? We’re looking for people to help us create relevant content in Haitian Creole, similar to what we’re doing in the Español section of the newsletter and website. 🕒🏠💻
– Are you a young voter or know someone who is? We want to form a Young Democrats committee to engage more with our youth to hear about issues important to them and how best to communicate that. 🕒🏙️👋
Please contact Chair Jane Schlechtweg about any of the above open opportunities!

We plan to do texting and phone banking at several points during this election cycle, targeting different audiences. An upcoming focus will be reaching voters who have not yet re-registered for Vote By Mail. Texting will be done via your computer using an online texting platform. Phone banking may be done from HQ or from your home, making use of online software. There are also opportunities for both texting and phone banking at the state and national levels. Contact Sandy Ussia if you would be interested in phoning or texting. ⏲️🕒🏠👋

El Partido Demócrata del condado de Collier necesita urgentemente su ayuda para asistirnos en las campañas electorales de 2024. Contamos con varios comités donde se pueden utilizar sus talentos y tiempo. Estos incluyen la participación en comités centrados en comunicaciones y mensajes, campañas,  registro de votantes y eventos comunitarios. Se necesitará ayuda para la protección de los votantes (observación de elecciones, saludo en las urnas y más). ⏲️🕒🏠🏙️💻👋

An activity at the state level is the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida’s project to recruit Democratic candidates for every state and federal office in Florida, to prevent Republicans from running unopposed and just walking away with seats without spending money or effort. Currently, it appears that all of the state and federal races within Collier County do now have a Democrat running! But the DECF is looking for volunteers to help with related tasks such as updating spreadsheets with data found online about each of the races, tracking and helping new candidates with the process, and other administrative tasks. Contact DECF Vice-President Judy Freiberg if this sounds interesting to you! ⏲️🕒🏠💻

The drive for a Right to Clean Water constitutional amendment has restarted with a goal of getting this on the ballot in 2026. Contact John Reynolds if you’d like to get involved with this initiative. ⏲️🕒🏙️👋

We also encourage you to check the Mobilize website for our events and others nearby.

And last, but certainly not least… All of this work is being done by volunteers, but it takes money to produce communications, help get Democrats on the ballot and elected, keep the office open, and get out into the community. Please consider either a one-time or a monthly donation to the Collier County Democratic Party to help us pull out all the stops this year! Any amount helps! DONATE HERE

More about the Meet & Greet Committee

The Collier County Democratic organizations, (the clubs, the caucus, and the DEC) have begun a campaign to plan neighborhood parties for registered Democrats in Collier County.  There are way more of us than we realize and get-togethers have proven to help with the isolation many of us feel. 

If you want to host a party in your neighborhood, OR if you want to help hosts put on a party, we need you!!!

We have put on a few, so we know what type of help we can give hosts to make it easy to have a party.  

If you join our Meet and Greet committee, for example, you could be the person who simply makes the photocopies of invitations and gets those to the host for distribution. Or maybe you help Vickie put together the packets to hand out at the parties.  Or perhaps you attend a party as a greeter!!!  

Come to our April 8 Zoom event or contact Judy Freiberg to learn how you can help!

Noticias Políticas Para Hispanos – abril 1, 2024

Voluntarios en 2024 Para las Campañas del Partido Demócrata en el Condado de Collier

El Partido Demócrata del condado de Collier necesita urgentemente su ayuda para asistirnos en las campañas electorales de 2024. Contamos con varios comités donde se pueden utilizar sus talentos y tiempo. Estos incluyen la participación en comités centrados en comunicaciones y mensajes, campañas, registro de votantes y eventos comunitarios. Se necesitará ayuda para la protección de los votantes (observación de elecciones, saludo en las urnas y más).

Por favor comuníquese con el Partido Demócrata del condado de Collier a través de lo siguiente:

Registro de Votantes

Recordamos y recalcamos la importancia para todos eligibles ciudadanos hispanos estadounidenses para:

  1. Registrarse como votantes – haga el Clique a CollierDems.org/Voting
  2. Ejercer su voto en los periodos designados para votar en persona o registrarse para votar mediante boleto por correo – haga el Clique a CollierVotes.gov/Voters/Vote-by-Mail

El Futuro de Nuestra Juventud- Prioridad Bajo los Programas y Logros del Presidente Biden y los Demócratas

Acceso a una buena educación superior, atractivas oportunidades de trabajo y alcance a vivienda asequible son hoy entre las principales preocupaciones para nuestra juventud y sus padres.

Reconociendo la importancia de estas inquietudes, el gobierno del Presidente Biden ha estado centrado en estos temas durante los últimos tres años. Iniciativas que se han destacado, cuentan con los siguientes programas y logros:

  1. Cancelación de deuda estudiantil del 2023 y 2024 sumando $143 mil millones para 3.96 millones de Americanos
  • La administración del Presidente Biden anunció el 21 de marzo la aprobación de $5.8 mil millones en adicional cancelación de deuda estudiantil para 77,700 prestatarios quien ocupan empleos en servicios públicos en comunidades a través de los Estados Unidos. Estas aprobaciones fueron realizadas bajo el programa titulado Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
  • En febrero 1,200 mil millones de dólares en deuda estudiantil de unas 153,000 personas fueron canceladas bajo un programa del Presidente titulado SAVE
  • Requerimientos para calificar para este programa incluyen: 1) estar inscrito en el plan de pago de la Administración Biden llamado SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) o Ahorrando para una Educación Valiosa, que se lanzó el verano pasado, 2) haber estado haciendo pagos durante al menos 10 años, y 3) haber pedido prestado 12,000 dólares o menos para la universidad.
  • Casi 57,000 residentes en Florida son eligibles para tener su deuda estudiantil perdonada por una suma de más de $3 mil millones.
  • Estas iniciativas fueron tomadas siguiendo similares logros en 2023 después que la Corte Suprema invalidó en junio del año pasado una acción previa del Presidente Biden con la que buscaba perdonar deudas de hasta 20,000 dólares a unas 43 millones de personas. Los magistrados encontraron la acción ejecutiva inconstitucional por no haber sido explícitamente aprobada por el Congreso y nunca entró en efecto.

2. Creación de 15 millones de nuevos empleos desde enero del 2021 promulgados por los siguientes exitosos programas:

  • American Rescue Plan Act del 2021

Programa de $1.9 billon (traduce a $1.9 trillion) que proveó rescate a la más seria contracción de la economía desde la Gran Depresión de 1929 por resultado de la Pandemia del COVID-19 cuando se perdieron 20 millones de empleos

  • Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act del 2021.

Programa de $1.2 billón (traduce a $1.2 trillion) para revitalizar la economía por medio de nuevas carreteras, vías ferroviarias, puentes e infraestructura para agua potable, internet y redes eléctricas. Este viene siendo el más grande programa de inversión en infraestructura en la historia de USA.

Florida recibirá aproximadamente $6.3 mil millones para inversión en carreteras, puentes, transito público, puertos, aeropuertos y cerca de $275 millones para proyectos de agua potable.

  • CHIPS and Science Act del 2022.

Programa el cual invierte $280 mil millones para crecer la capacidad productiva de la industria en USA de semiconductores, crear adicionales centros de alta tecnología, realizar crecimiento en la fuerza de trabajadores especializados en la ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas y reforzar el liderazgo de USA en la industria de tecnología digital.

  • Inflation Reduction Act del 2022

Programa el cual hace la más grande inversión en la historia de USA para lidiar con la crisis de cambio climático y nuevas fuentes de energía para asegurar que USA sea un líder mundial en la producción de energía ambiental limpia.

3. Mejorar el Alcance a vivienda asequible –

  • Florida es uno de los estados con el costo más elevado en vivienda debido a escasez en todo el estado en unidades de vivienda asequibles. Esto es también un problema nacional.
  • El Presidente está proponiendo un adicional fondo de $20 mil millones titulado el Innovation Fund que brindará incentivos fiscales a desarrolladores y dueños de habitaciones para la mayor construcción de habitaciones asequibles. El programa incluye provisiones eliminando primas para el comprador para el requerimiento de “title insurance” donde las hipotecas están aseguradas bajo programas del gobierno federal, como en el caso de FHA o VA, como también reducciones o eliminación del depósito de pie al adquirir este tipo de vivienda. Estas iniciativas son en adición a los programas ya existentes del gobierno federal, mucho de los cuales no han sido implementados por las autoridades del Estado de la Florida o localmente, por los comisionados de Collier County. Las proyectadas reducciones en las tasas de hipotecas, debido a la significante caída en tasas de inflación, también se estiman que permitirán a más residentes calificar para financiamiento de nuevas y usadas viviendas.
Su participación voluntaria en las actividades de campaña de las elecciones del 2024, incluyendo urgir a sus amigos y familiares a registrarse y votar, es crucial para tener éxito en la promoción de temas, intereses, valores y candidatos importantes para la comunidad Hispana, su juventud, y el Partido Demócrata.

March Gala Report

Collier Democrats Focus on the Future

Collier Democrats, led by Jane Schlechtweg, gathered on March 2nd for their 2024 Gala fundraiser at the Naples Hilton, the event’s importance underlined by the local, state, and national electoral campaigns of 2024. The featured speaker was Mr. Jayden D’Onofrio, Chairman of the Florida Future Leaders Political Action Committee (FFL).

Mr. D’Onofrio represents a new generation of young inspiring political leaders. He delivered an optimistic and energized message describing the significant energy and organizational talent which Generation Z students are bringing to the statewide campaigns on campuses and in communities for highlighting key issues, and encouraging citizens to register to vote by mail or in person.

Currently a college freshman majoring in political science, Mr. D’Onofrio described the key factors driving members of Generation Z to become actively engaged in this and future elections. Motivating issues for his generation include:

  • Reproduction and abortion freedom
  • The cost, debt burden, and quality of advanced education – including concerns about anti-education initiatives by Florida’s government
  • Finding dream job opportunities
  • Access to affordable housing
  • Reasonable gun safety laws
  • Climate change and conserving the planet

For this election year, Mr. D’Onofrio challenged the attendees to become vigorously involved in volunteer activities, to discuss community, state and national issues with family, neighbors, and friends and motivate them to register and vote by either mail ballot or in person on election day. Recruitment of qualified candidates and fundraising are also important goals and challenges for success. Defending democracy and the right to vote, he believes, will be additional top issues driving Generation Z and Millennials to vote this Fall.

The day after the Gala, Jayden joined us for a pizza party at Collier Dems HQ. He recorded a message for us, which you can view on our YouTube channel!

Photo Credits: Dylan Hamblen (Communications Committee)

NOTE: Dylan captured lots of great images of attendees! If you were at the gala, and would like to view the photos, please contact Sandy Ussia.

We encourage all voters to register for vote by mail now, even if you intend to vote in person at election time. This gives you an option should something come up. In addition, receiving a ballot in the mail allows you to read through it prior to voting, even if you then go to the polls to vote.

Even if you received a ballot in the mail in the last election, you must re-register for 2024!

REQUEST YOUR MAIL BALLOT TODAY

Attend an orientation session to learn more 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 and she will find a time that fits into your schedule.

Current volunteer opportunities are listed above!

The Collier County Democratic Executive Committee (CCDEC) is the official, local county arm of the Florida Democratic Party. The CCDEC has oversight over all Democratic Party activities within Collier County. LEARN MORE

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Your Collier County Democratic Party is an all-volunteer self-sustaining organization. Your donations allow us to support Democratic candidates, prepare election materials for distribution to voters, help fund our vote-by-mail and voter registration efforts, and allow us to maintain a local party headquarters for the use of volunteers and candidates.

Can you donate just $20.24 today for our 2024 Victory Fund? Thank you!
PLEASE DONATE TODAY!
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HELP US #AmplifyYourVoice!
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