Keep Democracy SAFE

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Single Member Districts

1.  NOW'S THE TIME!! We are almost 2/3 of the way toward meeting the required 15,096 validated petitions to put our referendum on the ballot in June, 2018.  We just learned we must gather 8,000 more petitions BY MARCH 16 to make sure the last 5,553 are validated in time to put this on the ballot June 12!  This is an ambitious goal, but worth striving for!! If we don't make this deadline, and if we pass our referendum later in the year, it won't benefit ANYONE until 2020!   So we can only make it with the help of everyone in Sarasota County who cares about campaign finance reform.  Hopefully that includes YOU!!

NOTE:  We are hiring local paid petition-gatherers to accelerate this effort (and appreciate any and all donations to do so!!) but need YOU to join our HI-FIVE Campaign and simply gather FIVE fully completed, legible petitions (OR MORE) from your friends and acquaintances, and mail them to the address on the petition (to SAFE, P.O. Box 163, Venice, FL 34284).

"IT'S AS EASY AS 1-2-3":

1.  Download and print the petition here:

2.  Make 5 copies (or more!) and have friends and acquaintances fill them out (while you are there!)

3.  Mail them to the address on the petition:  SAFE, P.O. Box 163, Venice, FL 34284




As SAFE board member Susette Bryan says, this would be a "Small step for Sarasota County citizens, big step for fair and honest representation."


Basic Actions for All Campaigns: 

1) Learn about the issues, candidates, and philosophy of the various political parties, and VOTE in every election, to elect good people at every level of government who will be responsible to THE PEOPLE.

2) Then hold our elected officials accountable for their actions and votes--follow the issues, and call, email, and meet with them to build working relationships with them and their staff members and raise our concerns.

3) Attend City and County Commission meetings, rallies, and press conferences, speak out, and make our voices heard.

4) Write letters to the editor.

5) Spread the word on social media

Why should we be involved??  Because the people we elect and the decisions they make, affect our daily lives. 

Good resource:   America, the Owners Manual: You can fight City Hall--and Win by Senator Bob Graham and Chris Hand, 2016


Quick Links 

Find your U.S. Senators:

Find your U.S. Representative:

Contact the Governor:

Find your Florida Senator:

Find your Florida Representative:

Find your Sarasota County Commissioner:

Track Florida legislation here:

or see where 2017 legislation ended up and prepare for key 2018 bills here: http//


Campaign Finance Reform

Call and meet with your U.S. Representative, U.S.Senator or their state coordinator in their district office during Congressional recesses. Tell them you want your Congressperson

  1. to co-sponsor and send to the states for ratification a Congressional resolution to AMEND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION to OPPOSE the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that equated corporate political speech with the free speech of individual persons, and gave corporations ability to contribute unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Let’s press for H.J.R. 48 (House Joint Resolution 48), the amendment proposed at
  2. to co-sponsor the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA) (S.1640) to create a level playing field for candidates and help take excessive money out of politics. See for details of the bill.  Our Congresspeople must know that WE THE PEOPLE will fight to have our voices heard and to elect leaders who listen to the PEOPLE more than to the CORPORATIONS and their front groups.
  3. to co-sponsor The DISCLOSE Act (H.R.1134/S.1585) to reveal political donations from corporations and large moneyed interests. See for details of the bill. See the effective disclose law passed in Minnesota at                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Minnesota did it! So can we!
  4. See more actions under What You Can Do 

Media Reform

1.  Fight for a free and open internet. Oppose media consolidation.  See  We must preserve Net Neutrality.  See the groundbreaking decision of the Federal Communications Commission after FOUR MILLION public comments

2. Demand more voices on TV and radio, not fewer, so that broadcasters on our public airwaves represent all the public, not just a few. Encourage and support community radio stations, such as in Sarasota — See

3. Tell the FCC we demand comparable time on radio during election campaigns. Sign the petition at

4. Stand up for NPR and PBS, so their voices are not shut out. Call your legislators.

5. Host a screening of the media-reform documentary "Broadcast Blues." To see a trailer and purchase the DVD, go to

6. Start holding our local radio stations accountable, so they don’t abuse the licenses they hold, and press the FCC to pull their licenses, if they do.  See the action October 18, 2016 against Entercom's radio station KDND at . When radio stations are granted broadcast licenses, they are entrusted to use our public airways to serve the public interest.  It's time they did.

7. Call and meet with your U.S. Representative or their state coordinator on these issues IN THEIR DISTRICT OFFICE during Congressional recesses. Tell them you want your Congressperson to co-sponsor a bill to rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to limit media ownership by one person or corporation. Unlimited ownership of radio stations by corporations such as Clear Channel (as allowed in that Act) is drowning out the voices of individual citizens in America, by giving a billion dollar megaphone to corporate owners to push whatever agenda they have on the listening public. The U.S. Constitution stands for free speech for PEOPLE, not for CORPORATIONS.

8. Start connecting the dots and watching the bottom of TV ads to see who is paying for them. It is “Americans for Prosperity”? That’s a PAC funded by billionaire oil magnates Charles and David Koch, who oppose government regulation because they wouldn’t be able to get away with the 300 oil spills they have caused over the past 10 years if we had the regulations we needed to protect us. If regulators were allowed to work unfettered and protect the public, they couldn’t hornswaggle the EPA into not classifying formaldehyle as a carcinogen, just to keep their profits up at Georgia Pacific. See the film Koch Brothers Exposed. The trailer tells you how to buy the DVD. Then schedule a house party or other free screening and post the event at

8. Press our Congressmen and Congresswomen to pass the DISCLOSE ACT, so people can see who is paying for all these ads, and find out who is behind front groups like “Americans for Prosperity.”  It’s all about THEIR prosperity, not yours.

Election Reform

  1. Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date, including your address and signature.
  2. Vote by mail: request a Vote by Mail ballot from your Supervisor of Elections office. Key reasons:  precinct locations and numbers may change, lines may be long, the ballot may be long, you may be unable to get to the polls, machines may break down or there may be other problems at the polls on Election Day. With a Vote by Mail ballot, you have time to read and mark the ballot at your convenience, at home. Once you have mailed your ballot, you can track its receipt at the Elections office.
  3. Work with organizations helping to register voters in Florida. Voter registration efforts are now allowed.
  4. Volunteer to help with election protection efforts during elections. Check with your local Party for opportunities.
  5. Voice your opposition to any voter-suppression legislation that restricts voters' rights, limits early voting, and inhibits voter registration.
  6. Gather petitions for the Voting Restoration Amendment, to restore voting rights to ex-felons in Florida who have paid their debt to society.  See  www.miamirights.com and
  7. Oppose mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and similar efforts.  Read The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander.
  8. Learn about the issues and opposing philosophies on voting rights:  Good resource: The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy, by Zachary Roth, Crown, 2016