The Sarasota County Commissioners are determined to overturn the citizen referendum that passed in 2018 with 60% support to elect Commissioners by single member districts. They know Single Member Districts take power away from big-money interests and puts more power in the hands of the people. Support our campaign to
Save Single Member Districts.
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Single member districts
ACTION ALERT - 11/23/2021
Sarasota County Commissioners are hell-bent on overturning Single Member Districts for electing County Commissioners, so they can stay in power.
60% of voters of all political parties passed Single Member Districts in 2018, including 62% in North Port, 61% in Sarasota, 62% in Venice, and 57% in Longboat Key. 98% of all county voters live in a precinct that voted for single-member districts.
On Tuesday, December 7th, the Commissioners will choose wording for a repeal amendment, and plan to place it on the March 8, 2022 1-mil School referendum ballot! Please come to the meeting December 7, bring friends, and PACK THE HALL! Get a speaker card if you will and express your concerns at the Public Hearing that starts at 9:00 AM.
WHAT: Public Hearing at the County Commission Chamber
WHEN: Tuesday, December 7, 9:00 AM
WHERE: 1660 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL
WHY: The Commissioners will finalize an amendment to repeal Single Member Districts and plan to place it on the March 8 School referendum ballot
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Who represents you on the County Commission is important because the commissioners have the power to decide growth policy, approve new development, and CHOOSE WHO PAYS for the infrastructure needed to support that growth.
Make sure your vote counts! Make sure only the voters in your district elect your Commissioner. Don’t let your votes be diluted by 80% of voters around the county who have nothing to do with your district.
And please DONATE for the intense campaign we must launch now to KEEP SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS.
Update - 10/25/2021
After compelling testimony from residents, the Sarasota County Charter Review Board decided to send the Board of County Commissioners request to reconsider Single Member Districts back to the Commission without discussing it. See some of the testimony from the October 20 meeting below:
Action Alert 9-22-21:
The Sarasota County Commissioners are hell-bent on overturning single member districts, even though 60% of Sarasota County voters of all political parties voted for them in 2018. The Commissioners’ abuse of power will continue until folks in our neighborhoods start speaking up and voting. See how you can keep your power at https://www.cdpsarasota.org/
Join the list and take the survey to record your preferences.
As many responses as possible are needed by Sept. 28, when the Commission will review SMD at their meeting in Sarasota, 1660 Ringling Blvd. in the morning session.
Please attend the meeting and speak up in defense of Single Member Districts.
Arrive at 8:45 AM to get a speaker card and speak at the 9 AM Open to the Public session.
You will have up to 5 minutes.
Thanks for your help!
All voices are needed!
The meeting agenda is here: http://sarasotacounty.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=46 . The Consent Section goes fast, so stay to hear the discussion of SMD in the Community Survey (Item 33: Communications) if you can, but you can always leave after you speak at 9 AM if need be.
Citizens speak in support of Single Member Districts at the
May 19 Charter Review Board Meeting.
ACTION ALERT: MAY 19, 2021
WHAT: Charter Review Board meeting—where they will start discussion to overturn Single Member Districts
WHEN: 5:30 PM—to buy a T-shirt ($10) to KEEP SMD—or wear a red T-shirt--and get a speaker card (meeting starts promptly at 6:00)
WHERE: Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236
WHY: Show up to KEEP SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS for electing County Commissioners
Single member districts:
Commissioners would live in the district, campaign in the district, be elected only by the people in that district, and be accountable to the voters as they serve on the County Commission for the good of the county.
Commissioners have to live in the district, but must campaign county-wide, which costs a lot of money, so that only people with significant funding--often from large developers and dark money PACs--can effectively compete. This basically shuts out grassroots candidates and often assures that the same people, chosen by developers and their friends, win. The result is that our County Commissioners are largely beholden to developers, and grant special exceptions and tax breaks that benefit them, and not the people living in those districts. In addition, the overruns by developers often means that we the public taxpayers get to foot the bill.
Passing a referendum for Single Member Districts for electing County Commissioners in Sarasota County could benefit voters of all political parties in this county for years to come. It would:
o reduce campaign costs by 80%
o empower neighborhoods
o strengthen citizen participation in our democracy,
o and weaken the power of big moneyed interests over our elections, and over decisions of our elected officials.
It's time to bring democracy back to the people. Please support us in this important campaign.
SAFE board members put it this way:
"This would be a highly important reform, as it would cut most campaign costs (such as direct mail and signs) by 80%, empower neighborhoods and facilitate door-to-door campaigning, thereby reducing the presently overwhelming power of big money (by big development interests) in County Commission campaigns."
"Small step for Sarasota County citizens, big step for fair and honest representation."
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