Single member districts

Citizens speak in support of Single Member Districts at the May 19 Charter Review Board Meeting.



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.


At-large districts:

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:

Dan Lobeck: 

"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."

Susette Bryan:

"Small step for Sarasota County citizens, big step for fair and honest representation."


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