Images of Jefferson County
Stephen Wayne Walker
December 11, 1963-October 29, 2023
County Commissioner, Faithful Family Man, Dedicated Public Servant
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
We pledge allegiance to the flag of the Unites States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands!
WHO BACKS RON DESANTIS?
42 BILLIONAIRES. Not Us.
See Tallahassee.com Aug. 20, 2022: https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/elections/2022/05/25/ron-desantis-campaign-billionaire-supporters-florida-governor-election/9707459002/
NEXT DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Tuesday, November 14, at 6 PM, in the Community Room of the Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library, 375 S. Water St, Monticello.
Click here for the agenda (when available). THESE MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO ALL JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATS.
TAKE BACK FLORIDA!
DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEETING
with state party chair Nikki Fried
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 4 PM
Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library, 375 S. Jefferson St, Monticello
Click this link to sign up to attend
All Jefferson County Democrats and interested undecideds welcome
No charge for admission
Join with Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried and her staff, local elected officials, and the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee at the county library in Monticello!
Democratic Chair Nikki Fried and her staff are making a statewide tour to Take Back Florida from the MAGA and DeSantis Republicans.
We Democrats are for
1. Healthcare available for all. Obamacare is a good start, but we're not finished.
2. Passing the Florida constitutional amendment to raise hourly pay a dollar each year till it reaches $15, now paying $12, then peg it to the cost of living, is a good start, but is not enough for a secure living situation; people who work need and deserve more.
3. Block global warming. Tax breaks for green energy and energy efficiency: A good start for promoting more sustainable energy, and the good jobs to install and support it. But we need an even more massive effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save earth from the increasing heat waves, droughts, wildfires, glacial meltdowns, sea level rise, catastrophic floods and intense storms.
4. Fighting racism and the continuing negative impacts on the Black community from slavery and Jim Crow segregation. Current legal equality masks real inequality. Teach the truth about this heritage and this continuing struggle, instead of omitting the truth, outright lying, and suppressing library books and classroom discussions. Promote diversity, equity and inclusion!
5. High quality public education. Oppose moving vast sums of money from public education to private schools. Allow teachers to teach about the good, the bad and the ugly without fear of being arrested and jailed for offending Republican censors. Make higher education, trade school and college affordable. Public education K-College! K-16, overdue!
6. Better access to housing and reasonably priced home insurance, decent shelter for all.
The MAGA Republican position: They're against all this. They offer low pay, high priced insurance, inadequate health care, hostility toward African Americans, women, immigrants, and sexual minorities, opposing diversity, equity and inclusion programs, doing nothing about global warming, gutting public education, but favoring AR-15s for everybody, concealed weapons, no training or background checks, just hypocritical "thoughts and prayers" each time mass shootings of kids in school occur, and denying women the right to choose within the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, including abortion when a woman and her medical provider think its called for.
Join us in the Take Back Florida Rally 4 PM Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the county library! By your presence, and your support, help build momentum to Take Back Florida! Invite someone you know! Or someone you don't know!
What have the Democrats Wrought?
(from the Daily Kos email 1/8/2023)
From the founding of our republic through the early 1930s the American middle class was relatively small. It was almost entirely made up of the professional and mercantile class: doctors, lawyers, shop-owners and the like. Only a tiny percentage of Americans were what we would today call middle class.
Factory workers, farmers, carpenters, plumbers, and pretty much all manner of “unskilled laborers” were the working poor rather than the middle class. Most neighborhoods across America had a quality of life even lower than what today we would call “ghettos.”
As recently as 1900, for example, women couldn’t vote, senators were appointed by the wealthiest power brokers in the states, and poverty stalked America.
There was no minimum wage; when workers tried to organize unions, police would help employers beat or even murder their ringleaders; and social safety net programs like unemployment insurance, Social Security, public schools, Medicare, food and housing supports, and Medicaid didn’t exist.
There was no income tax to pay for such programs, and federal receipts were a mere 3 percent of GDP (today its around 20 percent). As the President’s Council of Economic Advisors noted in their 2000 Annual Report:
“To appreciate how far we have come, it is instructive to look back on what American life was like in 1900.
At the turn of the century, fewer than 10 percent of homes had electricity, and fewer than 2 percent of people had telephones. An automobile was a luxury that only the very wealthy could afford.
“Many women still sewed their own clothes and gave birth at home. Because chlorination had not yet been introduced and water filtration was rare, typhoid fever, spread by contaminated water, was a common affliction. One in 10 children died in infancy. Average life expectancy in the United States was a mere 47 years.
“Fewer than 14 percent of Americans graduated from high school. ... Widowhood was far more common than divorce. The average household had close to five members, and a fifth of all households had seven or more. …
“Average income per capita, in 1999 dollars, was about $4,200. … The typical workweek in manufacturing was about 50 hours, 20 percent longer than the average today.”
The Republican Great Depression of the 1930s, though, was a huge wake-up call for American voters, answered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
His New Deal programs brought us, for the first time, “big government” and the people loved it. They elected him President of the United States four times!
FDR created Social Security, unemployment insurance, guaranteed the right to unionize, outlawed child labor, regulated big business by creating the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies, and funded infrastructure across the country from roads to bridges to dams and power stations.
He raised taxes on the morbidly rich all the way up to 90% and used that money to build schools and hospitals across the nation. He brought electricity to rural parts of the country, and put literally millions to work in various “big government” programs.
“Big government,” in other words, created the modern American middle-class.
By the 1950s a strong middle class representing almost half of Americans had emerged for the first time in American history.
By the late 1970s it was around 65 percent of us.
And that’s when the billionaires (then merely multimillionaires) decided enough was enough and got to work.
BY GOV. RON DE SANTIS AND THE REPUBLICANS
Democratic programs for the American people have been put in more jeopardy by the Republican Party's efforts to suppress the vote in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 90 on May 6. A few of the impacts of this voter suppression law:
Section 21: The Supervisor of Elections must allow inspection of the return envelopes of mail ballots with voter signatures, and allow comparison to voter signatures on file. This must occur before tabulation of mail ballots can begin. Jefferson County impact: Our county had about 2,000 mail ballots last year. Imagine the difficulty in accommodating this requirement. A single Republican invoking this privilege could stop mail ballot counting for days.
Section 24: Requests for mail ballots must include the driver license number or FL ID number of the voter, or the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number. The number the voter submits is to be verified by the SOE against the number on file. What if a voter submitted a driver license number when registering, which is on file, but submits the last four digits of a Social Security number when requesting an absentee ballot? Good question. Some impacts in Jefferson County: The check box to request a ballot for the next election will be eliminated from the mail ballot return envelope. A closed form will be sent out separately, with spaces for the newly required ID numbers. This will require a second mailing by each voter, both the mail ballot and the mail ballot request form. The US Post Office plans to raise the price of first class mail to 58 cents on Aug. 29. So, for example, a household of three, with all voting by mail and requesting a mail ballot for the next year, would need to send a total of six mail pieces at 58 cents each.
Section 28: The drop box for mail ballots must be monitored in person by an election office employee, and can be available only during hours the election office is open. Some impacts in Jefferson County: We have only one mail ballot drop box, located at the election office on West Washington St in Monticello. It will no longer be anchored in the ground, but will be put on wheels, and wheeled out when the office opens, and wheeled in at closing time. So, if voters arrive before or after office hours, they'll be unable to find a drop box. Their choices then will be, return during office hours, mail their ballot at the post office, vote in person on election day, or don't vote. Additionally, we'll be paying an election office deputy to sit there outside the office, during the hours when a voter could just enter the open office and hand in a ballot.
Section 32: It will be a first degree misdemeanor to have in your possession at any time, more than two mail ballots of non-family members (family: parent, spouse, child, grand parent, grandchild, sibling), striking the current limitation to only those handling such mail ballots for compensation. Planning to bring in the ballot of an unmarried partner and a couple of infirm neighbors? You can be arrested. They can of course mail their ballots. 58 cents apiece. What if you just take those three non-family ballots out to your mailbox or the post office? You can be arrested for a first degree misdemeanor: imprisonment not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding $1,000!
There's much more in the Florida Republican Party/Ron De Santis voter suppression law, but this gives you the flavor. The Florida League of Women Voters and several other groups are suing. Of course, Trump and McConnell have stacked the courts.
Let's start discussing our get-out-the-vote efforts for 2022!
Democratic Party of Jefferson County, Florida
The mission of the Democratic Executive Committee of Jefferson County is to foster and advance the goals and ideals of our American democratic society through education and community involvement. The Democratic Executive Committee will actively seek out and encourage local citizens who exemplify the goals and ideals of our democratic society to enter the public arena by pursuing public service, including elective office.
Do you want us to email you a scholarship application? Email us at democratsofjeffersoncounty.com, and we'll attach an application form to our reply. Application deadline second Tuesday in April for the Fall semester.
REPUBLICANS USE THE FILIBUSTER TO PREVENT THE PASSAGE OF LAWS THAT THE MAJORITY OF SENATORS SUPPORT The filibuster is a means of voter suppression. Twenty-one small (by population) states with ten percent of the population can prevent the senators from 29 states with 90 percent of the population from passing legislation the majority of Americans support.
WHO HEADS UP THE "BILLIONAIRE CLASS:"
Click here for a list of the world's billionaires. The first 85 own half of all wealth in the world. If you don't see your name among them, you're among more than eight billion people who own the other half. Most own approximately... nothing. Or have debts that exceed the value of what they own.
Think of it like a large pie. One half will be eaten by 85 billionaires. As if they could eat all that if they lived 500 years. The other half will be shared by more than 8,000,000,000 people, representing the rest of humanity. We'd list the names, but that's a lot of typing, and, what with births and deaths every second, you can see the problem with that...
If you have any questions or comments, or would like to participate in the efforts of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Si Ud. quiere comunicar o participar con nosotros, haga nos el favor de mandar un correo electronico a email@example.com
You may also contact us by U.S. mail/Se puede ponerse en contacto por correo:
Jefferson County Democratic Party
P.O. Box 1074
Monticello, FL 32345
Unprecedented heat, hundreds dead and a town destroyed. Climate change is frying the Northern Hemisphere
"Roads melted last week in America's Northwest, and residents in New York City were told not to use high-energy appliances, like washers and dryers — and painfully, even their air conditioners — for the sake of the power grid.
... Even in the Arctic Circle, temperatures soared into the 30s (Centigrade. 30 degrees Centigrade is 86 degrees Fahrenheit). The World Meteorological Organization is seeking to verify the highest-ever temperature north of the Arctic Circle since records there began, after a weather station in Siberia's Verkhoyansk recorded a 38-degree day on June 20 (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)....
"We carried out a quick attribution study to get some fast answers to 'What is the role of climate change?'" said UK Met Office meteorologist, Nikos Christidis, who has been developing simulations to carry out such analysis.
"We found that without human influence, it would be almost impossible to hit a new record and such a hot June in the region," he said, referring to an area including those affected in Canada and the US.
Christidis said in the past, without human-caused climate change, extreme heat in the northwest US or southwest Canada would have occurred "once every tens of thousands of years." Presently, it can occur every 15 years or so, Christidis said.
And if greenhouse gas emissions continue? Christidis said as often as every year or two by the turn of the century."
What is the Green New Deal so many Democrats are talking about?
It's an update of the Democratic New Deal of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, which brought us more jobs, higher pay and Social Security, among other things. It adds to the ongoing fight for economic democracy, the fight for sustainable energy, to fight the global warming that threatens our climate, our health, and our environment generally.
Click here for an analysis by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Columbia University Center for Sustainable Development, published February 23, 2019, on cnn.com.
WHAT HAVE DEMOCRATS ACCOMPLISHED?
It’s been over 2 years…
Note: Three million two hundred thousand Floridians signed up for Obamacare this year (2023). Is it good enough? No! There's more to do! What does the Republican Party offer these folks, and others? NOTHING.
Here are a few of the remarkable results of Democratic initiatives.
American Rescue Plan: Money in your pocket, vaccine in your arm, rent relief, college debt relief, funding for schools, colleges, local government and more. No Republicans voted for the ARA. Zero. March 2021
The bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Funding for school safety and crisis intervention programs, as well as red flag laws, enhanced background checks for gun buyers under 21, more time allowed for background checks, adds to database of individuals not allowed to buy firearms. June, 2022
The Infrastructure & Jobs Act. The bi-partisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act means historic investment that will modernize our roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, airports, broadband, and drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. This legislation does not raise taxes on everyday Americans, and it will create good-paying union jobs. There are over 5,300 infrastructure projects getting underway as of August last year across the country in every state. November, 2021
Rebuilding American influence in Europe and NATO, supporting Ukraine, and organizing resistance to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Since February, 2022.
Job growth. Under President Biden, the United States has added 9 million jobs—the highest number of jobs added in any president’s first 17 months. Not only is the unemployment rate at a historic low of 3.6 percent, but more Americans are now employed in the private sector than at any time during the previous administration. July, 2022
The CHIPS & Science Act: This bi-partisan act strengthens American manufacturing and innovation, lowers the cost of everyday goods, creates good-paying jobs, bolsters our economic and national security by bringing substantial computer semiconductor manufacturing back to the USA. August 2022
The Inflation Reduction Act. The act creates tax credits for installing green home improvements like solar panels, energy efficient appliances, and home modifications to reduce energy use. Creates related jobs. Provides tax credits for electric vehicles, as well as some hydrogen and hybrid vehicles. Paid for by taxes on large corporations. This bill makes the largest investment ever in combating the existential crisis of climate change. It lowers families’ energy costs by hundreds of dollars each year. Saves on health insurance and reduces drug costs. No Republicans voted for the IRA. August 2022
The PACT Act: The bi-partisan PACT Act is the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans in more than 30 years. August, 2022
Dept. of Justice recovery of stolen government documents, many classified at the highest levels, from the disgraced ex-president at Mar-a-Lago. August 2022
Still fighting: For women’s right to choose, without interference from politicians, police and prosecutors.
Defending the right to vote. Against Republican voter suppression.
Protecting Democracy. Against the January 6 insurrection, against white nationalism, domestic terrorism and authoritarian government, against Trump’s big lie, stacking the courts, stacking elections offices and state legislatures.
For just policing and even-handed administration of justice.
Obamacare sign-ups soar to record 16.3 million for 2023
A record 16.3 million people flocked to the Affordable Care Act exchanges for 2023 coverage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Wednesday.
Open enrollment on the federal exchange and most state marketplaces ran from November 1 to January 15. But those who lose health insurance coverage, have a qualifying life change or have very low incomes can obtain policies throughout the year through special enrollment periods.
Sign-ups on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, have skyrocketed nearly 50% since the Biden administration took office in 2021, thanks in large part to enhanced federal premium subsidies and increased outreach efforts. Plan selections are up 13% from this time last year.
“The savings are real. The benefits are real,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The spike in coverage helped drive the nation’s uninsured rate to an all-time low of 8% in the first quarter of 2022.
EARTH GETTING HOTTER, DEATHS AND COSTS INCREASE
(From cnn.com 7/16/2022)
The eight hottest years on record have all occurred since 2010, and weather disasters have cost the US more than $100 billion per year on average during that time -- almost double what they averaged in the decade before.
From cnn.com 8/17/2022
The Yangtze (river in China-ed.) is just one of many rivers and lakes across the northern hemisphere that are drying up and shrinking amid relentless heat and low rainfall, including Lake Mead in the US and the Rhine River in Germany. These extreme weather conditions have been supercharged by the human-induced climate crisis, driven by burning fossil fuels.
Communities often rely on these bodies of water for economic activity and governments are having to intervene with adaptation measures and relief funds, costing huge amounts of money.
Democratic programs lift 20 million Americans out of poverty
From the New York Times July 29, 2021
"WASHINGTON — The huge increase in government aid (with ZERO Republican votes, 100% Democratic. ed.) prompted by the coronavirus pandemic will cut poverty nearly in half this year from prepandemic levels and push the share of Americans in poverty to the lowest level on record, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of a vast but temporary expansion of the safety net.
The number of poor Americans is expected to fall by nearly 20 million (emphasis added) from 2018 levels, a decline of almost 45 percent. The country has never cut poverty so much in such a short period of time (emphasis added), and the development is especially notable since it defies economic headwinds — the economy has nearly seven million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic...."
Scroll down to "Covid Relief, The American Recovery Act for additional detail on what the Democratic administration accomplished. Covid relief is temporary. Vote Democratic to fight for new high paid jobs in building and repairing roads and bridges, building out "green" energy: solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, free tuition for two years of community college, expanding Medicare to provide vision, hearing and dental care. Republican wins would bring all this progress to a screeching halt.
NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?
President Joe Biden extended the enrollment period due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
November 1, 2022: Open Enrollment began — first day to enroll in a 2023 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
January 15, 2023: Last day to enroll for coverage for 2023. After that date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Did you know that life changes, like moving, having a child, turning 26, losing your coverage, or getting married may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period?
Even though the open enrollment period for 2023 coverage ended on January 15, 2023 you may still be able to get 2023 coverage if you’ve experienced a life change recently.
Important: If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you’ll have 60 days from the time the life event occurs to enroll.
We care about your health. Take time today to see if you can still get Marketplace coverage.
The HealthCare.gov Team
Likewise, persons who become qualified for Medicaid or Medicare may apply anytime. Telephone the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, or visit the website www.healthcare.gov .
You can now see what insurance plans are offered, and their costs in your area by clicking www.healthcare.gov. Haga un clic aqui para buscar seguros medicales.
You can also see how much subsidy or tax credit you can use to reduce your health insurance costs. The plans offered are from private for-profit insurance companies, but thanks to Obamacare all must meet certain legal requirements: Pay for prescription drugs, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, and preventative care. Also, children can remain on the parents' policy until age 26, and "pre-existing conditions" are no longer excluded. There are no longer maximum expenses after which insurers can drop you, either.
LEST WE FORGET:
THE AMERICAN RECOVERY ACT
Fighting Covid Billions to expand testing & vaccination
Relief Payments $1,400 each for most Americans added to earlier $600. Family of two, $2,800. Family of 3, $4,200, and so on, IRS tax free Estimate about $15 million to Jefferson County residents.
Unemployment Comp Added $300/week thru Sept. 6, no benefit tax to $10,200
Health Insurance Capped Obamacare premiums at 8.5% of income. $20 billion for veterans health. Paid 100% of COBRA.
Families Increased child tax credit to $3,600. Grants to child care providers. Expanded eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit. Added one billion for Temp Aid to Needy Families
Food Extended 15% increase to food stamps. $3 billion for Women Infants and Children (WIC) program. And more.
Housing Extendrf eviction/foreclosure moratorium. $25 billion to emergency rental payments, $5 billion each to utility assistance and homelessness assistance.
Small Business Relief Billions in grants and loan guarantees
State & Local Govt. $390 billion. Thanks to President Joe Biden and then Congressman Al Lawson, Monticello & Jefferson County were projected to receive a combined $3,770,000.
Cybersecurity $9 billion for Technology Modernization Fund, $200 million IT oversight & reform.
And much more Essential workers, Mental health, Combating Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Prison Issues, Student Loan Relief tax free, Covid related funeral expenses, Emergency paid leave
HOW CONGRESS VOTED
SENATORS VOTING YES
Democrats, 50 Republicans, Zero REPRESENTATIVES VOTING YES
Democrats, 220 Republicans, Zero
WHEN YOU VOTE in 2024,
Vote for the Democratic Party of YES, not the Republican Party of ZERO.
Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, PO Box 1074, Monticello, FL 32345
Buscando seguros medicales por Obamacare? Hay cuatro maneras para obtener informacion y conseguir seguros. Vayase a este sitio Internet y sigua las instrucciones.
Increased child tax credit included in the American Relief Act
Passed 100% by Democrats. Zero Republicans voted for it.
For the child tax credit, here is what President Biden signed into law:. "For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make less than $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household)." Also new: half the child tax credit will be sent to parents every month, instead of waiting until the end of the year.
If you filed federal income taxes in 2019 or 2020, you don't need to do anything else to get your monthly checks. Starting July 15, these checks will be sent to you automatically for six months, with the rest coming when you file your 2021 taxes at the end of the year.. For example, for a $3600 credit, you'll get a $300 dollar check every month July through December, plus $1,800 at the end of the year when you file your tax return.
If you did not file Federal income taxes in 2019 or 2020, you have to sign up for the child tax credit. You can do it online at www.childtaxcredit.gov. If you don't have Internet or need help using it, our Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library has a computer room where you can get on the Internet. And you can ask for help. The Library computer room is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit them at 375 S. Water St, Monticello, or telephone the Library at 850-342-0205.
Democrats want to continue this child tax credit in future years, and have included it in the American Families Plan, which they are trying to pass into law. However, the Republicans are blocking it. Be sure to vote Democratic next November, and ask others to do so. The Republicans cut a trillion dollars in taxes for the rich in 2017. For the extra $1,400 per person in the American Relief Plan, and for the extra child tax credits, not one single Republican voted for that! None! Zero! Ninguno!(sp) Aucun!(fr) The Democrats want to cut taxes for American Families. With your help, we can do this. Working together we can change America for the better for us all. We haven't seen an opportunity like this for years. Share this information! Participate in the next election! Pass it on!