Minutes From Most Recent Regular Meeting
Democratic Equality Caucus of Citrus County
Meeting Minutes – August 5, 2019
Attending: Chuck Higgins (Chair), Steve Miller (Vice Chair), Dana Walters, Mary Hedges, Cheryl
Seronick, Christy Hand, Dierdre Sweeney
Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at 6:15 PM.
Guest - Chuck introduced Dierdre Sweeney,
the new Vice Chair of the Citrus County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC). Dierdre said
one of her goals is to get the caucuses working together more.
Vote by Mail (VBM)- Deirdre encouraged members to sign up for vote by mail, as this is priority
of the Florida Democratic Party. Statistics show that voters have a much higher voting rate
when they vote by mail. We do not have to worry about votes not being counted in Citrus
County as we have an excellent Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office. Chuck offered the
advantage of reviewing the ballot at length while in your home and then checking on the SOE
website to see that it has been counted.
Democratic State Convention will be October 11-13 in Orlando. Members who are interested in
attending as a Citrus County delegate should submit their application by August 18 in order for
the DEC to approve it at its August 21 st meeting. For more info, contact
President’s Report – Chuck gave the Treasurer’s report in Wayne’s absence. We have a balance
of $2897.47, but there remain a few expenses to be reimbursed from Pride, including the cost
of the t-shirts, newspaper ad, etc.
Chuck reported that he serves on the Citrus County Health Improvement Plan Advisory
Committee (Health Department) representing LGBTQ interests. There are over 40 members of
the committee and they have been very accepting of the LGBTQ concerns he has contributed.
Blue Gala – This annual fundraising event for the Citrus County DEC is September 21 at the
Greek Orthodox Church. Last year our caucus bought a half page ad in the booklet. Chuck
suggested we increase our support and purchase the True Blue Sponsorship for $100. A motion
was made (M Hedges); and seconded (D Walters) to purchase the True Blue Sponsorship for
$100. Motion passed unanimously. Mary has tickets for anyone interested. They are $75 and
include dinner, open bar and live music. They can also be purchased at the DEC website at
New Member Packet – Cheryl reported on her effort (with Dana, membership chair) to develop
the new member packet. She plans to use pocket folders and insert the tri-fold brochure, the
handout that Chuck created with contact info which can easily be updated, and the bylaws. She
and Dana will draft a welcome letter to be included. Cheryl suggested pairing the new member
packet with a welcome call to new members. This was discussed in light of the fact that so
many of the younger people communicate differently. Dana said she follows up with the names
of people who have checked the Equality Caucus box on the interest form with an email, but
she has never received a response. It was suggested that a single email is easily overlooked and
a phone call may be warranted, but it must be a “soft” welcome.
National Coming Out Day Dance – Christy reported she has been hitting dead ends in her search to find a
venue for this even planned for October 11. The old Courthouse is now booked.
Art Center – Chuck will inquire
Empty store in the Mall (Belk has been used for events in the past)
Women’s Club in Crystal River – Mary will inquire
Beverly Hills Civic Club
Christy will contact Mama’s partner about DJing the event.
Food & Beverage
Appetizers and other snacks. We will not serve alcohol this first year, as we will be
promoting the event to under age people as well as adults
Promotion will be done through Facebook events. We will also share it on the Citrus County
LGBT Facebook page as they now have 100 members.
Next meeting - Tuesday, Sept. 3 due to the Labor Day holiday.
Adjournment - The meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Mary Hedges