Sunday, June 5, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Our Caucus recently designated the first Sunday of every month for our monthly informal gatherings of members and friends. Since venues will vary from month to month, we will notify those on our email distribution list about the venue a few days before each event. If you wish to attend but aren’t on our distribution list, contact Kent Noel, at and he’ll make sure you are notified. All are welcome.

Wednesday, June 15, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Our meeting venue is the Manatee County Democratic Headquarters in Orange Blossom Plaza at 435 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton. (Though in-person attendance is preferred, participation by Zoom is possible.)Members will be reminded of the meeting, the venue, and/or Zoom access information closer to the date of the meeting.  Non-members who wish to receive the same notification should send a request to Kent Noel, at

Monthly Summary of Plans and Activities – May 22, 2022 – Our Caucus held our regular monthly board and membership meetings on the second Monday and the third Wednesday of the month, respectively. Our featured speaker for our May membership meeting was Ruth Lawler, co-chair of the Dem. Environmental Caucus and of the League of Women Voters Manatee Co. Natural Resources Team. She spoke on effective communication and best outreach practices. This presentation was timely as our Caucus prepares volunteers from among our membership to represent us and speak to other Democratic Caucuses and allied organizations in our county. We are pleased that our membership has increased in May.

During the past month, our Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus was pleased to participate in and benefit from Region 6’s panel discussion – “Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Passed in Tallahassee and how we can fight it.” We congratulate our Region 6 leaders and all of the panelists on a stimulating and worthwhile discussion. A number of our members also participated in the State Caucus’s online meeting regarding candidate endorsement processes. As a follow-up to that meeting, we have appointed our first Campaign Committee in a long time, which will help manage our candidate endorsement process during this campaign season. Our members continue to participate in our Manatee County Blue Wave Coalition’s efforts to get out the vote and to sign up voters for vote by mail. We continue to send our members legislative updates and notifications of relevant news, information, meetings, and events in the area and encourage all to participate in those activities. We expect to send representatives to participate in the State Caucus’s conference in Ft. Lauderdale in July.

Our Caucus was a sponsor of the Fabulous Arts and Music Festival held in nearby Sarasota in May. We recently voted to become a sponsor of the Big Gay Weekend event in Sarasota and Lido Beach in June.

Plans for our Caucus’s first “Do Say Gay Ball” are well underway. The Ball will be held on September 17, 2022, at Terra Ceia Country Club from 7 to 11 p.m.  Participation is open to any LGBTQ members and friends in the area, including the wider Democratic Party community and those from LGBTQ+ chapters throughout the state. Participants will be able to obtain tickets through PayPal on our website sometime in the near future.

We have designated the first Sunday of the month for our monthly social gatherings, from 4-6 p.m. (e.g., next one is June 5th). We will announce the venue for each gathering a few days before the event to those who are on our email distribution list.

Reverend Golden, candidate for our local School Board and a well-known and respected leader in the community, will be the featured speaker for our next membership meeting on June 15. We expect to have county commissioner candidates meet with us during our July meeting.

March 20, 2022, Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus – Our Caucus held our regular monthly board and membership meetings on the second Monday and the third Wednesday of the month, respectively.  We reserve every third monthly membership meeting for internal discussions amongst our members, whereas we usually have featured speakers for our programs during the other monthly meetings. Our March meeting was the first in many months that we had members meeting in person.  We held  a hybrid meeting with around 16 members attending in person and 4 members attending through Zoom.  The meeting went well, with members discussing (1) the great fun and success we had during our participation in the Manatee Pride event on March 5, (2) our members’ participation in the canvassing activities hosted by the Manatee Blue Wave Coalition, and (3) our plans to sponsor a Halloween gala to be held October 29th.  Regarding our participation in Manatee Pride, we were pleased that over 60 people signed a sheet indicating that they’d like to receive more info about the work of our Caucus.  That’s about double the number who have signed up in previous years.  It was also encouraging to see so many relatively young people attending the event and expressing an interest in the work of our Caucus.

During our March meeting, we voted to “buy” a table for 8 for the Manatee Democratic Party Gala which is a fundraising activity of the Manatee Dems, pay for a table at the upcoming Sarasota Pride event, and to support the Fabulous Arts Foundation (formerly Harvey Milk Festival) in September.

For our April membership meeting program, we have invited Susie Copeland to speak about the work of the Manatee Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

The Democratic Women’s Club of Manatee County is proud to announce that it’s annual Scholarship Fundraiser will be held in-person this year. Please help us raise money to offer scholarships to deserving people who live in Manatee County and who (or whose parents are) Democrats. This is a cash award that the recipients can use in whatever way is best for them and, based on how much we earn can be anywhere from $500 to $2000.

The event will be held at Palm Aire Country Club and our featured speaker will be Dr. Dana Dorsey from the University of South Florida who will discuss race equity throughout history, leading up to Critical Race Theory today.  She is nationally known as an expert in this field and we are honored she has accepted our invitation.

Tables will be socially distanced and all members of the Palm Aire staff are required to wear masks.  It’s a celebration of Black History along with lots of fun, including a silent auction, songs by Manatee Players, and great food.

Please distribute to your club/caucus members – we’d love to see a table or two or three from your group! Attached is the invitation and rsvp and information about our speaker.

For more information contact Joanie LeBaron at 941 243 0169 or



Never canvassed before?  See what it’s all about by going along with an experienced canvasser as an observer.  Or, you can help write notes, carry materials, drive or help out in other ways. We will visit Democrats who may not vote regularly! We hope to enroll them in Vote by Mail (VBM) because voters enrolled in VBM are 2-3 times more likely to vote than those who are not enrolled!

3:00- Pick up Materials at Manatee DEM HQTRs, 435 Cortez Rd, W.

3:15- Neighborhood OUTREACH *

5:30 – PARTY and Meet/Share experiences with other people who share your democratic values!

*   Note: Training & materials will be provided via Zoom & email earlier that week!


Pride Night Celebrated with a Win by the Bradenton Marauders

Members and friends of the Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus enjoyed an evening out at Pride Night of the Bradenton Marauders’ Minor League Baseball team on Friday, June 11, 2021, at LECOM Park.  The Marauders won their game against the Daytona Tortugas, 6 to 5, quite possibly due to the unbridled support offered by our Caucus members.

Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Rallies in Support of Trans-girls in Sports On June 1, 2021, Gov. DeSantis signed the “Education” bill, which included an amendment banning trans-girls from participating in school sports on female teams. Along with other groups around Florida and coordinating with the Sarasota Stonewall Democratic Caucus, our Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus led a protest rally in downtown Bradenton.  We want trans-children to know that we love and support them. Mary Tavarozzi, of ALSO Youth, joined the Bradenton rally and spoke eloquently on behalf of the children.  And we had great media coverage from local newspapers and Tampa-based TV channels.

Rallies in Sarasota and Bradenton denounce ban on transgender sports in Florida

Q+Manatee LGBTA Democratic Caucus Raises Funds for ALSO Youth

On May 23, 2021, the Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus held its first, in-person get-together in over a year at the Adobe Graffiti Lounge in the Village of the Arts.  The event provided an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ Caucus to raise funds for ALSO Youth, which supports LGBTQ+ youth in both Manatee and Sarasota Counties.  Approximately 50 people attended the event which raised over a thousand dollars for ALSO Youth.  Lizzie Cofrancesco took the lead in organizing the event with full participation of ALSO Youth officials and with many LGBTQ+ Caucus members contributing to the event’s success.

Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’s fundraiser for ALSO Youth held on May 23, 2021.  Pictured, from left to right, are Kent Noel (Caucus’s Chair), Lizzie Cofrancesco (Caucus’s event organizer), Mary Tavarozzie (ALSO Youth President), and Dan Coppinger (Caucus’s Vice-Chair for Programs and Membership).