National Political Consultant, Robert Schaeffer kicked off this critical election year by addressing the Progressive Club of the Islands with the topic: “Opportunity 2020: How You Can Help Progressives Win Big”.
Drawing on survey data and other statistical indicators, as well as humorous anecdotes from his own extensive campaign experience, Bob examined a range of races, from the Presidency to control of Congress, as well as statewide Florida ballot questions and southwest Florida contests. At each level, the focus was on where (and how) grassroots activists can have greatest impact.
Stephanie Fraim the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida discussed the growing challenges to the right of women to make their own decisions regarding their health and reproductive options and specific actions we may take regarding our elected representatives in Washington and Tallahassee
The Progressive Club of the Islands hosted a watch party for the third Democratic Presidential Debate There were plenty of snacks and beverages and lots of room to share this event with like-minded Islanders.
This event also served as a fundraiser for Kids in Need of Defense ( KIND), a well-vetted organization that provides legal representation for children separated from their families seeking asylum at the Southern border.
On Thursday, July l8th, the Progressive Club of the Islands featured the Chair of the non-partisan group LEE FUTURE, Don Eslick, to discuss the topic: “Before it’s too late: shaping the future of Lee County”. The meeting took place at the Sanibel Public Library on 770 Dunlop Road, and was free and open to the public.
Eslick previously served as the founding Chairman of the Estero Council of Community Leaders from 2002 to 20ll, and later as Interim Chairman. During the last l8 years, he has served Lee County government and civic groups on important boards and advisory committees, including Lee County Smart Growth, Lee County Charter Review as Chairman, Lee County Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Advisory; Member of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Lee County, and was awarded Lee County Citizen of the Year in 2005. For over a decade Eslick served as Assistant State Superintendent of Schools, Assistant Illinois State Comptroller and staff director for the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. While with the speaker, Eslick was responsible for developing many major pieces of legislation, including the Illinois Development Finance Authority to finance business and industrial development. Following a decade in public finance, in l993 he founded Public Finance Associates, and assumed the Executor Director of the Illinois Tax Increment Association. (ITIA). Eslick earned a BA in Economics from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and PhD studies in Economics at the University of Illinois.
The Progressive Club of the Islands heard two union organizers discuss the topic: “The Importance and Presence of Unions in Lee County”. A panel discussion gave both speakers the chance to share their experiences with labor unions and the status of unions in Lee County. Those attending had the opportunity to have their questions answered about labor union activity and employee conditions in Lee County.
Henry Burden spent ten years as a Labor Organizer, Business Representative, and Regional Director of UFCW in Delaware, Southern Pennsylvania,and Northeast Maryland. Burden bargained Labor Contracts in a five-state area, including national best contracts for 7000 poultry industry employees. He was a campaign volunteer for the Biden Senatorial Campaign and for the John Kerry Presidential campaign. Burden also ran the Voter Protection Program for the 20l8 mid-term elections and oversaw the Recount at the Lee County Board of Directors.
Chris Krupic grew up in Ft Myers and graduated from LeHigh Senior High School. Working for a cabinet shop, he soon decided after the economy changed in 2007, to find a position not dependent on the economy. Hired in 20l2 to work for the Sanibel Island Water Association, he noted a change in leadership and helped to organize the workers. The NLRB held a vote, and all qualified personnel voted unanimously to bring in the union. This past year Krupic has also spent time in Tallahassee with the Working Family Lobby Corps to learn how local politics affect the workers.