Polk County Democratic Socialists of America
Polk County Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee Election Results, April 2021.
We are proud to announce the winners of our first official steering committee election.
- Co-Chairs: Katie Smith and Cary Palmer
- Social Media Coordinator: Jess Wood
- Treasurer: Stephanie Stidham
- Secretary: Megan Short
Polk DSA supporters
July 9 2020 with COVID-19 infections and deaths in Florida reaching record highs, many Polk County residents are saying “enough is enough” and demanding that the county and state halt measures to re-open the economy.
Several local activists planned a demonstration in Downtown Lakeland on Sunday to protest the state’s re-opening measures, call attention to the countless infection cases and deaths, and demand measures and policies to help curtail the spread of the virus and support the elderly, unemployed, and other marginalized groups most affected by the pandemic.
Organized by the Polk County Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the protest was planned as a faux funeral procession that would have started at Cannon Funeral Home, traveled along Memorial Boulevard and Bartow Road, and end at Lakeland City Hall where demonstrators and organizers would have read a list of demands addressed to Lakeland City Commissioners.
DSA organizers had previously scheduled the protest for June, but postponed the event until July out of respect for the Black Lives Matter movement and its nationwide protests to bring attention to police brutality and systematic racism, explained DSA organizer, Amy Lee Lawrence.
Lawrence and other DSA organizers had answered the call to help their local community through the pandemic by starting a new local initiative, “Masks And Meals.” Every other Saturday, the local activist group gathers at Munn Park to distribute masks and meals to the local homeless. The first event was hosted on July 3.
“It is important that they [the homeless] are not only fed but protected,” Lawrence explained.
Aside from the less fortunate, many DSA organizers are concerned about members of their own family who are most vulnerable to contract the virus, especially elderly and people with immune deficiencies. Lawrence already has one in-law in critical condition, and another who is asymptomatic.
Katie Smith, another DSA organizer, has several family members, including her grandparents, who are most susceptible to the disease.
“If one of us got sick because things were reopened too quickly, it would spread through our family,” Smith said. “I am out here because I support more programs and protection in place for the everyday working-class person in Florida, and our government and officials have not done enough. I want them to take seriously the concerns in our community.”
Polk County DSA Member Group
Private Facebook group.