From the Chair’s Desk — Your Weekly Update

18 mins read

Dear Florida Democrats,

What an amazing kick-off to our week we had, with hundreds of organizers and volunteers participating in our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action. We loved seeing your social media posts with photos of your teams registering voters in every corner of the state! We were also excited about the DNC’s announcement of an additional investment in Florida, allowing us to continue to expand our field resources across the state.

While we are highlighting what Democrats stand for and the positive work we are doing in communities, we are also holding Trump and the GOP accountable for their actions and the effects on our most vulnerable communities. Florida Republicans continue to usurp the will of Florida voters, attacking the right to vote and a woman’s right to make private decisions about her reproductive health care. Both Trump and the Florida Republican-controlled legislature continue to attack our immigrant communities and threaten healthcare. Trump has even threatened cuts to social security. There has never been a more important election. We thank each of you who are working tirelessly to ensure our victory in November!

As of Saturday, January 25, there are exactly 283 days — 9 months 10 days — to November 3, 2020.

Terrie Rizzo
Florida Democratic Party

Monthly Incentive Grants

Over $57,000 has been awarded to DECs and State Caucuses since July through our monthly Incentive Grant program. This program has been successful in helping us register voters and enroll voters to vote by mail statewide, while providing financial resources counties and caucuses can invest where they are needed most.

We’re excited to announce the monthly Incentive Grant award is doubling to $1,300, beginning in March! Monthly goals and live results can be found here.

Congratulations to these counties who have already met their January goals:

  • Brevard
  • Collier
  • Escambia
  • Indian River
  • Palm Beach
  • Polk
  • Sarasota

Democratic National Convention

Delegate filing forms to apply to be a National Convention District Delegate will be available on our website February 3. The deadline to apply to be a district-level delegate is March 7

Congressional District (CD) Caucuses will be Saturday, April 4. The CD Chairs for each district are working on securing caucus locations in each district, and a list of locations will be available in February. The CD Chairs and Vice-Chairs directory is available HERE.

Please make sure your members and constituencies know about the National Convention, how to run to be a delegate, and the timeline. More information can be found at

Democrats Support Immigrants Fleeing Dictatorships

On Thursday, hours before Trump returned to Miami for a Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting, FDP joined Representative Donna Shalala, State Senator José Javier Rodríguez, Cuban American and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Dr. Frank Mora, and Venezuelan American DNC Member and Latino Victory board member Leopoldo Martinez Nucete for a news conference at the Freedom Tower in Miami, criticizing Trump’s broken promises to the Cuban and Venezuelan communities and his outlandish efforts to deport asylum seekers. See some of the news coverage here:

An unprecedented 20,000 Cuban asylum seekers are in deportation proceedings due to the Trump administration’s efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants fleeing from dictatorships. Trump has also deported hundreds of Venezuelans back to Maduro’s dictatorship and refuses to grant Venezuelans Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 

Sign and share our petition in English or Spanish to support Venezuelans.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action

We held more than 30 voter registration events across the state in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hundreds of staff and volunteers registered new voters and enrolled voters in vote-by-mail.

2020 DCCA Retreat

The 2020 DCCA Retreat is March 27-29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront. The retreat weekend will include important trainings and information sessions for Party leaders, as well as committee and caucus meetings.

We’ve secured a special group rate of $110 per night plus taxes and fees. You can book your room online by clicking here or by calling 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention you are attending DCCA Retreat.

We look forward to a terrific annual retreat with DEC Chairs and Party leaders. You can RSVP using this form to suggest training and programming for DCCA Retreat weekend.

For ADA requests, please email

Training Resources

Here are training opportunities our partners are offering in the next 2 weeks:

See additional training resources here.

Organizing Corps

We will take part in Organizing Corps 2020 7-Day Bootcamp and 5-Week Immersion paid training programs. We are working with Organizing Corps 2020, Florida Young Democrats, and Florida College Democrats to recruit and train 200 diverse Florida college students to be the next generation of organizers for the general election.

If you know of good candidates in college, have them apply at You can also find applications at @orgcorps2020 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The deadline to apply for the March 16-22 Tallahassee Bootcamp has been extended to February 5.

Voter Registration

We registered 800 voters this week – our biggest week to date – and remain poised to surpass our registration numbers for the first half of 2019! We continue to register our intended constituencies. Here’s a breakdown of our numbers for the past year:

63.8% Democrats
58.5% communities of color
55.4% aged 18-34
54.1% female

Remember February 18 is the deadline to register to vote or change parties to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary.

Blue Bench Training – Ft. Myers

Our National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) free candidate training is Saturday, January 25 in Ft. Myers (Lee County). This training will focus on fundamental aspects of campaigns and growing organizations, including fundraising, messaging, digital communications, and field operations for candidates, campaign staff, and local leaders. A light breakfast, boxed lunch, and training materials will be provided.

Please share the Event Registration Link. And mark your calendars for these upcoming Blue Bench Trainings:

Stay Connected

Be sure to join us online by following FDP on:

You might also want to join these DNC Facebook groups:

Cease-Fire – Jacksonville

Together with Duval County Democratic Black Caucus and the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, we are hosting a dialogue on gun-violence prevention with Chair Terrie Rizzo, City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan, City Councilman Garret Dennis, and local activists and members of the community on Saturday, January 25 in Jacksonville. The event will focus on discussing gun violence in communities of color and will be led by FDP Coalitions Director Clifton Addison, a gun-violence survivor.

Please use our Cease-Fire Digital Toolkit to promote this event along with the Mobilize Event Link.

Save the date for our next Cease-Fire event: January 29 – South Miami

Save the Date: Leadership Blue 2020

Leadership Blue will be May 29-31 in Orlando. This annual state event includes our largest fundraiser of the year plus trainings and Caucuses and State meetings. Leadership Blue will also coincide with the National Convention delegate meeting, including Party Leader and Elected Officials (PLEO) and at-large delegate selections.

FDP Is Hiring

FDP is continuing to grow and invest in boots on the ground. Over the next two months we are adding 24 more field organizers and 9 additional field directors across the state. We need your assistance filling these positions plus several positions in our Ft. Lauderdale office, including:

  • Deputy Finance Director
  • Finance Associate
  • Deputy Voter Protection Director (organizing background and bilingual preferred; law degree not required)
  • Deputy Data Director of Reporting

Job descriptions are available here. Please have applicants send their resumes and references to with their name and the position they are applying for in the subject line.

Voter Protection Hotline

Our 24-hour Voter Protection Hotline launched in August, nearly 15 months before Election Day, as part of our full commitment to ensuring every legal vote is counted.

As the GOP continues efforts to suppress the vote, it’s important we regularly share information about our Voter Protection Hotline. Use our Voter Protection Hotline Toolkit for sample posts, tweets, and graphics.

Vote-By-Mail Enrollment Chase

About 150,000 vote-by-mail (VBM) enrollment forms were mailed to Democrats at the beginning of the month. We need volunteers to help us contact these Democrats to encourage them to return the enrollment form. A virtual phone bank (VPB) is available at

We know voting by mail is the easiest way to make sure Democrats cast a ballot in this year’s elections. Another mailer will be sent in February to those who didn’t return the first mailer. To help us maximize our return, please jump on the VPB with us to encourage Florida Democrats to return their VBM enrollment forms. This is also an excellent training opportunity for volunteers as we prepare for GOTV ballot chases during the election cycles

County Spotlight: Polk

Polk County is a geographically large county in Central Florida, part of the I-4 Corridor, with over 151,000 Democrats (34.5% of registered voters). The Polk County DEC has implemented an “Adopt the Block” block captain campaign to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their canvassing. They start with the Tier 1 Volunteer Targets in VAN. They cut small turfs (15-20 Democrats) for the potential block captains’ neighborhoods, including voting records. Block captain packets are prepared with the following:

  • Turf of neighborhood Democrats
  • Block captain duties
  • Sample script
  • Vote-by-Mail enrollment forms and talking points
  • Voter registration forms and instructions
  • Candidate petitions
  • Brochures for DEC, clubs and caucuses

With their block captain packets in hand, they host a knock-a-thon to recruit block captains. They explain to the potential block captains the benefits of neighbor-to-neighbor engagement. Interested individuals are trained how to use the block captain packet on the spot. A block captain coordinator stays in touch with the recruits and sends informative emails and updates on upcoming training opportunities.

So far, the Polk County DEC is averaging a 50% acceptance rate! When a potential block captain turns down the opportunity, the canvasser identifies another Hot Dem on the turf to approach. With the addition of block captain packets, they are also seeing an increase in club members becoming block captains.

Way to organize, engage, and recruit, Polk County!

Planning Your Annual Event?

Is your DEC or State Caucus planning your large, annual event? Be sure to send us the details so we can add them to ourParty Calendar. Event details and FDP sponsorship requests can be emailed to

Registering Returning Citizens

The Florida Supreme Court’s advisory opinion issued last week regarding the restoration of voting rights has not altered our resolve to register every eligible voter. Below is a reminder of guidance from our legal counsel on how to proceed when registering returning citizens to vote:

  • If a Returning Citizen says s/he has had his/her voting rights restored through the Clemency process, register the Returning Citizen.
  • If a Returning Citizen says s/he believes s/he has completed all of the terms of his/her felony sentence, register the Returning Citizen.
  • If a Returning Citizen says s/he has completed the terms of his/her felony sentence except for a financial obligation s/he cannot afford to pay, refer the Returning Citizen to the ACLU or the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to assist in determining options for payment.

Latest FDP News Digest

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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