From the Chair’s Desk — Your Weekly Update

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23 mins read

We made history last week! Thanks to your hard work, we now have over five million active registered Democrats in Florida! And our pace keeps increasing month-after-month. We are taking nothing for granted and are all-in to win in 2020!

Terrie Rizzo
Chair
Florida Democratic Party

Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s backward priorities are on full display. Trump’s carelessness with our health and safety when faced with an international health crisis is deeply alarming. His draconian immigration policy is putting 100,000 Floridian children at risk of losing their health care because their parents fear deportation. Trump is hell bent on punishing immigrant families with cruel laws — and we can’t let this happen for another four years. Thank you for fiercely working to defeat him and his many failed policies in November.

As of Sunday, March 8, there are exactly 240 days — 7 months, 28 days — to November 3, 2020.

P.S. I know the newsletters are long, but we have so much important information to share. Please read to the end for essential information and updates.


Voter Registration

Florida now has more than 5.1 million active registered Democrats! In spite of aggressive voter purges, Florida GOP efforts to overturn Amendment 4 with an unconstitutional poll tax, and recently foiled attempts to put voters on inactive lists, Florida Democrats have exceeded the 5,000,000 active registered Democrats mark for the first time in our state’s history. We now have 37% of Florida’s registered voters and a 280,000 voter registration edge over Republicans, 17,000 larger than our edge in 2018. This is the first time since 2012 we have increased our margin of Democrats over the previous election cycle.

On February 25, we hosted a press conference with Forward Florida Action, Alianza for Progress, and New Florida Majority to celebrate reaching the historic 5 million voter mark. Here is some of the news coverage we received:

We are now registering an average of 482 voters each day, compared to just 28 voters per day last June, and our average is increasing each month. Since January 1, the GOP has added 64,935 voters and we have added 118,770! We are seeing a diverse young group of voters joining Florida’s electorate. Over half of the voters we have registered are under 35. More than a third are African American and Caribbean, and 25% are Hispanic. We are taking no one for granted and are proud of our work to engage everyone.

Our next statewide Voter Registration Weekend of Action is March 14-15Find an event near you.


Fight for Health Care Tour

Ahead of Donald Trump’s upcoming visit, we are launching a campaign to hold Trump accountable for his three years of failed health care policies, contrasting the president’s repeated attempts to reduce access to care with the Democratic agenda to expand affordable, accessible health care. Our Fight for Health Care Tour includes a billboard in Orlando contrasting the Trump and Democratic health care agendas and a series of healthcare roundtable discussions along the I-4 Corridor. The billboard is in English and Spanish and will run Monday, March 9th through Sunday, March 15th. The roundtable discussions on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 will include FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo and local health care stakeholders, including medical professionals, community leaders, and patients with pre-existing conditions.

Our digital billboard will be at the intersection of Kirkman Rd. and International Dr. in Orlando.


2020 Leadership Blue Gala

We are pleased to announce the location for our 2020 Leadership Blue weekend! Leadership Blue will take place May 29-31 at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort.

You can book your room online or by calling 407-939-4686 and requesting a Florida Democratic Party Leadership Blue 2020 room.

We encourage you to book your room early as we expect high attendance. In addition to our annual Leadership Blue Gala, the weekend will include National Convention district-level delegate meetings for the selection of our PLEO, At-Large, and Alternate delegates.


Voter Protection

Florida has never conducted a massive statewide voter protection effort during the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP). As of March 2, here’s what our voter protection effort looks like:

  • 1,306 voter protection volunteers recruited
  • 808 trained voter protection volunteers
  • 717 credentialed PPP poll watchers
  • 36 counties with voter protection teams 
  • 27 counties with voter protection volunteers at PPP polling places
  • 24-hour Voter Protection Hotline
  • 3 full-time voter protection attorneys on staff
  • 2 FDP regional voter protection call centers

This is amazing progress toward our goal of having an army of 15,000 trained volunteers working at polling places across the state in November. Sign up here to become a voter protection volunteer.

We also need volunteers to work on Election Day at our regional call centers in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. Sign up here for Call Center Shifts.
As the GOP continues efforts to suppress the vote, it’s also important we regularly share information about our Voter Protection Hotline. Use our Voter Protection Hotline Toolkit for sample posts, tweets, and graphics.


Registering Returning Citizens

With the passage of restrictions on Amendment Four’s Restoration of Voting Rights and multiple lawsuits, there has been confusion regarding the best way to proceed when registering returning citizens to vote. Here is some guidance from our legal counsel:

  • 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.

Early Vote Rally & March

FDP is joining Andrew Gillum and Florida College Democrats for a rally and march to early vote at both Florida State University and Florida A & M University Monday, March 9. Both schools are on spring break on the day of the Presidential Preference Primary, so early voting is even more important. Here are the details for both events:

  • FSU Westcott Plaza Rally at 12 p.m., followed by a march to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center Early Voting polling place
  • FAMU Rally at the Eternal Flame at 2 p.m., followed by Early Voting

2020 DCCA Retreat

We are excited to share the weekend agenda for this year’s Democratic County Chairs Association (DCCA) Retreat! We look forward to seeing each of you in Jacksonville for purposeful training sessions and business meetings.

You can view the tentative weekend agenda here or visit floridadems.org/dcca.

DCCA Retreat is March 27-29 at the DoubleTree Jacksonville Riverfront. You can reserve a room in our group block online by clicking here—But hurry, our rooms are almost full, and the deadline to book is Friday, March 13. After Friday, we cannot guarantee rate or availability.


For ADA requests and other questions, please email partyaffairs@floridadems.org. Please note, we are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and urge each of you to follow local and CDC recommendations. We will be doing the same.


FDP Staff Training

FDP staff gathered in Ft. Lauderdale for three days of team building and training February 25-27.
We are all fired up and ready to #DefeatTrumpFL!

Training Resources

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC) Best Practices Institute (BPI) is launching the 2020 Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Training Program. T3 is a free, six-week, twelve-part webinar course, covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. Trainings are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET, from April 7 through May 14. The deadline to register is Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Click Here to Register for T3 today, ask two Democrats to join you, and help us take our country back in 2020!

T3 participants must complete all 12 sessions in order to receive certification. All training sessions will include a skills test to track retention and participation. Trainings will be recorded and made available following each session via a weekly wrap-up email. 

Here are other DNC training opportunities available in the next two weeks:

Additional training opportunities are listed here.


Media Spokespeople

Our Communications Team is looking for 4-5 passionate volunteers in each county to serve as media spokespeople, holding Trump and the GOP accountable for their failed policies while sharing the Democratic Party’s vision for our country. Training and talking points will be provided. We especially need volunteers who will be available for the Presidential Preference Primary and speakers of other languages. Send contact information to our Director of Rapid Response Frances Swanson at FSwanson@FloridaDems.org.


Faith Weekend of Action

Our second Faith Weekend of Action is Friday, March 13 – Sunday, March 15, and we are asking those who attend worship services to talk about the importance of voting.

Our Democrats of Faith program is organizing voters of faith and faith communities who oppose the immoral personal behavior of President Donald Trump and the cruel policies of the Republican Party. In the lead up to the general election, we will visit more than 200 churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship to promote voter registration and to organize, educate and turn out people of faith who oppose Trump and the Republican Party’s cruel and immoral behavior and policies.


¡Tu Voto es Tu Voz!

On Thursday, during the first week of early voting in Miami for the 2020 Florida Primary, the Florida Democratic Party, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, New Florida Majority, Adelante Florida, the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida and Alianza for Progress hosted the “íTu Voto es Tu Voz!” (Your Vote is Your Voice) news conference to encourage Hispanics in Miami to vote early in the 2020 Florida Primary. 


Terrie’s Travels

On Sunday, February 23, Terrie attended the amazing Indian River County Blue Gala Auction and Fundraiser, which had a sold out crowd of 350. Congratulations to DEC Chair Adriana de Kanter and the entire Indian River team! 
On Tuesday, February 25, Terrie was in Miami for our press conference announcing our historic 5 million plus active registered Democrats with Forward Florida Action Executive Director Karen André, Alianza for Progress’s Adriana Rivera, and New Florida Majority’s Andrea Mercado.
Friday, February 28 was the Broward County Democratic Black Caucus’s 6th Annual Black History Month Celebration Dinner. Congratulations to President Damara Holness and the caucus team on a wonderful event and congratulations to all the honorees! 
Last Saturday, Terrie joined the Highlands County DEC for their Blue Gala in Sebring. Congratulations to Chair Neal Golden and the Highlands DEC team for keeping the blue banner waving high in this tough, red county.
Tuesday brought Terrie back to Tallahassee for our Legislative aide Awards & Superlatives Ceremony to celebrate the hardworking staff of our state senators and representatives. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the wonderful aides for all the hard work they do on our behalf every day!
On Wednesday Terrie joined former Senator Bill and Grace Nelson, dozens of state legislators, and Leon County and Tallahassee city commissioners to name our new Tallahassee office in honor of Senator Nelson. The naming ceremony honored Nelson’s lifetime of public service and his continued commitment to supporting Democrats and causes which lift up our shared values.

Cease-Fire: Miami

Our next Cease-Fire event is Saturday, March 14 at Second Baptist Church in Miami. This event is a community dialogue on gun violence prevention alongside survivors, gun violence prevention professionals, community leaders, and government officials.
Please use our Cease-Fire Digital Toolkit to promote this event along with the current Mobilize Event Link.


FDP is Hiring

We need your assistance filling several positions. These include:

  • Field Organizers (especially in Broward, Miami-Dade, Pasco, and Polk)
  • Deputy Field Directors (South and Central FL)
  • Voter Protection Organizer (Tampa, Orlando, or Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Finance Associate (Ft. Lauderdale office)
  • VAN Administrator (Ft. Lauderdale office)

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


Monthly Incentive Grants

Congratulations to these county DECs who met their February Incentive Grant goals!

  • Bradford
  • Brevard
  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • Escambia
  • Franklin
  • Indian River
  • Lake
  • Lee
  • Leon
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Sarasota
  • St. Johns
  • St. Lucie
  • Sumter
  • Volusia

INCENTIVE GRANTS ARE DOUBLING!!! FDP believes in all the work you are doing, and as a result we are doubling monthly incentive grant payments! Starting March 1, $1,300 per month is available to the DECs and State Caucuses that meet their monthly goals. We are also switching from forms to volunteer shift goals this month. More information is available in the “Our Florida 2020 – DEC Onboarding” training in FDP University.


Democracia al Día

Our February 22 our Democracia al Día show featured a great discussion about the last Democratic presidential debate and the frightening movement toward authoritarian regimes in many countries across the world…including our own. Our two distinguished guests were, Hector Caraballo, past president of the Cuban American Democratic Club, and Maurizio Passariello, one of South Florida’s top Venezuelan political commentators. You can listen to the show here.

Tune in every Saturday at 12 noon ET to our Spanish language program on WURN-AM, Actualidad Radio 1040am. 


Presidential Preference Primary Key Dates

  • March 7-14: Mandatory Early Voting in all counties
  • March 13-15: FDP statewide Voter Registration Weekend of Action
  • March 17: Election Day
  • March 19, 5 p.m.: Deadline to file ballot cure affidavits or evidence of voter eligibility

Vote by Mail

As of the close of books for the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary (PPP), the Florida GOP had 134,871 more vote-by-mail requests than Democrats. As of the close of books for this year’s PPP, we have 109,171 more vote-by-mail requests than the GOP – a shift of 244,042 to our side!

We know voting by mail is the easiest way to make sure Democrats cast a ballot in this year’s elections. As part of our all-out push to vote by mail in the PPP, we have launched FL.Dems.Vote/mail website so people can go to one place and register to vote by mail online.

About 150,000 vote-by-mail (VBM) enrollment forms were mailed to Democrats at the beginning of January. Based on our analysis of those who returned the mailer, we fine-tuned our targeting for our February mailer and sent another 140,000 enrollment forms. We still need volunteers to help us contact these Democrats to encourage them to return their forms. A virtual phone bank (VPB) is available at m.floridadems.org/Phoneba


Democratic National Convention

As of Sunday, the Democratic National Convention is in 18 weeks and 1 day!District-level delegate filing closed at noon today. We received more than double the applications received in 2016! Applications for our 81 Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO), At-Large, and At-Large Alternate delegate spots will remain available on our website through May 5.

Congressional District (CD) Caucuses will be Saturday, April 4, with some Early Voting locations on Thursday, April 2. Here are some helpful documents for delegate candidates:


FDP Photo Competition

Now through March 31, submit your volunteer and voter engagement photos and help us build our stock photo library. We want to see volunteers with clipboards, knocking doors, on the phones, and having conversations with voters. Submissions will be judged by our Creative Director Ali Kurnaz, and the person with the winning photo submission will win a Google Nest Mini smart speaker. Send your photos to Ali@FloridaDems.org.


Organizing Corps: Waitlist

Organizing Corps 2020 is accepting waitlist applications for their paid training programs. If you know of good candidates in college, who missed the March 4 application deadline, have them join the waitlist at www.organizingcorps2020.com.


Latest FDP News Digest


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


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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