From the Chair’s Desk — Your Weekly Update

17 mins read

Dear Florida Democrats,

As we continue through such an unprecedented time, this past week marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month of spiritual devotion, reflection, and charity. Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing!

I hope everyone in our Democratic family is healthy and staying safe. Even while we observe guidelines, Democrats across the state are still working hard to build toward November, and it has been amazing to see all the online meetings and town halls, digital work, and stay-at-home organizing everyone is doing. Thank you all for pivoting quickly and keeping up the work needed to register voters, sign up VBMs, make wellness checks, conduct meetings, organize precincts, and take care of the business of turning Florida Blue!

While we all are hoping for a safe re-opening and gradual return based on science and medical recommendations, the so-called leaders in our Governor’s Mansion and White House are making this crisis worse.

So many Floridians are affected by the employment crisis, but Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t doing nearly enough to help our state’s struggling workers and, in fact, has failed the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have lost their jobs from the pandemic. The horrible unemployment system that then-Governor Rick Scott and the GOP Legislature rammed though in 2011 was deliberately designed to make it difficult for workers who lost jobs to qualify or even apply. As a result, claims are being processed far too slowly, and far too many claims are being rejected. Floridians urgently need a more robust system, fewer restrictions on applicants, and stronger benefits. Florida’s government must act to expand benefits and expand access to unemployment assistance. If DeSantis was serious about this crisis, he and his Republican allies would get to work on a legislative fix for Florida’s broken unemployment system. Until then, Floridians will tragically continue to suffer needless economic hardship.

And it goes without saying that Donald Trump is a threat to our health, our environment, and our country. His reckless leadership continues to worsen the coronavirus pandemic, and his administration’s latest attacks on clean air, not to mention his unscientific recommendations such as hydroxychloroquine and bleach(!) are quite literally putting more lives at risk. Trump has not taken the steps necessary to safely reopen the economy and still does not have a strategy to implement mass COVID-19 testing. Public health experts have been crystal clear: we need mass national testing before we can relax social distancing. We truly cannot afford another four years of his destructive policies. Our country needs a proven leader like Joe Biden!

As of Sunday, April 26, there are exactly 191 days — 6 months and 10 days — to November 3, 2020.

Terrie Rizzo
Florida Democratic Party

Democratic National Convention

In consultation with the DNC, we have modified our Delegate Selection Plan in order to protect the health and safety of voters. We have engaged a professional online voting company, YesElections, to provide electronic voting for district-level delegate elections. To vote for district-level delegates in your congressional district, you must request an electronic ballot by Wednesday, May 13HERE. On Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m. ET you will be emailed a link and unique code to vote. Voting will be open until Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m. ET. Those without internet or smart phone access need to call FDP at 954-893-2355 by Friday, May 1.

Applications for our 81 Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO), At-Large, and At-Large Alternate delegate spots remain available on our website through 12 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 5.Helpful links regarding our Delegate Selection Process:

Please note that while we will not hold Leadership Blue weekend in May, our 2020 National Convention Delegate Selection Plan does require actions on May 30 and 31. We are reviewing options to abide by our plan while protecting the health and safety of our delegation.

Florida Dems Live

Get to know Florida Democrats from across the state by joining our interactive social event that includes training, games, and so much more! Don’t miss the fun and our special guests!

Your log-in credentials will be emailed to you once you register. 

Digital Weekend of Action

We are excited to announce our first Digital Weekend of Action! We will be conducting outreach to voters online and over the phones on the weekend of May 2 and 3 to kick off our general election push to #DefeatTrumpFL!

Our field organizers will be conducting virtual trainings throughout the weekend to teach new volunteers the ins and outs of effective phonebanking and getting them set up to make calls from the comfort and safety of their homes. Then we’ll be making calls to check in on the well-being of voters across the state and learning what issues are important to them in the current political climate. 

Virtual training events and phonebanks will be added to Mobilize America over the coming days. We encourage DECs, clubs and caucuses to create their own Mobilize Events to join in the Day of Action!

Voter Protection Call

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at3:30 PM ET, Chair Terrie Rizzo will host the rescheduled Voter Protection Call on Zoom. Please invite your county’s entire voter protection team to attend, along with any Democrats who are considering volunteering for your county’s voter protection team.
The purpose of this call is to thank our many wonderful volunteers for their hard work during Florida’s recent Presidential Preference Primary. Despite the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many dedicated Democrats went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure every eligible voter could cast a ballot that counted.
To register for the call, click this link. Here are a few tips to improve the quality of your internet connection during Wednesday’s call:

  1. Directly connect your computer to your modem or router with a patch cable (such as an ethernet cable). 
  2. Close all open browser pages or tabs except for the meeting window. 
  3. Minimize the number of devices connected to the modem or router while the meeting is being conducted (especially streaming services like Netflix). 
  4. Sit closer to your WiFi connection. 

Virtual Rural Tour

On Thursday, April 30 at 6 p.m. CT Terrie will chat with Democrats in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, and Okaloosa County via video conference as part of a statewide tour that focuses on connecting with people in smaller counties and rural areas and having honest conversations about issues affecting our communities.

Sign Up to Join the Video Conference Here.

Vote by Mail

Voting by mail is safe, secure, and accessible. It allows more voters to participate in our democracy, and it’s a commonsense way to run an election, especially during a public health crisis. Since April 1, we’ve made 406,129 auto-dialer VBM calls and patched through 7,689 voters to SOE offices to enroll!

Be sure to complete and share our Digital Organizing Sign-Up form to help us continue to expand our vote by mail enrollments.

FDP Is Hiring!

During this time when so many organizations are closing and talented people are out of work, we are fortunate to be able to continue to expand our team. We need your assistance filling several positions. These include:

  • Field Organizers (in 26 counties)
  • Voter Protection Organizer (Tampa, Orlando, or Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Graphic Design Associate (Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Digital Organizers

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.

Issue ID Phonebanks

With a focus on digital outreach to voters, it’s more important than ever that our messaging is deployed effectively. Our Issue ID virtual phone banks will allow us to better target persuadable NPA voters online with county-specific messaging.

We need to make at least 40,000 calls to collect enough data to create content and scripts that will persuade NPA voters to vote for Democrats. We’ve made 20,955 Issue ID calls this month and held 2,139 conversations! Importantly, each of our phone scripts start with a wellness check and resources for those in need.

Training Resources

In addition to our FDP University training opportunities, FDP has the following live webinars for our volunteers, Party leaders, and candidates:

The National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) has several virtual live trainings scheduled to help you increase your online success:

The DNC is hosting the following trainings:

  • Wednesday, April 29, 4 p.m. ETFaith Communities and the 2020 Census – The Impact that Faith Communities Can Have on Census 2020 Data Input During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Wednesday, April 29, 6 p.m. ETStorytelling Training: Design and Video 101 – Learn about the power of design and video to tell your personal story online! We’ll walk you through the basics and give you some best practices — so no previous experience needed!

DNC and Best Practices Institute have launched a webinar series dedicated to building organizational stability during this time of social distancing. The next webinar is Wednesday, May 6, 4 p.m. ETTBPP: Organizational Stability-Expanding Outreach
Zoom hosts free and interactive live training webinars daily to assist you with using their platform for meetings and webinars. Recorded training sessions are also available in multiple languages, including Spanish.
Additional training opportunities are listed here.

FDP Virtual Fundraiser for VBM & Voter Registration

We invite you to join our upcoming virtual fundraiser in support of our expanded VBM and Voter Registration efforts.

Monday, April 27, 6:00 – 7:30 PM ETSpecial guests: Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, former Senator Bill Nelson, and Chair Terrie RizzoContribution link:

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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