From the Chair’s Desk — Your Weekly Update

17 mins read

Dear Democrats,

This week we salute the nurses and front-line workers who are literally risking their lives to take care of COVID-19 patients. They are truly the heroes of this tragic and horrendous pandemic. Without them, the human pain and suffering would be much worse. We also salute another group of heroes, our Florida teachers who continue to educate our children whether in class or online – Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! And, to all of our moms, we wish you each a very Happy Mother’s Day!

As we witness directly day after day, Donald Trump cannot be trusted with our health care. His response to the coronavirus pandemic has ranged from negligent to chaotic — and we truly cannot afford another four years of his erratic leadership, especially when it jeopardizes our health and safety.

Luckily, we have an opportunity to vote for someone in November we can trust with our health care. Former Vice President Joe Biden not only helped pass the Affordable Care Act ten years ago but also has a plan to strengthen this legislation to make health care more affordable and accessible for Americans.

Meanwhile Florida’s GOP state legislators have REFUSED, on a straight Party line vote, to call for a Special Legislative Session formally requested by our Democratic delegation to address and fix urgent issues affecting Floridians – the unemployment mess, expansion of Medicaid, and preparation for the 2020 Election, especially Vote By Mail. If you live in Republican districts, make sure people know that their Republican state senators and representatives voted to stay home rather than work to fix issues that are affecting them!

Just a quick reminder that the filing period for state legislative races is June 8-12, and the petition deadline for those candidates trying to qualify by petition is May 11. The Secretary of State has modified petition requirements to allow SOEs the option to accept electronic signatures and submissions, but the filing and petition deadline dates have not been extended. Please do everything you can in your districts to help all of our candidates qualify. And please continue to help recruit great Democrats to run for seats that currently don’t have Democratic candidates – even in deep red districts, having a Democrat on the ballot brings Democratic votes and strengthens the entire ticket. A shout out to all of you who are stepping up to run and to everyone working hard on recruitment!

As we all know, the road to the White House goes directly through Florida, and all of the work going on around the state, even in the middle of the pandemic, is awesome to see! A big thank you to each and every one of you for all the Zoom meetings, phone banks, texts, calls, and everything you are doing to keep us moving forward to win in November!

As of Sunday, May 10, there are exactly 177 days — 5 months and 26 days — to November 3, 2020.

Terrie RizzoChairFlorida Democratic Party

FDP Press Conferences

The FDP Communications and Political teams work hard to hold the Trump and DeSantis administrations accountable, organizing multiple press calls and events weekly to highlight Florida’s Democratic elected officials and community leaders, our Party values, and solutions for issues our communities face. Between press events and press releases, our Communications Team landed 42 stories last week.Here’s a summary of this week’s press events:

  • Tuesday, local elected officials, including Mayor of Kissimmee José Alvarez, Vice Mayor of Hallandale Beach Sabrina Javellana, City of Tampa Councilman Luis Viera, and Coral Springs Commissioner Joshua Simmons, joined a virtual news conference to discuss their efforts to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic, and their role in leading the response to the crisis after the state’s failure to implement early and safe measures to deal with the spread of the virus. 
  • Wednesday as Democratic attorneys general and the House of Representatives submitted opening briefs in California v. Texas to defend the Affordable Care Act, FDP convened a virtual news conference with Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Chair Terrie Rizzo; Tracey Corn, a mother of two daughters born with pre-existing conditions; and Wes Hodge, a cancer survivor and Chair of the Orange County DEC. To watch the health care news conference, click here.
  • On Thursday, Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, State Senator José Javier Rodríguez, State Representatives Susan Valdes and Cindy Polo, and Millie Herrera, who has a preexisting condition, held a press conference to discuss the importance of protecting the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) for Latinos.

You can see results of these press conferences in the FDP News Digest below.

Digital Weekend of Action

Last weekend we hosted our first Digital Weekend of Action, six months ahead of Election Day. Across the state, volunteers participated in dozens of live online trainings and called voters to conduct wellness check-ins and enroll them in vote-by-mail.

  • Over 250 volunteers made calls to Floridians across the state
  • Over 550 volunteers took part in one of dozens of live virtual trainings on topics ranging from an introduction to digital organizing to how to set up a virtual phone bank
  • Nearly 16,000 voters were contacted over the course of the weekend

The virtual weekend of action allowed Democrats to conduct wellness check-ins with residents across the state to help connect them with local resources — such as food banks, delivery services, testing centers, and access to technology so their children can participate in virtual learning. FDP’s team of organizers and volunteers have called, texted and directly messaged more than 1.5 million Floridians since April 1.

Please continue to share our digital sign up link widely with your friends and networks across the country. And mark your calendars for our next Weekend of Action May 30-31

Voter Protection Fellows Program

FDP is seeking current first, second and third-year law students as well as recent law school graduates for Fellowships with the Voter Protection Department to ensure every eligible Floridian can register to vote and cast a ballot that counts. The Fellowship begins Monday, June 15, 2020. For Fellows with plans to resume classes in the fall, the Fellowship will end Friday, August 21, 2020. Everyone else may continue until the end of the 2020 election cycle. If you know any law students who might be interested in becoming a 2020 Voter Protection Fellow, please have them apply here.

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 13 HERE. 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.

Additionally, the deadline for PLEO and At-Large delegate applications has been changed to May 22. See these helpful links regarding our Delegate Selection Process:

Letters to the Editor

Our Communications Team’s new Letters to the Editor program is focusing on Trump’s chaotic handling of the pandemic this week, and we need your help. Use talking points in the Communications Team’s Weekly Talkers to write a letter, up to 200 words, to your local newspaper editor and submit. If you are not already receiving the Weekly Talkers and would like to, email our Statewide Press Secretary Alex Morash at Our Letters to the Editor program is also in Spanish and Creole.

Florida Dems Live

The FL Dems Live events allow Democrats from across the state an opportunity to get to know other Democrats in an interactive social event that includes training, games, and so much more! Saturday’s FL Dems Live event highlighted our Hispanic and African American outreach.

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 565,010 auto-dialer VBM calls and patched through 9,226 voters to SOE offices to enroll – 1,609 of them this past week! Our goal by August 1 is to enroll 210,000 low-turnout Democrats to vote by mail.
Share our website with links to sign up for Vote by Mail in every county.

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. Since April 1, we’ve called 39,319 voters across the state and collected data on issues important to 4,126 voters – 3,685 of them this past week! Importantly, each of our phone scripts starts with a wellness check and resources for those in need.

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. Help us spread the word and direct talented individuals to apply for these positions:

  • Field Organizers (multiple counties)
  • Deputy Field Director (Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami)
  • Graphic Design Associate (Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Digital Organizer – Facebook
  • Digital Organizer – Twitter
  • Digital Organizer – Instagram/Pinterest
  • Digital Organizer – Snapchat/TikTok
  • Regional Data Lead (Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami)
  • Training Associate (Ft. Lauderdale)

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.

Training Resources

Since January 1, FDP has trained over 2,000 individuals through 24 trainings, a majority of which were virtual trainings. There are now over 100 training materials in FDP University for FL Democrats.
DNC Operation 2020 digital organizing fellows are hosting digital organizing events — from online trainings to virtual town halls.

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

Additional training opportunities are listed here.

FDP Virtual Fundraisers

We were the first state party in the country to pivot and start hosting virtual fundraisers and have helped a number of other states develop fundraisers modeled after ours.

We invite you to join our upcoming fundraising events: Tuesday, May 12, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET Guest Speaker: Former Presidential Candidate Congressman Eric Swalwell Benefiting Vote-by-Mail and Voter Protection Contribution 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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