Move Hearts with Authentic, Hands-on, Grassroots Leadership.
Let’s engage real people in real conversations about issues that matter to the communities we serve and represent. Our priorities in party affairs will reflect the needs of the people, and not the will of the powerful.
Our party must not only be defined by galas and conferences whose price tags prevent the vast majority of Florida’s Democrats from participation, but by events that move everyday people to get passionately involved in our efforts to engage folks at the local and state level.
Embrace Leaders who Reflect the Communities We Serve.
Demonstrate our priority as a party by example, developing and supporting diverse leadership, including the representation of young people, communities of color, and the working poor in the leadership ranks of our state & local party organizations. Organize around issues that support economic, social, racial and environmental justice for all Floridians.
Florida is changing and our party will too. Only 18% of State Executive Committee votes are cast by people under 50 years of age. In addition, while 17% of the Democratic electorate in Florida is Hispanic, only 2% of votes on the State Executive Committee are cast by Hispanics.
Replace Dark Money with Small Donations.
Let’s end our dependency on dark money and contributions from corporations who don’t reflect the values of the Democratic Party. Instead, we’ll inspire everyday Democrats to offer whatever they’re able in support of the issues they care about – a small donor model both President Barack Obama and Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders effectively harnessed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars.
Small donations increase our accountability to the people we serve, while decreasing the influence of dark money and corporate donations on Democratic policies, candidates and elected officials.
I believe by 2020, we can raise 50% of our funds from small donors who give under $100 a year. We’ll supplement small donations with no-strings-attached contributions from larger donors and organizations whose values align with and support the Democratic platform.
Use Technology to Amplify Impact.
Let’s invest in training and technologies that empower Florida’s Democrats to engage with the communities we serve in effective, innovative ways. We know what is possible and it is time to invest in tools that produce the data, communication, and small donor connections and relationships with voters across the state. The cost for development today is minimal and the likely benefit is tremendous.
Social media can connect our party to the people, our candidates to their constituencies, and our members to one another, producing enormous results yet to be realized.
Spread the Love across Florida.
Let’s build a 67-county strategy – including the 12 counties where no DEC currently exists. In a swing state like Florida where margins are thin, it’s important to build a strategy to engage every Democrat in our state, not only Democrats who live in Florida’s bluest counties. The technology tools for DEC development and management will greatly assist in our success.
Inspire without Force.
Let’s build a party where our members and officers are no longer influenced by threats from people in powerful positions, nor motivated by promises of personal gain. Let’s instead do the right thing for the good of our state and nation, and the people we actually serve. Let us not force consent, but instead inspire passionate participation and create space for the dissent that makes democracy possible.
Florida’s Democratic Party may consider restructuring to enable a truly unified, diverse, collaborative form of leadership that spans the spectrum of our diverse Party. Perhaps we could one day operate like a county commission or the Justice League, where power is shared among several individuals with diverse talents and geographic regions so that Florida’s Democrats are led by the best possible team. While these models may require bylaws changes, let’s be truly imaginative in creating the model that will lead to the best possible outcomes for Florida Democrats. Leadership reflecting those they serve, as a driving force.
Take Our Thumbs Off the Scale.
To ensure we choose candidates who are most likely to win in general elections, we must ensure our candidates participate in fair primaries that are not fixed by the voices or resources of Democratic organizations or officials. It is the people of Florida, and not only Party officials, who must select the Florida Democrats most qualified to compete in general elections.
Build Our Bench.
If we aim to win in 2018 and beyond, it is imperative that we recruit, train and create opportunities for potential candidates to gain valuable experience. Like internal party leaders, our candidate bench too must be reflective of the communities we serve – especially communities of color, the working poor, women and young people. New technologies will enable us to scale efforts to train large numbers of potential candidates.