Selected Florida Democratic Party/Biden Campaign/Supporter Communications Showing Examples of Activity

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Florida Democratic Party
September 17, 2020
For Immediate Release
Alexandra Caffrey

ICYMI: A historical battleground in Florida, the Orlando metro area, is turning “bluer” by the minute

This week two reports came out that focused on game-changing Democratic growth in the Orlando area. The first was an ABC News report on how Seminole County, a historically red county just north of Orlando is turning blue. Democrats won in Seminole for the first time in years in 2018 and that momentum has not slowed down. 

The second was a Politico report that noted how in must-win Florida, the increasingly Democratic Orlando region, with a deep bench of Democratic leaders and a grassroots organizing infrastructure to match, could help deliver the “crowning blow to Trump in November.” 

The stories speak to the Democratic enthusiasm and growth in the entire Orlando metro area, not just the suburbs or the urban center. And notably, Trump’s relentless criticism of vote by mail (despite voting by mail in Florida during last month’s primary) is only hurting his party in the Orlando metro area, where the recent primary elections “showcased Democrats’ growing mastery of vote-by-mail absentee ballots amid the pandemic.” Democrats are continuing to educate voters on vote-by-mail in Florida, amassing a 700,000+ vote by mail advantage to Republicans.

Marc Caputo | September 15, 2020

  • “The president must win Florida to capture a second term. But the increasingly Democratic Orlando region stands in his way as one of the few places in Florida with a bench of Democratic officials and a grassroots infrastructure to go along with it. As a result, the Biden campaign and Florida Democrats think it can help deliver the crowning blow to Trump in November.”

  • “Orlando’s Orange County has voted Democratic in five consecutive presidential elections. But last month’s primaries provided ample evidence that the county is ready to turn an even deeper shade of blue after the party won two county commission races and nominated a rising star in Democratic and Florida Puerto Rican politics, state Rep. Amy Mercado, to become countywide property appraiser.”

  • "Driving the leftward momentum: explosive urban growth, fueled by young voters and those with Puerto Rican roots, like Mercado. They are spreading from Orlando and Kissimmee throughout the swing state’s swing area, the Interstate 4 Corridor, which the Orlando media market anchors in the middle of the state."

  • "Recent Orange County elections — which showcased Democrats’ growing mastery of vote-by-mail absentee ballots amid the pandemic — served as a warning sign to Republicans who worry that the county could run up the score so much that it puts Biden over the top in this closely fought state."

  • “The primary was a dry run for what we’re going to do in November,” said a Biden campaign official who was not authorized to speak on record about strategy. “What Orange has is a new and emerging Democratic population — Latinos, progressive whites, working-class voters — that we could not turn out before. We can now. We have more tools in the toolbox.”

  • “Four years ago, when I ran, my district was the last Republican stronghold of Orange County and there was only one Democrat on the [seven-member] board of county commissioners. Now there will be just one [Republican] left,” Pedicini noted. “The Democrats are clearly energized. If the Republican turnout in November mirrors what we saw in the primary, it doesn’t bode well for Trump in this county.”

By Will McDuffie | September 14, 2020 
 
  • “No Democratic presidential nominee has won Seminole since Harry Truman in 1948, and the county appeared firmly in Republican hands as recently as 2016, when registered Republicans there outnumbered registered Democrats by more than 13,000. But that gap has closed -- and quickly. As of last month's primaries, Democrats trailed Republicans by only 1,000 voters.”

  • “After Trump won Seminole (and Florida) in 2016, Democrats' attitudes there changed, according to [Rob] Bial, [former Chair of the Seminole DEC]. "There was a huge outpouring of desire to get involved," he said.

  • “Paul Finnegan moved with his wife, Jean, to Winter Springs, just off Lake Jessup, in the mid-1990s. Paul, a Democrat in the couple's previous state of Virginia, registered with the Seminole County Republican Party and Jean, as a no party affiliation voter. Paul, who describes himself as a "liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat" spent his political energy trying to bring more conservative Republicans to the center.”

  • “Last year, [Paul] gave up. A year after Jean, disgruntled by Trump, switched her registration to the Democratic Party, Paul joined her. Jean now volunteers for the Seminole Democrats.”

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Florida Democratic Party
August 19, 2020
For Immediate Release
Alexandra Caffrey

Florida Democrats announce the Sunshine Slate: Over 400 Democratic Candidates running for state and local office in Florida

FLORIDA – Today, the Florida Democratic Party released its “Sunshine Slate” of Democrats on the ballot this November. With more than 400 Democrats running for state and local office across Florida, we are ready to flip Florida blue at every single level — from local offices all the way to the White House.

In 2019, the Florida Democratic Party launched the “Municipal Victory Program” and “Campaign Blueprint” and partnered with a dozen progressive partners to recruit and train candidates to run for local office. This June, in advance of the November election, FDP announced a $2 million investment into a newly formed Down Ballot Elections Department tasked with supporting the record number of Democrats running for state and local office in 2020.

“Today, the Florida Democratic Party announces our Sunshine Slate -- more than 400 candidates who will build long term power for Florida Democrats and help flip this state blue.  All politics is local and our candidates and our investments will put an end to out-of-touch Republican leadership— and replace it with elected leaders who will stand up for Florida families and core Democratic values of equality, the environment, affordable healthcare, and an economy that works for every single one of us,” said Rosy Gonzalez Speers, Senior Advisor for Down Ballot Elections at the Florida Democratic Party. 

The down ballot elections program includes continued investment in vote-by-mail, digital support, training, and advanced data and analytics, as well as communications, field, and campaign strategy resources for candidates. 

To introduce voters to the new Sunshine Slate, FDP will launch a “Meet the Candidate” series on Thursday’s at 6:30 PM where voters can get to know Democratic candidates running for office throughout Florida.   

As part of its $2 million investment, the Florida Democratic Party is launching a six figure digital ad buy focused solely on down ballot candidates and has purchased cutting edge data, digital and analytics tools to ensure campaigns make the most of their resources. 

“In 2019, the Florida Democratic Party partnered with dozens of progressive partners to recruit the largest and strongest class of Democratic down ballot candidates in decades. Yesterday’s record Democratic turnout is evidence that our candidates were able to turn out the vote, but our work is not yet done,” said Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. “From expanding Medicaid, to helping the unemployed, to safely re-opening schools, it is abundantly clear that local leaders have a profound impact on our lives. In addition to sending Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House, Florida Democrats will work to elect every member of our Sunshine Slate! We need local leaders who will support Joe Biden as President right here in Florida.”

 You can find our current list of candidates here. This list will be updated as more election results become official.

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August 18, 2020

Florida Democratic Party Chair: Democrats Are Fired Up

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement on the primary election:

"It's clear Democrats across Florida are fired up and committed to making a change in 2020. A record number of Democrats enrolled in vote-by-mail and voted early — casting their ballots safely from home and in-person.

"President Trump decided to spread dangerous disinformation about the effectiveness of voting by mail — clearly that has made an impression on Florida Republicans. No one should feel the need to choose between their health or their right to vote. That's why we will continue to emphasize that voting by mail is a safe and secure way to make your voice heard.

I'm so proud of the work every candidate, staffer, and volunteer did to energize and organize voters during this unprecedented time. Primaries make our party stronger and we're entering the final stretch of this election prepared to make history.

"As Joe Biden says, we're in the battle for the soul of our nation — and Florida Democrats will spend the next 76 days going pedal to the metal to get out the vote. Onward!"

ed. -The Biden campaign is doing lots of roundtables, discussions and conversations with surrogates.  For example the two below, one national focusing on the LGBTQ community, and one focusing on Florida Latinos, were on Aug. 7.  Are these effective?







July 13, 2020
Contact: Karla Alvarado

Florida Democrats announce over 1 million Democrats have enrolled in vote-by-mail since March 17th Presidential Preference Primary 

Florida Democrats also increase vote-by-mail edge over Republicans to more than 400,000 voters

FLORIDA– Today, the Florida Democratic Party announced over 1 million Democrats have enrolled or renewed their vote by mail enrollment since the March 17th Presidential Preference Primary. 

Additionally, Florida Democrats now hold a 423,379 voter vote-by-mail enrollment advantage over the Florida GOP. Two weeks ago, Florida Democrats published a memo touting a 300,000 vote-by-mail enrollment edge. In 2016, Florida Democrats held a slim 8,800 edge in vote-by-mail.

Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo released the following statement: 

“In an election that will be decided on the margins, the Florida Democratic Party is committed to making sure every single voter in Florida is able to vote safely and securely this November. Our team has been working tirelessly to organize thousands of volunteers to do the important work of enrolling their friends and neighbors into vote-by-mail. We are thrilled by the incredible energy we are seeing on the ground and today we are proud to announce that one million more Democrats have enrolled in vote-by-mail to elect Joe Biden this November!”

In order to drive up vote-by-mail enrollment, the coordinated campaign to elect Democrats in Florida has:

  • Made more than 3.8 million phone calls
  • Texted 4.1 million voters
  • Completed 19,404 volunteer shifts

In addition, Florida Democrats continue to out-register Republicans, growing their voter registration edge by 15,000 voters over 2018. 


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MEMO: VOTE BY MAIL IN FLORIDA
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Juan Peñalosa, Executive Director
DATE: June 24, 2020

INTRODUCTION:
With the election less than 5 months away, the state released an updated vote-by-mail enrollment file for the first time since the March 18 primary and the numbers are striking.

Since the March 17 primary, Democrats have enrolled 350,000 Democrats into vote-by-mail compared to Republicans enrolling 160,000 more GOP voters into vote-by-mail. Democrats now have a 302,000 voter lead in vote-by-mail enrollments.
At a first glance, this is good news for Democrats. And a deeper analysis of the numbers gives even more cause for alarm at the Florida GOP headquarters.

HOW FLORIDA DEMOCRATS FLIPPED THE SCRIPT ON THE GOP IN VOTE-BY-MAIL

In early 2019, Florida Democrats began building a field team and a network of progressive coalitions to establish a statewide volunteer corps and develop a unified strategy to flip the state for Democrats in 2020. 

As of today, we have 241 staff who are building a winning statewide grassroots infrastructure and 19,876 active volunteers who have completed training and volunteer shifts with the Florida Democratic Party.   

For the first time in nearly a decade, in a state that is always won on the margins Florida Democrats have built a strong and well trained volunteer corps ready before the launch of the general election. Nearly 20,000 volunteers have completed more than 80,000 volunteer shifts -- and anyone with a voter file can see the fruits of their labor. Florida Democratic Party and Joe Biden volunteers are responsible for the increase in vote-by-mail and they will be responsible for turning out the vote for Joe Biden and Democrats in November.  

Furthermore, this level of volunteerism has not been seen this early in the cycle in this state since 2012. For comparison, in June 2016 the FDP had 1,500 volunteers who had completed fewer than 1,000 volunteer shifts. Last week alone, more than 4,000 volunteers and staff made one million calls and texts to Florida’s Democratic voters, and enrolled more than 15,000 Democrats into vote-by-mail. 

The massive field effort waged by Democrats to enroll Democrats into vote-by-mail has not been countered by the Florida GOP. Their failure to act, coupled with the President’s war on vote-by-mail, has had a chilling effect on Republican enrollment. Politico nodded to recent polling from Republican pollsters that confirmed Florida Republicans are moving away from vote-by-mail – and you don’t really have to look any further than the numbers to see that this is true. 

THE TYPES OF DEMOCRATS ENROLLING IN VOTE-BY-MAIL IS TROUBLE FOR GOP

Since 2012, Florida Democrats have increased emphasis on vote-by-mail – recognizing it as an important tool to win the state. From 2012 to 2017, Florida Democrats were able to narrow the divide in enrollments by enrolling sporadic voters – voters who sometimes turn out, but often don’t – into vote-by-mail. But, turnout still lagged and the GOP were successful in winning vote-by-mail and as a result the top of the ticket elections in 2014, 2016 and 2018.  Democrats changed strategy in 2018.

Non-voters: In 2018, Florida Democrats widened their aperture of voters to enroll in vote-by-mail from just sporadic voters, to include voters who don’t turn-out and voters who are on inactive voting rolls for missing multiple elections.  

This is notable for two reasons: (1) this is a much larger pool of Democratic voters than sporadic voters; and (2) these voters have been largely ignored by campaigns for nearly a decade due to their non-voter status. 

In 2018, we enrolled 218,000 non-voters into vote-by-mail and more than 40% of them voted. In fact, 1 in 4 Democrats who voted by mail in 2018, voted for the first time in a midterm election– and more Democrats voted in 2018 than in 2016, due to the expansion of the electorate thanks to vote-by-mail.

Democrats are continuing our outreach to non-voting Democrats, ensuring a high Democratic turnout for Joe Biden this November. Of the voters we’ve enrolled in vote-by-mail since the 2020 primary, 103,000 are Democrats who definitely support Joe Biden, but according to voter trends, these voters are not likely to turn out unless they are approached by Democrats and the Biden campaign. By acting now to enroll them into vote-by-mail, we can ensure they will be reached through our outreach programs and persuade them to turn in their ballot.  

CHANGES IN VOTING PATTERNS ARE PROBLEMATIC FOR THE FLORIDA GOP

A change in voting patterns is going to have a tangible effect on this election in Florida. There are three primary take-aways in the shift:

More voters are likely to cast their ballot when they are mailed a ballot in advance. Historically, the party that is able to harness the power of vote-by-mail has a major advantage. Additional time to research choices, remove deterrents like long lines and removing barriers like work and child care preventing people from making it to the polls, allows more voters to exercise their right to vote. 

Campaign “get out the vote” efforts are markedly improved when voters have ballots in hand a month in advance. In 2106 and 2018, Florida Republican campaigns have benefited from 30% of their voters voting by mail -- reducing the number of voters they need to turn out on election day by more than 1.04 million voters in 2018 and 1.01 million voters in 2018. If these voters eschew vote-by-mail and choose to vote on election day, get out the vote field efforts by GOP campaigns will be tested. Adding hundreds of thousands more voters to election day turnout efforts is a brand new challenge for GOP campaigns across the board. And with Democrats efforts to enroll more voters -- particularly low turnout voters -- into vote-by-mail the inverse is true for Democratic campaigns.

DOWN BALLOT DEMOCRATS BENEFIT FROM VOTE-BY-MAIL
In Florida, in down-ballot races Democrats have often had the turnout necessary to win majorities in the legislative and municipal level – if the voters who were voting at the top of the ticket, voted all the way down the ballot. But, Democrats don’t. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats vote top of the ticket and leave the rest of the ballot blank. 

In 2018, as a result of vote-by-mail enrollment, Florida Democrats were able to decrease drop-off voting in key elections across the state. And when races in Florida are decided by a tenth of a percent, these margins are the difference between victory and defeat.


The work that FDP did to enroll more Democrats into vote-by-mail in 2018 to ensure Democrats voted all the way down the ballot led to Florida Democrats flipping two Congressional seats, securing our first statewide cabinet victory in more than a decade, sending the largest Democratic delegation to Tallahassee in over 20 years, and flipping the county governments in Miami-Dade, Orange County and Hillsborough.

CONCLUSION

Vote-By-Mail enrollment numbers spell trouble for Republicans in 2020 at the top of the ticket as well as down ballot.

The enrollments are a result of tens of thousands of volunteers making calls, sending mail and text messages -- and this level of volunteerism indicates an enthusiasm for Biden and Democrats which should worry the Florida GOP.  
 
In addition, the change in voting patterns and the fact that a large number of Democrats who are not traditional voters are enrolling into vote-by-mail indicates that not only is there enthusiasm on behalf of volunteers and the grassroots -- but also enthusiasm to vote on the behalf of Democratic voters.

Voting pattern changes also benefit Democrats as vote-by-mail voters tend to vote all the way down the ballot helping the record number of Democratic candidates who filed to run for office this year. Republican voters move away from vote-by-mail means the Florida GOP is going to be responsible for a massive increase in voters they need to turn out on election day.

There are more than 100 days until people begin voting in Florida, and with Democrats doubling down on vote-by-mail -- we expect that the 300,000 vote margin in vote-by-mail enrollment will only grow. This spells trouble for Republicans on election day.

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May 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Frances Swanson

Florida Democrats Hosted 1st Virtual Weekend of Action Six Months Before Election 

FLORIDA - Over the weekend, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) hosted its first virtual Weekend of Action just 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. By the numbers:

  • Over 250 volunteers made calls to Floridians across the state
  • Over 550 volunteers took part in one of dozens of live virtual trainings provided by FDP University 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

“Our successful first all-digital weekend of action shows us that Floridians are energized and ready to turn Donald Trump’s home state blue in November, said Juan Peñalosa, FDP’s Executive Director. “Our work mobilizing voters has never been more important -- the crisis has taught us that Trump’s incompetence is dangerous and we cannot afford another four years of his mismanagement.” 

“We have been organizing Floridians remotely for over a month and this weekend of action allowed us to harness enthusiasm from our volunteers and reach out to Floridians in every corner of the state,” said Chris Hill, FDP’s Field Director.

Traditionally, weekends of action are centered around an in-person canvass launch where volunteers meet at a specific location and then head out with their clipboards to knock on doors or canvass high-traffic areas. FDP re-created that experience for volunteers virtually last weekend by using video conferencing to meet with and train volunteers before their phone banking shifts.

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 do virtual learning

Last month, FDP shifted our team of 100+ staff and 15,000+ volunteers online. FDP’s team of organizers and volunteers have called, texted and directly messaged more than 1.5 million Floridians since April 1st. 

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March 30, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Frances Swanson

DNC, Florida Democratic Party Team Up to Text 1 Million Floridians to Boost Vote-By-Mail Enrollment 

Making vote-by-mail more accessible will be increasingly important amidst coronavirus crisis 

This week, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are partnering to launch a massive texting campaign to encourage Floridians to register to vote-by-mail. Hundreds of volunteers will text over one million Florida voters asking them to vote-by-mail in the upcoming election. Florida Democrats have long invested in boosting vote-by-mail turnout among unlikely voters, and this method of remote voting is increasingly important in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The DNC and FDP built a strong campaign infrastructure early and are quickly adapting it to function digitally. For example,in late January, the DNC bought tens of millions of cell phone numbers across the country, including Florida, to improve voter contact. FDP’s team has already registered 54,000 voters this cycle and completed 45,000 volunteer shifts. These types of early investments are paying dividends as Democrats continue to campaign under new circumstances and work to modernize our elections to protect voters.

In 2018, the Florida Democratic Party executed a one million dollar program to increase vote-by-mail participation and helped sign up more than 578,000 new Democrats to vote remotely. Record vote-by-mail turnout is the reason why more Democrats voted in the 2020 Florida primary compared to 2016, despite lower in-person turnout on election day. Vote-by-mail is a reliable and safe method for Floridians to vote during this time of uncertainty.

Juan Peñalosa, Florida Democratic Party Executive Director: "We need to modernize our voting systems to protect voters, and our partnership with the DNC to enroll Floridians in vote-by-mail does just that. If Trump and DeSantis won’t act to protect the vote from a global pandemic, we will.” 

David Bergstein, DNC Battleground State Communications Director: "The DNC is proud to partner with the Florida Democratic Party and state parties across the country to implement innovative tactics like this one that allow us to continue communicating with voters during this time. Some of our methods have changed, but our work to defeat Trump and help Democrats win at every level is advancing strongly." 

READ MORE ABOUT THE DNC AND FDP’S EFFORTS HERE:

MIAMI HERALD: “The Democratic National Committee is launching a text message campaign in Florida asking voters to switch to vote-by-mail ballots, as voter registration organizations continue to shift methods and goals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Florida Democratic Party, the national party said it was planning to text over a million people in Florida to push for an increase in mail ballot turnout. The groups also touted buying ‘tens of millions’ of phone numbers this January to boost Democratic outreach. The state party has repeatedly encouraged the federal government and Gov. Ron DeSantis to expand opportunities to vote by mail amid the outbreak as experts increasingly warn that election systems aren’t prepared for a pandemic. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress put $400 million into state election systems — one-tenth of the $4 billion House Democrats initially proposed.”

POLITICO: “ONE MILLION — The Democratic National Committee and Florida Democratic Party are launching an effort to text 1 million Democrats urging them to sign up to receive their ballot in the mail. Democrats are asking hundreds of volunteers to reach out to voters who don’t vote by mail or are listed as inactive voters. The party has shifted a lot of its focus in the last couple of years to pushing vote by mail but the coronavirus outbreak has made it particularly crucial, party officials said. Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said in statement that ‘we need to modernize our voting systems to protect voters, and our partnership with the DNC to enroll Floridians in vote-by-mail does just that.’”

TAMPA BAY TIMES: “The Florida Democratic Party plans to text 1 million Floridians this week and urge them to register to vote-by-mail. It will require hundreds of the party’s volunteers to message people across the state in the coming days in hopes of converting them into remote voters. Florida Democrats came into 2020 planning to double down on vote-by-mail and dedicated $1 million to that cause. The state party will tap into the massive database of cell phones the Democratic National Committee purchased in January to help increase voter contact in 2020.”

SUN SENTINEL: “The state Democrats, along with the Democratic National Committee, plan to announce Monday that they’re launching a “massive texting campaign” to urge registered Democrats to sign up to vote by mail. Recipients will get a link to sign up to receive a mail ballot.The party said Democrats are enlisting hundreds of volunteers to text more than 1 million Florida voters. The messages won’t be coming from robots, a spokeswoman said.”


March 10, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Alex Morash

Florida Democrats Add Dozens More Staff

Staffed Up And Ready To Beat Trump In November

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Democratic Party continues to grow in strength and in staff. Today, the party announced dozens of new hires and promotions, bringing the party staff total to 104 campaign staff. The new additions make the state party the largest state campaign staff in the country -- and larger than Donald Trump’s Florida re-election campaign staff.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, stated:

"We said we were going to defeat Trump in Florida and we mean it. In 2019, we grew our voter registration edge over Republicans and have surpassed 5 million registered Democrats for the first time in history. Our amazing staff of 100 campaign professionals have mobilized more than 12,000 volunteers to complete 40,000 volunteer shifts -- and we aren’t stopping until we take back our state and make Donald Trump a one-term President.”

The party is in the midst of a massive voter registration effort across the Sunshine State. Upon launching voter registration efforts in July of 2019, FDP registered 28 voters per day. In February, the Florida Democratic Party increased that average to 482 registrations per day — 50,000 registrations so far and we are on pace to collect 150,000 more registrations before the start of the general election in August.

Promotions

Brittney Geathers
Director of African-American Outreach

Geathers has worked and volunteered on local, state, and congressional campaigns in Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina since 2010. Her most recent role with FDP was serving as the Community Engagement Director for Region 7 working with democrats in urban and rural counties and on college campuses from Tallahassee to Gainesville. She has been active with groups including the Leon County Democratic Black Caucus, Young Democrats, and NAACP. She is a proud MBA graduate from Florida A&M University.

Ella K. Coffee
Deputy Director of Political Affairs

Coffee has been with the state party working as a statewide deputy director in community engagement since 2019. Working to help elect Democrats in Florida is a high priority for Coffee: "When we look at the values of Democrats and why we fight for our rights, we are fighting for our children and grandchildren. We are fighting for ALL to share in a common purpose, being respected to live our lives in a country that appreciates diversity.”

Abigayil Yisrael
Regional Field Director for Hillsborough, Sumter, and Pasco County 

Before embarking on her new role, she was Northeast Florida community engagement director for Duval, Nassau, Clay, St.Johns, Putnam, Bradford, Columbia, Union, and Baker counties. In 2016, she served as a presidential field organizer for FDP. Yisrael is a proud graduate of the University of North Florida.

Keith Hardy
Regional Field and Engagement Director, Panhandle

Hardy is a native of Pensacola and a graduate of the University of West Florida. He has been involved in Democratic politics since 2004, starting out as a volunteer and later working as a staffer for various campaigns. He is being promoted from his position as Community Engagement Director for the Panhandle region.

Sam Dorr
Regional Field and Engagement Director, Miami-Dade

Dorr is a native Miamian and longtime South Florida activist. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2002, he worked as a legislative aide to a Member of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Since moving back to South Florida in 2006, he has worked on all manner of campaigns, from municipal to presidential races, and is committed to taking Florida back in 2020.

Harrison Angelis
Regional Field and Engagement Director, Seminole and Volusia County  

A 17-year resident of Seminole County, Angelis started with the party in 2016 as an Organizing Fellow. During the midterms, he worked for U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy‘s successful re-election campaign in 2018, and after that rejoined the party as its Central Florida community engagement director in 2019.

Jami Hudson
Regional Field Director For Southwest Florida

Hudson has been with the FDP since April of 2018, I have worked as a Community Engagement Director for SouthWest FL as well as a Regional Field Director during the 2018 Coordinated Campaign. I moved to Fort Myers Florida in 2004 from Minneapolis MN.

Alex Berrios
Regional Field Director For Palm Beach County

Berrios returned to the Florida Democratic Party as a community engagement director in 2019, after serving as a field organizer in 2018 and was a recount site lead after the election. He is the founder of the Palm Beach County Youth Foundation and is a business owner, being the owner of Tactical Boxing and Fitness since 2005.

Brooke Christy
Regional Field Director For Orange And Brevard Counties

Christy is a Central Florida native and relocated to Orlando after graduating from Florida State University. During her time in Tallahassee, Brooke displayed her commitment to public service: she served as the legislative analyst to the Florida Senate Democratic Office, lead organizer for a Tallahassee Mayoral campaign, and field organizer for Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign. Christy has committed her education and career to empowering the voices of others, and coordinating grassroots efforts.

New Hires

Jes Cruz
Training Director 

Cruz is the new Training Director at the Florida Democratic Party where she oversees the 2020 training program. She previously served as the Deputy Director of Training at EMILY’s List, where she managed the on-the-ground logistics for the Run to Win training program including candidate training and conferences, and she has worked on several campaigns.

Miles Davis
Deputy Political Director

Davis joined FDP after working as a legislative aide for State Rep. Dianne Hart. A 2016 campaign veteran, Miles previously worked on the campaigns of St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, Iowa State Senator Nate Boulton, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and candidate for U.S. Congress against Ted Yoho, former Gainesville City Commissioner Yvonne Hayes Hinson.

Sam Koplewicz
Deputy Voter Protection Director

Koplewicz was born and raised in New York City. He received a BA in Public Policy from Brown University and a JD from Harvard Law School. Sam was a Fulbright Scholar in Croatia where he studied money laundering law enforcement. He was also a Harvard Law Satter Fellow for Human Rights Watch in Lebanon.

Herly Rosemond
Voter Protection Deputy Director

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Herlande knows firsthand the impact of poverty and lack of educational opportunities. A first-generation student of higher education, Herlande earned her A.B., summa cum laude, from Bowdoin College and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Herlande is a former associate and law clerk to two different federal judges. During the 2016 and 2018 election cycle, she did voter protection work in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Herlande brings a wealth of professional experience and personal passion to her role as voter protection deputy director for the Florida Democratic Party.

Cassie Baars
Deputy Finance Director 

Baars joined the Florida Democratic Party recently as deputy finance director after working as a national finance assistant on Sec. Julián Castro's presidential campaign.

Conner Jure
Regional Field Director Pinellas County

Jure is a Pinellas County native, where he is the Regional Field Director for the Florida Democratic Party. Previously, he was a Field Organizer in New Hampshire for Senator Cory Booker's presidential campaign. He was also a Field Organizer in St. Petersburg, for the Florida Coordinated Campaign for the 2018 midterm election.

Jeffrey Pole
Regional Field Director for Broward

Pole is a lifelong Democrat and an Army veteran of seven years, Pole worked as a field organizer for FDP in 2016 on the Hillary Clinton campaign. He has been involved in the Broward Democratic Party since the 2016 election and served as second vice-chair of the county party.

New Field Organizers:

  • Ana-Christina Acosta Gaspar de Alba
  • Tierney Carlson
  • Tia Rodriguez 
  • Taylor Aguilera
  • Diana Pizarro
  • Audrey Wheeler
  • Eleanor McDonough
  • Sharalyn Price  
  • Taylor Aguilera  
  • Pierrot Mervilier  
  • Braelyn Bishop  
  • Jasmine Fernandes

New College Organizers:

  • Molly Malaney
  • Gabriel Gomez
  • Allie Odishelidze
  • Mark Haver
  • London Camel
  • Ryan Skinner
  • Samantha Morden
  • Nourhan Mesbah
  • Paola Perez
  • Taylor Hemphill
  • Vanessa Gomez
  • Chloé DeFreitas
  • Fleener Cophy
  • Jivan Nkansah
  • Wadeline Souffrant
  • Bailey Scala-Sanders
  • Xavier Ortega
  • Renae Burke
  • Karla Correa
  • Modelyne Saintelus
  • Gabriel Linares
  • Pedro Goncalves


February 25, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Alex Morash

Democrats Celebrate Historic 5 Million Active Registered Democrats

Topping the 5 million milestone shows Democrats are organized and ready to flip Florida blue.

Miami Springs, Fla. — Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, along with Karen André, the executive director of Forward Florida Action, Adriana Rivera of Alianza for Progress, and Andrea Mercado of New Florida Majority, held a news conference today to celebrate Democrats reaching the historic 5 million voter mark.

Florida is the largest battleground state in the country, known for incredibly close elections. The Florida Democratic Party is taking nothing for granted and aggressively working to engage voters early.

As of publication, Florida now has at least 13,698,000 registered voters, up about 420,000 since the general election in 2018. There are now 5,076,000 registered Democrats to 4,821,000 registered Republicans. Democrats have a two-point advantage with 37 percent of registered voters with 35 percent of voters registered as Republican.

FDP is building the electorate we need to defeat Trump and win a majority in the Florida Legislature.

At the press conference Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, discussed the party’s voter registration efforts:

“Florida Democrats launched a program to register 200,000 voters statewide by the time of the state Democratic Primary in August 2020, and we are well on our way. I am proud to announce that we have registered more than 40,000 voters since last June! 

“When we launched this program in June of 2019, we were registering 28 people per day. As of today, our team is registering 446 voters each day -- and that average is increasing each month. If we stay on our current trajectory, the Party alone will collect 200,000 voter registrations by the launch of the General Election -- compared to fewer than 20,000 voters registered by the Party in advance of the 2018 election. 

“We are seeing a diverse young group of voters joining Florida’s electorate. Over half of the voters the Florida Democratic Party has registered are under 35. More than a third are African American and Caribbean, and 25 percent are Hispanic. We are taking no one for granted and are proud of our work to engage everyone.” 

Karen André, executive director of Forward Florida Action, praised organizers for their hard work:

“Mayor Gillum issued a call to Democrats across the state of Florida to register and re-engage voters. Well today, there is no doubt in my mind that we have all heard this message loud and clear. 

“Grassroots Democrats got to work because we know democracy is not a spectators’ sport. We did the hard work of democracy all across the state in red and blue districts alike. And the Florida Democratic Party has been key to this work, and we thank Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo for her leadership.”

Adriana Rivera of Alianza for Progress discussed the importance of engaging the many Hispanic and Latin American communities in Florida, including the Puerto Rican population concentrated in Florida’s I-4 corridor:

“Most of [Alianza for Progress and it’s coalition partners’] work in the I-4 corridor, where three-fourths of the Puerto Rican population live. The Puerto Ricans in Florida are about 1.3 million at this point.

[...]

“We are very proud to be part of this coalition because the Latinos in Florida need to be reached out early, numerous times, and with nuance. The Latinos all have different interests where they are from.”

Andrea Mercado of New Florida Majority discussed the importance of expanding the electorate in the face of Republican opposition:

“We are building a new majority of voters that participate in our democracy in every step of the way. Whether they are registering people to vote, advocating for their rights at the county commission or deciding to run for office themselves.

“In order for Florida to have a real democracy that’s not dictated and decided by just a few we must expand the electorate to make sure that all people, especially young people, and people of color, and women have a voice and a vote. It has not been an easy task because Republicans are on a mission to attack people’s right to participate in democracy every way that they can. But, we are relentless.”

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February 3, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Frances Swanson

Before the First Major Primary Test: An Inside Look at the Florida Democratic Party’s Unprecedented Build-Up for Eventual Nominee 

Tallahassee, Fl - On the day of the Iowa Caucuses, the first major test of the Democratic presidential primary, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) highlights the infrastructure it is building for the eventual Democratic nominee’s Florida campaign.

FDP has learned from its previous mistakes and has aggressively developed a campaign capable of defeating Trump — long before a Democratic nominee is chosen. In the 2016 election, FDP did not hire and train a field team until after the convention in July. This year, there are already over 50 people on the field team. 

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement: 

“Today is the first major test in the Democratic Presidential primary, but the Florida Democratic Party has been laying the groundwork for our eventual nominee for more than a year.” 

Chair Rizzo continued: “Donald Trump has put children in cages, gone to court to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and passed a massive tax cut for the rich on the backs of the middle class. We cannot afford another four years of his presidency, and we are taking nothing for granted in 2020. Florida is the most critical battleground state in the country and we are already hard at work building the infrastructure needed to flip Florida blue.”

MORE ON FDP’S WORK TO BUILD STRONG CAMPAIGN FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE

Building Strong Infrastructure 
  • FDP has raised and invested $7.6 million in our campaign to defeat Trump
  • As of February 1, 2020, FDP's campaign to defeat Trump consists of 92 full-time employees, the largest staff of any state Democratic Party in the nation — and equal to the Trump Florida campaign and Republican Party of Florida combined.
  • FDP has already spent more than $500,000 on paid media focused on African American, Hispanic and young voters.
  • FDP has launched a year-round voter protection department — including a 24-hour voter protection hotline: 1 (833) VOTE-FLA

Organizing to Win
  • In addition to our 92 person campaign team, FDP and the DNC launched Organizing Corps 2020, a $1.5 million field program that employs 300+ Florida college students tasked with organizing campuses and registering voters across the state.
  • The FDP has registered more than 30,000 voters since launching our efforts in July of 2019, compared to fewer than 13,000 voters in 2015. The Party is on track to register 200,000 voters before the general election begins.
  • In 2015, the FDP sent voters 1 text message. In 2019, the FDP sent 357,439 texts. 
  • In 2019, FDP called 353,807 voters, compared to 243,543 phone calls in 2015.
  • In 2019 FDP knocked 443,443 doors, compared to 300,987 doors in 2015.

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January 8, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Caroline Rowland

Florida Democratic Party Announces Joy Howell as Communications Director for 2020 Campaign

Tallahassee, FL--- Today the Florida Democratic Party announced that political campaign veteran Joy Howell is starting this week as the new communications director for the party. Howell comes to the party after serving as communications director and senior strategist for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She has a long history in Democratic campaigns including as a communications director for the Gore/Lieberman Presidential Campaign and the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

More recently, Howell served as founder of a national consulting firm and has had senior strategy roles on dozens of US Senate, Congressional and issue-based campaigns in Florida and across the nation.

“Joy Howell is one of the most experienced communications professionals in the country, and we’re thrilled she is bringing her experience to our ramped-up, amped-up team to defeat Trump in 2020,” said Chair Terrie Rizzo. “Trump is an ineffective leader, who cares more about his twitter following than Florida families. His economy benefits only the well-to-do and well-connected, and he has used his platform to demean women, people of color, immigrants and Christians alike. With Joy’s help, the Florida Democratic Party will ensure that voters understand exactly who Trump is when they cast their ballots in November.”
 
“I’m excited to be joining the team that will defeat Trump in 2020. Florida is the largest battleground state and Trump cannot win the White House without winning the Sunshine State. Democrats will take back Florida because Trump has spent the better part of the last three years alienating every voting block he needs to win. Women, immigrants, farmers, people of faith and people of color have felt the pain of his policies and his rhetoric. I’m committed to defeating Trump because it’s time for the reckless Trump reality TV show to end,” Howell said.

Howell holds an MPA from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Redlands and can be reached at. Caroline Rowland will stay on as a senior communications advisor to the Party and can still be reached at —.

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FDP has the largest state party in the country. With 94 paid employees (and growing), Florida Democrats are larger than Trump’s Florida operation and the Republican Party of Florida combined and equal to Barack Obama’s early staffing in the Sunshine State. With 39,000 volunteer shifts completed in 2019 (compared to just 3,000 in 2015) --Democrats are more energized and organized than ever to defeat President Trump.

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December 20, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Caroline Rowland

Florida Democrats Announce New Director of Rapid Response 

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, the Florida Democratic Party, with the Democratic National Committee, announced Frances Swanson has joined the team as the director of rapid response. Swanson will focus on holding Trump accountable for his broken promises to Floridians and the impacts of his cruel policies on the Sunshine State — from his mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act to his desire to sell off Florida’s coastline for offshore drilling. 

“We are thrilled to have Frances on the team! We are making early investments needed to build a strong team to send Donald Trump packing in 2020 and her position will play a huge role in that,” said Chair Terrie Rizzo, “The road to the White House runs right through Florida and it is crucial we have someone dedicated to exposing Trump for who he really is — a corrupt and ineffective president who consistently breaks his promises to Floridians.” 

Before joining the Florida Democratic Party, Swanson was the Iowa Press Secretary for Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign and the Iowa Media Manager for NextGen America’s youth vote program in 2018. 

FDP currently has a staff of over 90, the largest staff for a Democratic State Party in the country. At this time in 2015, the party only had a staff of 20.

You can contact Frances Swanson at

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With one-year to go until election day the Florida Democratic Party is laying the groundwork to defeat Donald Trump by hiring an army of organizers across the state. With $5.2 million already invested in the campaign to win the state, Florida Democrats have committed to register 200,000 voters by next July and build partnerships with community organizations and begin organizing in communities of color now. In addition, the party has launched a our Municipal Victory program to recruit and train candidates, and has launched a first-ever voter protection program and a 24 hour voter protection hotline to ensure that every eligible voter can register and cast a ballot in 2020, and safeguard our elections from suppression and interference.

December 5, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Luisana Pérez Fernández

ICYMI: Florida Democrats launch plan to boost vote-by-mail turnout in 2020

Today, Forward Florida and the Florida Democratic Party announced a partnership to re-engage Florida voters in 2020, a major push to reach voters of color and young voters. The new initiative will build the infrastructure needed to win in the 2020 elections by identifying Hispanic and African American Democrats who are registered to vote but do not turn out, and enroll them in vote-by-mail. The initiative will also focus on helping flip swing legislative seats and protect Democratic legislative districts. 

FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo said:

“We are working hard to engage voters of color and am so proud to be working with Mayor Gillum to strengthen the party’s year-round work reaching out to voters of color. This re-engagement initiative is not about a single election, it is about ensuring Floridians are heard and that they can create a Florida that sees them and works for them. Our job at the Florida Democratic Party is to build an infrastructure designed to ensure a Democratic win, and that requires year-round investment and that's our commitment.”
 
Mayor Andrew Gillum said:

“I am excited to announce this new partnership with the Florida Democratic Party to re-engage voters across the state. Too often, voters of color and young voters aren't prioritized by our politics. We're changing that. By re-engaging voters who have fallen out of the Democratic process, we are building real, lasting progressive infrastructure for the first time in the State of Florida.”


Key Points:
  • “Florida Democrats, with a financial boost from former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, plan to spend nearly a half-million dollars on a campaign to urge Hispanic and African American voters to cast their ballots by mail in the 2020 presidential election.”

  • “Gillum said he plans to raise $450,000 on behalf of the Florida Democratic Party to help cover the cost of the campaign, the latest in a string of commitments he's made in advance of 2020. He's raising money for an ambitious voter registration program, and last week said he was partnering with Democratic super PAC Forward Majority to flip Florida House seats.”

  • “This latest effort is a way to “building real and lasting infrastructure", Gillum said, and he emphasized the importance of a surge in Democratic turnout in 2020. Florida will be key to President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, and Republicans will control the swing state's political redistricting in the coming decade unless Democrats can take control of one of the two legislative chambers.”

  • “Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, stressed that this latest effort is not about signing up new voters but making it easier for those already registered.”

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November 6, 2019
For Immediate Release

Florida Democrats Launch Defeat Trump Website Telling Stories of Floridians Who are Ready to Defeat Trump

Tallahassee, Fl. - On Monday, the Florida Democratic Party launched a digital organizing website called DefeatTrumpFL.com, which shares Floridians stories -and provides resources on how people can get involved to defeat Trump in Florida. The party is encouraging people to mobilize, organize, and their own story of why we need to Defeat Trump.
 
"With one-year to go before our election day, volunteer engagement has never been this higher, and this is a way to build on our efforts and engage our online audience," said FDP Executive Director Juan Peñalosa. "Floridians across the state are registering voters, sharing their personal stories, and working to take back our state and the White House."

Floridians can submit their own stories on the website easily - and they will be shared across a wide network of Florida voters. The website also features a digital-toolkit that activists across the state can use.

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With one-year to go until election day the Florida Democratic Party is laying the groundwork to defeat Donald Trump by hiring an army of organizers across the state. With $5.2 million already invested in the campaign to win the state, Florida Democrats have committed to register 200,000 voters by next July and build partnerships with community organizations and begin organizing in communities of color now. In addition, the party has launched a our Municipal Victory program to recruit and train candidates, and has launched a first-ever voter protection program and a 24 hour voter protection hotline to ensure that every eligible voter can register and cast a ballot in 2020, and safeguard our elections from suppression and interference.

Date: 11/1/2019
To: Interested Parties
From: Juan Peñalosa, Executive Director Florida Democratic Party
Subject: One-year from Election Day, Florida Democratic Party Creating Robust Operation, Growing Electorate for Eventual Nominee

Top Lines: 

  • Determined not to make the same mistakes, the Florida Democratic Party began an organized and early effort to lay the infrastructure to win in 2020, 18 months before the 2020 election.
  • FDP has already raised $5.2 million for the campaign to defeat Trump -- with more than a year to election day.
  • FDP’s campaign to defeat Trump has a paid campaign team of 91 employees, the largest staff of any Democratic State Party in the nation -- and equal to the Trump Florida campaign and RPOF combined.
  • With more than a year to the election, FDP has a massive campaign operation and is on pace to register 200,000 voters by July 2020:
  • FDP has increased volunteerism by 1221% over 2015, completing more than 34,000 volunteer shifts in 2019.
  • Registered more than 17,000 voters since program launch in June. 
  • Democrats have out-registered Republicans 4 months in a row for the first time in 3 years
  • We aren’t waiting until the general election to increase participation and turnout in key demographics including youth, African American and Hispanic voters in the Sunshine State.
  • FDP and the DNC launched a $1.5 million Organizing Corps 2020, employing 300+ college students tasked with organizing FL campuses.
  • FDP has already spent more than $500,000 on paid media to African American, Hispanic and young voters.
  • FDP’s organizers are 60% minority, over half speak 2 or more languages (including Creole, Spanish and Portuguese).
  • In Florida, voter suppression happens 365 days a year. To combat suppression, we have launched a year-round voter protection department, with a 24-hour voter protection hotline and regional legal and data teams, ensuring that every voter who is eligible, can register and cast a ballot.
  • More Democrats on the ballot, means more Democrats turn out to vote. FDP has launched Campaign Blueprint and Municipal Victory Programs, to double the number of trained Democratic candidates in Florida, compared to 2015.

VOTER ENGAGEMENT AND REGISTRATION

The Florida Democratic Party is organizing earlier than ever before - investing more than $5.2 million to date in a campaign team that will span the state, building volunteerism, training staff, increasing engagement and creating the electorate we need to win.  

Voter Registration:

Florida Democrats have committed to registering 200,000 voters before the DNC Convention in July of 2020. The last time Florida Democrats had a massive off-year voter registration program was 2011 when Florida Democrats registered 180,000 voters before the general election began and President Barack Obama won by 75,000 votes.

FDP launched its voter registration program in late June 2019 with more than half of the $5.2 million raised for our early campaign launch dedicated to voter registration.  

FDP’s efforts are already paying off, with Democrats out-registering Republicans every month since the program was launched and increasing voter registration by 84% increase over 2015. 

Voters Registered by FDP in the lead up to 2016 election vs. 2020 election

Expanding the Map:

The Florida Democratic Party has the largest staff of any state party in the nation with 91 paid staff members, that includes 54 organizers in 21 counties and 12 college campuses. We are focused on expanding the map, and have placed our organizers across the state, and are not solely focusing on large Democratic Counties. 

In addition to expanding the geographic map, FDP is also working to increase participation and outreach to key voting blocs, including youth, African Americans and Hispanic populations. Our paid organizers are 60% people of color, more than half of them speak Spanish or Creole and they have been dispatched to communities that have large numbers of unregistered voters in swing and vulnerable legislative districts.  

With the launch of our campus organizing program on 12 campuses and our partnership with the DNC in Organizing Corps 2020, which will employ 300+ college students to build volunteer teams and register voters, we are engaging young people earlier than ever before.

By dispatching our organizers to swing legislative and municipal districts to build volunteerism and register voters we are making it easier for our candidates to win. For example: Democrats running in swing seats, Patrick Henry (HD26), Jim Bonfiglio (HD32) and Javier Estevez (105) lost in 2018 by an average of 132 votes. With a year to go, FDP’s organizers have already registered 520 voters in those 3 districts.

Launching our Campaign Before we Have a Candidate:

The Florida Democratic Party has had large campaigns before. In 2016, the Hillary campaign had more than 500 employees working in the Sunshine State by election day. But, we’ve never had a large campaign this early and without a candidate. 

With more than a year to go, FDP is on par with the Florida Trump campaign operation and Republican Party of Florida combined. And we are seeing the fruits of our labor:

Volunteer Engagement:

The Florida Democratic Party is seeing an unprecedented amount of volunteer engagement for an off-year. Floridians are ready for change and we are harnessing that energy into action. Democrats have completed 1221% more volunteer shifts than we did in 2015.

2015 to 2019 - Completed Volunteer Shifts Comparison
FDP’s field operation and increased volunteerism allow us to take advantage of key dates to grow our operation. For example, on national voter registration day, FDP registered more than 1,600 voters compared to less than 100 voters registered by the Party in 2015.

This weekend, to mark “One Year Out”, we have a weekend of action with more than 150 events scheduled in 34 counties and on 12 college campuses -- with a goal of 2,020 voter registration shifts.

Deploying a Top Down and Bottom Up Strategy:

Democrats are excited and energized by their choices at the top of the ticket, and we will rally around whoever the Democratic nominee is in 2020. But, we can’t pin all of the responsibility to engage and turnout voters on just one candidate. We need more Democrats at every level of the ballot expanding the electorate and engaging and turning out voters.  

We have invested heavily in Campaign Blueprint and our Municipal Victory Program, focused on recruiting more Democrats to run in municipal, legislative and Federal races, because the more Democrats running for office, the more Democrats will show up to vote. 

Our goal is to double the amount of trained Democrats running for office we had in 2015. Program elements include: 
  • Blue Bench Regional Training and Campaign Blueprint: The FDP Blue Bench Regional Training Events are in-person trainings that cover the fundamentals of campaigns. We have already trained over 100 candidates with trainings scheduled across the state in the months leading up to summer filing deadlines. In addition, we have launched “Campaign Blueprint,” a game-changing digital program with more than 100 training modules including everything from how to hire a mail vendor to how to set up a get-out-the-vote volunteer staging location. As part of it we also have a campaign plan generator. First time candidates input information about their campaign and the online tool designs a plan to serve as a roadmap to achieve the goal of winning the election, allowing first-time candidates a valuable guide to win.
  • Targeting: We have created a list of targeted municipal elections we will focus on for the 2020 election cycle. Within these municipalities we will target races that fall into the following three categories: (1) a Democratic win would flip the local government from red to blue; (2) a win would give the municipality their first Democrat in office; (3) win more municipal seats in swing legislative districts to build a pipeline of Democrats who can run for legislative seats.

Coalition Building: 
 
Donald Trump has worked hard to alienate crucial voting blocs in Florida over the past three years. But, we can’t just expect them to vote for a Democrat without making our case. FDP is building coalitions now with progressive and faith partners to make our case, and build relationships needed to win in 2020. 
 
FDP is hosting 3-4 co-sponsored voter engagement events each month and establishing relationships with partners in outreach and grassroots and faith organizations. We’ve launched a number of events with dozens of partners across the state, including:
  • Rural Tours: With more than a dozen stops in rural and Red counties, we have partnered with more than 20 local organizations to bring our message to communities not typically touched by Democrats, such as Gulf, Walton and Putnam counties.
  • Cease Fire: While mass shootings receive a great deal of press, communities of color have high levels of gun violence day-in and day-out. FDP’s cease-fire program partners with local organizations to educate voters, re-enforce the differences between Democrats and the GOP in bringing about change and actively organizing communities to fight for common sense gun reform.   
  • Lunch & Learns: Work with legislators and like minded organizations to connect them with our legislators to share messaging and answer questions.
  • Tally Days: Train activists and surrogates in a lens that highlights their strengths and any area of expertise. Immerse them into a learning experience that feels meaningful.
  • Blue Days of Service: A program aimed at community service that partners our elected leaders, Party leaders and Community Organizations to help grow communities and strengthen relationships.
  • African American and Hispanic Voting Summits: Voter education and mobilization events in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods to educate and inform voters on their rights.  

Hispanic Outreach:
 
In 2019 FDP began reaching out to the Hispanic community in new ways. With more than half a million dedicated to Hispanic outreach across multiple communities, FDP has:
  • Launched a weekly Spanish language radio program and podcast, to inform the electorate and hold Donald Trump and RPOF accountable for policies that hurt Hispanic and immigrant communities.
  • Trained over 150 Spanish speaking surrogates in media markets across the state.
  • Launched Spanish language social media channels. 
  • Tailored FDP messaging to Hispanic communities in Florida, with a focus on issues like Venezuela and Puerto Rico where Republicans are trying to court voters by spreading false information. 
  • In addition we have created a legislative working group of Puerto Ricans who are focusing on the needs of those still rebuilding after the hurricane. 
  • Over half of our organizing team speaks Spanish and are organizing Hispanic communities in every corner of the state.

Digital Organizing:

Moving into 2020 we are fully tapping into the strength and the power of digital; from fundraising to field, we are building out a digital program that will work as our online backbone for all angles of the campaign and party. We are utilizing digital to tell our story and the stories of Floridians across the state, and to build an online community and movement. 
  • Expanding our digital community across the state, organizing every county to have a digital presence. As a result FDP’s digital footprint has increased 65% over 2018, reaching 44 million people in the first 10 months of 2019.
  • Providing training to over 300 party leaders in digital organizing and the importance of social media in their organizing efforts. 
  • Drastically increased small dollar and online fundraising with raising nearly $500,000 in small dollar donations in 2019. That’s 17,000 small dollar contributions to date compared to 14,400 donations this time in 2018.
  • Bridging the gap between field and digital - training our field staff how to get content for our digital presence and using digital as another venue to gain volunteers.
  • Launched a Cyber Security department, with a full time security expert and a partnership with cyber and tech experts from Silicon Valley.
  • Ensure our volunteers/elected officials/candidates etc. are well versed in best cyber security practices online. 

New Approach to Data and Technology:

Ahead of 2020, FDP has acquired new, and more advanced data that will be used for targeting for voter-to-voter contact, registering new voters, enrolling voters in vote-by-mail, and digital targeting. 

The FDP is partnering with DNC in a “Democratic Data Exchange” will enable a more free flow of information between candidates, state parties, PACs, C4s and other progressive organizations so that we don’t duplicate efforts across the progressive ecosystem of organizations and better reach voters by phone, email and the web.

Voter Protection:

In response to the unprecedented attacks by Florida Republicans on voting rights in which they are working to suppress the vote 365 days a year, FDP deployed a year-round Voter Protection Program for the first time ever in an off-year. As part of the program, the Party has set up legal teams in over 15 counties to address voter suppression and serve as a watchdog organization to agencies that are purposefully or inadvertently suppressing votes. 

In addition, the Party has launched a 24-hour Voter Protection hotline that will work to educate voters, answer questions and ensure that all legal votes are counted. We are using the hotline to track trends in voter suppression and gaps in voter education so we can address them well before election day.

It is no surprise that Florida GOP efforts to confuse and dissuade returning citizens from registering to vote after the passage of Amendment 4 is the most common call logged on the hotline, and Democrats are doing everything we can to ensure the will of the people is upheld and Amendment 4 is implemented.

Conclusion:

President Trump has spent the past three years alienating key Florida voting blocks.  Immigrant communities have felt the brunt of the President’s hateful policies, Florida’s Jewish communities recoiled in horror when the President called neo-nazi’s very fine people and Puerto Ricans and Florida’s rural communities in the Panhandle witnessed first hand Trump’s failure to assist Americans impacted by massive hurricanes (to name a few).

But, pointing out Trump’s deficiencies is not enough to win Florida.

In order to win, Florida Democrats need to expand our electorate and build coalitions with partner organizations across the state.  We need to train tens of thousands of volunteers to talk to their neighbors, make the case for our Democratic candidates, ensure they vote and ensure their vote is protected.  

FDP is taking Trump and his organization seriously and this will be a razor thin election. But, with more than a year to go, we are going back to our 2012 winning playbook.  We are committed to registering 200,000 voters, unleashing tens of thousands of volunteers to make the case for Democrats to their friends and neighbors, and doubling the number of trained Democrats running for office across the state to carry the Democratic message to voters.

In Florida, elections are about who feels heard and who doesn’t, and who is inspired to vote and who isn’t. Florida Democrats are listening, we’re focused on building a country that give everyone a fair shake, and we have the infrastructure to make our case to every voter and we’re doing it now. That is why Trump will be voted out in 2020.

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