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Florida Democratic Party Newsletter

11.10.21

Welcome Democrats to the Florida Democratic Party’s Newsletter. This regularly scheduled report is designed to keep you all informed on the latest happenings in the Party and across the state. 
 
For any inquiries or items you’d like highlighted in the upcoming FDP Newsletter, contact press@floridadems.org.
Veterans Day

To all of our Veterans, we honor and recognize the sacrifice you all made to protect and serve our country. Thank you to the men and women of the armed forces who afforded us our way of life. We salute our Veterans. Happy Veterans Day!

FDP Office Opening
In August, we opened a Miami HQ office to be the hub of our work and senior team in South Florida. We will continue to maintain our Tallahassee HQ office where most of our North Florida senior team is based and where we collaborate and house our Senate and House Victory partners and individual legislators while in Tallahassee. With a goal of opening a new hub office in January, FDP will soon begin the process of identifying a Central Florida office space that will be the hub for our work in Central Florida. We look forward to continuing to fulfill our promises by identifying satellite and campaign field offices in other regions of the state.
Grant Funding
FDP is proud to report that we will be rolling out a new grant program during Leadership Blue Weekend. Details of the program will be shared with party leaders at the State Executive Committee meeting.
Leadership Blue Update

We have seen an outpouring of excitement in the run-up to this year’s re-scheduled Leadership Blue weekend taking place December 3-5 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, FL. In fact, our room block at the Rosen Plaza is already at 97% capacity! The Rosen Plaza will continue to honor our group rate beyond the room block as space permits and we still have availability at the nearby Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, but if you are interested in attending Leadership Blue 2021 please book your stay as soon as possible.
 
We are excited to announce our schedule of trainings, meetings, and roundtables taking place on Saturday, December 4th. You can find them here. These events and times are subject to change and will be updated soon and on an ongoing basis on our website, www.LeadershipBlue.com 
 
Free Ticket(s) to Leadership Blue Gala: Appreciating some of our Best Volunteers
 
In recognition of all the work our volunteers and grassroots leaders have done this year to advance the work of registering voters, signing them up to vote by mail and other voter contact efforts, FDP is asking for nominations for Super Volunteers and Extraordinary grassroots leaders who we will honor and appreciate by providing them complimentary tickets to the Leadership Blue Gala. If you are interested in nominating someone for this, please email a quick paragraph about who and why they have been so great at moving our efforts forward to partyaffairs@floridadems.org by Wednesday, November 17. We have not yet identified a maximum number of appreciation tickets but will announce our selections by Friday, November 19.
Staffing Change: Rep. Angie Nixon, FDPs new Political/Coalitions Director
We are excited that Rep. Nixon has agreed to move from her previous role as Field Director to fill a staffing void in our senior leadership team to serve as our Political/Coalitions Director. In this role, she is responsible for outreach and maintaining relationships with our Democratic elected officials, candidates and allied organizations.
 
Legislative Update 
We are actively preparing to support our Democratic legislators and push back against Republican efforts to push our state in the wrong direction during upcoming meetings of the legislature. Below please find some key dates, reminders and planned activities:

Special Session November 15, 2021- November 19, 2021
The governor called a special session to push back against the Biden Administration and to rally his base with legislation that seeks to ban masks and vaccination mandates. 

Legislative Delegation Meetings
Over the past few weeks, some of our members and partners have attended legislative delegation meetings to speak about Protecting Our Democracy, Women’s Rights, Corporate Accountability, Affordable Housing and Working Families.

Legislative Session: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 – Friday, March 11, 2022
A Democratic Day at the Capitol is being planned in conjunction with the Democratic Women’s Club for the first day of the session in Tallahassee. Please look out for additional details in the near future.
Get to Know Your FDP Staff
Moving forward in these regular newsletters, we would like to introduce you to your FDP staff partners and their backgrounds. For now, we share counties and Regional Field Director contact information, by region here.
Regional Field Directors are responsible for managing voter contact efforts in their regions in collaboration with DECs, clubs and caucuses. We look forward to bringing on a new RFD in Region 5 who will start next week.
Field Update: One Year Out Weekend of Action 
This past weekend we had the biggest WOA of 2021! Volunteers from across Florida participated in a Weekend of Action by making calls, registering voters, texting, and writing postcards to thousands of voters in our state.

Our total numbers were 128 training shifts completed, 139 virtual phone bank shifts, 62 Voter Registration events AND last but not least 4,314 calls made to activate inactive democrats in danger of being removed from the voter rolls in 2022 and tons of volunteer recruitment calls. 

We are so grateful to all our staff and volunteers who made this weekend a success!
Region 2 and 7 led the state by number of shifts completed:
Region 2: 
Canvass led by State Rep. Allison Tant (D- Tallahassee) with Florida State University College Democrats:
In the Big Bend region, 59 volunteer shifts were completed with newly registered Democrats ready to vote Marico Rubio and Ron DeSantis out of office. We are just one year away from an election that will shape our state and country for the next decade. 
               
Saving our environment, increasing funding for public education, and building on the Biden economy that has created over 5 million jobs will depend on all of us doing our part and engaging our neighbors. Let’s get to work!
Region 7:
We were joined by State Senator Janet Cruz to kick off our phone banking team on Saturday morning during our One Year Out pep rally and phonebank. 
Our efforts reached voters in Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, and Charlotte County. Our weekend was a success due to the hard working team of dedicated Democrats in Tampa Bay!
Voter Protection
The Voter Protection team has been growing over the last few months. At this point we have over 300 people signed up to volunteer. Join us, by filling out this form. Last week we credentialed 75 poll watchers and covered Canvassing Boards in five counties. This week, we are adding two volunteers from the DNCs Regional Voter Protection Program. Our many volunteers are not only preparing for an election period voter protection program, but are getting to work now! We have called more than 2,500 people to help get them reactivated. We are engaging with Supervisors of Elections to ensure their list maintenance processes do not disproportionately impact historically disenfranchised voters. Also, we are ensuring that Florida Election law is being applied correctly across the State.
Nov. 2 Election Day Recap in St. Petersburg
On November 2nd, St. Petersburg made history at the ballot box. Ken Welsh was elected as the first Black mayor in St. Pete. Also, Lisset Hanewicz was elected as the first Latina to serve on the city council. Democrats also flipped the City Council Seat 1 by electing Copley Gerdes, a seat vacated by Republican Robert Blackmon. Overall, St. Pete Democrats swept all the contested races and held on to their supermajority on the city council. A huge thank you to the Pinellas County DEC for participating in knocking on doors and contacting voters. The group’s hard work paid off on Election Day!
Venezuelan Leaders Across Florida Call Out Marco Rubio for Abandoning their Community
Recent polling and news coverage shows that Venezuelan voters in Florida are turning against Senator Marco Rubio. After President Biden granted eligible Venezuelans, most of whom are in South Florida, Temporary Protected Status, Venezuelan leaders in Florida have urged Rubio to support a pathway to permanent residency for those with TPS.
Not only has Rubio cowardly refused to step up, he recently went a step further and outright opposed permanent status for TPS recipients, stating that he wanted them to return to Venezuela.
Venezuelan leaders have since called out Rubio’s abandonment of their community, calling it a slap in the face. Today Florida Democrats joined Venezuelan leaders from across the state to discuss how Rubio has put his own self-serving political agenda ahead of the needs of their community.
See highlights from the press call below and watch a full recording here.
FDP News Digest
FDP Chair Hails Robust, Ongoing Biden Recovery As New Jobs Report Reveals More than Half A Million Jobs Were Created in October
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today indicates 531,000 jobs were created in October, 2021. The new report also reveals the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent, down from 6.3 percent at the start of the year. Thanks to Democrats’ economic agenda, the economy has grown at a record pace, adding 620,000 jobs a month on average over the course of the year. 
Read Chair Diaz’s statement here.
FDP Chair Congratulates Nov. 2 Election Winners
After a night that saw the election of Ken Welch, the first Black mayor in St. Petersburg’s history and the election of Lisset Hanewicz, the first Latina to the St. Petersburg City Council, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz congratulates the winners in a written statement.
Read Chair Diaz’s statement here.
UF Professors Sound Off in the Washington Post on Being Banned from Testifying in Voting Access Case
Three University of Florida political science professors wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece their response to UF’s silencing them as they seek to testify in a court case challenging Florida’s controversial voter suppression law, Senate Bill 90.
Read more below:
Sun Sentinel Editorial Board Calls for Florida Senate to Decline to Confirm Desantis’ New Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo
In a scathing opinion piece, the Editorial Board of the Sun Sentinel called on Florida Senators to “reject unfit, unprofessional surgeon general” Dr. Joseph Ladapo. The surgeon general must be confirmed by the Florida Senate or risk losing his job. 
The Sun Sentinel editorial comes on the heels of Dr. Ladapo’s refusal to wear a mask during a visit to Senator Tina Polsky’s office last week. She had asked him to take the precaution because she had a serious medical condition. Senator Polsky received a breast cancer diagnosis in August.
Read more below:
Cybersecurity As We Head into 2022
As we head into 2022, it is more important than ever to make sure we are being cybersecure. We are huge fans of 2-factor authentication! Research shows that some forms of 2FA (such as authenticator apps or text message codes) can be bypassed or intercepted. We recommend using security keys whenever possible as they are the most secure. If you don’t have access to security keys, we recommend using authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator. While text message codes may seem convenient, they are the most likely to be intercepted by malicious actors. If you have any questions about 2FA, please reach out!
 
One of the benefits of using email providers such as Google or Microsoft is that they have large security teams which can monitor if your account(s) have been targeted by government-based attackers. We tell all folks involved in Florida politics to look out for an alert like the one below, if they use Gmail for their personal email account. 
 
Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) recently sent a batch of these alerts to affected accounts. If you received one of these, don’t panic! We all need to remember that as people involved in our local politics, our accounts will be targeted by nation state actors, so we should spend the time to secure them correctly. 
 
If you are a Gmail user, it’s important to enroll in Google’s Advanced Protection ProgramAs always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns! Stay cyber-safe!

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman

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