LET’S START WINNING AGAIN
MY WISH LIST FOR THE FDP:
(Caveat, I am not running for leadership, I am not eligible to be chair. I am putting this out for discussion and reflection. This is a conversation starter, not an indictment or criticism of ANYONE).
I. MOVE THE HEADQUARTERS TO ORLANDO:
The office should be more accessible to all Floridians. It should also be in a space that can be used for regular (quarterly) meetings of all the DEC chairs.
II. PURSUE SMALL-DONOR FUNDRAISING:
I would love to see the FDP have a VERY robust small recurrent-donor program, where folks can choose to donate 3, 5, or 10 dollars monthly. It gives rank-and-file Dems a stake in the party and its direction, and moves us away from relying solely on large or institutional donors. I would like to see a really cool, large-scale campaign around this effort.
III. MOVE AWAY FROM PREFERRED SUPPLIERS:
I am not in love with the FDP engaging in large contracts with printers, mass-mailing companies and others. It may be time for an open and transparent bid process that allows newer and more innovative companies to compete for business. NGP VAN is EXTREMELY (and in some cases, prohibitively) expensive. We should be looking to move away from, or at least altering, the structure of that contract, which forces candidates to pay great sums of money to get access.
IV. GIVE MEANINGFUL TASKS AND DIRECTION TO CLUBS AND CAUCUSES:
Our clubs and caucuses are our bread and butter. They are under-utilized in terms of reaching voters and getting into the community. Someone at the FDP should be working FULL-TIME, directly and regularly with clubs and caucuses to give them specific tasks (i.e. calling people who voted Dem in 2012, but stayed home in 2016), assisting them with social media and outreach, helping them to create relationships with local TV, radio and newspapers, helping them to pick community events to attend, and providing real assistance in fundraising. Our clubs need new life and new members, but people hesitate to join any club if they don’t believe that a club is doing anything. There are literally THOUSANDS of Floridians who are eager to DO SOMETHING about Trump. Let’s get them onto a team and give them something they can feel good about doing. We can task people with things, without necessarily holding lots of meetings. Keep in mind that younger folks tend to like loose affiliation and spontaneous assembly more than repeated planned meetings. Just something to think about.
V. CLEAN UP OUR RULES AND BYLAWS:
Some are antiquated. Some are unjust, and many lead to confusion. Questions that should be crystal clear are: Who is “the party?” “Who can endorse in a primary?” “What assistance can be given to candidates and when?” “Who can charter a club or caucus?” “What does it take to be a “member” of the party?” “What information about candidates does the party supply to the media?” and many others.
VI. INSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT CONVENTION PROCESS[I already wrote about this and got terrific feedback]. The purpose is to allow non-millionaires and non-incumbents the ability to compete and be taken seriously. We can leverage technology to make the process fair, inclusive, robust and meaningful.
VII. UPDATE OUR PLATFORM:
If the FDP has a specific platform, I have not heard about it or seen it. If it exists, it’s incognito. If it doesn’t, we need to make one. The platform should have concrete ideas about advancing our values and providing solutions to the problems faced by Floridians. It’s OK if we can’t be all things to all people. But if we are clear about who we are, and what we DO, we will be able to more effectively recruit people and turn out voters.
VIII. PRIORITIZE VOTER OUTREACH:
Voter outreach should be a year-around effort that focuses on more than voter turn-out. We should also be calling voters to ASK them what is on their mind, and about the issues they would like to see our party address. We have to stop assuming we know the mood of voters. We have been off-base about that.
IX. CREATE A SMALL/RURAL COUNTIES TEAM:
The FDP should have at least a few staffers whose sole focus is outreach to small and rural counties. People who feel ignored by the party are unlikely to vote for its candidates. If DEMS are present and concerned about the issues in small counties, we will make the relationships that lead to trust, and ultimately, electoral victory. If we are getting creamed in small/rural counties, we need to work DIRECTLY on that deficiency