Prog Caucus releases STEP Report at Dem Convention, responding to LEAD

DOWNLOAD STEP Report here. Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.34.57 AM

We all know something is wrong in the Florida Democratic Party. You don’t lose the state house, the governor’s seat (how many times?), 18 some-odd races, and not have to admit that you have a problem. There’s problems.

Earlier this year the Florida Democratic Party released their Leadership Expansion to Advance Democrats (LEAD) Task Force Report to address these problems. Today the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida releases their response. The Strategies and Tactics for Electing Progressives Report is available here.

The DPCF STEP Report picks up where the LEAD Report left off by offering implementation strategies, and correcting some of the group think on the part of the Task Force. This was a months-long project culminating in the 24-page report that follows the LEAD Report section-by-section for easy comparison.

Much of what we read in the LEAD Report was could be summed up as “do more of we’re already doing, do it harder, and everything will change.” I challenge anyone to identify a bold new idea in the document. There’s precious little in the way of “this is how we plan to change course.”

And, I get it. When you bring that many stakeholders together, they’re going to hold their stakes. They’re not inclined to go out on any limbs to suggest ways to improve. That would be tantamount to admitting failure, and folks with stakes to hold generally don’t do that.

The STEP Report wasn’t written by stakeholding bigwigs. The contributors are members of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and a couple of volunteers who found the project interesting as a rhetorical or team-building exercise. But don’t confuse that with inexperience. These folks have been working on campaigns — and winning campaigns — for decades.

DCPF volunteers divided up into specialty interest areas, offering guidance on material they had the most experience with. They put their heads together and got the job done because that’s what hardworking Democrats do. They were motivated to offer real value to the rank and file to make the party bigger and better. I believe that achieved that goal.

This document is meant to be a key that starts your engine. It’s up to you to hop in, throw down the ragtop, and drive this baby up the freeway at top speed blaring the theme song of your choice. Let’s hope that theme song is not Dreams I’ll Never See.



Brook Hines is a writer, photographer, activist and former alt-weekly publisher, as well as an award-winning advertising creative with more than 20 years’ experience crafting strategy in “words + pictures” for clients ranging from healthcare companies to county fairgrounds. She’s the Senior Political Correspondent for Progressive News Network (tune this Sunday at 7:30 pm or download the podcast anytime), the Communications Chair for the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, Outreach Chair for the Orange County Democratic Party, and the 2015-2016 Co-Chair of New Leaders Council, Orlando Chapter.

All opinions offered here are her own, delivered from the perspective of social theory, cultural criticism, and near constant stream of caffeine. Political and media analysis through a Progressive lens. Appeals to conformity will be met with lulz.

awesome dogs couchYou can easily find Brook Hines on Facebook and Flickr. Read all of Brook’s articles here. 

These are her Italian Greyhounds, Trouble and Daphne. Trouble is a former member of the RAF and speaks with a dandy British accent. He drinks single malt, but only on occasion. Daphne is a puppy school dropout, smokes catnip and thinks we don’t know. 


  1. Concerned Democrat · ·

    Tried to click through to the report link and got nothing…no report!

    You could supply the big FDP report as a comparison as well.

    Pretty indicative of both reports…nothing to see!


  2. The link to the report takes you to a picture of its cover. Do you have a better link?


    1. yes, thank you! updated!


  3. Wasn’t there another one being emailed around for a while too that was 20 or 30 pages?


  4. Was there not another one floating around too?


  5. pensinsuladem · ·

    There was a third one out there somewhere too I think that was sent out to DEC chairs or something like that.


  6. This was certainly a clear response to a report that was anything but. I thought the same thing when I read the original LEAD report back in June and wrote my own response in July (


    1. Gil, you were the inspiration for this report!


  7. Dorothee Custer · ·

    I am impressed by how well thought out, written & the focus on development of folks at the community level. Hope it is implimented. .


  8. The fact that the Florida Democratic Party is chock full of Shills/Republicans who are there to preserve the status quo in allegiance with the Republican Party of Florida is a good place to start the analysis. Watch this video and you’ll understand clearly where “Leadership” comes from….

    Facts matter, and when you have a former lobbyist for DBT Inc/ChoicePoint (FDP Chair Alison Tant-Richard), who together with her Attorney husband, Barry Richard (Lead Atty for Team Bush in Bush vs Gore) both “registered democrats”, played a major role in setting the stage for George W. Bush’s appointment by the SCOTUS to the Presidency of the United States is charge of the Dems in Florida… there is your PROBLEM! Thanks, John Russell, Dade City


  9. Will Atkins · ·

    Ton of good ideas…a little surprised that many don’t already exist…


    1. Many of them SHOULD already exist.


      1. Concerned Democrat · ·

        I’ve read through both the Progressive Caucus and FDP proposals and they both have one thing in common…all talk and no action!!!

        But the number one thing that they both have in common that has been and will continue to be the continued death of the Florida Demicratic Party is…NO MONEY!!!

        All talk…NO ACTION!!!

        Cause all these wonderful ideas to beat the Republicans with…are all rehash, bla, bla, bla of the main reason we continually get beat…we can’t compete on the money end!!!

        And the few times that we DO have the money to compete…the idiot retread consultants from Tallahassee, Miami and Tampa that continually loose and continually get rewarded with more campaigns keep us treading down that loosing path as they suck up what little money the Democrats can raise to be competitive.

        Alex Sink for Congress is a perfect example where we outspent the Republicans…and still lost!!!

        We should start with blackballing every idiot that worked on that campaign and every other loosing Democratic campaign as an example to take a stand that we mean business and we’re not going to take it anymore…till we find someone who can actually win for once and can beat a Republican in Florida!!!

        And the Democratic candidates themselves need to take responsibility and ask those consultants who are fed these idiot consultants from the powers that be at the FDP for their resumes and have the balls to stand up and say NO when they are fed with these idiots!!

        Just because you idiot consultants have the “connections” with the FDP should be a clear sign to the candidates to run the other way!!!


  10. Concerned Democrat, Read my comment and watch the video… You are right on point. Same Shills feeding on the system for years with the same very well orchestrated results. This IS NO ACCIDENT… It is all well contrived in order to maintain the status quo. Goes back to the Pork Chop Gang. The FDP continues to be the greatest obstacle to progress in Florida. Remember, more “training” ought to do it… Blah blah… The Alison Moranos, Karen Thurman, Wasserman-Schultz et al all suck at the “tit” of the party and any candidates of integrity are quickly attacked, first passive aggressively, then when that does not work full frontal with lies through the media partners…
    Thanks, John Russell


  11. InsiderMyself · ·

    Not to mention the Vice Chair of FDP has spent the last four years working the Hillary for President Campaign, instead of taking care of his job, filling state and local seats with democratic candidates.
    Just look how many go unopposed! Over and over and over again!


    1. That’s interesting.


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