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.
You 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.