BlueBroward Reader: the Danger of Fascism, the Power of Protest

Some of the articles I found interesting this week (my comments in italics).

If We Don’t Act Now, Fascism Will Be on Our Doorstep, Says Yale Historian

Timothy Snyder warns: History gives us a bunch of cases where democratic republics became authoritarian regimes.

http://billmoyers.com/story/dont-act-now-fascism-will-doorstep-says-yale-historian/

Protest Works

The Trump administration’s meltdown proves it.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/01/protest_works.html

People are in the streets protesting Donald Trump. But when does protest actually work?

Outlines lessons from successful nonviolent protests, which the author argues can be a very effective if done right

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/11/21/people-are-in-the-streets-protesting-donald-trump-but-when-does-protest-actually-work/

Do Political Protests Actually Change Anything?

Often, it takes the perspective of history to understand the real impact

https://www.bustle.com/p/do-political-protests-actually-change-anything-29952

IT’S CONTAGIOUS: A Harvard study identified the precise reason protests are an effective way to cause political change

The psychology of protest is most powerful for those who participate, getting them in the habit of being active and involved.

https://qz.com/901411/political-protests-are-effective-but-not-for-the-reason-you-think/

How to Get Your Club Listings on BlueBroward.org

I periodically get notes from club officers asking why their meetings are not included on the calendar. If that is the case, it is because no one from the club has taken responsibility for posting events and ensuring they are kept up to date. Or the contact person has changed and didn’t pass on or share that responsibility with anyone else.

The goal of this website is to share accurate information about where and when clubs meet, so people who want to connect with the Democratic cause can show up at the right place at the right time. I do not want to be publishing that a club typically meets on the first Tuesday at 7 pm at the local library when actually they have changed their meeting place and time.

If you want to use BlueBroward as a marketing tool for your club (which is kind of the point!), you will be much more likely to get people to attend if you post specific details about speakers or opportunities to engage with an issue or cause people care about.

Any BlueBroward.org member is welcome to post any (relevant) event to the calendar at any time. If you get the weekly Sunday “BlueBroward Calendar” newsletter, you should also have a password on the system. If you don’t remember it, try the password reset function or ask me for help.

The way I manage club event listings is with club templates, which define the boilerplate details of where and when a club meets. You can post other sorts of events not based on a template, but the templates help with regularly scheduled events and other events for which most of the details are usually the same.

You do not put specific meeting details, such as the names of speakers in the template, you put them in the individual event listings for a specific date that are based on the template. Think of it as the difference between the cookie cutter and the cookie. You can stamp out lots of cookies (event listings) based on the same cookie cutter (template) but decorate them all differently (with the names of speakers and other details).

Here is how that system works:

  • Minimum information required for a club template includes:
    • Name of the Club (title field for the post)
    • Body of the event listing, including the location and club contact info for those who have questions.
    • Regular schedule, such as first Tuesday at 7 pm (there is also a “Varies” option for organizations that do not have a consistent meeting schedule).
    • I can also help you assign one or more additional people who will have the authority to update the club template.
  • I can set up the club template for you initially, but after that I would like you to manage the template and your club’s own events. Write to me at david@bluebroward.org.
  • If no current club officer has access to the template, or if someone needs to be removed from the list, I can also help with that.
  • When you save the template, you are prompted to create events based on the template, scheduled out up to a year in advance. The dates are presented as a series of checkboxes. If you know the club will not be meeting on a specific date (maybe because of a holiday), you can uncheck that box or change the date.

    Checkboxes for adding events
  • If you update the template with new details such as meeting location or contact information, you can update all of the previously posted events with that new information.
  • You should receive periodic email updates from BlueBroward asking you to check that your event listings are current and update them when they are not (spam filters can interfere). You can also log into the website at any time to add speaker details.

See also: Adding One or Several Club Events. Plus: Adding Multiple Event Editors for Your Club

BlueBroward.org tops 20,000 daily views

The other day traffic to BlueBroward.org reached 21,741 views from nearly 16,000 unique visitors, according to WordPress.com metrics.

20k-views

This appears to be an all-time high for the site, powered by views of posts about online strategies for campaigns and causes as well as calendar items and opinion posts from community members.

BlueBroward.org offers free organizing tools for Democrats in Broward, supported by a network of sponsors and donors.

Last Chance for Dems to Win Senate Race

Democrats have one last chance in this election cycle to limit the damage to the U.S. Senate, which can be kept to a 51-49 margin if Democrat Foster Campbell can win the runoff election in Louisiana. Although this is not a Florida race, Democrats throughout the nation have an opportunity to help by participating in virtual phone banks.

South Florida activist Bret Berlin, in an appearance at the Broward Democrats organizing meeting Saturday, explained that in addition to promoting the phone banking he is raising money to send our volunteers to Louisiana to help with canvassing and other GOTV efforts. If you can donate your time, your travel and lodging will be covered, he said. If you are interested in helping in any way, contact bret@jellydoughnut.com.

Positive Energy and Determination

While there has been plenty of discouraging news this week, the news from Broward Democrats has been very positive. Tuesday’s meeting of the county Democratic Executive Committee could have turned into a “bitch session” on what went wrong in the election, but instead we heard about many things that went right in Broward — and need to be replicated across the state.

Cynthia Bush, a grassroots activists who became de facto head of the local party during the time that Chairman Mitch Caesar was running for Clerk of the Court (and continued to head GOTV operations after he returned to his post), is likely to become chair in the upcoming Dec. 3 party organizational meeting where Caesar will not be seeking reelection. She explained how hard Broward Democrats pushed for an effective GOTV effort, often filling in crucial gaps like chasing down absentee ballots that the Clinton campaign and the state party weren’t focusing on.

Cynthia Bush speaks at the Broward DEC
Cynthia Bush speaks at the Broward DEC

As a result, Broward outperformed all expectations, both for Clinton and for Senate candidate Patrick Murphy. “That needs to be replicated if we’re going to win seats, if we’re going to hold seats in 2018,” she said. That means other counties around the state need to adopt the same, activist philosophy. In other words, because Democratic turnout operations were weak in other parts of the state, we were not successful in countering strong turnout for Trump in rural Florida or regions such as Tampa.

Broward needs to have its own organization and structures, informed by local knowledge, she said. “I don’t think we should ever be sitting back and waiting for a campaign to tell us what needs to be done.”

State Committeeman Ken Evans, who is running for reelection and pushing for new leadership at the state party level, gave a similar account at a brainstorming meeting he held on Thursday. The state party has been too narrowly focused on fundraising, and only fundraising to the exclusion of grassroots activism, he said. As chair of a committee dedicated to organizing clubs and caucuses, he found there was way too little focus on giving those organizations productive work to do, he said.

“We need to have operations that never stop,” he said.

With leaders like these, I am more optimistic that will become a reality.

2016 General Election Ballot Recommendations

If you’re looking for guidance on how to vote on the general election ballot, the PDF linked to below is an informed list of recommendations particularly on the judicial races and the amendments, courtesy of attorney Jason Blank.

Aside from voting for Hillary, the ones I emphasize when knocking on doors are Patrick Murphy for Senate (over Marco Rubio) and voting NO on Amendment 1, the deceptively worded anti-consumer solar amendment.

democratic-ballot-choices-general-2016.pdf

I followed most of these recommendations, with the following exceptions:

NO on retention of Supreme Court Judge Charles T. Canady and Ricky L. Polston (people I asked for advice were split on this, with some saying these judges are competent and should be retained, others pointing to bad, ideological decisions)

I also voted no on the two 0.5 cent sales tax increases, based on recommendations from the Sun-Sentinel and some other friends.

Video Replay: Hillary in Coral Springs

“If we win Broward County by as big a margin as we should win it, we win Florida” — Hillary Clinton in Coral Springs. And if Hillary wins Florida, she will almost certainly win the election.

The video embedded below is the full replay, including the introductory speeches. If you prefer to fast forward to where Hillary takes the stage, that is about timestamp 10:30.

A couple of my favorite moments include this, following a riff on Trump’s shortcomings:

“I am fortunate to have known a number of the former presidents. I didn’t always agree with them, either — including my husband … but Republicans and Democrats alike, I never doubted that they were *trying* to put the country’s interests first.” — Hillary Clinton in Coral Springs

Also: “This election is going to be close. They always are. Every call you make, ever door you knock on, every person you register, could make the difference.”

Video: Nelson Dubreus #grassroots testimonial for Hillary Clinton

Nelson Dubreus reached out to me in mid-September, responding to this appeal: Share Your Video Testimonial for Hillary Clinton?

Hey. I want to schedule a time to give my testimonial.
We used our call center as a phone bank.
We used our volunteers for the Hillary campaign.
We used or company car to be the “hill mobile”.
Our office is called the “Hillary distillery” 

We use our funds because our children deserve better.
We were taught to be considerate, professional, respectful and honest but Trump teaches our youth “say or do anything, just win”.
Its embarrassing for our country and standards.

Here is what he had to say when we got together in a web video meeting.

Want to do your own testimonial? You’re welcome to either do a selfie video and share it with me or a schedule a time when I can interview you and then edit the resulting video. Either way, I’ll let you see a preview of what I plan to publish before I begin to promote it. Write me at david@bluebroward.org