Every election cycle, Jason Blank shares his informed choices on the Democratic primary and judicial races, which you can read here.
I was very impressed by Gwen Graham’s recent appearance at the Broward Democratic Party’s monthly meeting. That’s why I was so distressed to see her making what I believe is a serious tactical mistake at the Florida Democratic Party conference held this weekend at The Diplomat in Hollywood.
At least on Friday night, she appeared to be running for “First Woman Governor of Florida” rather than just running for governor. I hope she rethinks that.
The Friday night event centered on a series of receptions sponsored by each of the Democratic candidates or statewide office, all held at the same time, which made it possible to hop from room to room for those (like me and my wife Beth Anne) who had friends in multiple campaigns. One of the first things we saw, when we walked into the hotel was a sign saying “Women for Graham,” with an arrow pointing the way down the hall to the event. Funny enough, the sign was being held by a man.
Upstairs, there were a series of additional directional signs pointing to her event, all labeled “Women for Graham.” Did that mean men weren’t invited? Surely, that wasn’t the intention. I thought maybe that just meant those were the signs they happened to have the most of, and they needed to deploy them to get the people to the right ballroom, since she hadn’t captured one of the locations closer to the entrance.
But we walked into the Graham reception just in time to see her up on stage surrounded by women supporters and pink balloons. I am sure she talked about other important issues, besides the gender of the candidates, but I didn’t stick around to listen to the rest.
For the record, I like women candidates when they are the best candidates. Last time around, I voted for Nan Rich as the more authentic Democratic candidate for governor and was disappointed that the powers that be were so determined to anoint former Republican Charlie Crist as the “can’t lose” candidate.
On the other hand, spending too much time running for “First Woman” in any office has not proven to be a winning strategy. Both Alex Sink and Hillary Clinton made that mistake from time to time. Hillary was at her best when she treated the subject with humor, as when her campaign created a plastic “woman card” to counter the trope about “playing the woman card.” Barack Obama famously avoided campaigning for “First Black President,” perhaps downplaying the importance of race to a fault — but winning in the end.
For Gwen Graham to hold “Women for Graham” events would be a smart way of engaging women who are particularly passionate about electing women candidates. I’m just disappointed that she made that the theme of a event for Democrats from across the state where she should have been making her case to everyone, even the men — which was what every other candidate was doing Friday night.
Gwen Graham remains one of the candidates with the best chance of winning the nomination. In reality, I don’t think she is a one-note candidate. As I mentioned, I was impressed by her appearance at the Broward Democratic Party where she addressed a wide range of issues and stayed to answer everyone’s questions, including some moderately hostile ones.
(Update: At the state party dinner Saturday night, the pink signs were gone, or at least not as prominent, and Graham’s message was broader, more like what she delivered at the Broward party meeting.)
I can’t help thinking she got talked into this “Women for Graham” focus by someone who underestimated her appeal to all Democrats. Whether it could be a strategy for winning the nomination, I don’t honestly know. But in the long run, I think it’s a trap. To actually win the governorship, she will have to run for governor, not woman governor, and win votes from all Floridians, even the men.
The Broward Democratic party is organizing training on effective door-to-door campaigning and the use of the Voter Activation Network (VAN) software used to organize campaigns. This information is adapted from a handout distributed at the June meeting of the Broward Democratic Party. To register, contact the party office at (954) 423-2200 or email@example.com. Register to volunteer as part of #ResistanceSummer at browarddemocrats.org/resistance2017/
This training is a 3-part sequential series. Sign up for one each month.
|Thursday July 6||Herb Skolnick Center, Pompano||Canvassing 1||6-8 pm|
|Saturday July 8||Stirling Road library, Hollywood||Canvassing 1||2-4 pm|
|Monday, July 10||Deicke Auditorium, Plantation||Canvassing 1||6-8 pm|
|Wednesday, Aug. 2||Deicke Auditorium, Plantation||Canvassing 2||6-8 pm|
|Thursday Aug. 3||Herb Skolnick Center, Pompano||Canvassing 2||6-8 pm|
|Saturday Aug. 5||Dania Library, Dania Beach||Canvassing 2||1-3 pm|
|Wednesday Sept. 6||Herb Skolnick Center, Pompano||Canvassing 3||6-8 pm|
|Friday, Sept. 8||Deicke Auditorium, Plantation||Canvassing 3||6-8 pm|
|Saturday Sept. 9||Stirling Road Library, Hollywood||Canvassing 3||3-5 pm|
Voter Activation Network software training (pick one date)
|Sunday, July 9||Pride Center, Wilton Manors||VAN||2-4 pm|
|Thursday, Aug 3||Pride Center, Wilton Manors||VAN||6-8 pm|
|Sunday, Sept. 10||Pride Center, Wilton Manors||VAN||2-4 pm|
The Broward Democrats are excited to announce a new tool to increase our collective impact. You can now access our team’s calls to action via
Amplify, a free app that makes it easy to act in concert with all of our members.
We all want to be in the habit of taking political action, but it’s hard to do that if it feels like we’re each acting alone. With Amplify, we can see that our fellow members are taking action as well, and cheer each other on. You can view scripts and call members of Congress right from the app, and it will be easy to find our calls to action whenever you have a few minutes.
To join our team on Amplify:
2. Sign up for a new account
3. Enter the Broward Democrats team code: 009-565-000
4. Take an action & cheer others on!
Note: We suggest putting Amplify on the first page of your home screen so you can access it easily.
As the headliner at last night’s Leadership Blue Gala in Hollywood, former Vice President Joe Biden articulated a refreshing, positive vision for getting the party and the nation back on track.
He said it was understandable for Democrats to be disoriented and discouraged following a November election that “churned up some of the ugliest realities that persist in our country.” But he added: “The state the nation is today will not be sustained by the American people. We are better than this.”
He argued we need to acknowledge that too many voters have been motivated by by fear — fear of the future of the economy, fear of immigrants and more generally of “the other, the outsider,” fear of American decline — which Democrats need to counter with a positive vision of overcoming the real problems and capturing the opportunities of the future. “We have to make it clear what we stand for,” he said.
The Miami Herald story captured a key point:
Biden implored the party to stop thinking it can’t appeal to Trump’s working-class base without spurning progressive values.
“We can’t get bogged down — and I hope I don’t offend anyone here — in this phony debate in the Democratic Party,” he said, likening the false choice to saving your soul by cutting out your heart. “There is no need to choose. They are not inconsistent.”
Working people elected him for decades, Biden noted. “They voted for a black man named Barack Obama!” But they fear losing jobs to automation, digitalization and globalization.
“We didn’t talk much to those people lately,” he said. “We have to let them know we understand their fears, their concerns and that we have some real answers.”
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) June 18, 2017
It was certainly possible to hear this as an election speech, given that Biden recently formed a PAC, American Possibilities.
As noted in The Hill:
“I have no intention of running for president but I’m a great respecter of fate,” Biden told NPR’s “Fresh Air.” “I don’t have any plans to do it, but I’m not promising I wouldn’t do it.”
One political consultant I ran into in the hallway characterized it as less a campaign speech and more of a “get your act together” speech.
No doubt Biden and his admirers have spent some time wondering whether the results have been different if he had been the candidate instead of Hillary, just as that debate continues among Bernie Sanders believers. Unless you have a time machine handy, I think that’s a useless argument (and if you know your time machine stories, you know changing one big thing in the past changes everything else in unpredictable ways).
Whether he ought to run in 2020 is a harder question. Given that he would be 77 to Trump’s 74, it might be better to make room for a fresher face on the Presidential debate stage. Maybe after electing a second Bush and being presented with Hillary Clinton as a proposed successor to Bill, Americans are getting tired of sequels. I’m not eager to see Hillary or Bernie run again, either.
On the other hand, Biden is one of the best people to elevate the quality of the debate and the tone of the Democratic message, either as a candidate (win or lose) or as an adviser and coach to other candidates.
Fear of the future is misplaced, given that America still attracts the world’s best talent (immigration!) and generates most of its technological innovation, Biden said. “We always have been a nation of optimism, and for good reason.” We may need to do a better job of adjusting to technological change and other changes, but we have the capacity to make the future work for us. First, we need to be confident rather than timid and fearful.
“We are so well positioned as a nation if we could just get out of our own way,” he said.
Join your fellow Southeast Florida changemakers for our Regional Climate Action Plan Open Session. This session is open throughout the day, so drop by when you can for as long as you’d like to help shape and review the first draft of the RCAP 2.0, and to meet with other climate leaders and stakeholders in the region.
PLEASE RSVP: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScoLjsbkoJ02oIJ87TVjX-c18o166Nlp3Wtyt9k4cQJeJQNDg/viewform?c=0&w=1
Science March. April 22nd 5pm
Hyzengia Park 32 E Las Olas
Anne Kolb Nature Center. 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL
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.
The Trump administration’s meltdown proves it.
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
Do Political Protests Actually Change Anything?
Often, it takes the perspective of history to understand the real impact
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- 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.
The other day traffic to BlueBroward.org reached 21,741 views from nearly 16,000 unique visitors, according to WordPress.com metrics.
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.