In 2022 the nation saw the right-wing politics of DeSantis rise in Florida. Swing states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona offer shining examples of how the right can be defeated. Progressive causes and oppressed communities of Florida are the ones that suffer from the division among those of us opposed to Trump politics. Now is the time to address these divisions, so a new Chair for the Florida Democratic Party has a chance at succeeding.
We know a majority can unite against the right to win Florida in 2024 because we did it in 2008 and 2012. Nationally, unity against the right also won Congress in 2006 and the US House in 2018 without an “inspirational” Presidential campaign. Florida had the same kind of candidates, campaigns, and state party organizing that won the 2006, 2018, and 2022 midterms nationally. We need to look beyond the candidates and state party to see if the left is effectively fighting the right. In Georgia, we have well-documented and clear examples of non-profit and grassroots organizing that challenges the lies of the right wing, prioritizes getting out the voting/democratic power of their constituency, and registers voters. After elections, nonprofits and grassroots organizing can continue doing what wins. Bill negotiations make the greatest gains when the opposition polling is trending to lose the next election.
Fracturing over lesser differences is how we lose. After the 2008 and 2012 elections, too many factions within the Florida coalition that won these elections ignored the will of the people and went back to infighting over things that were lost in the primaries. More recently you see something similar after the 2020 election. There were 50 Republican senators blocking reform from 2021-2022. Too many ignored/enabled them by instead asking voters to focus attention on two conservative Democratic senators, the filibuster, or something other than the proper focus on Republican obstruction. Even with those two Dems, Republicans are still 96% responsible for obstructing reform. The time and resources spent convincing voters to ignore this basic math brought down the polling of the coalition that won in 2020. The fracturing didn’t move a single thing further left. It only helped obstructionists win the US House in 2022. This in turn ends major legislative progress. So how can we avoid fracturing, while still holding to Leftist values? Our experience as community organizers shows a better way forward.
Respect for the democratic process is key to unity and fundamental to leftism. Just as a plan emerges from a grassroots meeting with the votes of the participants, a platform emerges from the Presidential primary process with the largest vote of the people. This then goes up for validation by a majority of voters of various parties during the general election. This democratic process transcends party politics when it receives majority support and becomes the legitimate voice of the people. The left, center, and conservatives that came together through the 2020 platform that won cannot expect it to succeed if they fail to remain united. We have to own the work of continuing to diminish the opposition to the plan if elected leaders are to have any chance at moving things forward election after election.
Annette Taddeo agrees and has a strong track record of fighting for policies in the 2020 platform and a long history of Democratic Party leadership at the local, state, and national levels. We need leaders who understand these challenges and how democracy unites us.
She served as the Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair from 2012 to 2014, when she revitalized the party with the goal of electing Democrats throughout the county, led major coordinated campaign efforts, and brought people together to ramp up voter registration numbers. And she worked with Obama’s re-election campaign when we expanded turnout, and helped deliver decisive margins out of Miami-Dade that drove his win in Florida. She raised resources to fund a county party office year-round with an executive director as well as a field and communications director. She founded the Blue Gala, a very successful annual fundraising event that lives on today. This led to training and recruiting candidates and flipping seats from red to blue, including electing Daniella Levine-Cava, who subsequently became the County’s first woman mayor.
From 2013 to 2016, she was an Elected DNC member and Vice Chair of the FDP, served on the Executive Committee of the DNC, was the DNC Hispanic Caucus Chair for all southern states, and led the founding of the DNC Small Business Owners Council. In 2014 she was the first Latina in Florida to run statewide when she was selected as Governor Charlie Crist’s running-mate for Florida Lt. Governor. The Crist/Taddeo ticket was one of the closest Governors races in the country that cycle, coming within 1% when they overwhelmingly won the Hispanic vote and made history by winning the Cuban-American vote.
In 2017, in a huge upset with national implications, Annette was elected State Senator for District 40. It was the first time in Florida’s history that a Democrat flipped a seat from red to blue in a special election, as well as the first time voters sent a Latina Democrat to serve in the Florida Senate. She was subsequently re-elected to a full 4-year term in 2018.
In the FDP Chair Election, Annette Taddeo is our Candidate For Progress.
For Progress Theory of Change
Great changes in law, like the New Deal and Great Society, only happen when a supermajority of the opposition is defeated in Congressional elections; demand tactics are not enough. Even after elections, legislation will stall or shift to the right, if opposition polling is trending to win the next election. The legitimacy of the people's support via elections, the platform that emerges from this democratic process, and polling is paramount. The more organizing of a broad majority coalition is trending to diminish opposition legislative seats, the more things progress.