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On Monday I attended my first meeting with my local DEC (Democratic Executive Committee) and the speaker for the evening was State Senator Dave Aronberg.  He has a plan to help Turn Florida Blue.

Senator Dave Aronberg - FL Legislature

First, here's a bit of biographical information on Senator Aronberg:

  • Born in Miami and raised in South Florida where he attended public schools
  • Attended Harvard for college, then Harvard Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1996.
  • Assistant Attorney General, Economic Crimes Division, 2001-2002, 1999-2000
  • Special Assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, 2001-2002
  • White House Fellow during the Clinton and Bush administrations, 2000-2001

That's not even the impressive part, check this out:

Elected to the Florida Senate in November 2002, Senator Aronberg represents a challenging, diverse district that stretches from eastern Palm Beach County through Glades, Hendry and Charlotte Counties all the way to Lee County on Florida's gulf coast. Even though Democrats comprise only 39% of his district, Dave was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2004 with 79% of the vote.  

I think a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look at this gerrymandered district:

FL Senate District 27

Senator Aronberg joked at the meeting that if a Democrat with a last name like his who's an attorney can win in a Republican district like this one, then we should be able to win everywhere.

Which gets us to his plan for Turning Florida Blue.

Senator Aronberg is the chair of an organization called Florida Mainstream Democrats. It is comprised of centrist elected officials throughout the state of Florida.  

Now, I know the word "centrist" isn't the most popular here at Daily Kos, but here's a few things to keep in mind.  In order to take advantage of the rules in the Florida Legislature your party needs to make up a third of the elected body.  We just got a third thanks to the November elections.  For the last eight years under Jeb Bush, the Democrats were such a minority that we could simply be ignored.

As Senator Aronberg said at the meeting, if Rudy Giuliani can be pro-choice, support gay rights and still be considered a Republican, then the Democratic Party in Florida can make room for people who we may not agree with on everything either and do so without giving up our core values.

The goal is not unlike the national level, get solid majority first then worry about getting rid of a few bad seeds - your Liebermans.

The Florida Mainstream Democrats organization describes its approach to acheiving its goals as follows:

(a) Rebuilding the Democratic party infrastructure in rural counties with large numbers of Democrats who continue to vote Republican.  We have already succeeded in restarting the county parties in Glades, Madison, Baker and Suwannee counties and have been approached by Democrats in other rural areas to do the same in their counties.  

(b) Recruiting and supporting candidates who are electable in swing
legislative seats.  Our organization will be concentrating its resources in only a few races, rather than spreading our funds indiscriminately
throughout the state.

It's not exactly a 67 County strategy, like Howard Dean's 50 State strategy, but its a start and it was nice to hear that someone in the Florida Democratic Party is trying to do something.

I haven't made up my mind about this organization, but I think the topic is worthy of discussion.

Join Florida Netroots and help build a local and state activist core to support Democratic candidates attain elected office.

Originally posted to meowmissy on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 06:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips/flames/pooties (10+ / 0-)

    What do you think?

    sleepy-missy

    A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. - Benjamin Franklin

    by meowmissy on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 07:00:15 AM PST

  •  Bring some of those Democrats to our DFA Training (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalifSherry, bobnbob

    in Tampa this summer.  We need to get everyone ready for 2008.  Here's the link:
    http://www.dfalink.com/...

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 07:27:50 AM PST

  •  and congrats on attending (0+ / 0-)

    your first DEC meeting.  Quite an experience, isn't it?  Remind me of where you live?

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 07:33:07 AM PST

    •  I'm in Tallahassee (0+ / 0-)

      It's a pretty nice place to live and work, except when the Legislature is in session. ;)

      A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. - Benjamin Franklin

      by meowmissy on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 07:35:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is there a DFA group in Tallahassee? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobnbob

        Most of our group belongs to the DEC, but we have DFA to keep us sane and productive.  If you don't have DFA there, you and Tally should start your own.

        The very nature of the DECs makes them dysfunctional.  I'm joining our by-laws committee and we'd like to start a grassroots movement to make them more open and welcoming.

        Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

        by Susan S on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 07:40:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We must strive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan S

    to bridge the gaps in Florida.  And as most of the candidates that I suported in this past year's elections were to the right of me - they were all candidates who thought of Florida rather than their party first.  

    Good diary MMissy - and keep at it.

    Stay involved with your DEC, sounds as though this was an interesting and challenging meeting.  

  •  FloridaKos (0+ / 0-)

    For some reason, Yahoo has been really slow in delivering messages sent to the group.

    It should just be a temporary glitch.  

    I've worked with yahoo groups before and they usually run very smoothly.

    Join FloridaKos

    A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. - Benjamin Franklin

    by meowmissy on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 08:19:48 AM PST

  •  The Yahoo State (0+ / 0-)

    This is great to see.  I grew up in FL (now in New York - yeah, I did it in reverse) and FL has at once some of the most fascinating and appalling state politics anywhere.  My father (a wingnut) was in the legislature long ago and although I haven't lived there for many years now, I still like to follow the scene sometimes.  I would absolutely love to see Florida go blue - particularly the new, netroots reformist shade of blue, and not just because it would drive my parents crazy.  The state has so much potential, good leadership could work wonders there.

    Politics is the art of extracting money from the rich and votes from the poor by promising to protect each from the other.

    by cerebrocrat on Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 09:52:59 AM PST

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