What I’m Thankful for as a Florida Democrat

In the wake of what was a devastating election to Democrats, particularly here in Florida, most people are having trouble finding things to be thankful for as Democrats, here’s a few things I’m thankful for as a Florida Democrat:

-I’m thankful for unrelenting progressive leaders continuing to fight, including these two exemplars of backbone in Orlando:

Rep. Scott Randolph

I wish I had video of more of Rep. Randolph’s recent speeches, his personal, passionate and heart wrenching testimony against HB 1143 was an exposition in courage, passion and leadership.  Time and again, Representative Randolph has taken on the greatest challenges and worked not for his own personal benefit but for the benefit of the People of Florida.  Randolph also deserves a great deal of credit for his management of Alan Grayson’s victorious 2008 campaign, his guidance brought a great leader to the forefront of American Politics.

I’m thankful for these two leaders and the men and women that fought for the Human Rights Ordinance that passed yesterday in Orange County.

– I’m thankful for science and math.

For too long we have heard arguments that for Democrats to win elections in Florida, they must position themselves to the center or center-right, the results of the 2010 elections show without a doubt that this election was lost among liberal and minority voters.  All the Blue Dogs who want to argue otherwise, I’m not interested.  Bring me a strong progressive leader, confident of their Democratic values and unashamed to talk about those values and I will deliver you a statewide victory.

I’m thankful for young people with the interest and courage to get involved. Young people like Andrew Gillum, thirty-one year old City Commissioner of Tallahassee, who has thrown his hat in the ring for State Party Chairman, bringing forward energy, passion and new ideas.  Regardless of the outcome of this race, we, as a party, would be foolish not to take this opportunity to have an open discussion of where we should go and how we can best get there.  Commissioner Andrew Gillum is doing what needs to be done to bring that discussion forward, to challenge the long-unchanged party/power structure, to shed light on new ideas, and bring in to focus different strategies and opportunities for Florida Democrats.  I hope that during this holiday season the roughly 200 county chairmen, committeemen and elected officials that get a vote in this contest will give thorough consideration as to whom to vote for on the expected January ballot.

I’m thankful for the Florida Progressive Coalition, Progress Florida (particularly their Daily Clips service), Democracy for America (which has promised more trainings in Florida in 2011/2012), and all of the fantastic activists, bloggers, organizers and people from all walks of life that make the Florida Democratic Party a vibrant hub of America’s political culture.  The path to holding the White House in 2012 is widest right here in Florida, we must get up, dust ourselves off and dig back in.  The fight starts now.

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