This is the first in a series of posts to explain what we are attempting to do with the Florida Progressive Coalition. Subsequent posts will follow in the next few days.
Florida is a blue state. Yes, I know that our governor is a Republican, the legislature is controlled by Republicans, our congressional delegation is dominated by Republicans and one of our two senators is a Republican. But there are more Floridians registered as Democrats. And on the issues, there is no doubt that Floridians are significantly more liberal than conservative. I’ve posted about this before, but the evidence is quite clear. When given a chance to vote on the issues, Floridians vote in the more progressive direction almost always.
So what’s the problem? If Floridians are more progressive, then why are our politicians Republicans? There are several reasons for this, today I’ll talk about the first.
Any examination of Florida would show you that there are many hard-working, committed, knowledgeable and energetic activists. A closer look would show you that most of these activists are working independently or in small groups and doing very little to work together toward fixing Florida’s problems. And there seems to be an over-emphasis on national issues and politicians to the detriment and ignorance of what’s happening in the Sunshine State.
But national and state issues are intricately linked, especially in Florida, and any successful attempt at influencing national issues will start at the local and state level. But if our activists aren’t working together, it can’t be done.
So, part one of the Florida Progressive Coalition’s plan to improve our state and country and fight the right-wing that is attempting to destroy both is to get the groups and individuals in Florida working together. We’re working on a comprehensive list of all statewide and local organizations working to move our state in a more progressive direction. Once we complete the list, we’ll work on getting those groups in contact with each other and working together on the issues. If we are separate, we all lose on the issues, if we work together, very little we individually find important is contradictory, so we can combine our efforts and we’ll all be successful.
The first step is communication. We want each of the groups across the state to let us know what is important to them. We want them to tell us what issues they’re working on. We want them to provide us with information for our Wiki and post to our blog. No one knows more about the issues that the groups devoted to them. And we want to widen their audience and get them to be the audience for other progressive groups, too. You don’t have to be a Floridian to help us out, either. We accpet help from anyone interested in moving Florida in a more progressive direction.
You can help us out. Go to the list of Florida Progressive Organizations, take a look around, and add any groups we don’t already have listed. If all you can add is the name of the group, that helps, but if you can do more, we’re looking for contact information for each group, particularly e-mail addresses of current members and leaders. We’ll contact them. And if you are a member or leader of one of these groups, please contact us. We want your expertise and we want your ear. Whoever you are, whatever issue you think is important, we agree. Help us convince others of the same. We’re already working on it. You should be, too.
If you are interested in helping out, leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.