FDP Chair and the Future of Our Party

On December 8, members of the Miami-Dade DEC will have the rare opportunity to cast votes for the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. I will be casting my vote for Stacey Patel. The People's Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade will also be discussing the candidates at our December 5 meeting, and in that meeting I will urge our membership to support Stacey.

I support Stacey because she is the candidate whose vision for Party infrastructure, the role of the Party, and the ideological future of the Party most aligns with my own. I believe very deeply in a values- and issue-oriented Party that is fearless in declaring itself in favor of justice and that is powered from the bottom up.

That is not to say that I completely align with the the Brevard Chair, or even that I always supported her. I came into the FDP Chair Forum prepared to support Monica Russo, because I firmly believe that organized labor is the most important ally of the working class--more important, structurally, than even the Democratic Party itself. Further, I am perpetually alarmed by the teleological focus (of all the candidates, including Stacey) on winning races: while elections are obviously the critical strategic choke point, the real focus must be policy. But nevertheless, I was sufficiently impressed by Stacey's performance at the FDP Chair Forum that my mind is resolved, and she and the #OurParty movement have my total support.

Victory is a long, slow process, but the gains that the progressive movement has seen in the past year in the context of the Florida and Miami-Dade Democratic Party are nothing short of astonishing: we have passed a progressive package of issue resolutions, we have won key elected offices, we have completely taken over several DEC's and have made our presence absolutely unignorable in many others. God willing, on December 9 we will gain the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. We have accomplished this with a fair mix of agitation and cooperation. And I damn sure intend to continue to agitate.

But we cannot forget our intention here. We're not here to beat the establishment. We're not here to crush our opposition beneath our bootheels. We are here to make people's lives better. We will beat who we need to beat and crush who we need to crush to do that, but every moment spent destroying the roaches that infest our process is a moment we're not spending uplifting our neighbors. There is exactly one final pathway to success: policy.

So I'm ready to get to work. I'm ready to put the drama and fiasco of the past year of Party leadership churn behind me and focus on pushing issues, winning races, and passing policy. I'm ready to continue strengthening our alliances with community groups, labor, and advocacy organizations, I'm ready to incorporate new processes and new ideas into our organization and our fighting repetoire so that we can fight back against the monopolistic, hegemonic corporatism advanced by the Republicans and far too many Democrats. I'm ready to extract every possible inch out of 2018 and to put the enemies of decency on their heels.