John here . . .
While waking up this morning to the election results was bittersweet, it’s important not to let the statewide losses discount the amazing work the Coral Gables and Miami-Dade Democrats did this midterm cycle. Javier’s campaign is also a testament to the power of canvassing. Demographically, this seat was a hard one to win in the special election, and it wasn’t an easy one to win again yesterday.
In 2014, Miami-Dade had the lowest midterm turnout in Florida with just over 40% (528,956 voters) of registered voters casting a ballot. In 2018, that turnout jumped to
56% 57% (total count will surpass 800K & turnout figures may change as count continues). As anyone who has volunteered or worked on a campaign knows, boosting turnout by that margin is no small thing. It’s worth stressing the local state legislature victories and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s and Donna Shalala’s wins were made possible by the hard work of a large group of volunteers. And the passage of Amendment 4, which overturns a Jim-Crow-era law, was a major victory.
One of the reasons why I volunteered to serve on the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee is that I didn’t just want to focus on winning one candidate’s election or even only focus on winning elections. I feel that the County Party shares my values currently, and that’s because of who makes up that organization. There will still be plenty to do after the election. This site and the volunteer effort it represents is in it for the long haul. For sustainable change to happen, we can’t afford to dismantle the electoral infrastructure we build after every election only to have to build it up again anew.
So stay tuned for more posts on how to stay involved in electoral politics and non-electoral organizing both in 644 and in our wider Miami community.
Thanks for voting and volunteering!