After the Florida Democrats lost the governor’s office and a Senate seat by some of the narrowest margins since the 2000 presidential election, the Florida Democratic Party looks to recruit an army of young people and register hundreds of thousands of new voters to put the state back into the blue column.
The Florida Democratic Party is launching a final push to recruit college juniors to apply to the party’s paid field organizer training program, Organizing Corps 2020, before the application deadline of April 8. The Democratic Party is committed to hiring students of color for the program with a goal of 60 percent of all hires coming from Hispanic, Caribbean, African American and LGBT communities. Corps members will be flown to Chicago for a week of training with national experts, and then will come back to Florida to take part in an 8-week program while receiving a $4,000 stipend. The program will focus on structured training in digital organizing, voter registration, and data analysis.
The party plans to invest over a million dollars into the effort, with the goal of training more than 100 young people this summer and a second set of college students in the fall. The party’s plan to recruit student organizers is just one piece of the larger plan, indicating Democrats are gearing up for 2020.
The Florida Democratic Party also announced it will spend $2 million on voter registration, commit to registering 200,000 voters, and work with Andrew Gillum and partner organizations to increase voter registration by 1,000,000 voters in advance of 2020. In addition, the Florida Democratic Party has already started staffing up in data and field to prepare for 2020, announcing a dozen new senior hires in data and field to take back Florida and put a Democrat in the White House in 2020.
The Florida Democrats believe they can win in Florida by creating a new electorate through voter registration and outreach. Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, and an advisory board member of the Organizing Corps 2020, called the organizing program “crucial in turning Florida Blue in 2020.”
He explained that “Florida Democrats saw record youth involvement and turnout in 2018, and the FDP Organizing Corps will help us build on youth outreach and engagement. It is a key component in expanding our base and ensure that Florida Democrats have a strong field program ready to support our presidential nominee on day one."
Organizing Corps 2020 is a national program led by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Groups working on the project include the Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund, Disability Action for America, Asian American Action Fund, and Pay Our Interns.
The party wants to focus on students from communities of color, and the LGBT community, because these groups have been underrepresented among political campaign staff. The Florida program seeks to recruit college students who reside in or around Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. The national program will also have students working in Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta, GA, Detroit, MI, Charlotte, NC, Fayetteville, NC, Philadelphia, PA, and Milwaukee, Wi.
Students interested in applying to the program can apply at OrganizingCorps2020.com.