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This week I attended my county Democratic Executive Committee’s spring fundraising dinner. We reintroduced our 2014 candidates, and both our DEC and the Florida Democratic Party recognized the hard work of our five local Democratic Clubs. We also heard speeches from our newly-elected Florida House Rep. Amanda Murphy, neighboring Florida House Rep. Mark Danish, and from Rob Lorei, the news director of our local NPR affiliate.
State Rep. Danish told a particularly touching and important story about a recent proposal to privatize the state capital custodial services. The hardworking employees who now sweep the floors and clean the toilets for our state legislators would have had to reapply for their current jobs, at reduced pay and with fewer benefits. He gave an impassioned objection on the floor of the Florida House and, at his urging, the bill’s sponsor agreed to talk with the custodians. The sponsor found that many of his assumptions were false. The custodians were not part-time workers making extra cash, as he had thought. For most, this $18,000/year job was their primary family income. His eyes thus opened, he agreed to withdraw his bill.
Both Reps. Murphy and Danish talked about the frustration of having to “play defense,” attempting to block Republican proposals, because there are too few Democrats in the Florida State House to push a progressive agenda. And both talked about the importance of turning out more Democratic voters in midterm elections.
I came away energized and even more motivated to help GOTV for November.