Black Democrats win big at Florida Democratic Party’s reorganization meeting
By Lucius Gantt
The Florida Democratic Party at its organizational meeting on Jan. 14, 2017 elected new officers, including a chair, first vice chair, secretary, treasurer and 10 Democratic National Committee (DNC) members.
The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF) is proud to announce on Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Day of Service that African Americans now hold three of the four elected officer positions within the Florida Democratic Party’s State Committee and that three of the 10 Democratic National Committee (DNC) members elected are African American.
“Since November, Democratic activists and the media have focused on the battle for chair-man of the Florida Democratic Party. While so much attention was placed on the chairman’s race, the Democratic Black Caucus was also focused on the other elected officers of our State Committee and DNC elections,” said Henry Crespo, president of the Democratic Black Caucus (DBCF). “The DBCF utilized its collective will to ensure that the Florida Democratic Party leadership begins to look like the Florida Democratic Party.”
African-American Democrats swept the elected officer positions. Judy Mount, the DEC chairwoman of Leon County, is now 1st vice chair, the first time ever an African American has held that position. Francesca Menes, state committeewoman from Miami-Dade County, is now treasurer and in charge of the purse strings. She is the daughter of Haitian-Dominican immigrants. Casmore Shaw, the state committeeman from Osceola County who is Jamaica-American, was elected secretary.
“We know and understand that people win elections and the people must be reflected in the leadership in order to motivate voters. Florida Democrats have lost 17 of the last 20 statewide races and 17 of the last 18 statewide cabinet races – a record which is comparable to that of deep red states in the interior of the country,” said Lydia Hudson, first vice president of the DBCF. “There is much work to do, and it begins with getting our own house in order. I think we made equitable steps in that direction on Jan. 14 in Orlando and we all can lay claim to a shared victory!” Although the DCBF’s endorsed candidate for chairman, Senator Dwight Bullard, was not victorious, Bullard was elected one of 10 to the Democratic National Committee. His voice will be heard on a national stage, starting with the election of the DNC chair in February.
Other African American Democrats elected to the DNC were Nikki Barnes of Wakulla County and Grace Carrington of Broward County, who is also a DBCF Executive Committee member.
In addition, Crespo nominated Ken Evans of Broward County for the DNC. Evans is also a member of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida.
“We congratulate our new Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel, and the other newly elected officers and DNC members of the FDP. Now is the time to rally behind this new FDP leadership team as we move our collective energies towards fighting for the hearts and minds of Demo-crats and Democratic policies in our state and nation,” Crespo said.
About The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida
The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida was established in 1983, to unite and increase the political power for Black Democrats who went unnoticed. The Caucus is an integral part of the Florida Democratic Party’s infrastructure, which unites talent with opportunity to facilitate voter building through educational forums effecting voter registration drives (EVRD), get out the vote. DBCF represent 32 percent of the 4.8 million Democrats of Florida.
For more information, visit, www.dbcflorida.org
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