Rod Smith is new chair of Florida Democratic Party

Here’s a link to the Miami Herald story on the Saturday meeting of the state Executive Committee where Rod Smith was elected without opposition to lead the Florida Democratic Party.  A tough job, for sure, and Smith pounded out a strong message that, by and large, is reflected in the Herald story.

One area — redistricting — didn’t feature much in the Herald story, however, so I’ll report that Smith was emphatic in saying the party is prepared to fight “any effort against redistricting.” Since this was one of the few positive results the Democrats can claim from the 2010 election, we must stay on the offense to reach the fair districts that were strongly endorsed by the electorate.

Your blogger attended the Kissimmee meeting not as a delegate but as a spectator along with five other members of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee, or DEC, with a progressive frame of mind. We spent three hours after the meeting in a separate session organized by people from around the state who want to promote progressive goals and are willing to volunteer extra time and effort.

Anyone interested in joining this drive may contact this blog (comms@miamidadedemocrats.com) and I will get you into the Facebook group called Florida Progressives. Further reading probably will be found on the Florida Progressive Coalition blog.

Our plans include a Feb. 13 get-together in Orlando called Legicamp, which aims to instruct us in what will happen in the Florida Legislature, how to lobby it and to brainstorm what progressives can do in the face of an iron-clad Republican majority and a Republican governor whose intentions are largely unknown.

In other words, we’re not giving up, and the Saturday trip to Kissimmee and back was an inspirational uplift.

A pall on the meeting, however, was news of the shooting in Tucson and the many deaths and injuries suffered by people attending an outdoor town hall meeting with US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona. That happened about the time the state party meeting was getting under way, and was announced by the outgoing chair, Karen Thurman.  Quite a chill fell on the room full of 300 or so Democrats.

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