Monday, October 12, 2009

Democrats of South Dade Club is honored by Florida Democratic Party

A moment of pride for the vigorous club we all admire: the Democrats of South Dade Club won a new award given by the Florida Democratic Party at the Orlando state conference on Saturday. The DSDC  was awarded the Certificate of Outstanding Meritorious Achievement for Large County Democratic Clubs. First time it has been given, and very suitable that it went to the DSDC.

You don't have to live in South Dade to be a member. Check out their website for meeting information. Just happens to be a special meeting this week, at Books and Books in Coral Gables, 8 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 14, to hear author David Swanson read from his new book, "Daybreak: Undoing of the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

Here's a history of the club sent in to support its candidacy for the award.

Democrats Of South Dade Club (DSDC) is nearing its 10th year as an active political entity in Miami-Dade.  The organization was established on January 20, 2001, the day of George W. Bush’s inauguration as President. Throughout our existence we have been lauded as a “model political club,” a compliment heard frequently from political activists and Dem office holders who have visited our campaign operations and participated in our club meetings. 

With a roster of more than 150 members and several hundred South Dade campaign volunteers, DSDC has been able to mount effective campaign organizations for the local Democratic Party and create a number of worthwhile projects since our inception. For example, the operation of last year’s self-sufficient, all-volunteer presidential campaign was a massive undertaking and resulted in unprecedented campaign activity within our large, urban county. After DSDC opened its Coordinated Campaign Office July 2, 2008 in Pinecrest, it led the effort to open other campaign offices throughout the county. By campaign’s end there were 23 field and administrative offices in Miami-Dade, many of these supported with monies and material from Democrats Of South Dade Club.

The DSDC spearheaded a campaign of more than 1,000 volunteers who walked 14 South Dade precincts, worked the early voting locations and provided a huge Election Day effort that saw our Pinecrest volunteers fully staff 28 voting sites The office also supported the entire Democratic ticket in Miami-Dade, aiding the efforts of congressional candidates Joe Garcia, Raoul Martinez and Annette Taddeo, Harvey Ruvin, Luis Garcia, Frank Morra and Michael Calderin.  During this campaign cycle, Dems of South Dade also spearheaded a number of highly visible events across Miami-Dade, including successful projects at the University of Miami, Jungle Island (with Alex Sink) and at the homes of a number of activists. The campaign helped deliver a 140,000 vote plurality in Miami-Dade for Sen. Obama, paved the way for his victory in Florida and eventual election as president. On Inauguration Day DSDC sponsored a community wide luncheon in South Miami where 120 people viewed the inauguration, celebrated with friends and toasted our new president.

DSDC has stayed active in a number of fronts throughout 2009, backing the campaign of Democrats in municipal races, continuing our highly successful voter registration drives, teaming with Fair Districts Florida (FDF) in securing petitions and raising funds and joining Organizing for America (OFA) in a number of visible local events. Our campaign efforts centered on local, non-partisan contests where an identified Democrat was being opposed by a registered Republican. Our activity included support for council candidate Bob Ross in Pinecrest, Commissioner Maria Anderson in Coral Gables and candidate Lew Sellars in South Miami.  All three candidates won their races.

Our voter registration drives now include activity at all three Miami-Dade immigration field office locations: Kendall, Miami and Hialeah. DSDC makes regular visits to the naturalization ceremonies throughout the county and has been actively engaged in signing up new citizens as voters for a number of years. Throughout ’08 and ‘09, our proportion of new Democrats to new Republicans was frequently 3-1 and 4-1. During the height of the  presidential campaign cycle we were registering Ds over Rs as much as 14-1. 

Fair Districts Florida has been one of the club’s ongoing projects this year and in the past. We have financially assisted FDF, purchased and staffed a booth at the Gay Pride Event on Miami Beach and walked door-to door to acquire petitions.

DSDC’s recent alliance with OFA has seen us participate in a number of public events in support of President Obama’a agenda. Members have lobbied at the office of  Sen. Bill Nelson, joined Health Care rallies throughout the county and joined other activists in downtown Miami at the Health Care vigil. 

Democrats Of South Dade has been a consistent supporter of our local Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) and the activities of the Florida Democratic Party (FDP).  32 DSDC members are also members of the local DEC.  At the most recent Florida Party Conference in Orlando, 14 of our members were in attendance.  Four DSDC members also participated in the FDP/DCCA Miami Lakes conference held recently.

Our club has been blessed by a continuity of veteran leadership that has guided the organization through its first decade of existence. DSDC has also reached out to its membership and encouraged active Dems to seek election to our board of directors.  At the club election this spring, four new members were elected to our board.  We are  confident this new leadership will be able to carry on with the work of the club, the  Democratic Party and the Democratic community.

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