The Florida Democratic Party held a meeting with elected officers, including Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, First Vice Chair Judy Mount, Secretary Casmore Shaw and Treasurer Francine Garcia to approve measures to protect staff, volunteers and the public against the spread of COVID-19.
The Florida Democratic Party shares the concerns of our fellow Floridians and the entire country and we join with our communities to work to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FDP has implemented new policies and procedures that follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and public health officials to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, and the public.
While we have taken measures to stay safe, the Florida Democratic Party, our staff of more than 100 employees and our 12,000+ active volunteers will NOT stop campaigning, but we will begin to change the nature of our campaign efforts in light of the public health reality.
This election is as critical as any in our lifetimes and we are committed to electing Democrats in the state and defeating Donald Trump in 2020.
- FDP is continuing to monitor the situation, we are in constant contact with our elected leaders and we have committed to the following changes and will make prudent changes as recommended moving forward.
- FDP has halted face-to-face voter contact and will shift all campaign organizing efforts from in-person work to virtual work, and we encourage campaigns to do the same.
- FDP will update goals and metrics to promote texting, video conferencing, virtual phone banks and online outreach tools to do our work of expanding the electorate and building the trained staff and volunteer organization Democrats need to win.
- FDP is updating and expanding online training to promote and train our staff and volunteers on digital and online organizing.
- FDP has postponed the Democratic County Chairs Association Conference until further notice.
- In accordance with CDC guidelines, FDP has announced the postponement of all events of 50 or more people and FDP staff has been advised to avoid all events of 50 or more people for the foreseeable future.
- FDP will provide daily updates to staff on the changing public health situation and how to respond.
- FDP has educated staff of CDC recommendations to wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, clean frequently used surfaces, and avoid touching one’s face.
- The FDP Tallahassee office and the Fort Lauderdale Headquarters will not be accessible for meetings through at least the end of March. Only credentialed personnel and party leaders will be permitted to access the buildings.
- FDP has always provided paid sick leave and employer-paid healthcare for our employees and will continue to ensure staff has the support and resources they need.
- FDP is evaluating our voting processes and systems to address the current reality. We will work to expand voting methods like vote-by-mail to ensure that everyone who is eligible can vote.
These policies shall remain in effect to the end of March. FDP is monitoring the situation and shall update our policies as needed. We expect our state and federal government to work to protect the public’s health and we are making these changes to do our part to ensure our government will be successful in mitigating and stopping the spread of the virus. The Florida Democratic Party urges the public to stay informed and follow CDC guidelines.
Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party stated health and safety are a top priority for the party:
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our community, so out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone events and shift to digital means of voter contact for the time being. We have a critical upcoming election and we will continue our work in full force online to reach voters and turn Florida blue.”
The Florida Democratic Party currently has their congressional district caucus scheduled for Saturday, April 4 (with some counties providing early voting on Thursday, April 2) to elect 148 district level delegates. This process is currently under review and we are working with the DNC to evaluate options for a safe election.
Office Protocol and Safety
FDP is recommending all county parties, clubs and caucuses begin to move meetings to teleconference and videoconference if possible. And if that is not possible, meetings should implement social distancing and the meeting should be conducted swiftly and limited to essential business.
- Office safety guidelines apply to our Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale office, and field offices.
- For now, FDP staff will be working remotely.
- Meetings: Please utilize video or telephone meetings.
- Limiting staff in-state travel and halting all staff out-of-state travel beginning March 14.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- FDP will not stop campaigning. We will alter our strategy, tactics and organization to take the public health reality into account — but we are confident we will put the organization together that we need to win.