We Made Pinellas Blue Again
We didn’t usher in the blue wave we were all hoping for, but we did our part here in Pinellas. We made Pinellas blue again. For that, we should all be proud. We were not successful at electing a BOLD and PROGRESSIVE Governor or reelecting our Senator, but all is not lost. We didn’t lose this election because there is a deficit in our values and ideas.
We talked about expanding health care, criminal justice reform, recognizing climate change, bolstering public education, implementing growth management, conserving the natural environment, putting scientists and environmentalists back in positions of influence at our state agencies, and more local issues like affordable housing, transportation, food security, gun reforms, and engaging newer and younger voters. For that, we should be proud.
We should be proud of our Chapter member Jennifer Webb on her victory in District 69. We should be proud of our Chapter member Alex Heeren and his campaign. He stepped forward and entered the arena and showed us that we could also step forward and be the change we are seeking. We should congratulate our friend and supporter Dr. Nicole Carr, who will be joining the Pinellas County School Board. We should be proud that we help pass Amendment 4. Now 1.4 million ex-offenders will have their voting rights restored. We should be proud because we believe in #SecondChances.
We should be proud that we flipped our county blue again. In 2016, Donald Trump narrowly won Pinellas by 1%, yesterday, Mayor Andrew Gillum won Pinellas by 3%. That is an achievement. Across the country, Democrats won enough seats in Congress to reclaim the majority and we can welcome seven new Democratic Governors, all of which will restore some balance in our political system. We have a lot to be happy about. Progress was made.
I am sure over the next few months, consultants, politicos, pundits, and party officials will dive deep into the data, examining where we were successful and where we fell short. This is what I know for sure; we can no longer be the party that swoops into neighborhoods a few weeks before the election. We have to build those relationships, every day. We need newer and young leaders to step forward and reimagine our party because the tactics and strategy of yesterday have failed us again. Two percentage point tells us that we didn’t fail on the merits of our values and ideas. We failed at organizing our win.
Therefore, we move forward. We take the time to mourn our hard-fought campaign but we get back to work. I believe our party needs us now. Our party needs our energy, new ideas, and leadership. Dr. King reminds us that “we must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” Onward.
Johnny V. Boykins
Pinellas Young Dems
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