Florida Democrats Launch “Drag Yourself to the Polls” Initiative to Encourage LGBTQ+ and Youth Voting

TALLAHASSEE — On Tuesday, The Florida Democratic Party announced that they are launching a “Drag Yourself to the Polls” Initiative with videos from drag queens to encourage Floridians to vote early, vote-by-mail, and vote for Democrats all the way down the ballot.

The drag queens included are Brita Filter, LaGanja Estranja, Willam Belli, all of whom are well known drag queens with significant followings. The videos will be released on the Florida Democratic Party’s social media platforms throughout the next 2 weeks leading up to the election. These platforms include the Florida Democratic Party’s TikTok and Snapchat accounts which are aimed at younger voters.

“Everyone loves a queen, and Florida Democrats are no different! The LGBTQ+ community is loud and proud in our support of Joe Biden and Democrats — because our rights are on the ballot. Our right to love, to marry, to work and to serve are all at risk in this election. And while this election has very real and very frightening consequences for our community, we are responding with humor and grace and grit,” said FDP Executive Director Juan Peñalosa. “The Florida Democratic Party’s campaign headlined by Brita, LaGanja and Willam is evidence of the strength and resolve in our community and America is better because of it. Now, go vote.”

Stephen Gaskill, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President added, “Drag Queens are exciting and energizing to the LGBTQ+ community and younger voters, two groups that are key parts of the Democratic coalition. The Drag Yourself to the Polls initiative is just one more way that the LGBTQ+ Caucus and the Florida Democratic Party are working to meet voters where they are and encouraging people to vote in one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.”

Brita Filter
Willam Belli
LaGanja Estranja

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TRANSCRIPT FOR ‘Drag Yourself to the Polls’ video

Brita: Why It’s Important to Vote

Hello there Florida Democrats! It’s you girl Brita Filter and today I’m here to tell you about why it is so important to vote in your upcoming November election.

Now we have people in power who are trying to take away our rights and freedoms. Voting for people you want to see in office who can help you, your family, your friends have a better life.

Also, voting for your local officials can help make an even closer impact on the things that matter the most to you and your community.
Oh, you again.

You know voting is a delicious privilege, why not get your piece of the cake if you can choose what’s in it. You know, some people don’t get to choose what’s inside their cake. Use your voice. Do what matters. I want you to vote. Imma vote so you Brita vote. This is good cake. I voted what was gunna be inside that cake and that was delicious. Mmm.

A selection of the additional videos:

Brita: You have the power to make change
Willam: Get 45 Out of Office
LaGanja: Let’s Get Voting Democrats

See Also: The Advocate: How Drag Queens are Helping Democrats Turn Florida Blue

National Coming OUT Days of Action

This year, Equality Florida Action PAC, the Human Rights Campaign, SAVE Action PAC, and the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus are partnering together to host a weekend of action to celebrate National Coming OUT Day. We are calling on our community to join us in supporting LGBTQ and pro-equality candidates who will fight for pro-equality policies from Washington DC to Tallahassee to our local counties and cities! From October 9 – 11, we will host virtual actions for volunteers to help Get Out The Vote.

The outcome of November’s elections will determine whether basic rights for the LGBTQ community will continue to be rolled back or whether we will see progress on civil rights and social justice for all.

Fri, 10/9 @ 5pm: Happy Hour Kickoff Event

Sat, 10/10 @ 9:30am: Hillsborough Day of Action for Nancy Millan Campaign

Sat, 10/10 at 10am: Broward Comes to NW Dade! Day of Action-No Contact Literature Drop for Cindy Polo

Sat, 10/10 @ 10am: Miami-Dade Canvassing Saturdays

Sat, 10/10 @ 10am: Miami-Dade Saturday GOTV Phone Bank

Sat, 10/10 @ Noon: EQFL & HRC Action for Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

Sat, 10/10 @ Noon: Dialing for Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell with HRC President Alphonso David

Sat, 10/10 @ Noon: EQFL & HRC Action for Rep. Jennifer Webb

Sat, 10/10 @ Noon: Dials for Donna Shalala: Training + Phonebank

Sat, 10/10 @ 5pm: 🏳️‍🌈 Pride Chats | With HRC, Rainbow Dems, and Joshua Hicks (HD11)

Sun, 10/11 @ 11:30am: HRC Action for Rep. Jennifer Webb

Sun, 10/11 @ Noon: 2020 Javier Fernandez Days of Action

Sun, 10/11 @ Noon: EQFL & HRC Action for Ricky Junqurea (HD118)

Sun, 10/11 @ 1:30pm: Phone Banking for Linda Thompson Gonzalez for State House 93

Sun, 10/11 @ 3:00pm: Duval National Coming Out Day Literature Drop

Mon, 10/12 @ 1pm – How to Be a Better Ally, with HRC Florida

2020 Get Out the Vote

Our LGBTQ Vote Center with the Biden-Harris campaign is open in Wilton Manors! The LGBTQ Vote Center is a distribution point and information source for Democratic campaigns in Broward County, from the Biden-Harris presidential ticket through down-ballot races. If you’re in South Florida, make an appointment to swing by and find out how you can help us turn out equality voters.

 

LGBTQ Vote Center Opens in Wilton Manors, Sponsored by Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus with the Biden-Harris Campaign

Mayor Dean Trantalis, Mayor Tom Green, Biden-Harris Florida LGBTQ Outreach Director Ella Coffee, HD-93 Candidate Linda Thompson Gonzalez to Participate

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus opens its Democratic Vote Center in Wilton Manors on Thursday, October 8 at 4:30pm. The center has the support of the Biden-Harris campaign, and this opening event will feature Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Wilton Manors Mayor Tom Green, HD-93 candidate Linda Thompson Gonzalez, Biden-Harris Florida LGBTQ Outreach Director Ella Coffee, and Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

The LGBTQ Vote Center will be a distribution point and information source for Democratic campaigns in Broward County, from the Biden-Harris presidential ticket through down-ballot races.

WHAT:
Press Event Opening the LGBTQ Vote Center

WHEN:
Thursday, October 8
4:30pm

WHO:

  • Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis
  • Wilton Manors Mayor Tom Green
  • HD-93 candidate Linda Thompson Gonzalez
  • Biden-Harris Florida LGBTQ Outreach Director Ella Coffee
  • President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Stephen Gaskill

WHERE:
2361 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors FL
(Entrance in the parking lot)

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LGBTQ+ Democrats Denounce Amy Coney Barrett’s Anti-LGBTQ Record

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – President Trump is announcing today that he has selected Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ginsberg’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Barrett has a long history of anti-LGBTQ stances and she presents a clear and present danger to LGBTQ equality.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the nomination:

“With today’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, anti-LGBTQ activists believe they have nearly achieved their decades-long goal of sending our community back into the closet. The Trump administration has been chipping away at LGBTQ civil rights while the president loudly trumpets his supposed support for our community. These concepts are inconsistent, and we know the truth: given the opportunity, every milestone on the path to LGBTQ equality would be rolled back by the Court’s new 6-3 conservative majority. Amy Coney Barrett has questioned marriage equality, misgendered transgender people, and claimed Title IX protections do not extend to transgender Americans. These positions are out of step with the majority of Americans, whose growing support for LGBTQ equality is among the hallmarks of the civil rights movement.”

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Watch Live: It’s In Your Hands, Our 2020 Summer Conference

Welcome to the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’s first-ever virtual Summer Conference, It’s In Your Hands, featuring an exciting lineup of national, state and local Democratic and LGBTQ leaders.



While there is no registration fee for this conference, will you chip in to fund our 2020 GOTV efforts? We will be turning out the LGBTQ community across Florida so we can turn Florida blue and win the White House! Use this button to make a contribution:

10 AM – 11 AM ET

  • Stephen Gaskill, president, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
  • Alfredo Olvera, president, Dolphin Democrats
  • A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Mayors Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale and Jane Castor of Tampa
  • Brandon Peters, Director of the Voter Protection Department at the Florida Democratic Party with an update on voter protection efforts in Florida to counter Republican voter suppression

11 AM – 12 PM ET

  • US Rep. Ted Deutch
  • A panel discussion on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and communities of color moderated by LGBTQ State Representative Shevrin Jones, presumptively Florida’s first LGBTQ State Senator; with Representative-elect Michele Rayner, Florida’s first State Representative who is an LGBTQ Black woman; and Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, presumptive state representatives who defeated anti-LGBTQ incumbents in their primaries
  • Reggie Greer, Biden-Harris LGBTQ Vote Director

12 PM – 1 PM ET

  • Ella Coffee, Biden-Harris Florida LGBTQ Vote Director
  • Terrie Rizzo, Chair, Florida Democratic Party
  • US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steven Glassman
  • A panel discussion on issues facing the transgender community with Tatiana Williams, cofounder and executive director of Transinclusive Group and Nathan Bruemmer, Legislative Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Moderated by Nik Harris, Vice President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

1 PM – 2 PM ET

  • A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Florida State Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jennifer Webb on what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community in Tallahassee
  • Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Also appearing throughout the conference
  • Congressional challengers Phil Ehr (CD-01), Donna Deegan (CD-4), Jim Kennedy (CD-8), Dana Cottrell (CD-11), Alan Cohn (CD-15), Margaret Good (CD-16), Pam Keith (CD-18) and Cindy Banyai (CD-19)
  • LGBTQ State Legislative candidates Joshua Hicks (HD-11), Jared West (HD-41), and Ricky Junquera (HD-118)

Program Announcement: Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS ANNOUNCES PROGRAM FOR ITS FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

National Keynote Speaker Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Ted Deutch, Mayor Dean Trantalis, Mayor Jane Castor, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and State Rep. Jennifer Webb Join Lineup

Biden Campaign, Florida Democratic Party, Congressional Candidates, LGBTQ State Legislative Candidates, and More

DELRAY BEACH FL – The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’s first-ever virtual Summer Conference, It’s In Your Hands, features an exciting lineup of national, state and local Democratic and LGBTQ leaders. The four-hour program, occurring online this Saturday, September 12 from 10am to 2pm ET, will run on the LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’ website, lgbtqdems.org and will be followed by a Membership Meeting at 3pm.

As previously announced, former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg will provide the National Keynote. Joining Mayor Buttigieg among the confirmed participants are:

US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz

US Representative Ted Deutch

A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Mayors Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale and Jane Castor of Tampa

A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Florida State Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jennifer Webb on what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community in Tallahassee

A panel discussion on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and communities of color moderated by LGBTQ State Representative Shevrin Jones, presumptively Florida’s first LGBTQ State Senator; with Representative-elect Michele Rayner, Florida’s first State Representative who is an LGBTQ Black woman; and Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, presumptive state representatives who defeated anti-LGBTQ incumbents in their primaries.

Reggie Greer, LGBTQ Outreach Director for the Biden-Harris campaign, and Ella Coffee, Florida LGBTQ Outreach Director for the Biden-Harris campaign

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party

Openly LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steven Glassman

Alfredo Olvera, president of the Dolphin Democrats, the Caucus’ Broward chapter

A panel discussion on issues facing the transgender community with Tatiana Williams, cofounder and executive director of Transinclusive Group and Nathan Bruemmer, Legislative Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Moderated by Nik Harris, Vice President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

Brandon Peters, Director of the Voter Protection Department at the Florida Democratic Party with an update on voter protection efforts in Florida to counter Republican voter suppression

Congressional challengers Phil Ehr (CD-1), Donna Deegan (CD-4), Jim Kennedy (CD-8), Alan Cohn (CD-15), Margaret Good (CD-16), Pam Keith (CD-18), and Cindy Banyai (CD-19)

LGBTQ State Legislative candidates Joshua Hicks (HD-11), Jared West (HD-41), Shawn Michael Williams (HD-78) and Ricky Junquera (HD-118)

It’s In Your Hands will be available online at lgbtqdems.org, the Caucus’ webpage, as the main site. There is no registration fee for the conference, but participants are encouraged to register at https://www.lgbtqdems.org/2020summerconference/

The conference is hosted by the Caucus’ Broward chapter, the Dolphin Democrats. It will be broadcast from the studios of Hotspots Media Group, the Caucus’ media partner.

Pete Buttigieg to Keynote Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

Caucus’ First-Ever Virtual Conference Will Broadcast Online September 12

DELRAY BEACH FL — Former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg will provide the National Keynote to the 2020 Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Themed It’s In Your Hands, the conference will be broadcast online Saturday, September 12 from 10am to 2pm ET and is open press. The conference will be followed by a closed press Membership Meeting beginning at 3pm ET.

“COVID-19 keeps us from meeting in person, but we have a tremendous amount of work to do to change the direction of our country by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “Our virtual conference features party leaders, issue experts, and campaign strategists who will inspire us, teach us, and guide us in our mission to defeat Donald Trump.”

The full program is still being finalized and more info will be released shortly. In addition to Mayor Buttigieg’s keynote, the conference will feature a session on voter protection efforts in Florida as a counter to Republican efforts to suppress the vote. Also on the agenda is a panel discussion on the intersection of issues facing the LGBTQ community and communities of color in the 2021 legislative session. This panel will be moderated by Senator-elect Shevrin Jones, featuring Representative-elect Michele Rayner, as well as Palm Beach County Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, both of whom are expected to win their races in November.

It’s In Your Hands will be available online on several sites, with lgbtqdems.org, the Caucus’ webpage, as the main site. There is no registration fee for the conference, but participants are encouraged to register.

The conference is hosted by the Caucus’ Broward chapter, the Dolphin Democrats. It will be broadcast from the studios of Hotspots Media Group, the Caucus’ media partner.

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Primary election day nets big wins for Democrats!

As Democrats on the national stage officially nominated Joe Biden for President of the United States, a number of local races resulted in big wins for Democrats in Leon County and throughout Florida. Here’s a recap of last night’s primary election results:

WINNERS

  • Jessica Yeary clinched a win against incumbent Andy Thomas in the race for Public Defender, Circuit 2. Capital Equality’s February candidate forum proved to play an integral role in this race.
  • Walt McNeil won re-election to a second term as Leon County’s sheriff
  • Dee Dee Rassmussen clinched victory and was re-elected to Leon County School Board, District 4
  • Jack Porter unseated incumbent Elaine Bryant to win election as Tallahassee City Commissioner, Seat 1

MOVING ON TO THE GENERAL ELECTION

  • Congressman Al Lawson defeated two Democratic challengers to advance to the General Election in November
  • Loranne Ausley was unopposed in the primary and now advances to the November election in a race for Florida Senate, District 3
  • Allison Tant defeated a Democratic challenger and now advances to the November election in a race for State Representative, District 9
  • Tiffany Baker advances to a November election in a race for Circuit Judge, Circuit 2, Group 4
  • Kelly Otte and Carolyn Cummings will face off in November to determine the next County Commissioner for an At-Large seat
  • Curtis Richardson will advance to the general election against challenger Bill Schack in a race for Tallahassee City Commission, Seat 2

NOTABLE WINS

  • Michele Rayner won election to the Florida House of Representatives, District 70, to become the first openly-LGBTQ+ Black woman to be elected to the House
  • Representative Shevrin Jones was victorious in a race for Florida Senate, District 35, becoming the first openly-LGBTQ+ Black candidate elected to the Florida Senate

These wins are encouraging, but there is much work yet to be done to ensure that Democrats win up and down the ballot this November! Congratulations to these winning Democrats! Onward to November!

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Congratulates Its Endorsed Candidates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus congratulates its endorsed candidates who won their primaries or advanced to the general election in November:

  • Shevrin Jones, Florida Senate, District 35
  • Angie Nixon, Florida House, District 14
  • Omari Hardy, Florida House, District 88
  • Michele Rayner, Florida House, District 70 (Unopposed in the general election)
  • Jacquelyn McMiller, Mayor of Fort Myers
  • Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsed candidates:

“It’s been an incredible primary night for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Michele Rayner will be the first Black lesbian in the Florida House. Shevrin Jones is another step closer to becoming the first openly LGBTQ state senator. Equality champions Angie Nixon and Omari Hardy defeated notoriously anti-LGBTQ incumbents. Jacquelyn McMiller and Daniella Levine Cava moved on in competitive local races. Our community is making history and electing champions who will represent everyone in their communities, including their LGBTQ constituents.”

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A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus