With a household median income topping six figures and housing costs soaring, Coral Gables is an unlikely place for voters who find themselves sitting on the left side of the political spectrum to call home. At the municipal level, candidates for city government often focus on fighting development or stoking crime panics to cater to property owners rather than pursuing policies that would make housing more affordable and improve transportation options for the teachers, service workers, housekeepers, caregivers, and lawn workers that so many residents rely upon.
But many liberals and progressives do call Coral Gables home and don't often feel represented by their elected officials. Martha Schoolman and I count ourselves among this group, and we hold out hope that more residents might join their neighbors who already support candidates and causes committed to fighting DeSantis's repressive policies. We also hope you have the courage to join us in supporting those candidates and groups who fight for better environmental policies, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, and economic equity. Let's not forget that Florida supermajorities supported and passed amendments for a $15 minimum wage in 2020 and the restoration of voting rights to returning citizens with former felony convictions in 2018. And while many South Florida candidates ran to the center away from progressive issues such as these only to lose their elections in 2020, State Representative Anna Eskamani outperformed Biden in precincts that even his opponent won in her Orlando district by working hard for her constituents and embracing progressive policies and giving her voters something to actually vote for.
We both formerly served as Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) organizers for precinct 644. During the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, we used our previous site, 644dems.org, to organize canvasses and share information about issues and candidates. Now we live in different parts of the city (though still a short bike ride away), and the Miami-Dade Democratic Party restructured its county organization, so neither of us serve as precinct captains any longer. Martha, however, still remains very active in the Coral Gables Democratic Party Club, serving on their board, and has rejoined the Miami DEC in a new capacity. I recently have focused my volunteer efforts on organizing employees at the University of Miami, helping to form a wall-to-wall American Association of University Professors (AAUP) advocacy chapter on that campus.
Since 45 lost his reelection bid, the political situation in Florida has unfortunately become very grave--even by Florida's standards. For this reason, Gables Progressives is ready to begin where 644dems left off. We hope you'll join us, your friends and neighbors, in fighting for a better Coral Gables and a better Florida. To that end, we will use this site to share organizing information, plan election events, connect activists and organizers, and share news about local candidates and issues. In the weeks and months ahead, we also hope to feature guest posters (yes, you, gentle reader).
We aren't naïve. We are just stubborn when comes to fighting for our values. Organizing is hard and often slow-moving but rewarding work. Success is never certain, but we believe in you and our collective power to change things for the better when we all come together!