Matt Haggman "It’s on us: Our moment to stand up in Miami"

It’s no exaggeration to say the 2020 U.S. Presidential election is the most important election of our lives. Previous generations have stood up at moments like this. We must do so as well.  

But for us in Miami, this is especially true. Miami-Dade County is one of a select number of places across the country that can play an outsized role in determining the outcome.  The reason: Miami-Dade County is the biggest county in the biggest swing state in the country. 

If the Democratic nominee wins big in Miami-Dade, it can play a key role in winning Florida. And if the Democratic nominee wins Florida, the White House will be won too. More than a century has passed since the last Republican won the White House without Florida.

This is a moment where it’s on us in Miami to take hold of our country’s future. And we can, if we each resolve to take ownership of this election. Whether knocking on doors, registering family members to vote, talking with neighbors about why the stakes are too high -- and the impact we can have too great -- to sit this one out.  

This is why the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, under the leadership of newly elected Chair Steve Simeonidis, is focused on organizing voters and launching an unprecedented year-long voter engagement campaign. Building on efforts across the state, the local party is targeting more than a million voters throughout Miami-Dade County over the next year.

It is also why I’m honored to chair this year’s Blue Gala, joining with many others in supporting the Miami-Dade Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser at this critical moment. 

To organize voters like never before, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party needs to raise funds like never before. The 2019 Blue Gala this Fall is our opportunity to do that. It will be held Saturday, November 2 -- one year and a day before voters go to the polls on November 3, 2020. 

The theme of this year’s Blue Gala is, “It’s on us.” This is our moment to stand up. The funds we raise will support voter registration, door-to-door voter canvassing, postcard reminders, peer to peer texting, vote by mail re-enrollment, among other efforts. Voting, for instance, increases dramatically when people register to vote by mail, even if they ultimately choose to vote at the polls. 

We know in Florida that every vote matters. From Bush v Gore to last year’s U.S. Senate and Governor’s races, we’ve seen statewide elections in Florida decided by the narrowest margins.

Consider that in the last election cycle, in 2018, 63 percent of voters across Florida turned out to vote but just 57 percent did in Miami-Dade. The composition of Miami-Dade County voters is 42 percent Democrat, 32 percent independent and 26 percent Republican. If voters in Miami had turned out to vote like those across the state, the razor-thin Republican victories for U.S. Senate and Governor would likely have gone the other way.

We can’t let that happen again. That’s why I’m all in, and hope you are too. 

Join us at the Blue Gala on November 2. Join us by sponsoring a table or purchasing individual tickets to the reception and dinner. Or purchase a ticket to the Blue Bash, which will follow dinner. Help by reaching out to friends and family to support the Blue Gala, spread the word on social media, or volunteer. You can reach out to me directly at [email protected]. I hope to hear from you. 

We are living in very important times. Indeed, years from now we will each be asked a question. Maybe from a daughter or grandson, or maybe we will pose the question to ourselves. But the question will be: What did you do? How did you respond at this pivotal moment in our history? 

That answer for each of us will be written over the next year. I hope it will include joining this effort to stand up and take hold of the future of our community and, in doing so, our country. 

After all, it’s on us. But, to achieve success, it will require all of us.   

Sign up for email updates, and join us at county and local club meetings to learn how to get more involved.