Winning Ballot Initiatives and Legislative Battles
Florida Rising (formerly New Florida Majority and Organize Florida) moves a racial, climate, and gender justice agenda in the third-largest state of the U.S.
A sophisticated, integrated voter engagement strategy helps put progressive social and political change within reach of Black, Afro-Caribbean, Latinx, low-income communities, women and specifically women of color, LGBTQ people, and youth – affecting the material conditions of these communities year-round.
Florida Rising was part of the Florida For All (FFA) coalition that won passage of Initiative 4 on the November ballot–restoring voting rights to 1.6 million Floridians disenfranchised by the criminal justice system in 2018.
When the governor and state legislature tried to undermine this victory, FFA and Florida Rising worked hard to ensure the law would remain intact. An early 2020 court decision guaranteed that once-disenfranchised people will be able to register and vote.
Voter Engagement Turns Tide in Electoral Representation
Increases in voter education and engagement made wins like this possible. In 2020, FFA and Florida Rising made more than 24 million calls and texts to 3.5 million voters of color in 19 counties throughout the state. Most of the folks in these counties lacked adequate access to education and credible information about candidates and issues. Outreach focused on voters who had language, educational, or access barriers to credible information about candidates and issues.
The voters’ response ensured down-ballot wins such as Amendment 2, which will increase the Florida minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 (the first effort to raise the minimum wage in the U.S. South). A paid multimedia campaign reached Black, Haitian, Venezuelan, Cuban, Colombian, and Puerto Rican communities to combat disinformation and deliver community-specific messaging. This work also led to the election of progressive Black and Latinx candidates in Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Orange, and Osceola counties.
Florida Rising’s top 2021-2022 priorities include continued expansion and engagement of the Black and Latinx electorate after an aggressive 2021 legislative session that saw $543 million in permanent corporate tax rate cuts; the passage of deregulation, anti-worker and corporate preemption laws; the DeSantis Anti-Protest, Censorship and Repression Bill; and blatant attacks on voting rights.
Florida Rising is working to protect the Amendment 2 Minimum Wage increase, advance a renters’ bill of rights, stop the anti-protest bill, move local legislation, engage in local and state redistricting processes, and ensure constituents’ participation in municipal elections.