Tampa Bay Democrats follow tea party playbook to take on Trump era
From Tony Marrero:
The married couple stood on the sidewalk in front of the gleaming high rise, clutching pink posters as traffic zoomed by on West Kennedy Boulevard.
It was Valentine's Day, and Andrea Beley and Gaston Naranjo of Tampa had joined about 150 other demonstrators to send a message to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. This day, the group was largely focused on getting Rubio to hold a town hall meeting.
"I don't feel like I have a senator," said Beley, a 64-year-old retired university professor, as she held a holiday-inspired sign that read, "Rubio, Wherefore Art Thou?" "He seems like he's disappeared."
The weekly demonstrations at Rubio's Tampa office are among the most visible signs of a national grassroots movement taking hold in Tampa Bay. The goal: Block President Donald Trump's agenda by pressuring members of Congress at home.
The activists are coalescing around the Indivisible Guide, a how-to manual written by ex-Democratic aides and modeled after the tactics that helped the tea party block President Barack Obama's agenda. It calls for putting a laser focus on representatives and senators in their districts by flooding town hall meetings, showing up at their offices and calling them out if they refuse to meet.