A giant, union-backed political group that knocked on an estimated 3 million doors in Florida in 2016 is revving up for an even more ambitious effort this year aimed at electing Democrats up and down the ballot, passing the felon voting rights initiative and defeating a ballot measure to reduce local control over charter schools.
For Our Future Florida, part of a $70 million national battleground state effort funded by a coalition of labor groups, never actually stopped working in Florida after Trump won the state in 2016. Alongside other progressive groups including Indivisible, Women's March, Mi Familia Vota, Florida Voices for Health, and Progress Florida, it has been helped put together women's marches, phone banks, and empty chair town hall meetings spotlighting Republicans avoiding public events.
"We've helped organize over 500 rallies, trainings and town halls and knocked on 302,714 doors since the 2016 election," said Field Director Jenn Whitcomb.
They are not doing this in a vacuum. Conservative groups such as the Libre Institute targeting Puerto Ricans have been engaging with voters for months, and the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, have had dozens of field organizers working across Florida for months.
Where assorted voter mobilization groups pop up every election year and then disappear afterwards, For Our Future is trying to build a permanent infrastructure for progressive political organizing.
The group is targeting sporadic voters and those identified as potentially motivated by certain issue such as climate change or immigration. The group is working in 23 urban and rural counties, and is ramping up an ambitious volunteer program.
It plans to hold 70 events across the state this weekend as part a canvassing day of action and aims to knock on four million doors before Election Day.
"It's never too early to have one-on-one conversations with voters," said Ashley Walker, the For Our Future State Director. "Starting the conversation early and continuing the conversation after election day will help build the lasting power necessary to improve Floridians' lives. Our goal is to engage and motivate sporadic voters and really create a conversation about these issues."