Other Group

Broward for Progress

Website:

https://www.browardforprogress.org/

Location:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Formation:

2017

Type:

Left-of-center Voter Mobilization Group

Founder:

Laurie Woodward Garcia

Broward for Progress Is a left-of-center voter-mobilization group that, among other issues, advocates for expansion of Medicare and the end of the U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule that sets a supermajority threshold to pass legislation. Its Facebook page lists its previous name as “Broward for Hillary Clinton,” which was changed to Broward for Progress in 2017 following former Secretary of State Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election. [1]

Broward for Progress is a member of the Action Network and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. It opposes natural gas drilling and favors “renewable portfolio standards” that mandate that a certain percentage of each state’s energy must come from non-fossil fuel alternatives. It supports repealing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law which states that an individual who reasonably feels threatened with bodily injury or death may “meet force with force” rather than flee. [2]

In 2021, Broward for Progress signed a letter with more than 60 left-of-center organizations calling for modification of the Senate filibuster rule to enable passage of left-of-center legislation on a Democratic party-line vote. Signatories included Fix Our Senate, environmentalist group Evergreen Action, left-of-center political action groups People’s Action, Our Revolution, and Bend the Arc Jewish Action, and Demos, as well as voter mobilization groups Black Voters Matter Fund and DemCast USA; the letter was criticized by Republicans who drew attention to the fact that several of its signatories were actually offshoots of the “dark money” lobbying group Sixteen Thirty Fund. [3]

Advocacy

Voting Legislation

Broward for Progress advocates for automatic, universal voter registration and voting rights for prisoners. Its website states that it opposes term limits but supports the Florida “Sunshine Law,” which states that any conversation between two or more members of the same public board, in any setting formal or casual, must be made public if it is related to an issue that may come up for a vote. It also supports statehood for the District of Columbia. [4]

Union Support

Broward for Progress supports strong unions and opposes “right-to-work” legislation that bars conditioning employment on the payment of union fees. Among other issues, Broward for Progress also advocates to change the way overtime pay is calculated, so that it begins to accrue after the workday exceeds eight hours rather than after the employee has worked more than 40 hours in a single week. It also supports a mandated six weeks paid parental leave with universal government-funded day care. The group is also a supporter of a universal $15 per hour minimum wage. [5]

Voter Mobilization Efforts

Broward for Progress’ website does not directly endorse candidates, but instead directs its users to the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and the Progressive Democrats of America for recommendations. Its “Florida Postcards to Voters” project harnesses volunteers to write handwritten postcards to Florida residents as a way of activating voters. It supplies volunteers with voter lists, urging them to shred the lists after use. Stamps and postcards must be paid for by the volunteers. It partners in this initiative with Reclaim Our Vote and Vote Forward, which boasted a .8% increase in 2020 voter turnout as a result of its efforts. [6]

People

Laurie Woodward Garcia is the founder and co-director of Broward for Progress, as well as regional coordinator for southeast Florida of the Progressive Democrats of America and a member of Move Forward South Florida. She is also the get out the vote coordinator for Emgage, a Muslim-American advocacy and voter-mobilization group. Garcia was also a candidate for the Democratic National Committee in 2021. [7]

In 2021 Garcia advocated for a boycott of the Publix grocery store chain following news that one of its founder’s heirs, Julie Jenkins Fancelli, had donated more than $980,000 to President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign and had donated money to organize a rally near the White House on January 6, 2021. Publix responded by pointing out that Fancelli was neither an employee or a representative of the company, nor involved in its business. Garcia also criticized the Publix Super Markets Inc. Associates Political Action Committee for having donated to Republican’s campaigns, although it had also supported Democrats including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Lois Frankel (D-FL). [8]

References

  1. “Broward for Progress/About.” Facebook. Accessed January 24, 2022.   https://www.facebook.com/browardforprogress/?ref=page_internal ^
  2. “Broward For Progress Statement Against Racism.” Broward for Progress. June 4, 2020. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://www.browardforprogress.org/post/broward-for-progress-statement-against-racism ^
  3. Carney Jordain. “60 Groups Uge Senate Democrats to Reform Filibuster for Voting Rights.” The Hill. January 3, 2022. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/587961-60-groups-urge-senate-dems-to-reform-filibuster-for-voting-rights?fbclid=IwAR0CyzZFCl9V3xavblcudXmDwwztS25zKFq4o2QpRc_Qg_twre5sI7pHt2g ^
  4. “Platform.” Broward for Progress. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://www.browardforprogress.org/platform ^
  5. “Platform.” Broward for Progress. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://www.browardforprogress.org/platform ^
  6.  “Postcards to Voters.” Broward for Progress. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://www.browardforprogress.org/postcards-to-voters ^
  7. “Laurie Woodward Garcia for DNC.” Youtube. January 7, 2021. Accessed January 24, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE2shSpALjA ^
  8. Call, James. “Publix Boycott: Leon County Democrats, Republicans on Opposite Sides of Debate. Tallahasse Democrat. February 2, 2021. Accessed February 8, 2022. https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/02/leon-county-democrats-republicans-opposite-sides-publix-debate/4355679001/ ^
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