How many times have you heard this disparaging meme? To be honest, I’ve thought it a few times myself.
But I’m happy to report that this election cycle we blew this assertion to smithereens. Not only were Broward County Young Republicans busy doing the work to get Republicans elected, but we had a stronger, more collaborative effort than ever.
Long time Broward YRs have probably noted that over the past few years, many of our members have moved up and moved on to great horizons. That is the proud legacy of generations of Young Republicans. Many from the group of YRs that got us involved have used the skills and connections they built during their time in our group to achieve political and life goals that were previously thought unreachable to them.
They left us to take over the legacy of the Young Republicans and we hit the ground running in our campaign offices and on campaigns themselves.
In newly opened victory offices, Team Romney hired Young Republicans to staff and run the GOTV efforts. In especially tight races, underdogs Adam Hasner and Ellyn Bogdanoff needed the very best grassroots campaigners available to pound the pavement and get their message out to voters. None other than Young Republicans were there to save the day. We worked with our Region 12 allies in Palm Beach and Miami to make sure we had the ground covered for our candidates. Even YRs from as far as Texas came in to help with our GOTV campaign.
I am particularly proud of our very own Broward YRs.
While our newer members like Hathor and Askandra were eager to hone organizing skills in our campaign offices, veteran YRs were busy out in the field. We called voters, put up signs, knocked doors. We all took time away from our jobs, classes and families to donate time and money to our candidates.
Ryan was everywhere imaginable canvassing and organizing for Sheriff Lamberti. Sarah Pennington wasted no time joining our club when she arrived in Fort Lauderdale to manage George Moraitis’s campaign. And thank God he had her on his team in this particularly rough election cycle. What would the Broward GOP have done without Republican of The Year Michael Degruccio or Chairman Richard Denapoli — both Broward YRs?
In addition working on campaigns or managing them, many of our members were the candidates themselves. Dan Daley and David Gobeo ran tough races in their municipalities. Legislative candidates Cara Pavalock, Libby Eddy and Chris Smithmyer had insurgent campaigns in neighborhoods often overlooked by Republicans. If they changed even a few minds about our party, we are better off for having them on the ballot.
That’s what Young Republicans do. We fight the tough fights. We go into the places no other Republicans go. While others are crowing about their efforts, we are hard at work getting the job done.
My Record As Acting President
Some two months ago, I set a deliberately ambitious agenda for our group. I’m proud to say we achieved and surpassed my expectations.
My first priority was to establish a board. And we are lucky to have hard workers like Ryan, Michael, Nick, Matthew and Hathor to help fill in the blind spots and keep our club on the right track for the election. When I tell you it couldn’t have been done without them, please believe it’s not a euphamism.
Secondly, I reached out to former members to come back and aggressively targeted new potential members. I’m proud to announce that there are 9 more active Broward County Young Republicans than when I took office.
I said that we would do more actual activism than we’ve done in previous cycles and we annihilated our past performance, like I mentioned before. Never have we seen so many members engaged in various campaigns across the county.
I said we would do better online outreach and we demolished that goal as well. We are all the way up to 785 Twitter followers, up from about 650. Our Facebook accounts boast 655 friends, 304 group members and 237 likes on our page — all dramatic increases, but none am I so proud of as the growth in our email list. Our Newswire list has exploded from 463 recipients to 706 active subscribers… IF you don’t count the two inquiries we had just today.
So let there be no doubt, our club is in a better place today than only a few months ago.
What’s Next For Our Club?
Between now and March, I will ask the board to present a specific list of targeted improvements to the efficiency and outreach of our club. I will ask our members for any and all ideas to make Broward County Young Republicans an organization that more people are proud — indeed eager — to be an active part of. We will set an even more ambitious, even more collaborative, even more engaging agenda.
Yes, we will catch our breath from this difficult cycle. And yes, we will have fun and build cohesion in addition to our grassroots efforts. But we will also keep sight of our main goal – to get Republicans elected to offices across Broward County.
With your support as members, we will lead our party to victory in 2014 and beyond.
I thank you for your confidence on behalf of myself and our entire board.
Now let’s get back to work.