Saturday, June 8, 2007 was a blue letter day for the Florida Democratic Party and the Florida Progressive Blogosphere. On that day, the FDP hosted its first ever Jefferson-Jackson Day luncheon for Florida Bloggers and Netroots activists.
When Phillip Perry of the FDP called the meeting to order, over 50 people were in the room. This was a huge turnout for the first of its kind event in Florida. As noted previously, special thanks is due to meowmissy for bringing this event to reality. I am not going to attempt a comprehensive list of the attendees. However, I would like to make special note of Ken Quinell from the Florida Progressive Coalition and Ray Seaman. They joined with meowmissy and the FDP staff in working to bring this luncheon to life. Thank you.
Phillip Perry gave the welcome and laid out the general goals for the luncheon. The immediate goal was to plan for the Netroots / Bloggers conference at the FDP convention in October. The ultimate goal of all this activity is to turn netroots activism into real world activism and elect more Democrats in Florida. A show of hands was asked for all those who had actually backed away from the keyboards and worked on some campaign in real life. Every hand in the room went up. This group was clearly engaged both online and in real world activities.
Near the end of the luncheon, FDP Chair and former Congresswoman Karen Thurman paid us a visit. Karen thanked us for attending this first of its kind event in Florida and was wowed by the larger than expected attendance. The state Chair told us how she recognizes the importance of what we are doing. She also told us how the feeling of empowerment among state Dems is continuing to increase. This is happening as we continue to savor our gains in 2006. At the same time, Dems are aggressively planning to continue those gains in 2008.
The main business of the luncheon was organizing the Bloggers / Netroots conference at the FDP Convention in October. Consensus was reached that there was enough on the agenda for two distinct sessions. The first would focus on Bloggers and Netroots activists. This session would include a guest keynote speaker and discussions on technology and content. The second session would focus on exchanging thoughts between the online activists and candidates. This session would give the Bloggers and Netroots activists a chance to get to know the candidates. And it would give the candidates a chance to learn what the Bloggers and Netroots activists could do to help get them across the finish line to victory. And it would continue to build bridges that would help to effectively obtain the synergies of effort among the Blogosphere, the FDP and the candidates.
And I would be remiss if I didn't put in a shameless plug for the brand name for the effort to make all this happen. Broad acceptance of the brand name Blog Florida Blue was apparent. We are still seeking a logo for this effort. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Until then, I am going to keep mine simple and to the point: