Monday, October 29, 2007

Welcome to Florida Netroots

If you're coming to this site for the first time, then there's a good chance you heard about it at the state convention of the Florida Democratic Party at the Netroots Conference. I viewed my job at the convention as providing newcomers to the blogosphere with some introductory tips on how to do research online and some basic steps to help others find the posts you've written. It was a jam-packed session with lots of presenters, so I really didn't have the time to delve into the specifics of what this Florida Netroots blog and the associated mailing list is all about. So, let me introduce you to my little corner of the Internet:

Florida Netroots was founded, initially as a mailing list, in January 2007 with the intention of getting a bunch of Florida bloggers and activists together to educate ourselves and others about what is going on within the state of Florida at the state and local levels.

My thought then and now is that there are plenty of blogs and discussion lists that focus on National politics. Heck, I'm a member of a local democratic mailing list and only about 10% of the discussions have anything to do with local politics. National politics is sexier, it gets more coverage in the mainstream media and therefore more people have an opinion about it one way or the other. Fewer people know much about the people who represent them in the state legislature or pay much attention to local officials until something happens that impacts them directly. It is my goal to get informed activists from all over the state together to fill that gap.

It's also about building up the party. It is all fine and good to talk about Congressional races or the Presidency, but the strength of any political party is in its bench -- those people currently holding elected positions at the state and local level. They are the future Governors, U.S. Representatives, U.S. Senators and yes maybe even future Presidents. We need to nurture and grow that bench.

These local and state offices don't get much media attention. It's one area where I feel bloggers and activists can really make a substantial difference.

So I invite anyone who really wants to focus on state and local politics in Florida from Governor all the way down to local dogcatcher to join the Florida Netroots Mailing List to share your knowledge and help us Blog Florida Blue.

Also, Ken Quinnell of the Florida Progressive Coalition set up a few Watch Blogs - these are sites that keep a eye on specific elected officials. I am particularly excited about Florida Cabinet Watch, Florida House Watch, and Florida Senate Watch. Those three sites need people to contribute to them, so if you're interested, please contact Ken at

Now, if this sort of thing doesn't float your boat and you would prefer to focus on Federal offices and National issues - Florida Netroots isn't the place for you.