Organize Florida is a community-based, nonprofit member organization of low and moderate income people dedicated to the principles of social, racial, and economic justice and the promotion of an equal and fair Florida for all.
Organizing Our Community One Door at a Time
Our dedicated organizers and members bring communities together, one door at a time, to join in the fight for safe neighborhoods, healthy families, quality education, good jobs, justice, equality and a more representative democracy.
Board of Directors
Organize Florida Board of Directors, as of January 2018;
- Debbie Soto, Chair
- Ida Eskamani, Secretary
- Paul Heroux, Treasurer
- Coy Jones
- Lacresha "Sista Queen" Thomas, Co-Chair
As of January 2018;
Core Leadership Team
- Stephanie Porta, Executive Director & Co-Founder
- Chevalier Lovett, Sr., Vice President & Managing Director
- Maddy Garcia, Vice President of Finances & Administration
- Laura Johns, Vice President of Resource Development
- Yulissa M. Arce, Regional Director, Central Florida
- Tim Heberlein, Regional Director, Tampa Bay
- Morgan Harvey, Program Design & Data Director
- Linda De La Nuez, Operations Director
- Cloe Cabrera, Marketing & Communications Director
- Debbie King, Sr., Regional Lead Organizer, Expansion Counties
- Boamattie Singh, Accounting Manager
- David Caicedo, Florida State Director - Vote Mob & Student Power Network
- Liliana Cruz, Community Organizer - Kissimmee
- Laura Dowler, Resource Development Manager
- Robin Lockett, Reproductive Justice Organizer - Tampa
- Sophia Glover, Community Organizer - Orlando
- Diane Jones, Community Organizer - Orlando
- Andrea Romero, Community Organizer - Kissimmee
- Michelle Suarez, Sr. Lead Organizer & Climate Justice Organizer - Kissimmee
Statewide Alliance Group
- Despite his position on anti-BDS legislation, Gillum seemed like someone who comrades could work with in office.
- Falling in line with the New Confederacy, DeSantis was less concerned with changing liberal minds than attacking liberal ideologies, making inaccurate associations of his opponent, and getting conservative voters to the polls.
- One door hanger asked the question, “Does this sound familiar?” It depicted a picture of a street mural, by a local artist, of Andrew Gillum. Underneath the picture were the words, “Andrew Gillum: Another Big Government, Socialist Dictator” followed by three more street murals of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez. It boldly proclaimed, “Don’t let the socialists take over Florida! Republicans must vote, there’s too much at stake.”
- On one hand, the door hanger was laughable, while on the other, it spoke to the intentional decision of grassroots organizations and a union to work collectively as Statewide Alliance Group. SWAG specifically consists of: The New Florida Majority, Dream Defenders, Organize Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition, SEIU, Faith in Florida, and Central Florida Jobs with Justice.
- The Dream Defenders (DD) took a deep dive in community to create an ideology reminiscent of the Black Panther Party Ten Point Program with seven freedoms. DD launched the #freedompapers, claiming #thisistheyear, focusing on building with community to target private prison corporations, like GEO Group, and transform the Florida political landscape.
- Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) along with Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and United We Dream focused on immigrant rights and abolishing ICE. The New Florida Majority (NFM), SEIU, Faith in Florida, Jobs with Justice, and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Electoral Justice Project appealed to their vast membership bases.
- In addition, the Miami Workers Center (MWC) centered the Movement for Black Women and Girls with Soul Sista’s. Power U Center for Social Change continues to inform youth. Community Justice Project (CJP) supported Poetry for the People’s, Maroon Poetry Festival, which amplified the Black Arts Movement and use of art in activism.
- The age old social justice organizations such as NAACP, ACLU, Faith in Florida, PACT, and the likes, also joined the effort to get Amendment 4 passed. All used the same messaging in their conversations which advocated for a Yes Vote on Amendment 4. The strategy was to restore the rights of over 1.4 million voters as freedom voters.
- It was a brilliant, coordinated strategy in alignment and consistent communication that is beginning to consolidate a united front against the New Confederacy in Florida.
Earned Sick Time
In 2012, Organize Florida worked to pass a county-wide earned sick time initiative in the state of Florida--winning by 64%. Although the effort was thwarted by the Orange County Commission breaking the law, the campaign called out the injustice and continued to fight for more transparency and accountability in Orange County and led the investigation around Textgate. The fight for Earned Sick Time in Florida continues.
Powershift Southeast Convergence
In September 2016, Organize Florida hosted over 300 young climate activists from across the Southeast region in Orlando, Florida to take part in Power Shift Southeast - a conference that helped mobilize young people to demand that decision-makers and future leaders of our country take bold action on climate change.
The conference included several workshops and trainings led by Organize Florida members and partners from Central Florida such as Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and CAIR - Florida. Each session focused on activism and action locally and regionally.
On May 9, 2016 Organize Florida and our Racial Justice Committee celebrated a huge victory once Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City Council passed an ordinance to deprioritize arrests for small amounts of marijuana. This victory came as a result of more than a year of hard work on the part of our Racial Justice Committee. Our members worked tirelessly, meeting with the Mayor and members of the City Commission to educate them on the proposed ordinance. They collected thousands of petitions across Orlando. Our members and allies not only testified for hours in front of our city commission, they told their stories about their personal experiences, ultimately convincing the majority that a yes vote was the right vote!
FLIC and allies
Florida Immigrant Coalition April 21 2018:
Powerful experience and powerful connections with members and guests from Farmworker Association of Florida, YAYA - National Farm Worker Ministry, Florida Student Power Network, QLatinx, UNITE HERE Central Florida, Central Florida AFL- CIO, We Are All America, Organize Florida, FL HeretoStay, SEIU Florida, WeCount, Coqui Language Collective, Palm Beach County Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Miami Workers Center, Florida KIDS COUNT and more! — with Aashutosh Pyakuryal, Curtis Hierro, Tomas Kennedy, Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, Mike Thom, Mike V. Cocco, Denise Diaz and Tessa Petit in Apopka, Florida.
"Y’all, we are gonna WIN JUSTICE this year"
Stephanie Porta September 15 2018:·
Y’all, we are gonna WIN JUSTICE this year. -#FreedomTicket #ActionForFreedom #BringItHome SEIU Florida Florida Student Power Network Sunrise Movement Florida Organize Florida — with Theo Webster, Amy Busefink, Coyuca Jones, David Caicedo, Ashley Green, Amaris E. Leon, Korey Wheeler, Giovanni Bravo Ruiz, Hannah Holland, Sophia Glover, Ollie Grossen, Melissa Morales, Edgar Comellas, Jose Luis Marantes and Rhyane Wagner.