Donald Trump didn’t win the popular vote in South Florida, but Marco Rubio did – 52 percent of it. And a few locals are going to remind the senator on Tuesday who put him in office.
Across the U.S., volunteers with Rebuild the Hope – the progressive grassroots organization that sprang up after the election to try to protect policies enacted under President Barack Obama – are visiting the offices of their representatives and senators Tuesday as part of an initiative called “I’m Your Boss.”
The goal: to remind the lawmakers that they answer to their constituents, not the new president or the party leadership – and refresh their memory on what those constituents want.
“It’s a first step in a marathon of four years and beyond. It’s a first step for people who want to take grassroots action… who have this sort of newfound sense of wanting to be an activist and get involved,” says Carmen Pelaez, a local filmmaker and volunteer with Rebuild the Hope.
About 20 volunteers in South Florida will be showing up at Rubio’s Doral office to let him know what that is and hopefully get a meeting with a member of his staff to relay their concerns, says Matt Mawhinney, another local volunteer with Rebuild the Hope.
Top issues include immigration, climate change, and health care (Floridians on both sides of the aisle have been enrolling in Obamacare in record numbers) – issues on which many local Republican voters are out of sync with the national party. Some of our GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, have even broken with the national party on some of these, or at least taken a softer line.
Curbelo, for example, has been open about his belief in climate change – something Trump’s appointees to key energy and environment positions are skeptical of, or in flat out denial about.
“Trump didn’t win Miami-Dade County and Marco Rubio does represent Dade County. He’s there to bring our voice to the table and we need to hold him accountable for the things to matter to us,” says Pelaez. “We are part of the system of checks and balances and our representatives are part of that system. I think especially these days things have become so partisan, it’s really important to remember that a lot of these policies, whether you’re Democrat or Republican, we can agree on a lot of the progress we made if we look at it for what it is.”
Want to make your own concerns heard? Share them in three to five sentences here and the volunteers will deliver them.