My Platform | Programs Vice Chair


About a week ago, I announced my intentions to file as a candidate for the Programs Vice Chair seat of the Miami-Dade DEC. I believe that anyone seeking a position of leadership should make their case based on qualifications, relationship building, and vision for improving the base of which any organization operates under. In my last post I introduced myself and what I stand for a bit more. Many of you have spoken with me in person, over the phone, and through social media; many of you remember working with me in my capacity as Voter Registration Committee Chair this past cycle or as a pledged delegate for Senator Sanders. Now, I owe it to the voting members of the DEC to provide my vision for the future and why I believe I can be the most efficient candidate for the position.

Below is an annotated list of my platform for what the Programs Vice Chair position can achieve and how we can achieve it:

Assist in Strengthening our Existing Clubs and Caucuses
Our club and caucus presidents serve as the main bridge from the DEC steering committee to the general membership. Building our ranks as a county will always be most efficient by helping clubs and caucuses market their efforts, assist in planning them when needed, and help find dynamic guests that can draw interest like so many already have been doing. By connecting our clubs and caucuses with efforts, candidates, and causes in the community — as well as with each other — we can build a membership coalition from across the county that acts not only as a gathering of likeminded partisans, but as a community organization with its focus on empowerment.
Establish New Clubs and Caucuses to the DEC Family
The more we organize together, the more power we have to bring government back to the people it serves. Our county voted nearly 70% Democratic at the top of ticket and with us rolling our sleeves up at home and working to earn more votes for our local leaders that put their names on the ballot each cycle, we can curb the ticket-splitting trend that campaigns like the one I poured my soul into this cycle have faced for years. By working as a DEC to recruit the best leaders and organizers for establishing a progressive caucus, environmental caucus, and equality coalition we increase our capacity for building an even larger membership county-wide to win more seats in 2018 and beyond.
Have a Larger Reach on Miami-Dade’s Many College Campuses
As a former three-term president and state caucus leader for the FL College Democrats, I believe I can be of great asset to joining our college chapters into the DEC fold on an official basis. As a new graduate, I believe I can generate excitement on campus that will reciprocate into new coalitions built with students that make them invested community members. This can increase turnout in our clubs and at the ballot box while energizing students to work on making gains here at home, even if — like me — their first home wasn’t Miami.
Bring More Policy and Issues-Based Action to DEC Programming
We all love our candidates and they deserve our support always. What can’t be ignored, however, are issues that define who we are as Democrats. For too long, we’ve let the GOP on the local and national scale dictate the conversation of what it mean to be a Democrat. That process begins to end here at home by working for issues on a more-pronounced scale. Look at the progress we made on the issues we all as a party, no matter which primary candidate you supported or “wing” of the party you hail from, made in 2016: Medical Marijuana passed, we got the state to vote Yes on 4 - No on 1, and the only thing that stopped our coalition effort for campaign finance reform at the county level were charades puppeted by opponents of the measure.

No matter who wins in all these positions we must remember to come together and build this party as one unit after the results are logged. Many committees have necessary appointments to chair positions. Come January, the fight for the governor’s mansion in 2018 will come through Miami. The fight to bring more Democratic representation has never been more dire. None of us, myself included, should retreat if not successful.

I hope to earn your confidence and if I do, I only have two years to provide real results come 2018. That means not sparing a single day to being idle. With my work before running for this position as my substantiation, you have my word to not rest in pursuing progress as Programs Vice Chair. With this platform, input from the steering committee, and the general body of the DEC, I believe that we can achieve gains in membership and excitement. As a DEC we must be prepared for it all. I believe I’ve gained this preparation through my time as a Democratic organizer. Having the passion for progress is admirable, but having the plan and dedication to see it through makes all the difference and I hope to earn your vote this Tuesday.

With Respect,

Chris Riker