Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani is filling out her political activism organization with nine new paid staff including seven student activist fellows from colleges and universities.
Eskamani’s People Power for Florida originated as a political committee to support Eskamani’s election runs in her Orlando-based district. However, earlier this year she announced she was converting it to statewide progressive activism. Last week she announced a voter registration training program and the committee’s goal to register 25,000 new voters before the 2022 election.
Among the nine new hires is Raymer Maguire, an alumnus from Florida’s medical marijuana and minimum wage campaigns, who joined as operations director. In addition, Gabrielle Alcantara-Anderson, who will serve as the organizing director, comes from UNITE HERE Local 362 with experience in both political and union organizing.
People Power for Florida is targeting, in part, potential voters age 18-35 because of their lower registration and turnout rates.
With that focus in mind, seven paid, part-time organizing fellows were hired from colleges and universities across Florida: Maya Anderson, Patrick Burnette, Aaron Facio-Cortes, Hadia Khanani, Catherine Le, Xavier Ortega, and Jaylah Washington.
Earlier, Eskamani announced the engagement of veteran political attorney Jason Blank and longtime Democratic treasurer Shelby Green for the People Power for Florida team.
People Power will have the fellows use their experience in community and digital organizing to train volunteer leaders across the state. The fellows have worked with the Florida Democratic Party and on local Democratic races, legislative efforts, community groups and voter registration initiatives. The organization said they would all bring deep commitments to building political power among people traditionally ignored by political parties and advocacy groups.
“People power is more than a name; our greatest strength is the volunteers who share our vision for a multi-class, multi-racial, and multi-generational coalition that leaves no one behind,” Alcantara-Anderson stated in a news release.
“Republican leaders have made it as hard as they can for everyday Floridians to register their peers to vote,” added Maguire. “We are providing the resources and training needed to make it as easy as possible for everyday people and local advocacy groups to register voters.”