Biden organizers say campaign is ‘suppressing the Hispanic vote’ in Florida, mistreating staff

A group of 94 field organizers for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign sent a letter to the the state Democratic Party claiming the Biden campaign is “suppressing the Hispanic vote” in Central Florida and mistreating staff. 

The letter, which was obtained by the Miami Herald Saturday, alleges that the Biden campaign mistreated field organizers and relocated trained staff members without adequate explanation. 

A handful of Puerto Rican, Spanish-speaking organizers were moved from a heavily Puerto Rican part of Florida to north Florida against their wishes, the group alleges.

“The [Coordinated Campaign of Florida] is suppressing the Hispanic vote by removing Spanish-speaking organizers from Central Florida without explanation, which fails to confront a system of white-dominated politics we are supposed to be working against as organizers of a progressive party,” the letter reads, according to the Herald.

The organizers reportedly claim the campaign lacks a “fully actionable field plan” and perpetuates a “toxic” work culture, particularly for on-the-ground staff. They reportedly demand that campaign officials apologize and restore staff to their original locations, among other things. 

The organizer’s discontent comes amid negotiations between the Coordinated Campaign in Florida, the Democrats’ Florida campaign branch, and the field organizers’ union, IBEW Local 824, a Democratic official told The Hill. 

The Biden campaign told The Hill that relocation updates have not been updated due to ongoing discussions. 

Jackie Lee, the Biden campaign’s Florida state director, told The Hill in a statement that for the past six weeks no staff has been asked to relocate. She added that that the campaign “has an open-door policy” and “we look forward to working with organizers to address their concerns.”

“We are consulting with IBEW Local 824 leadership on the structure of our organizing program, including many of the issues that were raised in this letter and proposed solutions,” Lee said. “We look forward to discussing them with organizers and getting their feedback as soon as able.”

Florida is a key battleground state where both campaigns have been pouring in resources. 

Polls ahead of the November election are trending for Biden, with a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday showing the former vice president with a 13-point lead in Florida — 51 percent to 38 percent support. 

“The stakes of this election are critical, and we are committed to working with our organizers and Florida Democrats at every level in order to build a strong, successful coordinated campaign,” Lee said.

While polling shows Biden doing well with various constituencies instrumental to Trump’s victory in 2016, he has underperformed in polls of Latinos compared to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  

In a statement to The Hill his campaign touted its Latino outreach programs, such as their move to hire Latino Decisions, a polling group that focuses on gauging Latinos attitudes. 

Updated at 12:31 p.m. Sunday. 


Tags campaign organizers Donald Trump election 2020 Florida Hillary Clinton Hispanic/Latino vote Joe Biden spanish speakers

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