Ruth's List and more

On the heels of last week's endorsement by House Democratic Leader-Designate Kionne McGhee, I'm excited to announce I've been named one of Ruth's List's "Women 2 Watch"!  

Every year, the amazing folks at Ruth's List work incredibly hard to make sure women candidates have the support they need to be successful in key races.  I'm thrilled to know they're keeping a close eye on this race.

For our part, we are gearing up:  Walking door to door and reaching out via phone and online to make sure that everyone knows about this open seat and how important it is that we win it. 

If you haven't already:

1. Please sign up as a volunteer.

2. Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

3. If you can, make a donation (or another one!) to the campaign.

Every bit of support you can give, in whatever ways you can give, gets us closer to victory.  

Thank you so much for all you do. 

- Emma

Emma Collum
Candidate for State House, District 93

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Emma Collum, Democrat for State House, District 93.

Democratic House Victory & Leader-Designate Kionne McGhee Endorses Emma Collum For State House District 93

TALLAHASSEE - House Democratic Leader-Designate Kionne McGhee announced Monday he is supporting Emma Collum in House District 93. 

Collum, the Founder of Women’s March FL and In-House Legal Counsel for Miramar-based JL Audio, is running to replace term limited Rep. George Moraitis in the competitve Broward County swing seat.

"I'm proud to endorse Emma Collum for the Florida House. She is the ideal candidate for Broward County and for today's political environment,” said House Democratic Leader-Designate Kionne McGhee.

"Floridians urgently need more women in leadership, especially with experience in both business and civic engagement. Emma is a staunch advocate for Democratic values and I look forward to working alongside her to fight for the interests of working families in South Florida and across the state,” McGhee continued.


Forcing teachers to take/retake SATs for more money?

The Republican party’s restructuring of teacher compensation this year added a provision that is not only insulting to teachers… it’s just plain silly.

The new scheme ties a part of their compensation to their historic SAT scores (if they took them). Higher scores now mean higher compensation.

Been a great teacher for 25 years and either had a bad score as a kid or didn’t take it at all? Tough luck.

In response, it was reported today that some veteran teachers are now taking or retaking the SATs so they can boost their already notoriously lame salaries.

Could you imagine? It’s degrading and insulting they have to do this. These scores have no reflection on the true work of existing teachers, who give their all to their students.

Our public school teachers deserve better—and our public schools need well-paid teachers to attract the best and brightest candidates.

Please help me fight for our teachers and public schools in Tallahassee by donating here.

Also… don’t forget we’re walking in Broward County from 3pm-6pm on Saturday, October 7, rain or shine. Sign up here and our volunteer coordinator will call you.

Would you volunteer this weekend?

For those of you in the area, we could use help this weekend as we reach out door to door to voters.

If you'd like to come out for a fun day of walking, please all you have to do is click this link and we'll be in contact.

There is so much happening... and we're about to announce some big, important news. Suffice to say, this campaign is building and we're getting closer and closer to victory next November.

Thank you so much for all your support.

- Emma

PBS: Sights set on 2018, the Women’s March is throwing a convention

When an estimated 4 million people turned up for the Women’s March protest in Washington, D.C., and 650 sister marches across the United States in January, just a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, both participants and observers asked, “What’s next?”

Nearly eight months later, the march’s organizers are planning a major follow-up event: a multi-day forum, called the “The Women’s Convention,” aimed at building support ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The convention is scheduled to take place in Detroit on Oct. 27-29.

“We need to take the organizing power we gained from the Women’s March and convert that into political power,” said Bob Bland, the national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. “Our goal is for people to come out of this with revolutionary new knowledge, training and connections.”

The convention is the latest high-profile effort to maintain the grassroots energy from the January march, which was likely the largest single-day protest in U.S history. Organizers expect 5,000 people will attend the convention; nearly 1,500 people have registered so far.

Organizers picked Detroit for its symbolism as a city struggling with some of the catalyzing issues — like income inequality and police brutality — that led women to join the January march.

But Michigan also has political significance. Along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Michigan helped Mr. Trump clinch his presidential victory, but it’s long been a blue state that could flip back to Democrats. In August this year, an NBC News/Marist poll put Trump’s approval rating below 40 percent in the three states.

From protest to politics

So what has the national Women’s March group been doing since January? Bland and fellow organizers Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour have been working closely with local Women’s March groups that formed in 30 states. The movement has launched two main follow-up campaigns: a large-scale campaign to write and call members of Congress, as well as the formation of more than 5,400 “huddles” — small groups of women and men who meet to organize local initiatives.

In March, to coincide with International Women’s Day, the national group organized a one-day strike called “A Day Without a Woman.” Time magazine included the four women behind the Women’s March in its list of most influential people of 2017.

Meanwhile, Emma Collum, the founder of Florida’s Women’s March group and head of field operations for the national organization, has announced she’s running as a Democrat to replace Republican state Rep. George Moraitis.

But it’s still unclear if the Women’s March can lead to electoral wins in 2018.

“The central question from the beginning is, what follows?” said Todd Gitlin, a scholar of political movements and professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. “It takes momentum from a seminal event like the march to convince a critical mass of people to dedicate themselves to the enduring work of political change.”

Capitalizing on the momentum from the march will require a disciplined approached and setting out concrete goals, Gitlin added. For example, “a goal is to bring 40 seats in the House,” or register a certain number of new voters, Gitlin said.

Some said the Women’s March organizers face important challenges around communicating their agenda. “They need to find the right balance between hard-core strategy talk and emotionally inspiring people,” said Maria Stephan, the co-author of “Why Civil Resistance Works.” Stephan added: “It can be political but not hyper-partisan.”

It’s also important to give a movement time to mature, Stephan said. “Before political change happens, you have to raise consciousness and educate the public,” she said.

Tresa Undem, a partner in the non-partisan polling firm PerryUndem, said polling showed that a growing awareness of gender equality was simmering among voters well before the Women’s March.

“Before Trump’s election, in every focus group I did among women, at least one out of eight people would mention women’s equality,” Undem said. “There wouldn’t be a specific issue but it was just below people’s consciousness. Then on November 9th, suddenly there was something incredibly tangible to hang on to.”

But supporters of feminism or women’s issues aren’t monolithic. For activists and leaders, the central question remains: How to unite a broad coalition of people who come to the table with different perspectives, priorities and grievances.

Divisions among female voters along race and class lines were on display in the 2016 presidential election. A majority of white women — 53 percent — voted for Trump, while roughly 94 percent of black women voted against him, according to exit polls.

And since the election, the Women’s March has had to navigate tensions around race and the women’s rights movement’s legacy of excluding women of color. Ahead of the January march, some on social media — particularly minority women — called for greater attention and sensitivity to the issue. It was seen by some, however, as alienating and even unwelcoming.

The convention appears focused on addressing these issues. The event’s website says the convention will focus on “working towards collective liberation for women of all races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, sexual identities, gender expressions, immigration statuses, religious faiths, and economic statuses.”

The success of the Women’s March as a sustainable movement will hinge on what comes from such efforts. Predicts Bland, “I don’t think anyone can underestimate the change that will come from” the convention.

by Rhana Natour

Read more:

I HATE hate

I know this is a local district and Charlottesville is many miles away.

But I have spent my adult life fighting for issues related to equality—and like so many of you, I'm horrified at what I'm seeing on TV and across social media.

When a city or a state decides that the time has passed to celebrate and glorify symbols associated with the darkest time in our country's history, I'm fine with that. Tear them down and sell them. Put them in a museum. But do not continue to glorify and venerate hate.

This is our home and times have changed. Symbols and leadership matters. Our words matter. There are many places in this country where racism and bigotry are still largely ignored. Don't let our home, our district, our state be one of them. In keeping these statues, we continue to legitimize words, deeds, and beliefs that are quite simply abhorrent to anyone that believes in true equality and community.

I have friends that voted for Trump. They are neither racists nor bigots. But as Trump's failures of leadership on issues of race and bigotry pile up, I greatly hope they realize how much damage he is doing by excusing, and not healing, our divisions.

- Emma

It's not just Trumps fault

It's easy to lay blame on Trump for the attacks on our healthcare system, but the reality is that these attacks are also coming from political opportunists throughout Congress and our own state government.

In fact, Florida's governor and legislature have turned down millions of dollars in aid that would have expanded Medicaid, and given thousands more access to affordable healthcare.  

Now, they're desperately working to reduce the number of Americans able to access care. 

I believe affordable healthcare is a right, not a privilege. I will fight for that right every chance I get in Tallahassee, and be the loudest voice towards this cause everywhere else. 

I know what it means to be one illness away from financial disaster. I also know that we need the cooperation of Republicans and Independents to improve the current laws—but it MUST be based on patients, not the needs of Big Insurance. 

Help me fight this fight on our behalf: Please donate to our campaign today. 

Thank you for all your help. 

- Emma

We're failing our schools and need to fight back

Last month, I wrote you about HB7069, which Governor Scott signed, would severely hurt our public schools, forcing them to give an even split of locally derived capital outlay funds to charter schools. Also included in that bill were huge breaks and benefits to charter school corporations and developers.

Now, school districts are filing suit to try and stop it, and I fully support those efforts.

Districts and parents struggling with underperforming schools should be given more resources... not watch as their tax dollars get bled into a for-profit enterprise with even less accountability and incentive. Nor should parents hope that if they're lucky, their kid *might* get into one of these new charter schools, knowing that if they don't, the school they're in will be that much more strained.

I'm hopeful the courts will stop this bill—but regardless, the fight for public education is in full force. When I get to Tallahassee, I am going to fight like cats and dogs to reverse any remaining negative effects of this bill and stand up for public school teachers and students.

Thank you so much for your support. If you're able to make a donation to the campaign, please contribute here. Whether it's $5, $10, $25, or $250—every little bit helps. We must all work together to get the message out.

Please do it for Daisy


My dog Daisy is one of the most important beings in my life. So as we sit, side by side, making fundraising calls at all hours in advance of tonight’s deadline, it’s important to keep her motivated.

Unfortunately she is getting a little frustrated. I’m not sure if it’s because we still need to raise a few thousand dollars before midnight, or if it’s because I’ve run out of treats.

There is only one way to find out: Please donate if you haven’t already before midnight tonight.

Yes, I could test this theory and just go buy treats, but honestly there’s no time. We HAVE to get to our goal before midnight if we’re going to get other donors and the party super excited.

And honestly… even if it turns out to be the treats, I still have to hit my goal.

Anything you can do before midnight (and I mean anything) would be most appreciated.

Daisy and I thank you.

- Emma

I need your help before tomorrow ends.

Tomorrow night marks our first fundraising deadline—and what we do this month will very much determine the support we get from other donors, organizations, and the party itself.

It’s a critical moment for me.

Many of you have generously donated already and for that I am so thankful.

If you haven’t yet donated, please, if you would, donate here ASAP.

You can donate any amount up to $1,000, but even $5 will get us closer to our goal. 

A great showing this month will open new doors and add fuel to the momentum we’ve already shown. 

Please contribute here before 11:59pm tomorrow.

Your support means so much to me.

- Emma