By: Sharon Aron Baron
Community organizer and Democratic Area leader Cynthia Busch has formally announced today that she will be a candidate for Chair of the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee.
She will face Mitch Ceasar, who has been the Party Chair since 1988.
Although President Obama won his reelection, many Broward Democrats believe it was a result of the work of Organizing for America including activists such as Busch, not because of Mitch Ceasar.
“Working with Cynthia Busch has been an eyeopening experience,” said Weston Democratic Leader Ann Zucker. “Her organizational skills are second to none.” Zucker said Busch was directly responsible for all of the volunteers that were organized that got the President and other Democrats elected in Broward County.
This past spring, Busch and other activists formed Team Broward as a response to the lack of activism of the local Democratic Party and to bridge the gap between Organizing for America (OFA) volunteers and the local party. They spearheaded a successful effort to enroll Democratic voters to vote absentee.
“The current, formal Democratic Party in Broward is nothing more than a coffee and cake club,” said former School Board Candidate Nick Steffens. “We need a leader that will activate the grassroots members of our party to work for our candidates across the county. “Mitch Ceasar has never shown any interest in that critical part of running a county party and Cynthia Busch is a fantastic grassroots leader.”
Busch was inspired into politics after the 2000 election debacle between Bush and Gore, she went on to become a volunteer for the John Kerry campaign in 2004. In 2006 she volunteered for Jim Davis for Governor and Ron Klein first congressional run. During that campaign she was surprised by the lack of activism of the local party. Through her volunteer work she met other Plantation Democratic Committee members and joined the Plantation Democratic Club in 2006.
In 2008 she ran for her precinct because she felt that there was a need for younger and more active volunteers to take on these positions.
Because of her volunteer involvement and work ethic she was asked to be a neighborhood team leader in Plantation for President Obama’s first Presidential run. She attended the 2008 DEC election in August and witnessed a chaotic and disorganized process. She decided then to run for the Area Leader because it was apparent to her that the Party needed to bring energy and activism of the Obama campaign to the DEC.
Over her four years as Area Leader she worked to bring precinct people together in Plantation. At the same time she was asked to help then President Obama as a Community Organizer doing outreach on behalf of his healthcare reform agenda, Wall Street reform. She organized volunteer teams and strategy sessions on their behalf for the 2010 election cycle. She gave birth to her second child Caryn during that summer but kept volunteering in West Broward – organizing teams on behalf of OFA for Sunrise, Davie and Plantation. Cynthia was also hired as a Field Staff for the OFA coordinated campaign.
This year, in response to lack of activism and desire to increase diversity of the local Democratic Party, Cynthia spearheaded an effort to recruit volunteers to run for Precinct positions. This resulted in over 400 activists filing for positions. She financed and led the effort for those who had competition, winning over 65% of the contested races. She won her own precinct with over 70% of the vote.
Since only precinct captains can vote in the upcoming elections, those that were inspired to run for precinct positions by Busch and her volunteers will more than likely support her efforts.
On the other side, to prevent himself from being voted out, Ceasar appointed many precinct captains himself
The election has been tentatively scheduled for December 9. There has been no announcement of a time and place.
“Our party failed in 2010.” Said Busch, “ Our volunteers lacked coordinated leadership and support from the current DEC Chairman. Our future as a state and a people took a severe hit. This cannot happen again.”