March Madness: Municipal Elections Edition
Palm Beach County hosted its municipal elections on March 13th--and in particular, Delray Beach city commission seats were hotly contested. Two of the new commissioner-elects, Adam Frankel and Ryan Boylston, joined our chapter at our March monthly meeting to briefly give an overview of the type of campaigns they ran and their vision for Delray Beach going forward.
Commissioner-elect Adam Frankel explained he ran a more traditional campaign; he made sure to converse with the “old guard” and elected officials. It also should be noted, however, that Commissioner-elect Frankel laid strong groundwork with canvassing and even made sure to go the extra mile by calling voters who weren’t home to check in. Additionally, Commissioner-elect Frankel previously served on the commission for 6 years.
Commissioner-elect Boylston ran “the best campaign in Delray”, according to Commissioner-elect Frankel, in part because his campaign was so tuned in on social media. Frankel admitted that while they shared many of same positions on important issues, they ran two different types of campaigns.
The most inspiring message of the evening, however, came from Commissioner-elect Boylston when he chose to speak candidly of his choice to stay independent of a political party affiliation for the city commission race.
“The main thing I wanted to talk about, particularly being a young commissioner and with the Young Democrats--I thought this was important for me to make this point. When I went to college, I was first in my family to go to college. I did not know anything about politics, and when I had the Democrats and Republicans trying to sign me up, I decided to stay independent. I stayed independent for many years, and then I began running a newspaper--when you run a newspaper, it is customary to stay independent or NPA. I had an excuse to stay in the middle for a while. On January 1st, when I decided to run, I gave up my ownership of the paper-- so for the first time in a very long time, I had an option to choose one way or another. I am an independent today and this was a non-partisan race. My first taste of what that meant when running for city commission is that the local Democratic Party tried to tell me I couldn’t attend a Democratic forum or debate, not that I couldn't attend it to speak, but that I literally couldn't walk into the building to attend. Now, it only took a few phone calls and about 20-30 minutes for me to get an apology letter from that organization, and I did go, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. When I went to a similar event, which was run by some Republicans, they said, “Oh, you're an independent? We need more Republicans running. Maybe we can send you a check.” That check never showed up, I don’t think, but they were two different approaches. I have a long story of why I am an independent. There were 55 students at a rally at Atlantic High School recently and when given voter registration paperwork, they all filed as independent. They are looking for a reason to pick a side, and you guys need to give them a reason. And I'm happy to say that the Young Democrats club gave me a reason. I was running against a Democrat, as an independent. You guys, because of your leadership, decided to stay out of that race and not endorse because it was what was best for Delray Beach. That sent a message to a lot of people, because I'm telling that story, and it struck a chord with me. So if and when I decide if I want to continue my political career, which above city commission, I will have to decide (a political party affiliation), know that that will be the difference. What this group, what the YDs did, that is what made the difference, and I hope it will also be the difference to those 55 students at Atlantic High School. Hopefully, they’re choosing blue, and not red, because of you guys.”
The atmosphere was energized at a new meeting location, beautiful Sundy House in Delray Beach. The speeches were a concrete reminder that the work we do in our local communities, politically affiliated or not, truly matters.
To close out the meeting, super presenter Geoffrey Kashdan gave an in-depth look into gun regulations historically in the state of Florida. We hope many of you will be joining one of the local March for Our Lives events taking place on March 24th.
See you next time!