State Senator Geraldine Thompson had a busy 2013 Legislative Session and accomplished quite a bit. There was some controversy over an alliance she made at about the halfway point concerning Sharia law, but we’ll talk about that during the brief. She did get one failing mark for neglecting what has become one of the most important aspects of communicating with constituents. Social Media.
Here is an explanation of how the areas are graded:
And here is your 2013 Legislative Session Report Card for Senator Thompson:
Campaign Promises: From the Videos on her Campaign Website.
“There are theories that charter schools are the answer. Public schools have been the great equalizer in the united states” “We must adequately fund our public schools, we must pay teachers competitive salaries”
Not only did Thompson help defeat the Parent Trigger bill that would have opened the door for possible Charter School expansion but, money was replaced in education, and teachers got their raises.
Thompson also vowed for Voter Reform and that was passed. She pushed for more mass transit initiatives and job development. All of that was passed during this year’s session.
Social Media: For all of the things Thompson got done this year, you would believe that she would have gone out of her way to tell her Constituents. Not the case.
A Campaign Facebook that hasn’t seen attention since November, a neglected personal Facebook with no communications in months. No Twitter. No up to date videos on Youtube. No mailing lists. Nothing. I went looking for a reason not to award this failing grade, but couldn’t find one. And in today’s world of instant communication, that’s unacceptable.
Leadership, Strategy, and Innovation: Okay, follow me here. Thompson sided with Republican Alan Hayes’ Anti-International law legislation, which was primarily aimed at keeping Sharia law out of the courts. I really could do a whole write-up on this (wait I did..here). Anyways Thompson was the tie-breaker in committee for the law, and voted to keep it alive in exchange for a budget line item aimed for her district. She insisted she liked the bill at first, changed her mind later, and killed the bill on the Senate floor. It’s unclear whether her item made it into the final budget, but her “evolving views” and deal making without consequence across the aisle, would have been masterful if she didn’t get slammed in the media. Anyways, it was a slick move with ultimately no consequences for the citizens in her district.
She also continued coalition building in the Senate and stuck close to fellow Representatives from the Orlando area.
Bi-partisanship: Whether you agreed with the Sharia Law bill or not, working with someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum like Hayes, and steering clear of the partisan attacks in Tallahassee is a strong demonstration of Bi-partisanship.
Media Relations and “Mic Skills”: Nothing but unflattering headlines from the Sharia law deal. If you read deeper, they explain her vote on the Senate floor, but nothing beneficial to bring attention to the needs of her constituents. There was no convincing sound of her discussing policy during debate.
Extra Credit? Yes: Thompson did celebrate the work of Harriet Tubman with a special presentation at the beginning of the session.
Conclusion: There simply isn’t any excuse, why it should be so difficult to find out what your lawmaker is doing in Tallahassee. Didn’t enjoy awarding that “F” but, for a Florida State Senator in a district as important as Thompson’s it unacceptable. She’s also silent on the media front and on the Senate floor. What’s going on?
She got the job done. I heard her words and saw the results. She worked across the aisle during her time in the House, and again this time in the Senate. She did all of this working in the Democratic minority. She get’s an average grade but, it’s like getting most of the questions on the S.A.T.S correct but, misspelling your name. It shouldn’t be so hard for constituents to find out what you’re accomplishing during Session.
OVERALL GRADE: C