At the 2013 Winter Quarterly meeting of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans on Saturday, Congressman Dennis Ross and State Representative Jamie Grant urged Young Republicans to go out into their communities and win back the voters by acting on their Republican values and connecting with the people through digital media and technology. It was their impression that Obama’s victories were impart do to his connection to the youth through digital media. The Young Republicans are hopeful to regain the youth’s vote.
Ross spoke about turning great principles into actions to show the community that they are civil as well as political. He warned that “if we do not act on these values, then it is nothing but words.”
Ross then demanded that voters “should hold us accountable” for their actions or lack of actions and “bring us to the fire” when they do not act on the message, especially when their values have become “nothing but words.”
The Polk County area Congressman informed the Young Republicans about the importance of humbling experiences, like losing a race. He said that it is important to “be anchored to something else, particularly outside of public service” or risk losing the strong Republican values that won the election.
Ross briefly mentioned some of the political issues he is facing, including immigration. He believes that immigration is an issue that can be eliminated by reaching out to individuals who will do domestic labor, and “eliminating the black market labor.” There is a legal path to citizenship for these people where the U.S. can keep track of them and collect taxes.
Tampa State Representative Jamie Grant’s discussion session spoke about several key issues pertaining to the technological failures of the Republicans in the 2008 and even 2012 election. His mission includes the use of social media, like Facebook, to connect to the voters as well as to collect data. He believes that with enough empirical data about the people, “we can predict and identify people who will vote as well as the people who will vote Republican.” Obama’s 2008 campaign was “one of the first do use tech and it swept the youth.”
Grant strong believes in the value of tech and digital media. “My campaign dedicates 10-15 percent of the budget on the digital, including the website.” He never plans to be in a TV advertisement, because he believes that “you get more bang for your buck” on digital media.
He wants to open up the data, because he believes that the use of “tech can save and even earn us money and through the empirical data we can also learn what is necessary and what is working” to locate the particular voters and issues that need to be addressed for the people.
Grant also said he wants to make it easier for talented people and technological innovations to come into Florida's market. He believes that "money, talent, and culture (can come together) to help fuel an economy." He compares Florida to California by suggesting that even though both states have beaches, California has more money, talent and culture to improve their economy.
And he spoke about education and how college is not for everyone. “If education remains on this track, a college degree will be the same as the high school diploma was several years ago.” He claims that there is a demand for labor workers, who can profit immediately off their skill sets. He continues on to say that “college is a great place to grow up and learn how to articulate your ideas, but it is an investment that does not always pay off with a skill set for a particular job.”
Both Congressman Ross and State Representative Grant spoke on the importance of compromising in politics. Ross firmly believes that “we must reach across the aisle to stop fighting and compromise.” Grant claims that “people take the issues too personal in the chamber,” and it is important to learn how to compromise.