Dolphin Democrats are getting their third president of 2023. Sabrina Javellana, the current vice-president, will ascend in October when current president, Todd Delmay, resigns.
“I see it as an opportunity and a challenge,” she said. “For me and the organization, it’s all about looking forward to 2024.”
Delmay took the job in February when former president, Alfredo Olvera, left due to term limits. Delmay is becoming executive director at SAVE, and cannot hold both positions simultaneously.
“Our board is pretty crushed. We’ve been loving him as president,” Javellana said.
This is a precarious time for Democrats in Florida, especially LGBTQ Democrats. Republicans have a super majority in Tallahassee, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has used the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat to win primary votes as he seeks the GOP nomination for president.
As a bisexual, Asian woman, Javellana believes she brings a unique perspective to her leadership. She says the organization is in a good place, with record membership over 400.
She will serve until February, when the term is up. But the ensuing four months will be busy organizing and motivating the grassroots ahead of the November 2024 election.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere for enthusiasm and organization.”
One key is motivating the youth vote.
“We need to stay consistent and go into more communities than we usually do.”
Like many Democrats, she believes Republicans have overplayed their hand on social issues. Dolphin Dems will join statewide efforts to get reproductive rights and recreational marijuana on the ballot. Both issues have stronger support than any candidate, and Javellana said that is one road to victory.
“More and more, we’re seeing people are motivated by issues and not candidates.”