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Democrats were crushed in Florida in the midterm elections, which doesn’t bode well for future races where the Sunshine State will play a pivotal role. But state Rep. Anna Eskamani and Rachel Gilmer of Dream Defenders say it didn’t have to be that way. Democrats have missed many opportunities in Florida, and earned their defeat through strategic mistakes and a lack of consistent community engagement. Marc Steiner speaks with Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani and Dream Defenders Co-Executive Director Rachel Gilmer about the stakes of Florida’s politics and the prospects for undoing the GOP’s stranglehold.

Anna Vishkaee Eskamani is a member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 47th District in Orange County.

Rachel Gilmer is an organizer with and co-director of the Dream Defenders, a statewide grassroots organization of communities across Florida. Established in 2012 in response to the unjust murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Dream Defenders are a diverse group of young people who build power by organizing campaigns, services, and political-education programming for community civic engagement and transformational justice.

Studio/Post-Production: Adam Coley


The transcript of this interview will be made available as soon as possible.

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Host, The Marc Steiner Show
Marc Steiner is the host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on TRNN. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues. He walked his first picket line at age 13, and at age 16 became the youngest person in Maryland arrested at a civil rights protest during the Freedom Rides through Cambridge. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, Marc helped organize poor white communities with the Young Patriots, the white Appalachian counterpart to the Black Panthers. Early in his career he counseled at-risk youth in therapeutic settings and founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system. He also taught theater for 10 years at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From 1993-2018 Marc's signature “Marc Steiner Show” aired on Baltimore’s public radio airwaves, both WYPR—which Marc co-founded—and Morgan State University’s WEAA.