Monday, November 20, 2006

Turning Georgia Blue

As Georgia Democrats think about how to improve our performance in future elections, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. In recent years the Democratic Party of North Carolina underwent a transformation similar to what I think needs to happen here in Georgia. Interestingly, the change began with a truly competitive race for chair, something that they had not had in years.

I have had a chance to talk with the NC Chair, Jerry Meek, who said that the decision to focus strategic planning at the level of county parties was key, as was their decision to de-centralize operations and hire regional field coordinators. has a posted information about this here "A 50 State Strategy Success Story: North Carolina" and it's worth checking out...

We are hiring three regional organizers -- an Eastern, Central, and Western Political Director. The Western Political Director is on staff, and the others will come on board in the next few weeks. All three of them are on the DNC payroll.

That's a good idea. To take back key legislative and constitutional offices, the DPG must work closely with local parties to recruit and support candidates at the "grassroots." We need to build a bench. Heck, we just need to know who all the elected Democrats are in the state. Where's the spreadsheet with all the currently elected Democrats, at every level? Is there a place where we, as a state party, track all of the open seats and all upcoming elections at every level of government? Where's the demographic data that defines population trends so that we can better assess what cities and counties might be more inclined to elect a Democrat? What about helping potential candidates with easy access to "what I need to do if I plan to run?"

Despite a move to make many of these local offices non-partisan, there is noting more "Democratic" or "Republican" than decisions about zoning, water and sewer, public schools and public safety. Whether or not the candidates wear a label, we must recruit Democrats to run for everything from school board to Governor, and to do that we must partner with local efforts to organize and recruit candidates.

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