Monday, December 18, 2006

How We Win in Georgia

As many of your know, I am running for Candidate Recruitment Vice-Chair for the Democratic Party of Georgia. I believe that we have an historic opportunity to elect more great Democrats at every level of government. While Republicans are busy wiping small towns and cities off Georgia's map, Democrats can win by reaching out to people in every town and every city in all 159 of our counties. Below is an outline of a proposed strategy to do just that. I'd be interested in your thoughts and comments.

The 159 County Strategy

There is no task more important for Georgia Democrats than electing more great candidates at every level of government. To do this, we must fundamentally change the way we do business by embracing a 159 County Strategy. We should engage in:

1) Developing Relationships: There are a great many local Democratic organizations and locally elected Democrats in Georgia (sheriffs, county commissioners, school board members and others.) Politically speaking, these individuals and groups are our greatest, and most neglected, “natural resource.” By reaching out to reach out to them and building mutually beneficial relationships, we will be able to better coordinate candidate recruitment, field planning and GOTV efforts. We should:

* Create and maintain a central database of all elected Democrats in Georgia.
* Routinely reach out to these individuals though regional listen sessions, newsletters, and web-based technologies.
* Meaningfully engage them in the candidate identification process, early on.
* Track elections at all levels and identify open seats and seats held by non-democrats, and assist in candidate recruitment for all offices, local and state-level.
* Work hand in hand with the House and Senate Caucuses to identify potential candidates for the 2008 election cycle.

2) Embracing Technology: We must discover and embrace the best available technology to help connect Democrats to one another and to help identify potential candidates. Candidates and local Democratic organizations also need access to technology to help with communication, targeting and micro-targeting. We should:

* At the local level, provide access to computers and the web-based technology.
* Use the best technology to help focus resources and assist candidates.
* Improve and update our web presence.

3) Providing Training: We need to develop and routinely provide state of the art training for candidates, campaign staff and volunteers. We should:

*Create a Democratic Leadership Training Program where current leaders and those with great promise can come together to learn.
*Create Training Manuals for candidates, campaign staff and volunteers
*Examine successful training programs provided by other states and other organizations.

4) Setting our Sights on the Senate: In 2008, we have an opportunity to elect a Democrat to the United States Senate. If we are to be successful, we must bring together the best political minds to help encourage and support a nominee who can be successful. We should:

*Bring together the best political minds from all parts of Georgia to form a Blue Ribbon Coalition charged with helping to identify potential candidates for U.S. Senate and other state-level offices.
*Develop a 159 County Strategy to support for the eventual nominee.

These are some of my thoughts. What about you? On the issue of candidate recruitment, how do we win? I note that there is nothing here about fundraising, and clearly, nothing happens without the cash! We must raise lots and lots of money.

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