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Last week, sarah jo posted a diary that I think needs more attention than it got.  Mr. Temporiti, members of the state committee: Is anybody listening?

Let’s Keep it Going

by: sarah jo

Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 15:33:37 PM CST    

From what I’m hearing and reading, there are a lot of Obama supporters eager and willing to charge into the next phase of party building in Missouri.  Now that we’ve been trained to ID voters, discuss their issues and persuade them to vote for Obama, why let the fire go out?  Why not set up permanent Democratic offices around the state with the goal of continuing to build party support, recruiting and grooming candidates for 2010, and pitching in to support President Obama and Governor Nixon when their policies and ideas are attacked by the other side?

There must be a way to coordinate with the party’s state-level apparatus other than just access to the VAN (although that IS a really neat system.)  What if we could talk the state committee into budgeting some funds for basic things like rent, utilities, internet connection, etc.  Groups with at least some track record and decent organizational skills could apply for grants, e.g., $12,000 per year, spelling out their goals and timetables.  E.g., Identifying a set number of Democrats in a specific geographical area.  OR sponsoring monthly or quarterly political events/fundraisers.  Or setting up committees like those proposed by former Chair of the Mo Party, Roger Wilson.  That was a good idea, but nothing came of it.  If there are new volunteers joining local clubs and central committees who have great ideas, why not nurture them by providing a physical space for them to meet and work?  AND a permanent, year-round local phone number easily accessed by phone book or online.  

If we’ve learned nothing else from Howard Dean and Barack Obama, we’ve learned that “top of the ticket” candidates getting all the resources doesn’t work.  Building the party from the bottom up does.  Does anyone else think it’s worth approaching the state committee about this?

Here are three comments from the original diary:

Half the battle is showing up  

Contact your local party committee (the officers, by county, are on the MDP web site), roll up your sleeves, and get started. In some places there already is a year around presence.

There are also some web sites for local groups on the MDP web site.

543,895 votes

by: Michael Bersin @ Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 15:47:48 PM CST

local dem groups


Thank you for the information, but I am already “showing up.”  I am a central committee woman in Franklin County and served as office manager at our campaign hdqs in Union from July to November.

What I’m asking is how the state and national party officials will support keeping the local groups going. We have many creative, passionate new volunteers now but central committee officers who don’t know how to get them involved. These officers were just re-elected in August for another two-year term.  Their intentions are good, but they just are not good at getting people organized into work groups.  So the committee members themselves are forming new sub-committees to do things like fill the vacancies on the central committee, brainstorm ways of recruting and supporting viable candidates for 2010, etc.  If there were some help from the state level to fund a physical space for us to do this work, we’d have a much better shot at keeping these wonderful new activists.  Obviously this is being discussed nationally – see below.

Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:15 pm (PST)

Huffington Post

How Dems Can Keep Party Going

November 24, 2008

The sweeping victories enjoyed by the Democratic Party this November have been credited to three major catalysts: Barack Obama, for his campaign and fundraising efforts; the campaign committees, for their influential fifty-state-strategy; and President Bush, for producing the most opposition-friendly political climate since Richard Nixon.

These post-election acknowledgments ignore one crucial factor. In the past two years the progressive movement has built an infrastructure that, while still in its relatively nascent stages, can be tremendously influential.

Groups like Progressive Accountability, CAP Action Fund, National Security Network, Women’s Voices Women’s Vote, Brave New Films and others (many of them unions), went largely unheralded during the election cycle. But behind the scenes, they put in place a system that churned up opposition research, helped influence the media, charted out the electoral landscape, and was often seamless in delivering a message. In short, they beat the GOP at its own game.

And yet, weeks after their work is finished, there is uncertainty about what’s next.

The Obama team has the resources to maintain its strategic advantages. The DNC is committed to continuing the 50-state-strategy even after Howard Dean’s departure. But Democratic officials are still exploring ways to ensure that an infrastructure that took more than a decade to assemble remains intact.

“The Democratic Party now has, for the first time in a generation, superior infrastructure and really good research,” Paul Begala, a famed strategist who often worked with these groups, told me a few weeks ago. “As a Democrat I want the party to continue to do that. And I feel very confident that they will. If you believe, as I do, that politics is about ideas, how you argue and channel those ideas matters most. It is more important than knocking on doors, because once you knock on a door and someone answers what do you tell them?”

The benefits of a stable infrastructure — which includes outside groups, shared data, coordinated communications, and systems that harness young talent — are painfully clear. Beyond keeping voters active, it can give the party tremendous leverage over both lawmakers and the press. A veteran of the Clinton years recalled how each day during that administration, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson “were echoing the RNC’s talking points and we were beaten to the punch.”

“We didn’t have a capacity to get out there on a moment’s notice,” he added. “We didn’t have our ‘own’ media.”


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. WE are the ones we’ve been waiting for. WE are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

by: sarah jo @ Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:25:36 AM CST

The new state Democratic committee…

…was elected on November 22nd. Contact the MDP to get their contact information (the folks from the 2006-2008 term are listed on-line now). Write or call those folks to let them know what you’d like them to do. Missouri DNC members were elected to four year terms at the state Democratic Convention earlier this year. Let them know what you’ve got on your mind.

543,895 votes

by: Michael Bersin @ Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 10:09:52 AM CST