The Democratic Party of Virginia State Central Committee at its December 2009 meeting voted to form a Strategic Plan Committee. Ten tactical thoughts to consider:
- Coordinate DPVA goals with those of President Obama. We all worked very hard together in 2008 to change America and elect Barak Obama. As he said on election night, “This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change.” President Obama’s successes are the Democratic Party’s successes and will be our country’s successes, so we better get on the same page.
- Improve DPVA coordination with Organizing for America. OFA staff and volunteer activists are awesome, but we need better coordination between OFA and DPVA and local Democratic Committees, including making OFA part of DPVA meetings.
- Hire Field Staff. The DNC 50-State Strategy did a terrific job of funding regional coordinators to help the party organize. The new DNC approach provides some support for State Parties, but focuses more on OFA. Can we use OFA folks for field activities or should we separately fund those organizers?
- Improve the DPVA website. The site needs to be fixed to make it easier to find and use resources and to facilitate social networking, virtual phone banking, and fundraising. For example, Democrats from anywhere in the state ought to be able to access the website (with passcode), get names of voters to call for Eileen Filler-Corn’s special election, and input the results on-line. (Also, I think we can retire the 2009 campaign pictures on the front page.)
- Improve Central Committee communications. For starters, why don’t we have an updated Central Committee face-book-type social networking page that people know about and use? We don’t circulate Central Committee minutes for three months, but we can post meeting summaries, as well as regular updates regarding party activities, on the website, and/or distribute via email.
- Stand for something. The DPVA 1995 Strategic Plan (the last time we did this) called for the establishment of a Message Committee. When the Party lacks a Governor, we need to step up and craft a message so people know what we stand for. And DPVA should set up a speakers’ bureau to spread that message.
- Assist City and County Democratic Committee year-round efforts. One of the best things we have is the Virginia Association of Democratic Chairs – we should continue to support its training efforts to build local committees and facilitate year round voter registration, voter identification, and other party building activities.
- Reinvent meetings. For years, Central Committee meetings have focused on candidate speeches. T hat’s fine, but we should also explore more interactive, workshop-type approaches.
- Continue improving the lists and upgrading voter technology.
- Raise some money. Without the Governor, raising money is harder. W e need to be creative to fund all the great ideas folks have.
VA DNC Member
I was proud to represent Virginia on the Democratic National Committee for 12 years. I am in DC now, but still active in voter protection and Democratic Party rules. More about me, click here.