Here’s an update from Amanda Brown Lierman, Political & Organizing Director of the Democratic National Committee:
Last week, the DNC announced an additional $1.2 million in grants that will be distributed among 16 states. These grants are part of the State Party Innovation Fund, which helps Democrats fight and win elections on the state and local level.
I’ve told you before that we’re doing things differently at the DNC this year — so I wanted to follow up to share a bit more about what that means.
This organization is now centered on a renewed commitment to empowering folks on the ground to organize and make a difference in their communities. Elections are fought and won at the local level. So the DNC is putting money where it matters most: in the states.
You donated this cycle and your support is part of the reason the DNC is able to make these investments in state parties. Thank you, Frank, for helping our party build the infrastructure it takes to win. I hope you’ll keep reading and learn how this latest batch of grants to state parties will help Democrats win up and down the ballot.
WHAT IS THE STATE PARTY INNOVATION FUND?
It’s a new program — the first of its kind — where competitive grants are awarded to state parties who put forth innovative ideas for engaging voters. These grants incentivize early organizing and support efforts to engage African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Native American, millennial, and rural communities. So far, the DNC has supported proposals — like Georgia’s innovative vote-by-mail program targeting rural African American voters — pairing traditional boots-on-the-ground organizing with next level digital mobilization tools. We’ve also supported programs like TN Rising, which prioritizes down-ballot campaigns in Tennessee and the Kansas Democratic Party’s fellowship program, which trains and develops new leaders across the state.
BASE ENGAGEMENT & ORGANIZING
We are investing in good old-fashioned organizing and innovative programmatic efforts by meeting people where they are, whether it’s by phone, by text, or online, so Democrats can run the full-scale organizing it takes to win. We just announced our latest investment of nearly $1.2 million, which will fund organizers in 16 different states to engage communities that make up the Democratic base. These organizers will start this summer — right as state parties and campaigns are ramping up in the race to Election Day.
At the outset, the State Party Innovation Fund put a special emphasis on engaging African American, Latino, rural, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Native American, and millennial voters. The program has also supported voter registration and mobilization efforts in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
INVESTING IN SPECIAL ELECTIONS
We don’t have to wait until November to elect Democrats — there are elections happening every Tuesday until then. This year, the DNC has invested in federal and state special elections in Arizona, Alaska, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New York, and Wisconsin. One of those special elections — in PA-18 — led to Democrats flipping our first U.S. House seat of the cycle with Conor Lamb’s stunning victory.
The State Party Innovation Fund is the largest investment in competitive grants the Democratic Party has ever made — and it’s providing invaluable support, staff, and strategy to states. Democrats need to flip 23 U.S. House seats and two U.S. Senate seats to take back control of Congress. There are also 36 gubernatorial races and more than 6,000 state legislative races on the ballot nationwide this year. Winning those races requires early investment, which is why the DNC distributed the first round of state party grants back in January. Electing Democrats in all 50 states this year is going to take a lot of hard work, Frank. But as long as we organize, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together.