February 21, 2017
Presidents Williams & Buscaino, and Fellow Democratic Municipal & County Officials,
It has been an honor to meet many of you, and to have a number of productive discussions with
you about your organization’s ideas for reforming our Democratic Party and the DNC. During our
conversations, the overarching concern of DMO and NDCO members has been a general lack of
attention and investment in local and state parties. As a fellow Democratic Municipal Official and
mayor of a midwestern city, I share your concerns.
I enthusiastically support the many reforms your organizations have recommended during our
many discussions, and will make it a priority of the new DNC to put these suggestions into action.
● Director of State & Local Affairs – We should create a staff position with the consultation
of DMO & NDCO to ensure the DNC remains focused on supporting local candidates and
building our bench.
● Data – I will ensure local parties have access to the most up to date voter targeting data
through the DNC so our local candidates can run smart, effective campaigns and build
strong local parties.
● Grants and Increased Investment in State & Local Parties – We need to create more
flexible funding models to support state and local parties that complement the new
individual state plans I have proposed. As part of the new DNC, I will ask a respected
Democratic leader to convene a committee of former statewide officials to head up a new
non-federal committee focused on investments for State Parties to raise state dollars. The
one level of officeholders where Democrats dominate—mayors—can and should be
engaged more fully by the DNC. We should engage mayors, council members, and other
municipal and local officials to take advantage of their access to unique local donor
networks, and reciprocate with greater support for their efforts from the national party.
● Campaign & Media Training – The national party needs to do a much better job of building
our bench at the local level, and part of that means investing in regional campaign and
media trainings to coach our local officials and surrogates.
● Local Elected Officials Caucus – The creation of a local elected officials caucus within the
● DNC Membership – I support maintaining the delegate status of DMO/NDCO officers and
appointing more local officials to the DNC.
● Surrogates & Speakers – I have heard many requests to have the DNC more engaged in
supporting local organizations with surrogates and speakers to assist with party building
and volunteer engagement and believe it is important to do so.
● Convenings – The DNC should support bringing together leadership from local elected
officials constituency groups (DMO, NDCO, Democratic Secretaries of State, Democratic
Attorneys General, etc.) to increase effective communication and strategy in the areas of
voter protection, registration, and engagement.
I am grateful for the active role your organization has taken in the important conversation about
how to reform our national party and make it stronger in all 57 states and territories. Most of the
recommendations made by DMO & NDCO were already important pillars of my platform, and I
am looking forward to working closely with you at implementing these changes should I have the
honor of being elected chair.
The Democratic Party needs a fresh start. However much pride we take in the work that has
brought us to this point, we must confront the fact that our presence in state legislatures,
statewide offices, and Congress is at its lowest point in nearly a century. Together, we will run the
Democratic National Committee as a resource for state and local parties and nationally organized
allies like our friends in organized labor, to meet their needs and support their work. This will
require resources, but that is only the beginning. Finding our way forward means leading with
our values, returning to the basics of running campaigns and winning elections, acting from the
ground up, modeling democratic practices, and innovating for the future.
Thank you again for including me in this important discussion about how we can work together
to rebuild the Democratic Party.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg