February 21, 2017
To: National Democratic County Officials (NDCO) and
Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO)
cc: Arlanda Williams, President NDCO
Joe Buscaino, President DMO
From: Jehmu Greene
Re: A Re-engaged Democratic National Committee
The next Chair of the DNC needs to be an innovative strategist, a seasoned organizer and a fierce messenger who understands the unique challenges and opportunities of these surreal times, knows the Party from both the inside and out and is not afraid to tackle long-standing systems that disengage and divide us.
We have a unique opportunity to assess our strengths and our weaknesses as a Democratic family and to innovate how we organize, how we communicate, and how we connect with voters; to embrace experimentation and new organizing strategies and to respond to the chorus of disenfranchised Americans who have given up on politics and an even larger group yearning, marching and looking for the Democratic Party to be a home for the resistance
We must rebuild, rebrand, and re-engage Democrats across our country - starting with those who are serving or want to serve in our county courthouses and our city halls.
To connect with Americans of every hue gender generation, zip code and background, we need a 360° strategy that rebuilds our state and local party infrastructure and the progressive movement. The 50 State Strategy developed over a decade ago won’t cut it in this unprecedented political reality. At the DNC, I commit to taking the following actions:
- I will allocate funds to hire a full-time staff person dedicated to work with local elected officials on local races, in consultation with NDCO and DMO.
- NDCO and DMO will have access to the latest political data through our partnerships with organizations like TargetSmart, NGP-VAN, etc. We will identify Democratic local officials who fall under your membership categories.
- As Chair, I will allocate $250,000 per year to NDCO, DMO and other groups including the Democratic Education Officials, and other constituency groups as needed. In addition, I will allow NDCO, DMO and other groups to apply for the new "Get-Stuff-Done" grants, outlined in my platform.
- As a part of the State Partnership program, state parties will be required to hire at least one organizer who focuses solely on local county and municipal races.
- The DNC Training Academy will hold regional and state campaign and media trainings focused on training local elected officials and candidates for local office.
- The DNC will establish an Elected Officials Caucus.
As I stated in my platform, I think we need to reimagine and restructure the processes that govern how we do business as Democrats, including moving past the tainted superdelegate framework. I know that together we can design a new model to honor elected officials and veterans of the Party and ensure we protect the American people from a Trump-like presidential nominee.
As Chair, I will prioritize effective communication with Democrats, especially at the state and local level. That means unleashing a well-trained army of top-tier surrogates and speakers to national and state events hosted by DMO, NDCO and other groups to help inspire leadership and volunteer engagement, and to raise money for DMO, NDCO and other group.
To address voter protection, voter registration, voter engagements and other pressing issues, the DNC will convene meetings for NDCO and DMO, and ensure there is effective communication and coordination with Democratic Secretaries of State, the Democratic Attorneys General and other groups.
I encourage you to read Ideas that Inspire, my platform and vision for the future of the Party, highlights of which are below:
STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
Allocate $10,000 per month to each state party with the requirement that the state party publish staff and contracting diversity data and conduct yearly diversity trainings and are ADA compliant.
STATE PARTY INNOVATION HUBS
Invest $100,000 in each state party exclusively dedicated to innovation hubs that incubate the best ideas and talent and allow them to embrace and champion the concepts of experimentation and disruption.
Reconnect and rebuild bridges of trust by recruiting staff from rural communities, significantly increasing investment in smaller media markets and re-engaging on talk radio.
Provide general operating grants of $25,000-$100,000 to state and local party offices for training, technology, staff, rural engagement, and electoral efforts. Requirements for funding will include metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and an agreement that the office publish staff and contracting diversity data, conduct yearly diversity trainings, and are ADA compliant.
Openly delineate the specific roles and responsibilities of our local, state, and national Party leaders to help emerging leaders target their dreams.
Locate a minimum of 50% of staff and consultants outside of D.C.
Set goal of at least 50% of staff and consultants to be women or women owned businesses.
Set goal of at least 50% of staff and consultants to be people of color/minority owned businesses.
REVITALIZE DNC TRAINING INSTITUTE
The Democratic Party has forgotten how to organize. We will work with labor allies to train our trainers and then deploy our trainers out of DC and into the field to host trainings in every state.
Develop an intensive media training program to train an army of messengers to reconnect our values with voters, starting with the 30,000 Democratic City Council Members we already have fighting on the front lines in communities. Ensure we have a chorus of diverse voices at the mic, podium and in front of the camera.
Acquire Democratic GAIN, a national grassroots training and political placement program critical to building infrastructure for the progressive movement through mentorships, career counseling, and job banks.
ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC PARTY INTERNSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS
Paid internships for DNC, state party, and county party internships with a goal of recruiting, training and retaining diverse talent committed to work locally.
Locate Fellows in battleground and emerging Democratic states. Fellowships will be named after leading Democratic icons as decided by DNC Members.
VOTE 2020: A TURNOUT MOONSHOT
We can no longer accept the constraints of what has always been, we will devote massive resources and energy to achieving a moonshot goal of 80% voter turnout by 2020. Starting with 2017 races, we will launch voter turnout pilot programs in local elections and experiment, learn and refine our turnout efforts so that we are primed for success by 2020.
We also need to set a moonshot goal of gender parity in elective office. At the current rates of progress political parity will not be reached until 2080. That is unacceptable. At every level of our party, women need to be recruited, welcomed, trained, mentored and celebrated.
SHIFT BATTLEFIELD FROM VOTER SUPPRESSION TO VOTER EXPANSION
Collaborate with elected officials and allies to advance new state and federal legislation that champions universal voter registration and online voting. Launch a national public education campaign about voting rights starting in 2017.
PRECINCT “PEACE CORPS”
Provide resources to local parties to prioritize and support everyday experiential engagement: recruit and train volunteers for non-political community initiatives, including staffing soup kitchens, organizing neighborhood clean-ups and clothing drives, delivering meals to elderly neighbors, shoveling snow, hosting block parties among others.
Link up with and learn from proven mechanisms, such as organized labor and ongoing resistance efforts.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my vision for our Party. I look forward to visiting with you in Atlanta.