A PLATFORM TO WIN
IN 2020 & BEYOND
CREATE A BOLD, VALUES-DRIVEN MESSAGE
Values-based messaging helps us connect on a deeper level with potential voters. As the next Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, I have a vision to create a broad, values-based message, provide comprehensive training in that message, and execute an overarching media campaign based on that message.
HAVE MORE & BETTER TRAINING
As chair, I would institute a comprehensive program to train members, candidates and campaign staff. People within our organization have a ton of valuable knowledge and experience to share, but we need a structured and organized process for getting new candidates and activists up to speed. Also, too often our party’s resources float up to the State-level candidates when we should actively support candidates up and down the ballot. We need to make quality training accessible to everyone in our party.
EMPOWER OUR PRECINCT DELEGATES
Nothing is more powerful than neighbors discussing issues and solutions together—and our precinct delegates do just that all across Michigan before every election. As I visited local clubs throughout the state, I met many precinct delegates who had business cards and name badges. Some told me about having to create local training and information to help their own precinct delegates because the MDP doesn’t offer this support. The MDP must value the important role these delegates play, and be ready to empower them this year with comprehensive training, VAN access, and best practices.
BUILD A FARM TEAM & COMPETE EVERYWHERE
The 2018 midterms showed how important organizing is to winning elections. We can win in unexpected places when our members canvass and phone bank everywhere they can, not just in areas where we already get a large percentage of the vote. We need to let local activists lead from the bottom up, not try to force fit a one-size fit all strategy. We need to trust local organizers and leaders to tell us how to organize their neighborhoods. We have to hold tough conversations with our candidates and voters about how our party’s values intersect with complex issues like gun rights and abortion. When local leaders speak to urban, rural, and suburban voters, we learn a lot about what our citizens’ want and need from us, community by community. We need to do more of this, even in off-years, so we can understand the unique challenges people face based on where they live. Local organizing creates a farm team which will help us win elections down the road.
DEVELOP A BETTER DIGITAL & COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM
The MDP must expand and increase communications and add a digital platform so that everyone is in the loop and information is readily available and accessible. We need a user-friendly website that is ADA compliant. It must be easy for people to find out their membership status, sign up for training, and learn about events. Most importantly, we have to make it easy to join the MDP in the first place, especially for those seeking a free membership.
BUILD BRIDGES & TRUST
We ignored the fractures within our party in 2016 to disastrous results. In 2018 many Democrats were suspicious of Indivisible and other new groups even though these groups canvassed, fundraised, and phone banked for Democratic candidates. As chair, I will not ignore issues such as these and I will actively work to build bridges and restore trust. There are several things we can do to achieve this. We must actively bring together groups or individuals to work out their differences. We must clearly follow our own rules. We must promote transparency by letting go of handshake deals, keeping our party members in the loop about our decisions, and disclosing our financials to State Central Committee members. Increasing transparency also means empowering our local activists because they are the experts on what their neighborhoods and communities need. We all deserve to be part of the conversation and to trust that our leadership is making decisions that are in the best interests of our party.
Our values are simple, but they inspire us to work together to change our society for the better.