Hello from Nevada!
The DNC fall meeting is just over and we are already working on what comes next. But first a recap:
If you’re wondering about the state of the DNC let me tell you – the new DNC is up and running and in full motion forward. New is the byword in all conversation, and work across all zip codes (even abroad) is too. National has studied the game video, taken notes and are rolling out their game strategy with no holds barred to get out the vote and win.
That’s the summary for anyone with thirty seconds. Now for the details!
We kicked off the week with state chairs and executive director workshop meetings on Wednesday. The meetings were invaluable for getting to know state leaders, hearing their approaches and sharing our own. I attended the workshop for state chairs and vice chairs while Adrianne George and Ken Sherman helped make sure DA was represented in the executive director meeting.
The Unity Reform Commission also met Wednesday - Connie Borde, Martha McDevitt Pugh, Adrianne George, and Katie Solon represented us and will be sharing their notes later this week.
In the Association of State Chairs general meeting that evening, Democrats Abroad was honored to get a shout out of thanks for our work on Resistance Summer by DNC deputy Chair Keith Ellison.
Thursday I attended the state chairs’ IT committee meeting and shared some of our best practices and major tech asks with the group. It’s a privilege to be a member of that committee and I’m delighted that DA has been added to it!
Thanks to the advocacy of Liz Jaff I was able to meet with DNC CTO Raffi Krikorian, who is very interested in our data project and has pledged to help us meet our goal of gathering all fifty States absentee presidential voter data and matching it with more robust contact information.
During the week I met with DNC CEO Jess O’Connell and Advisor to the Chair Will Hailer to discuss our strategy for 2018 and the funding opportunities needed to fulfill that strategy. We will be able to submit a formal grant request on November 1 and we have already sent in a draft of the grant to their team for consideration.
States are organized by four regions within the DNC, and our DNC team is, uniquely, a part of each region. During Thursday’s regional caucus meetings we were each able to let our region know about our efforts this summer and next year through our state report.
Friday morning we all attended the resolutions committee meeting in support of our resolution. The committee tabled it for further consideration at the next meeting in the early spring.
The day was packed with caucus meetings and the team split up to attend as many meetings as possible. By the end of the day, Martha McDevitt-Pugh had won a seat on the board of the Women’s Caucus and Orlando Vidal on the board of the Hispanic Caucus.
We are happy to announce that we found generous support for our efforts to make sure the Veterans hot line works abroad. South Carolina DNC member Clay Middleton has already approached Rep Jim Clyburn about the issue, and the Mississippi state vice chair has vowed to work with the VA on the problem too. As well, Adrianne George and John Eastwood’s advocacy led the Veterans Council to pass a motion regarding the issue.
Anyone who got to meet Liz Jaff during her visit with us this fall will not be surprised to hear that her pitch-a-thons were tremendous successes. State parties are excited and eager to learn about new technologies - a fantastic development for our party.
During our time in Vegas we were able to speak with every member of the DNC executive committee. They are very eager to work closely with us and visit as well. Tom Perez was particularly interested in our Alabama work and asked me to make sure we push as hard as we can on getting out the vote there.
The entire DA team also had the opportunity to meet with Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and let her know about our efforts.
I’m excited to note that our first visitor post meeting will be Larry Cohen, chair of Our Revolution, who kindly agreed to meet with DAG France next week at an event hosted by Connie Borde.
The general meeting on Saturday was inspiring as we heard Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Harry Reid and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto give rousing speeches. Sen. Tim Caine and Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia, joined remotely. Tom Perez capped off the meeting with a fantastic call to action for this fall’s elections (particularly the Alabama senate race) and a last take away focused on the goals and direction of the new DNC.
Saturday was also Ken Sherman’s birthday and we were delighted to wish him many happy returns before we parted to begin making the long trip home.
Tremendous thanks to the team for the time spent together and the work that everyone did making sure the hundreds of DNC members knew Democrats Abroad, our value and what we can do to help them in their election efforts.
Any questions, let me know! I’ll be back online on Tuesday (just boarding to fly home now :-).