Open Thread (poll)

Here's a question.  Do you know who your Democratic precinct captain is? There's a poll in the extended entry.

Update: Ok, there's now actually a poll. Please vote.

Tags: Open Thread (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Re: Open Thread (poll)

I know who mine is but I just did a google search to confirm it and the first hit is a list of Arab-Americans serving in the government from the federal level on down...WTF?!

by Karatist Preacher 2006-12-01 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

spooky!

by scvmws 2006-12-01 01:53PM | 0 recs
There's a poll in the extended entry.

No there's not.

by NCDem 2006-12-01 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Yes! She baby-sits my pets. Aren't YOU jealous?

by srsjones 2006-12-01 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

No, but I am never really home and just changed my registration to Somerville, MA. I would hope that my liberal working-class Boston neighborhood has one.

by gobears 2006-12-01 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Yes. I've known him intimately all my life. Because he is me! OK, I haven't been my Precinct Chair my whole life. Just the past 2 years.

Bob in HI

by Bob Schacht 2006-12-01 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Yes, she's been a friend for more than 30 years, and I was just at a meeting of the Lemhi County Democrats with her last night.

by duncanidaho 2006-12-01 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I should hope so since it's my mother!

We worked together on our precinct's (probably) first ever GOTV plan in this heavily republican precinct. Results were not bad considering that Blago was dragging us down and Tim Johnson (IL-15) successfully cast himself as the moderate once again.

by adamterando 2006-12-01 01:28PM | 0 recs
our District Leaders, ourselves

Well my District Leader is also my Assemblyman who is also the local Democratic Party Chair for Brooklyn. And my female district leader (there is a male one and female one for each assembly district here) is also my City Councilwoman. Amazingly enough she used to work for my Assemblyman.

If I have a precinct captain it is probably someone who works for the senior center that employs all of the supporters of my District Leader/Assemblyman/Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair.

Now has my Assembly-Leader-Party-Boss contact me?
If you consider his constant "franking" me on the government's dollar to claim how great he is for hosting senior's picnics that are free every summer, than yes, I have gotten the mailers. Many times.

Has anyone from the local party called me?
Well seeing as my District Leader/Assemblyman/PartyChair was stumping for Bloomberg at a different Senior center during the last truly contested general election race that we had in the city, I have to wonder what exactly he would have been contacting me to do.

Would he have contacted me to vote for Bloomberg?
But hey, lets not worry about what happens in Democratic strongholds like NYC, right?
I mean clearly because we're blue (mostly) everything is fine and dandy here, right?

by Our Gal in Brooklyn 2006-12-01 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: our District Leaders, ourselves

Got to love NYC.  I belong to a "reform" Dem organization in the city so we prohibit anyone from holding more than one office but we are the exception not the rule.

by John Mills 2006-12-01 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: our District Leaders, ourselves

And yes, I know my district leaders (our term for precinct captains).

by John Mills 2006-12-01 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: our District Leaders, ourselves

I worked on two Democratic Primary campaigns in the  neighborhood and our slates had non-machine candidates running for District Leader.

We lost both times. We did pretty well. But the fact that a great number of my peers are not registered Dems was a big part of the problem (they think being no party or as they call it "independent" actually is sending some sort of a signal when in fact its exactly what the machine wants).

The local progressive blogosphere wasn't very developed at those points which made getting more people educated on the race very hard.

Yeah there is more work to do. But there are also news outlets and watchdogs that need to wake the heck up.

by Our Gal in Brooklyn 2006-12-04 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: our District Leaders, ourselves

Sounds like you've got some work to do.

by Andrew C White 2006-12-01 03:32PM | 0 recs
My precinct captain...


  ...is ME.

 Seriously. Been in the position since July.

by Master Jack 2006-12-01 02:04PM | 0 recs
Me too

Been in the position since 2004 when Howard got me motivated again...

by southpaw chris 2006-12-01 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Me too

Me, too, too - but just starting this year.

by carlmanaster 2006-12-01 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Me, too, too, too

I just started this summer... And boy, now that the election is over, I have a lot more work to do! Heck, now that my County Supervisor has been elected as State Senator (Thank gawd! He's a Dem), we now have a Special Election for County Supe in early February...

So I can't enjoy the break for too long! : )

by atdleft 2006-12-02 05:49AM | 0 recs
me too!

Well, I share the duties with another woman in my precinct who's on the Democratic Party's Central Committee for our county.

by desmoinesdem 2006-12-02 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: me too!

me - since 2004. I better verify it for next time though. I think my time may be up.

by zappatero 2006-12-02 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

We don't have precinct leaders in any formal structure in my county party.  Some of us are working to reform the party constitution and bylaws, possibly including that.

But we do have assembly (state house) district  (AD) representatives to the executive board of the county party.  I know them and I go to every exec board meeting.  In fact, I'm thinking of running for a seat, depending on how the constitution and bylaw revisions go, when the next elections occur.

As far as contact, the AD reps do a pretty poor job of doing anything within their district by and large (there are a couple who are true activists).  Those of us who do anything do so fairly independently or get hamstrung in the process.  I haven't been contacted by my AD rep to do anything, even though I've run campaigns (I don't specifically work in politics as a job currently) and in the past cycle helped the state coordinated campaign run an entire suburb's field campaign.  There's just a stunning lack of accountability and action.

Part of my ideas for AD reps in the bylaw revisions includes creating AD committees that are required to create an organizing plan for each district, with metrics, that carry out the plan, and report to the membership, and that they have at least a monthly activity.  

If anyone's interested, I can share my proposal for changing the structure of the party as something of an open-source thing for others to use in their own gate-crashing.

by Peter from WI 2006-12-01 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Honestly, I don't even know what a "party precinct captain" is.

by Silent sound 2006-12-01 02:43PM | 0 recs
It is Me, and, My Meeting Proposal

which I'll leaflet tomorrow at King County Democrats in WA.

I think our meeting processes basically suck, and serve to if not make evrything into a too clique-y clique, at least make it harder for the average* 5 to 10 hours a month volunteer to ...

volunteer and accomplish something.

* I use "average" as a kind of tongue and cheek. It really seems that volunteers are either ruining their lives with politics, or showing up after labor day to get run around doing last minute scutt work.

IF things worked more smoothly and openly, AND, we had millions of people giving a few hours a month EFFECTIVELY, we'd crush the fascists on the first tuesday of nov.  

I'll diary this here later.

http://www.washblog.com/story/2006/11/28 /123926/94

by seabos84 2006-12-01 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Yep, it's me.  Precinct 2513 in San Francisco.

Although I gotta admit that while I walked it for the June primary, I did not do so again in the fall.  Was too busy on a Congressional race in CA-04 -- and my puny efforts were not going to save Angelides.

by willy mugobeer 2006-12-01 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Exposing my ignorance, why should we know?  

by dkmich 2006-12-02 02:02AM | 0 recs
Here is why you should know ...

Not because you are ignorant if you don't.  There are other things to know that are more important.  There are many ways to participate in our democracy.

Not because you may need his or her help getting something done.  You might. But you might live in a place where all citizens can call their government directly for assistance.

No, this is not a test of you.  This is a test of the Democratic Party.  If 3 out of 4 readers of this blog do not know who their precinct captain is, then 3 out of 4 precincts do not have functioning captains.

You should consider running for captain.  

It is an extremely powerful method of organization.  In Chicago, a precinct is 300 to 1000 voters.  A captain, especially with a helper, can reach all the voters in a few weekends.  That is a great way to find volunteers for a candidate or attendees for a town meeting or signatures on a petition.  And at Election time the captain knows the plus voters, almost by memory and knows who needs to register and who needs an absentee ballot and who needs a ride to the polls.

But it may not make sense for everyone.  My precinct and ward and city and county and state are heavily Democratic so I do not work there in general elections.  I worked the primary for Obama and four of us (we called ourselves Precinct Captains for Obama) turned out 78% of the votes for him.

If you have not been contacted, your Democratic Party is not as vital as it could be and you should consider revitalizing it.

by lawyerDan 2006-12-02 08:56AM | 0 recs
Same here

I'm Precinct 68131 in Santa Ana (Orange County).

Also as Santa Ana City Leader, I walked all over town during the Summer, but I couldn't do too much during the Fall as I was balancing lotsa other stuff...

OK, OK, I came back during the last couple of weeks before the election and tried to do half-and-half between the local elections and the MoveOn calls.

I'm still kinda depressed over Angelides, but I'm still glad that my local candidates won (as well as over the national results). : )

by atdleft 2006-12-02 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I've been running a series of excerpts from the FCDC precinct operations manual. For those new to the concept this is a pretty good intro.

by Alice Marshall 2006-12-01 03:01PM | 0 recs
This is a great summary!

If we are going to even when we do not have the most obnoxious, unpopular president in recent history representing the Republicans, we need to apply this.

by lawyerDan 2006-12-02 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

we don't have precinct captains in my area of CT (Groton).  All we have is a town chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary.  We've talked about having someone in charge of voting districts (probably our equivalent of precincts), but we don't have enough responsible people to fill the slots.  

by MVD 2006-12-01 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Start with what you do have and fill in the rest as you go.

by Andrew C White 2006-12-01 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Is there any reason to put someone in a job that you know they won't do? To me, the big challenge for DTCs is finding people who are willing to show up for meetings and to work.  My town committee is quite open to new people, but often people get on and do then nothing.

by MVD 2006-12-02 07:11AM | 0 recs
Uh... yeah...

that would be me.

If you don't know who your precinct/election district captain is... it may be because there isn't one!

Find out. Take the job. Make sure everyone in the district knows who you are!

by Andrew C White 2006-12-01 03:09PM | 0 recs
It happened here, too!

There was no one here, then I asked...
Then I became the city leader!

I'm still working on going around town, and finding more precinct people. : )

by atdleft 2006-12-02 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I do not.

The only literature/phone calls/door knocks I got during the election (St. Louis) came from local Republicans. Mostly from a county council incumbent who lost to the Democrat.

by duke1376 2006-12-01 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

You kidding me?  I live in Chicago.  I met my precinct captain right after I was handed to my mom at birth.  I was confused for years about who my dad really was.

by bluechicago 2006-12-01 03:16PM | 0 recs
Obama Charisma Update

Okay... I'm convinced that if Gore doesn't enter the race, it'll be Obama, if he keeps this sort of thing up:

http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncent ral/2006/dec/01/obama_goes_over_well_at_ warren_event

This is a great example of framing progressive values in ways that are both acceptable to evangelicals and ring true to Bible doctrine.

That said, I'd like to see him try that with abortion.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-12-01 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

If there were a precinct captain in my precinct, it would be me.  I certainly was the precinct captain in 2005 and I've tried to help establish a precinct captain system in Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville.  

In CA the level of precinct-captaining varies widely.  There has been some efforts to establish permanent precinct captain operations throughout the state, and the State Party has made gestures towards supporting such an effort.  However, in my experience it's been difficult to organize since we've had so many elections in a row and volunteers and voters have serious election fatigue.  

Also, in a weird sort of way, the success of the MoveOn swing state phone-banks, the pull of the McNerney Campaign in CA-11, and other similar efforts have stymied the precinct organizing by funneling a lot of Berkeley volunteers away from any of the elections in Berkeley.

If Angelides had been more viable, more people might have stayed local in their political activities.  And to some degree Debra Bowen's candidacy as Prop 89 got activists to work locally.

But Berkeley, one of the bluest cities in the state, is pretty far from having a precinct captain structure.            

by Matt Lockshin 2006-12-01 03:27PM | 0 recs
Do I know Him?

Absolutely.  He officiated at my wedding just last week.

by Melissa Ryan 2006-12-01 03:33PM | 0 recs
I answered no,
And then I went and looked it up.
I don't know him.  Can't find any contact information on him.  But I aparently have one.
by Kalil 2006-12-01 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

It is me. #46 Medford, Oregon

by soregon 2006-12-01 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I was my precinct captain (PCO - precinct committee officer for our legislative distrct) until life happened and I became disabled. I had to move and have emailed my PCO here, but never heard from her. I should make more of an effort. . . .whew. It's hard.

by mrobinsong 2006-12-01 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I have to say that whoever is the nominee in 2008, we need real foreign policy leadership in the White House.  

The fact that Hugo Chavez, who is the poor man's Fidel Castro, will easily win re-election this weekend and is expanding his influence in South America is a real indictment of how the administration has hurt America's influence in the world.

by ditka 2006-12-01 04:44PM | 0 recs
What's a precinct captain?

What does he / she do?

by beemer 2006-12-01 05:20PM | 0 recs
What a precinct captain does

See my post above for a start on an answer to your question

by lawyerDan 2006-12-02 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I am my Democratic Precinct Captian and yes, I have contacted myself.

by howardpark 2006-12-01 06:08PM | 0 recs
My precinct captain

Around here, we call them PCO's (for "precinct committee officers"), and I do know mine. I recruited him.  

Of course, it wasn't all that hard, since I've also been married to him for nearly 14 years.

But you're on to something important, Matt (with a nod to SeaBos84): we have got to build a functional grassroots organization nationally on a precinct-by-precinct level.  We have got to out-organize the Republicans.  It's clear from my race (and others) that the Republicans have both much more information about voters and a stronger relationship with their voters than the Democrats do.  That's a problem.

If I were going to focus on changing one thing about the Democratic Party in the next couple of years, that's precisely the thing I would focus on.

...Hmm, now what did I do with Howard Dean's phone number?

by Darcy Burner for Congress 2006-12-01 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: My precinct captain
The main goal (job description) of the 50 state strategy is to have at least on GOTV worker in every precinct in the country by 2008. If this poll is indicative of the country - and I think it probably is, our field coordinators around the country have a lot of work to do!
Another question to ask is "Do you know who your DNC hired field coordinator is for your area/state?"
by greenchiledem 2006-12-03 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

In my county (Solano County, Calif), we did not have any precinct captains until this summer when my local club started a precinct captains program as a test project.  We now have about 40 precinct captains but there are 481 precincts with registered voters in them in the county.  (This sounds a little worse than it is, since some of the precincts are quite small.)

We would like to expand this program to every precinct in the county and make it permanent.  It will take a while.  We are thin on funds and we are not getting support from the state party.  We are paying for all the costs ourselves, and without a permanent county headquarters, it sometimes feels like pushing a boulder up a hill.

(This diary gives some additional insights into the problems and opportunities at state level:  http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/30/141 131/57 )

Nevertheless, we will continue to do what we can.  

by Airpower 2006-12-01 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)
Yes.  It is my wife.
jonny bakho
by bakho 2006-12-02 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I know my two committeewomen.

But even better, Georege Weiss, Jr, one of the GOP committeemen in the 63rd Ward, Philadelphia was just arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment in a domestic dispute.

http://www.northeasttimes.com/2006/1130/ weiss.html

by phillydem 2006-12-02 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Yes, its me. And all you guys/gals should do the same. It gives me a voice in the local democratic party which I think is a good start.

by JMcM 2006-12-02 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I just moved to Tucson this summer, to the CD that is sending Democrat Gabrielle Giffords to Washington to replace Friend-of-Foley Jim Kolbe (the one who takes pages hiking in the Grand Canyon -- yikes!).  I joined my neighborhood Democratic club and the local Drinking Liberally chapter before I had even changed my driver's license. I worked in the campaigns that were successful (yea!!!) in sending Dems to the AZ state legislature and senate.  Although I'm a newcomer, I've already been asked twice to run for precinct captain.  Is it hard if you don't know anyone?  I'm trying to look at it as a way to get to know my neighbors but could there be a downside to this plan?  Arizona needs to Go Blue and I'm willing to do my part, but I don't want to over-reach or make a fool of myself.  My East Coast intensity is a tad out-of-place in this very laid-back desert.

by jukesgrrl 2006-12-02 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

I think you should go for it. Even here in New Jersey there is a dearth of filled seats, in my town alone there are 18 seats that are empty. If we can just get them filled we will have challengers at every polling place next election which would really help our get out the vote drive. holding a seat has not been hard work for me, it also got me into a circle of cohorts that spur me on.

by JMcM 2006-12-03 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Thread (poll)

Um, yes.

I am.

by RunawayRose 2006-12-04 05:35AM | 0 recs

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