A Captain in Every Precinct--a proposal
by Carl Nyberg, Sat Dec 04, 2004 at 10:57:09 AM EST
Summary. During 2005 this project will identify volunteers from the Chicago/Milwaukee area to make contact with Democratic Primary voters (and others that self-identify) in targeted Congressional districts. The point of this contact is to identify, recruit and train indigenous precinct organizers so Democratic candidates start 2006 with functional precinct organization and all the benefits that come with this.
Districts: This project will target five districts. The top priority will be IL08 (Bean). The second priority will be IL06 (Hyde). The other three districts will be WI01 (Ryan), IL10 (Kirk) and IL13 (Biggert).
Governance. The head organizer would be accountable to the DCCC, however there would be a local board of interested parties to supervise the head organizer on a more frequent basis. The board members would help recruit volunteers and would help the organizers resist the natural pull of interest groups--either within the Democratic Party or independent groups--from using their leverage to move the project from its agenda to their agenda.
Vision:Democratic candidates that run in the targeted Congressional districts will have trained indigenous precinct organizers in every precinct (one per one hundred registered voters).
Mission:Create and implement the plan necessary to identify, recruit and train precinct organizers.
Values: We value...
* winning, while not ignoring progress short of winning;
* integrity in government and oppose the use of public offices for personal gain;
* the Bill of Rights;
* transparency in government and other institutions and organizations;
* collective responsibility for society's problems;
* fiscal responsibility;
* shifting control of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Republicans to the Democrats;
* the Democratic Party when it reflects the will of the activists and small contributors (as opposed to what the big contributors think so-called "swing voters" want to hear);
* straight talk. The Democratic Party has underperformed since at least the 1994 elections. Any Democratic leader that suggests the status quo is "good enough" should be replaced;
* politicians with the courage to take risks, individuals willing to make the case on important issues in order to shift public opinion;
* using all available means of communicating and organizing;
* this project staying neutral in intra-Democratic Party battles, e.g. if Madigan runs a candidate against Blagojevich in the primary or Blagojevich tries to unseat Madigan as chair of the state party;
* Democrats who volunteer;
* participation in the political process beyond elections, including activism on issues that motivate people;
* matching the skills and temperament of the volunteer with the work, not trying to force all people with passion into being one type of Democratic activist.
Beginnings of the plan
- Recruit volunteers to go door-to-door, do phone-banking and providing administrative support.
- Organize project, including getting volunteers to the precincts where the work needs to be done.
- Contact Democrats in targeted districts by mail. Explain the plan.
- Contact then face-to-face. Use telephone for Democrats that can't be contacted in person.
- Identify potential precinct captains and lieutenants, assistants and helpers.
- Provide organizational system (paper or computer software).
- Train precinct captains and others.
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