Battle for the DNC – Ilyse Hogue Announces a Battleplan

Some good people have announced their intention to run for the chair of the DNC:  Howard Dean (a previous chair), Rep. Keith Ellison and Ilyse Hogue who is presently the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.  I’m open to any of these people, I just want a good plan and I wish the election was sooner rather than later as 2018 is (sadly) just around the corner.

Hogue released a lengthy battleplan to DC members.  It was reprinted at Daily Kos by her permission.  It’s worth reading in its entirety.  I’ll just reprint her 10 point plan.

1. UNITY THROUGH RESISTANCE: Fighting Trump’s agenda has to be top priority for the Party in order to serve the health and wellbeing of the majority of citizens and for us to be the standard-bearer of American values. We must immediately oppose any attempt to circumscribe our Constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, marginalize and attack our fellow Americans, and debase the office of the President for private gain. Fighting against the Iraq War showed that we have to provide many different avenues of engagement for people to resist, so our approaches are multi-faceted and our numbers are undeniable.

2. GO LOCAL: President Obama was correct: Change doesn’t come fromWashington, change comes to Washington. The primary role of the DNC should be to create ways for Party members and advocates across the country — from the first-timer to the lifer — to learn from each other and strategize together. We need to bring people off the sidelines. The DNC’s office in Washington can leverage organizing energy from around the country on policy fights of the day. And it should prioritize boosting the role of State Parties so the national reflects what is happening in the states, not the other way around.

3. STAY TRUE TO OUR IDENTITY: We recognize that the world is complicated, and we know it’s worth fighting for dignity and a fair shake for everybody. We know that race, gender, geography, education, and age all affect our economic prospects, and we can engage in authentic conversation that acknowledges that reality and is inclusive of tailored, community-based solutions. Fighting Wall Street greed and protecting women’s fundamental rights aren’t at odds, they’re intertwined. Recognizing these intersections will be critical to build momentum from the outset for the hard policy fights and for electoral accountability come mid-terms. Diversity is our strength and must be our aspiration and our future.

4. FOCUS ON THE RIGGED SYSTEM: Democratic gains are being undermined by a series of structural — and intentional — obstacles that thwart the will of the people. We have to tackle these head-on by creating coordinated campaigns to fight the GOP effort to keep people from participating.

· Fight voter suppression: When more people vote, Democrats win. A full court press that is tailored to state legislatures around the country can challenge cynical laws like Voter ID and restrictions on registration and early voting that hurt Democrats from state house races all the way up to the Presidency.

· Reform the Electoral College: We need to revisit the basic mission of the institution and consider efforts like the National Popular Vote compact which would compel electors to vote with the majority of the people.

· Stop gerrymandering: The current system stacks the deck against Democrats. We’re winning national majorities while losing seats in Congress. Our next shot at redistricting is in 2021, which means 2018 and 2020 will be crucial to make gains in state houses and put fairness back in the system. We need to prioritize state legislative wins and redistricting efforts in state houses that put the voters’ interest front and center and seek to keep politics out of the process.

· Eliminate Super Delegates: There’s no doubt the Party should have a place of honor for our leaders, but the idea of super delegates who might overturn the will of the voters is antithetical to the democratic principles we stand for. Super delegates were a 1984 innovation that didn’t pan out, and contribute to a negative narrative about what our Party stands for. Let’s find new innovations and move on from failed ones.

5. BUILD THE BENCH: Running for office is often a thankless task. The more local we go on the ballot, the fewer resources and compensation for jobs well done. Yet those down-ballot candidates are not only serving critical roles in enacting policy that affect the everyday lives of people, they are often the up-and-comers who go on to seek higher office in the coming cycles. The DNC needs to better support our future candidates and leaders with strategic trainings, capacity building, and connections to voters.

6. JUMPSTART DNC 2.0: Technology can’t solve all problems, but it can help us scale engagement to the local and individual level. The DNC should play a central role in creating tools that effectively bring like-minded individuals together to build a shared vision for their neighborhoods and states. Technology can be used to communicate better, organize better, advocate better, persuade better, volunteer better, and GOTV better — all the way down to the neighborhood and household level.

7. INVEST IN FUNDAMENTALS: I knocked hundreds of doors this cycle, and the targeting and real-time information feedback loop was lacking. Offices in swing states often could not make good use of the dozens of volunteers we brought to them. First-time volunteers were disheartened by voters who told them they had just been visited by other doorknockers hours before. Cutting turf is not glamorous, but it is the lifeblood of effective electoral work, and investing in the basics of field organizing is critical for the future of the Party. It’s easy to blame the Clinton campaign for all of this, and certainly Brooklyn bears some responsibility. But the problems transcend one cycle and represent a lack of centralized investment in the basics over a long period of time. This has to be paramount. Without the foundation, there is no house.

8. PRIMARIES SHOULD REFLECT AMERICA: We can and should find ways for the primaries to reflect the broader diversity of our party. The issues that drive campaigns in those two “first” states are important but unrepresentative of the Democratic base, and of the broader American mainstream. There are several compelling alternative avenues to make sure a broader array of issues frame our primary debate and they should all be considered. A robust debate on those choices would be healthy for the Party.

9. GET FUNDED FROM THE GROUND UP: A genuinely people-powered fundraising base can help not just to fund national efforts, but also to provide state parties a source of local donors. My experience at MoveOn showed me how to build email programs at the national and state levels to instill both personal and financial investment in organizations. People open up and donate to those who inspire and motivate them. Thus, the stronger we fight against Trump, and the more we champion our best champions, the easier it will be for our grassroots to fund us.

10. LEAD WITH VALUES AND EMPATHY: As Democrats, we love to talk policy. Too often though, we end up ceding the language of values to Republicans. People want leaders who listen and reinforce our commonly held values — values of inclusion, economic security, and opportunity for advancement. These are the values of the Democratic Party and they need to suffuse everything we do. When we stand for something, we win. While some say that focus on issues like transgender rights hurt Democrats, remember that we won the governor’s race in North Carolina, in what turned out to be a difficult political environment. This is not a time to shy away from the values that bind our coalition. Rather, it’s time to clarify and celebrate them.

Sign me up for a big hunk of ALLLLLLLLL of that!

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