DPO Question #2: What's the chair's role?

Editor's note: Today, we've got the second question that we posed to the four candidates for DPO party chair. Their emailed answers are posted after the jump, in the order they were received. We encourage you to join the conversation, ask follow-up questions, and debate their answers. The election for Democratic state party chair is on March 10. Question #1 is over here.

Our second question:

The DPO has a full-time and professional staff. What are and should be the roles of the elected party officers in the party? Should the party chair also be full-time and/or draw a salary? What are the similarities and differences between being a party officer and serving on the board of a non-profit?

After the jump, answers from Carol Voisin, Meredith Wood Smith, Dan Carol, and Mac Prichard...

Carol Voisin:

Carolvoisin_1The roles of elected officers in the party are set forth in the bylaws. There is considerable room in the bylaws for interpretation of those roles. But the bottom line is that those roles can and should be fine tuned with the state central committee. As Chair I would work with the Vice Chairs to set up how best we can work together, utilizing our strengths to hit the road running to develop a strategy for 2008 to get Democrats elected. This would be done hand-in-hand with the central committee.

The party chair should eventually be full time. If the chair is full time there should be a stipend.

Having served on the boards of many non-profits and currently serving as president of one, I come to this candidacy with considerable experience with non-profits. In fact, the similarity of the by laws of the DPO and the polity of mainline protestant denominations is striking. The Chair of a non-profit serves as the spokesperson of the organization and the leader who listens and enables volunteers to fully participate while focused on the goal – getting Democrats elected to office.

Meredith Wood Smith:

Meredithwoodsmith_1The officers are “Board of Directors” for the DPO. The Chair is the CEO, spokesperson, appoints all committee chairs, vice chairs and some members, special committees and presides at all meetings. The other elected officers (Vice Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer) assume the normal responsibilities of those positions. The elected DNC Committee members serve on the DPO Administration Committee. Officers roles are determined by the DPO Bylaws (go to www.dpo.org for more info)

The Chair (along with the other officers) directs the affairs of the party as much as his or her time permits. If I am elected Chair I will work full time. I have often put in many 40 Hr weeks over the last 4 yrs as Vice Chair. With the professional staff of the DPO; the Chair drawing a salary is not the best use of our funds. After all, we are party of volunteers!

The officers of the DPO are very similar to other non-profit organization boards with the exception that some of our responsibilities and requirements are determined by Oregon law. We “set and implement the agenda”, elect Democrats and speak out on behalf of Democrats through out the state.

Dan Carol:

Dancarol_1I see the role of the chair to be pretty straightforward: help set and drive the strategic agenda of the party. For this coming cycle, that means:

(1) Putting actual meat on the bones of what a 36 county strategy really needs to BE -- in a way that strengthens results, outcomes, trust between DPO and each county chair;

(2) Mounting an effective challenge to Gordon Smith and making that happen soon so he doesn’t spend his $8 million or more against our local candidates and make it way harder to hold onto key statewide offices (AG, State Treasurer, Secretary of State) that are up for grabs in 2008;

(3) Creating a new marketing program so the DPO stops losing “customers” and makes Oregon Democrats an exciting brand for political and civic participation that exemplifies practical & progressive politics in the MoveOn era;

(4) Raising money; and

(5) Raising money.

I am honestly much more comfortable dialing for dollars as an unpaid chair, working with a strong ED and paid staff and that is how I currently see the position.

Mac Prichard:

Macprichard_1I think the role of the DPO chair is to help set goals for the party, raise money, and deliver our message. Making these things happen takes a seasoned political operative with excellent leadership and management skills and a record of accomplishment.

I believe I meet those tests. I’m a Harvard-trained manager who led grassroots teams across Oregon that raised more than $650,000 for Howard Dean, John Kerry, and the DPO. I set up a faith outreach effort that was so successful Governor Dean asked me to briefing him about it. I’ve run communication programs in Oregon and Massachusetts, including for Boston’s “Big Dig”, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And I’ve written speeches for John Kitzhaber and handled City Hall press for Earl Blumenauer.

One of my strengths is building and leading teams to achieve measurable outcomes. If elected chair I’ll work with the officers, executive team and county leaders to create, implement, and oversee a strategic plan – including a 36-county strategy -- with clear goals, responsibilities, and budget. I believe the chair’s job should remain voluntary and part-time through 2008. And as I’ve done in past DPO positions, I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.


Comments

  • (Show?)

    Mac and Dan explicitly mentioned fundraising as a critical part of the job; Meredith and Carol did not. I assume Meredith and Carol also view this as part of the chair's role, or if not, should explain why not.

    Meredith and Carol-- Can you tell me about past fundraising experience and how you see the fundraising component of this job? Thanks!

  • (Show?)

    Thanks, Charlie. Great question.

    Meredith and Carol's answers seem to tell us what the process role of the chair is with respect to the bureaucracy, while Dan and Mac seemed to address the strategic role of the chair with respect to leadership.

    Both sides of that are important, but I think most folks here are interested in the latter, rather than the former.

    I'd like to hear more thoughts about what the chair's strategic role should be. What should he or she be doing to accomplish the party's goals -- especially as it relates to the professional staff hired to run the place day-to-day.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If fundraising is part of the chair's role, fundraising for what? For generalized turnout efforts, for operations of the party, for individual candidates?

    What exactly is the role of the party officers in elections? Is it to be neutral in the primary and support all nominees? Is it to support some nominees or not others? Is it to be the voice of the party?

    Is it to supervise the staff so that the officers are not saying one thing and the exec. director something else? (GOP exec. director wrote an unfortunate 2006 letter to the editor about a legislative campaign which some took as arrogant and reflecting badly on the whole GOP--would the Democratic chair make sure that never happened because officers, not employees, speak for the party and approve all communications?)

    Should the chair negotiate a working relationship with the legislative caucuses, or would DPO, FP, and Sen. Dems all go off in their own directions next year? Would the chair take care that no outside mailing goes into a legislative district without the approval of the local candidate? Should the chair express an opinion on whether we contest all legislative elections, or whether the "sorry, your district has a lousy R to D ratio--nothing we can do" philosophy governs in 2008?

  • Rosalie Pedroza (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I wonder what role, other than the secretarial duties, the Chair candidates see the Secretary playing. Carol and Meredith refer to the duties in the DPO By-laws, and Carol mentions she would work with the Vice Chairs, but I see no mention of the Secretary role in the strategic planning of the party. Dan also seems to have neglected the role of the other officers and the counties/State Central Committee play in the planning for our party. Mac is the only one who has referenced this as a team of officers working with the rest of the state to put our plan together.

    As a candidate for Secretary, I want to make sure that whether I am elected or not, the elected Secretary is viewed not as just a recorder, but as a part of the decision making team and an equal voice with the other elected officers. I would like to hear from Dan, Meredith, and Carol about what they feel about this. I believe Mac has answered this sufficiently, but if he would like to expound upon it, I am happy to hear that too.

  • (Show?)

    Meredith Wood Smith said:

    The officers are “Board of Directors” for the DPO.

    But the "Board of Directors" of the DPO is the State Central Committee, not "the officers." See ORS 248.004(4):

    If the bylaws of a party designate a central committee, such as a state, county or congressional district central committee, as the governing body of the party, then the members of the central committee shall be directors of the party for purposes of this section.

    And the bylaws of the DPO (adopted 12/2/2006, and which will presumably be adopted again 3/10/2007), Article II:

    The DPO is empowered by state law, (ORS 248.002 – 248.012), and the National Democratic Party Charter to manage its affairs and transact its business. The State Central Committee (SCC) is the governing body of the Party and it may delegate its authority.

    The officers are the officers of the Board. They are not the Board itself.

    And I too am curious to see a response to Charlie's question.

  • frank carper (unverified)
    (Show?)

    good catch gavin.

    along those lines, meredith wrote: The Chair is the CEO.

    if i'm not mistaken, the executive director is the chief executive officer: the day-to-day manager.

    the board chair is like the board president: an oversight role.

    or does meredith see herself as the daily manager of the party? this concerns me.

  • Carol Voisin (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Charlie, I find it interesting that the women focused on process and the men on strategy. Could this be a gender issue in leadership? A topic for discussion later. Of course fundraising is a part of the responsibilities of the Chair. The Chair doesn’t fundraise alone however. That is why the Executive Director, the Finance Committee, and the Chair work hand in glove in implementing several forms of raising money. For example, the Finance Committee assists in identifying donors, the Executive Director prepares the way and does the research and preparation for each donor. As Chair, I would close the sale, ask for the money. Fundraising is all about team work. My experience as a candidate for the House and as a board member of several non-profits at different times in my career, prepares me well for this all important task of the chair. In fundraising we also need to better utilize the netroots communities, because they are still unmined.

    In addition to fundraising for the state, as Chair I would find ways to offer training to candidates on how to fund their campaigns. The bottom line after all is to get our candidates elected to office. Thanks for your good question, Charlie. Carol Voisin

  • (Show?)

    The bylaws say in Article V, Section 7.A.1 that the Chair is the CEO and chief spokesperson for the DPO.

    We on the State Central Committee have the responsibility of electing as our Chair the candidate who can best serve in that role.

  • Carol Voisin (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Kari, Since you have asked Meredith and me to write about the strategic role of the chair, I think that it would be very informative to have Dan and Mac writing about how each understands the chair’s role as a process. Don’t you? One strategic role of the chair is to coordinate the professional staff with the administration committee. The key to this coordination is open and frank communication at all times. With quality communication, the result is transparent decision making. The benefactors of this transparency are the executive committee and the central committee. With a process in place the staff and administration committee have a foundation upon which to work as a team. My professional training as a minister, prepares me well for this role. Moreover, with my experience in founding and managing an employment agency, I bring considerable skill in human resources. For example, job descriptions of the staff need to be reviewed with every new set of elected officers. Roles and responsibilities and lines of accountability for officers and staff need to be clearly stated for the central committee to have its goals implemented. If you were asking for an example of implementing a specific goal that I have as chair, I need to say that that is the wrong question for me. I have goals for the party and those must undergo the scrutiny of debate and discussion with the state central committee, like every goal. I want a grassroots party that works from the bottom, up. The leadership in the thirty six counties is the source for determining the goals of the party. However, the one goal that I assume we all have is to implement a strategy in every county for electing Democrats to office in 2008. There is not one strategy that fits all counties. Having been a candidate, I know this from experience. This is why I think I am the best candidate for chair.

    Carol Voisin

  • Carol Voisin (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Rosalie, I offer you my apology.
    In my desire and haste to assure the delegates and the Vice Chair candidates that I want to lead a team, I failed to include the Secretary. Of course, the Secretary is a critical part of the team as is the Treasurer. You have already demonstrated how valuable you will be to the team and especially to the new chair. Thank you for calling me into account and doing so publicly. If elected chair, I would expect such candor from all the officers. Carol Voisin

  • Dan Carol (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Since that taskmaster Kari Chisholm confines our answers to 200 words, I would caution against anyone making a black v white distinction on any issue here, be it "process v strategy" or "fundraising or not".

    I would equally hope that folks would not judge any of the candidates too harshly against any "sins of omission" they commit when that Chisholm guy is even counting "ands, ifs and buts" towards the 200 words. Sheesh. :)

    Seriously though, let me respond to Carol's good flag on the process side. I will freely admit I am very focused on goals-outcomes-next steps when I come to any table (but mainly before I leave the room) and was probably brainwashed about that when I got my environmental and regional planning training, but here is my philosophy on process. I have been or am on a number of boards (ProgressiveMajority.org, Apollo Alliance, Tides among them) and have done strategic planning for a number of groups.

    My take on process is to first come to understand what the ecology of an organization is, and how it functions, and then try to match the best process to that ecology, and hopefully connect that to a clear process to reach shared goals and up and down accountability. These ecologies also change a great deal with new leadership elections, significant staff changes, and new connections between state and county orgs.

    I will in fact be speaking to this directly on Saturday as it regards how we can best -- IMHO -- put meat on the bones of a 36 county effort.

    ps

    Rosalie: tried to reach you by phone this weekend to introduce myself (before your post) and get your take on things. Hope we can connect before Salem. Best

  • Democrat (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I'm just an average Democratic voter who thinks this is interesting and distressing insight into why our party is actually so impotent right now. In the course of clarifying that the Chair is the CEO of the DPO, we have gotten a good insight into how our party is overburdended with functionaries who seem to be much more interested in the theatre of politics than fighting bare-knuckles battles to win elections.

    Spare me the talk both about the importance of "process" and the insider "strategy" of insuring "outcomes" and such. No average gives a rip about the love of the DPO leadership, right down to the precinct level, and the walk-on part in the drama each of these people have secured for themselves.

    So far I've seen exactly 1 comment here, by Voisin in her original answer, that seems to show any contact with reality and winning elections. Namely, her point that Chair, as CPO, should be an important enough job that it is not a volunteer position. No successful business would appoint a volunteer CEO, unless, of course the CEO didn't need the money because he or she is independently economically comfortable.

    That applies double for a political party that should be representing working and socially disadvantaged people. A person with the talents required to be a CEO, and who takes what should be a full-time job as a volunteer, inevitably cannot be connected in the gut to the average folks who are our base. If the person with those talents has to work to survive, the voluntary DPO job inevitably must come second when choices where to direct personal energy have to be made. If the person does not have to work to survive, and takes the job without requiring he or she and the party make a commitment to each other in the form of fair payment for work well done, the essential elitism that comes from that privilege will inevitably color the values that person brings to the job of DPO and fights to uphold.

    Now I understand much better why the elected representatives from our party frequently appear to be such a mix of clowns and condescending jerks. My first inclination was to always blame the media for not presenting a fair picture. Based on what I've read so far about this race, and in this pathetic blog, it is starting to seem the picture I described that we get on the public record isn't really that far off.

    I'd much prefer to hear people talking about what staff and bylaw adjustments we need to recruit and pay a strong, streetfighting DPO. A DPO who can get across the message that, while he or she appreciates the meaning of "process" and "strategy", the job is to win elections. And that winning elections requires candidates for office with the leadership skills from their gut that let average folks know they share their values and will fight in every way possible for those values.

  • Democrat (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Typing too fast because I have to leave to work.

    Couple of typos to correct:

    the voluntary DPO job should be the voluntary CEO job

    the job of DPO should be the job of CEO

    pay a strong, streetfighting DPO. A DPO should be pay a strong, streetfighting CEO. A CEO

  • Manuel (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Democrat:

    Here's my question to you and also to the candidates running for chair?

    While there is always room for improvement, what type of change are we talking about?

    We control all six statewide offices, 4 out of the 5 Congressional seats, both chambers of the Legislature and one of the US Senate seats.

    It seems to me that we are doing pretty damn good.

    It also seems to me that we would do well to keep up what we have been doing statewide (Smith is the only Republican to win a partisan statewide office in over a decade!).

    We also should do what we can to help win the so called "safe" Republican districts, but not to the extent that we lose control of Legislature or the any statewide or Congressional seats.

    That's my take....any candidate who doesn't truly think that what Jim Edmunson, Neal Pender, and the team has done over the last decade is incredible doesn't deserve to be Chair.

  • (Show?)

    Democrat,

    You've given voice to the average Democrat who volunteers at the precinct level, fund raising level and the get out the vote level. The grassroots is out there year after year pounding the pavement, getting sore necks after hours of phone banking and contibuting in any way they can. They have ideas, the will, and deserve to be listened to carefully. There are many Democrats in Oregon who say, "Don't get bitter, get better."

    Carol Voisin is the candidate giving voice to the 36 Democratic County organization. Her specific steps are at the ground level, a bottoms up, from the sidelines to the front lines approach. All organizations morph, grow and reorganize based on their percieved needs.

    During Carol Voisin's campaign against Walden she heard plenty from the 20 Democratic County Organizations she worked with. We are all grateful to Neel, Jim and the current leaders for getting the DPO to the place it is today. Many around the state recognize the next steps for the 36 counties will have to come from leaders through out the state, from Joesph, Grants Pass and Gold Beach to name a few. We need every Independent voter, every Democrat voter, and some Republican Party moderates to oust Gordon Smith and to elect a President who is a Democrat.

    Sometimes institutional memory can block progress because "inside think" has taken over to the point, "outside think" is unknowingly discouraged. Like an infant "teething," the DPO's race for the Chair is about hanging onto the known, clinging to it's sippy cup or preparing to take real bites. Carol Voisin is inviting all 36 counties to the table to take the DPO forward.

  • (Show?)

    There's a lot more to having a volunteer full-time chair than either you're causing them to have to work hard in their remaining time to support themselves, or they must be rich. It is not black of white that the person is either rich or poor.

    Maybe they are retired. Maybe they have enough money from a spouse to live comfortably. Maybe they feel it is more important to spend the money elsewhere, like hiring additional staff so the current staff isn't overburdened. Or spending it to help win races we should win anyway, such as those with a democratic edge in registration.

    And when it comes to chair, I do not agree that someone from the outside is better. While yes, you can get people who are stuck in a rut when it comes to thinking, that is why we have elections and ask candidates questions. Then you can choose not to vote for people who are like that. But to bring in someone who needs a huge amount of time to get used to what the dpo is doing, what the job entails, learning what has worked and hasn't, and more is a huge problem in my eyes when we are trying to gear up for a huge election next year.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thank you Gavin, Democrat, Paulie.

    It startled me to see Frank say the Exec. Director was CEO--an unelected person supervised by....?

    There are those of us who live downstate who felt ignored by DPO and not understanding their role in our local legislative campaigns. It seemed some legislative campaigns were targets and others were ignored---and no one wanted to talk about the relationship between DPO and FP.

    And I hope Rosalie is elected Secretary.

  • Manuel (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT-

    You bring up a good question about the relationship between the DPO and Future PAC, the SDLF, and I would also include all Dem campaigns.

    It would be interesting to hear what the Chair candidates have to say about those....the reality is each of those campaigns run on their own, raise their own money, recruit their own candidates, and come up with their own messages.

    So what is the role of the DPO?

    Ever since the progressive reforms of the 1920's when laws were passed instituting primary elections (over conventions) the party has lost control over campaigns and candidates.
    The elected officials have bonded together (under legal authority, mainly federal or state election law) to have their own groups, DSCC, DCCC, DLCC, DGA, Future PAC, SDLF. The "party” DPO and even DNC have nothing to do with these groups, in terms of dictating to them how they operate...so again... What is the role of the DPO and the Chair when dealing with these groups?

    Maybe off topic here, but worth discussing.

  • (Show?)

    Let me get this straight about Democrat's comments up-thread. This blog is "pathetic" for giving him a real insight into what he sees as problems with the approach of DPO chair candidates, based on what they say here in this blog?

    Seems like this "pathetic" blog has been a key vehicle in helping Democrat formulate then articulate his/hers views and opinions on the matter, and thus this "pathetic" blog is anything but.

  • Mark Jones (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I think Manuel has a point. But I'd have a bigger question: What does the DPO do? I mean really?

    Other than play mock Congress, with the platform and debate new by-laws constantly, why should anyone care?

    It doesn't seem like our elected offficals do and if I were one I wouldn't either. I've been to several county party meeting and it seems like a waste. Move-On seems to be doing more real work.

    Any one care to enlighten me?

  • (Show?)

    I can tell you one thing the DPO did last year, in combination with the county parties-- they ran the governor's field program.

    Kulongoski had enough confidence in the party that all the field work was turned over to the DPO. The DPO then worked with the county parties to re-elect the governor.

    I'd say that's pretty important.

  • Mark Jones (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Jenni-

    What about "Our Oregon" and Labor?
    Did they help?
    And how much of a field campaign was there?

    How much did the Chair do? Who paid for it? etc....

    Not trying to be contradictory, just trying to understand. I saw some stuff from Mult Co. Dems, but not much around the state.

  • (Show?)

    Manuel asked, While there is always room for improvement, what type of change are we talking about? We control all six statewide offices, 4 out of the 5 Congressional seats, both chambers of the Legislature and one of the US Senate seats.

    Stay tuned. That, essentially, is the next question. As for now, let's stay on this topic.

  • (Show?)

    I'll give you my observations from being at the Donkey Stable almost non-stop last election cycle. It's just my own observations, and are definitely not the opinions of anyone else...

    Labor participated quite a bit in it. Towards the end, we were working hand in hand with several of the labor organizations. We were even able to break up the duties so that we weren't there until 1 a.m. or later cutting turf and putting together clipboards. I am very appreciative of the work they did.

    It was in fact the best cooperations between entities that I have been in some time. The Oregon DNC crew did a great job in coordinating the plan together with the various entities involved (Kulongoski campaign, DPO, labor, county parties, etc.).

    There was a considerable field campaign around the state, in some areas more than others. I know that Lane, Washington, and Clackamas Counties were doing quite a bit. But since I was working for Multnomah County Dems at the time, my experience with what the other counties were doing is fairly limited. I do know many counties were working on the field campaign, based on the input into the voter file, sheets we had that came back to the Donkey Stable to be inputted into the voter file, etc.

    I think Our Oregon was focused pretty heavily on some other races in the election, but I didn't have much of a chance to work with them on that election cycle. They tend to be a much more issue focused group -- working for/against ballot measures and such.

    As far as seeing officers in the building... I did see the current chair of the party, Jim Edmunson, in the office numerous times over the election cycle. But he may have been in the Eugene Office even more (he could have been upstairs a lot at the Donkey Stable as well -- I can only give you my observations from downstairs). I saw Meredith constantly during the election.

    Based on C&E reports and my own observations, the county parties and the DPO spent a considerable amount on last year's election.

    There were a good number of entities who came together to re-elect the governor last November. But it was the DPO who was given the responsibility of the field campaign. It was said so by members of his campaign on numerous occasions, and the governor himself said so the times he swung by the Donkey Stable to thank the volunteers.

    In terms of cooperation and direct involvement in the election, 2006 was probably the best year I've ever seen -- either here or in Texas. And from what I've been seeing this year, 2008 looks great. Of course things get more complicated, as only the state and national branches of the party can directly do the work on the presidential race, senate race, etc.-- the county parties are only state PACs. As such, the DPO has a much greater role in the election process in federal election years.

  • Becky Gladstone (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I am a candidate for DPO Secretary. When I was urged to run, I was told that the Secretary is part of the Executive team, responsible for managing staff, for instance, hirings, when necessary. This duty would fall under the fifth item in this section, "performs other such duties...as direct[ed]".

    I have reformatted the By-Laws and Standing Rules, so that I can hit the ground running, if I am elected, and reviewed the Officers' responsibilities listed there. I have been hoping to help in the hiring of a new finance director. I wish Neel Pender fair winds and following seas, with huge gratitude for all he has done for the DPO. Now I hope I'll be able to help in hiring his replacement.

    Becky Gladstone

  • (Show?)

    At the risk of being off topic here, I'd like to answer the question about what the DPO does. It's relevant, since the Chair works closely with the Executive Director to prioritize and oversee many of these activities.

    As (the other) Jenni pointed out, in the last election cycle, the DPO ran Gov. Kulongoski's field campaign. The DPO hired at least four or five additional staffers for the effort, as well as including an SEIU employee and an interm from the HRC in the mix. There were constant phone banks, canvasses, and other events. The DPO ran some paid canvasses as well as volunteer canvasses. The campaign was funded by contributions from the Governor's campaign as well as DPO resources.

    When some extra money flowed in at the last minute, as it often does in campaigns, the DPO helped put some radio commercials on the air and donated directly to some candidates.

    What else?

    The DPO holds things together between campaigns and provides sustaining infrastructure. It is the main press contact and conduit for information.

    In the last two years, there's been a big technology push. Over 2006-7, we deployed the VAN, a new voter file system. The DPO pays for the VAN, but counties and candidates get access.

    We purchased GetActive software to solve the problem of volunteer databases going away after campaigns and to streamline communications and help with volunteer retention. While the software is expensive, the DPO is offering use of it to county parties for less than $170/yr.

    We recently went public with a new website based on the Drupal open source content management system. We're in the process of setting up clones that county parties can use to create their own sites with DPO providing hosting, solving the problem of dead websites, or websites that become stale when their creators' interest fades.

    We sponsor the Oregon Summit as well as other meetings and training events around the state. We sponsor the Platform Convention.

    We have joint fundraising programs with the county parties, for which the DPO handles most of the paperwork and accounting.

    We provide financial compliance advice to counties and other political entities. We do on-line credit card setups for county parties who don't have the resources to do their own.

    We support caucuses, so people can get involved with the party through their affinity groups as well as through the county parties. Our GLBT caucus signed up 500 members, and they ran their own canvass for the Governor's campaign. We provide a place for people to come together.

    We do maintain relationships with elected officials. Some great, some not quite as great, but the effort is there. The DPO provides a building for all sorts of stuff, renting office space to groups as needed. Current and past tenants include Kulongoski's campaign, Bradbury's campaign, Wyden's political office, SDLF, FuturePAC, Multnomah County, and whoever else I'm forgetting. Meeting, training, field campaign, and warehouse space is available as needed to many Democratic groups, candidates, and other entities.

    We supervise, provide space for, and pay expenses for our four DNC-paid organizers. We send people (like me!) to DNC events and meetings.

    That's kind of the short list. I'm sure I've forgotten something critical, but you get the idea. It really is a lot of work. Everything doesn't get done perfectly, of course, and there's lots of room for improvement. As state parties go, though, Oregon is one of the better ones and we're just going to keep on getting better.

    All this stuff costs money, of course, so go get your tickets for the auction. Seriously, it's important. If you don't want to come bid on some of the great bargains, make a donation.

  • Marchello Cabrera (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I agree with Manuel and Mark Jones. We've got a model that works, and have built tremendous success. Why pitter-patter around in the rural areas instead of focusing on keeping our majoring and moving forward with leadership. Voisin would be a mistake...

  • A Voter, not a consumer (unverified)
    (Show?)
    <h2>May I just say that I do not like the electorate reduced to mere consumers or the ideals and beliefs of the Democratic Party reduced to a brand. That corporate speak offends me.</h2>
open discussion

connect with blueoregon