Hitting the Ground Running

By Trent Lutz of Portland, Oregon. Born and raised in Oklahoma and educated in Tennessee, Lutz moved to Oregon during the 2000 election to run a field office for the Clatsop County Democratic Party. Most recently, he worked for Governor Ted Kulongoski.

I start this week as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon and I couldn’t be more excited. Here on Blue Oregon, there was coverage of the search to replace the Democratic Party of Oregon’s long time Executive Director, Neel Pender, and a blurb when I got hired. So I thought I would take a minute to introduce myself and talk about my goals for the DPO.

My work at DPO will be rooted in what I’ve learned running a field office in Clatsop County, directing statewide field operations, and leading fundraising operations for Governor Ted Kulongoski and U.S. Congressman David Wu.

Here is my pledge to every Oregon Democrat: the Democratic Party of Oregon will listen and respond to the concerns and suggestions of our activists. We will compete for votes in all 36 Oregon counties. We will solidify our infrastructure at DPO headquarters and in every county so we can be more effective year-round and statewide.

I want to get every Democrat in Oregon enthused about working with the DPO to elect Democrats to office. We are the party that is fighting for equality, improving our public schools, increasing access to health care, creating jobs and securing our country. We are the party for progressives to put their values into action.

There is only one way to get Democrats more involved; give them the tools to be a part of the process.

That’s why the DPO is holding five free regional trainings for Democratic activists. These trainings, starting May 20th in Benton County and ending July 22nd in Josephine County, will help us elect Democrats up and down the ballot. From city council races to Salem to the White House.

The one-day trainings will include classes on fundraising, communications, voter targeting technology, volunteer recruitment, precinct organizing and coalition building.

Visit the DPO's website for more information about the trainings.

If we put the work in now, we will be ready to win in 2008. We can restore credibility and competence in the White House. We can replace President Bush’s Personal U.S. Senator Gordon Smith with someone who will represent Oregon’s interests. And we can expand our majorities in Salem and Washington, DC.

I’m thrilled about my new role with the Democratic Party and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this cause.

I encourage you to get involved. Knock on doors, make phone calls, organize your precinct, blog, write letters to the editor. Whatever it takes.

We are all in this together. We all want a better Oregon and a stronger country. And we can all work together to make it happen.

  • (Show?)

    Welcome aboard, Trent!

    I'm excited to have Trent at the helm. Full steam ahead!

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    Trent is a phenomenal leader for the Democratic Party of Oregon. With his humble persistence, and all of your support, this Party can stand up for Oregon's future.

    It's great to be working with you, Trent!

  • (Show?)

    Trent, good luck in the new job.

    ok, now that the niceties are out of the way....

    i was part of the Benton Co Dems for ovewr 3 years; i still maintain the website and still have a strong, vested interest in that county (amazing people, wonderful Dems, great chair in Sam Sappington). but we were constantly frustrated in trying to work with DPO on technical issues. we finally gave up waiting for DPO to take the lead and implemented many of our own programs, including database. there really was no excuse for the delays and lack of communication, and i hope you can prove your promise quickly in this regard. there's so much work to be done in terms of web/net infrastructure, websites, and so on, and we only have a short time to get this stuff up and running. but it will only work with a significant improvement in communication and partnership with the counties. i'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

    again, good luck. do great things for Oregon. t.a.

  • LT (unverified)

    Here is my pledge to every Oregon Democrat: the Democratic Party of Oregon will listen and respond to the concerns and suggestions of our activists. We will compete for votes in all 36 Oregon counties.

    TA deserves to be taken seriously. DPO office may be in Portland, but some of the most dedicated Democratic volunteers are downstate.

    Trent, make that pledge come true and you'll be a hero to many downstate activists. But that means reminding some entrenched staffers and institutions that one can be a Howard Dean Democrat ("show up everywhere, contest everything", "if you are looking for leadership, look in the mirror"), or one can be a "professional" who says "resources are limited and we must target". Trying to be both is an oxymoron like Jumbo Shrimp.

    Although there are those who get tired of hearing this, once upon a time Democrats debated ideas rather than claiming a "serious" legislative candidate was judged by how many thousands of dollars of "seed money" they have and whether the R to D ratio in the district is lousy.

    Trent, the smartest thing you could do is meet with Sal Peralta and Jim Gilbertson. They almost won in "impossible" districts----there should be a lesson in there somewhere.

    And please remember it is about winning more votes than the competition, not just telling Democrats what to do. If your training doesn't include the need to be involved in local community and compete for the votes of those who got fed up with partisanship and refused to choose a party when they registered, then I'm afraid it will only be partly successful.

    There are those of us who really hope you succeed---the price of failure would be a rise in the number of NAV / Independent registration. Including, possibly, burnt out activists tired of being told their local candidate wasn't important, was in an impossible district, didn't have the seed money and thus wasn't a "serious" candidate, etc.

  • Megan Knight (unverified)

    Trent - After seeing your passion and drive working for Congressman Wu, and the Gov - I know you will do great things for Oregon. There was no one better they could have chosen.

  • Alison Backus (unverified)

    I worked with Trent on the Governor's campaign, my first experience with Oregon politics, and I can't say enough positive things about both his leadership ability and his rapport with staff, volunteers, and constituents. It's a tough task to walk the line between goal-oriented and grassroots, but I think that the DPO just signed on someone who is able to solve problems in a creative and practical manner. Good luck in your new position, Trent.

  • Lesley Bennett (unverified)

    I have known Trent Lutz for several years and worked with him on Congressman David Wu’s campaign. He is driven and tenacious. His ideas are fresh and thoughtful. As Oregon turns back to its progressive roots I’m happy to see Trent taking on such a significant role. Congratulations on the new job!

  • Jason Skelton (unverified)

    I am glad Trent has this job. Trent is a great friend with excellent values. He has kicked beaucoup booty in his campaign positions up to this point and will certainly continue. In fact, writing this makes me want to give him a big hug and small smooch.

    Good luck Trent!

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