This Saturday: Will you have Howard's back?

By Jenny Greenleaf of Portland, Oregon. Jenny is the DNC Committeewoman for the Democratic Party of Oregon.

2006_reunion_logoWhen the DNC members elected Gov. Howard Dean chair of the Democratic Party, we did so because of his determination to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party. I personally received hundreds of emails, postcards, and letters asking me to vote for Dean based on his strategy.

Dean made good on his part of the promise, quickly funding organizers on the ground in every state. We have four talented people (Autumn Wilburn, Justin Thiltgen, Cyreena Boston, and Jesse Bontecou) working every single day to organize Democrats here in Oregon.

Gov. Dean has often been assailed by the establishment wing of the party, which seems to prefer that money flowing into DNC coffers be used for TV ads in targeted races. Like most DNC members, I believe that the 50-state strategy is the right direction: We need to fight in every district, in every race that we can. We need to build our farm teams by electing state legislators, governors, mayors, county commissioners, and sheriffs.

So, Dean kept his part of the bargain. Will you? Will you go out and work for candidates and show that people-powered politics, rather than triangulation and targeting, can keep the red tide at bay?

July 29 is the Democratic Reunion, a national day of organizing called by the DNC. July 29 marks 100 days before the election. The DNC and the Democratic Party of Oregon, are asking Democrats throughout the state to show up for events on this day. There are a wealth of opportunities, including a picnic in Klamath, ice cream in Corvallis, a highway cleanup in Florence, and canvasses throughout the Willamette Valley. You can also organize your own event, call your favorite candidate and see if he or she has a canvass scheduled, or get on the (nonpartisan) Bus.

Local DNC organizer Jesse Bontecou says, "For years, we've all been talking about the power and promise of grassroots activism. Now that the DNC feels the same way, it's our chance to prove we're right. Now's our time to show up and deliver on the promise." Please find an event and volunteer today.

And, to keep the discussion going, what do you think about the 50-state strategy? Do you think it's working? Do you agree with it? And what are you going to do to further progressive politics on July 29.

  • Patrick Sieng (unverified)

    I believe that this a great year to reunite Democrats in every county of Oregon - it's time to take back the house. I'm inviting those in Newberg, the surrounding area, and anyone else who'd like to join in helping Charles (Chuck) Lee reunite Democrats at the Newberg Old Fashioned Festival. There will be a parade and canvassing afterwards. Chuck Lee was one of the candidates mentioned in Sunday's AP Wire article (front page of the Statesman Journal) about being one of the key races for Oregon House Democrats along with many other great candidates around the state - Brian Clem, David Edwards, Rob Brading, Tobias Read, Rep. Larry Galizio, Rep. Chuck Riley, Rep. Arnie Roblan, Jean Cowan, and Rep. Betty Komp. Please visit our website - and click on "Weekend in Newberg" for more information, or visit the DNC website. Let's take back the Oregon House, one door and one voter at a time...

  • Jesse (unverified)

    It hasn't been all that long since the DNC elected Howard Dean as the Chair, but I think we can see the 50-State Strategy beginning to make a difference. Even the news media are starting to take notice.

    The 50-State Strategy isn't designed to bring Democrats back in control in 2006 or even 2008. It's a long-term strategy. We have to build the infastructure before it can bear the fruit. But it will bear fruit.

  • Jesse Bonteocu (unverified)

    I appreciate the comments.

    Jesse:The 50-State Strategy isn't designed to bring Democrats back in control in 2006 or even 2008. It's a long-term strategy. We have to build the infastructure before it can bear the fruit. But it will bear fruit.

    Jesse you are right this is a long term project thats fondation is in the idea that we need to develop long term relationships with voters. however I am not so sure that this program will not bear fruit by 2006 or 2008. It wont be an orchaird by 2008 but i truely believe this program will be strong enough to keep this state blue in 08 and will seriously help us with our grassroots campaign in 06. the thing is that we have strong base to grow from here in Oregon and with the right people volunteering we can grow this project extremely quickly and be very efffective but that totally depends on who shows up to make it work.

  • (Show?)

    I think the 50 state strategy is the best initiative from the DNC since the reforms of 1972.

    I don't see any actions scheduled for Eugene, the 2nd or 3rd largest city in the state. Are the county chairs on board with this day?

    Guess I'll go volunteer for Vicki Walker.

  • TKrueg (unverified)

    The 50-state strategy is the only way to go for Dems. It's absolutely going to bear fruit this year, in '08, and especially in the future. Kudos to Dean and all the grassroots volunteers for your resolve and patience on this endeavor.

    You can see these efforts paying off in once written-off locales in Utah, Mississippi, Kansas, and beyond. The beltway establishment doesn't seem to understand that without a human face on the Dem platform, the GOP can frame a debate any way they want. This is evidenced by red-trending states turning more red in the past two elections. But certainly, the Dean strategy is reversing the trend.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • (Show?)

    It's not too late to add an event, Kevin. Perhaps you could give Sen. Walker's office a nudge?

    I'm trying to decide whether to canvass for the Governor or Rob Brading.

  • Val (unverified)

    I think Howard Dean and his 50 state strategy is the best thing that has happened to our party in a very long time. We certainly are feeling the benefits of it both in terms of a full time staff member based in our Lane County office to coordinate rural outreach for Eastern and Southern Oregon and the new ideas and support in building capcicity of our organization for this election cycle and beyond. The Democratic message is strong, our candidates are good there is no reason why we shouldn't have a 50 state strategy. Americans are sick and tired of the corruption within the Republican party and the use of wedge issues to divide our country.

    In terms of Lane Counties participation in the 50 state strategy, we are 100% on board. We had 2 events for the Democratic reunion. Last weekend we had our annual chili feed in Eugene with about 200 people including Representative Terry Beyer, Senator Vicki Walker, Candidate for HD 14 Chris Edwards, Mayor Kitty Piercy, Candidate for HD 13 Nancy Nathanson and our Governor Ted Kulengoski. This weekend in Florence (also in Lane County) there will be a highway cleanup organized by the Florence Dems. But if you are in Eugene this weekend, we would love to have you come volunteer on one of the canvasses going out for Vicki Walker or Chris Edwards.

  • Jill Thorn (unverified)

    Clackamas County has 6 different canvasses as well as one phone bank. We still need people to go to the DNC site and sign up for one of the following: Lynn Peterson for County Commissioner, Senator Kurt Schrader, Senator Rick Metsger, Representative Mike Schaufler, Mike Caudle - HD 39 and Bev Backa - HD37.

    Jenny - thank you for your efforts!

    Jill Thorn

  • (Show?)

    If you're planning to attend one of the events, please be sure to head over to the DNC Site and RSVP. It's also not a bad idea to give the event organizer a call (their number is on the event info page) and see if there's anything they may need to know or if there's any additional information they'd like to pass along. Unfortunately, the event organizers don't have your phone number, so they can't let you know about any last minute changes or ask you a question.

    Going to be out of town? Do what many are doing-- find out what's going on in the area you'll be in and sign up for an event there.


    -- Jenni Simonis Field Director Multnomah County Democrats

  • BlueBerri (unverified)



    This is from the Multnomah County Democrat's volunteer email:

    1. Democratic Reunion-- 100 days, 100 voters, 100 actions

    On July 29th, the Multnomah County Democratic Party joins forces with the Democratic Party of Oregon and Democratic National Committee to bring you Democratic Reunions, another unprecedented Democratic national day of action and part of the DNC's 50-State Strategy.

    We will fight for a more secure America, an accountable and responsible government, and a better Oregon by supporting good Democratic candidates who will make the right decisions for our state. Join us so we can all work together to share this message with our Oregonian neighbors and friends. Here in Multnomah County, the party is hosting two events: a literature drop for Governor Ted Kulongoski and a canvass for Rob Brading..

    This is your chance to help us reach out to thousands of voters throughout Multnomah County-- four years ago it was our county that helped Ted win the November election. Let's work together to pull through for him again. Right now the poll numbers are close-- with Kulongoski beating Saxton by only 2 points. With your help, we can expand that lead.

    If you participate in this activity, you'll be given a list of targeted voters in your precinct so that you're working in your own neighborhood. However, we can only do this if we know in advance you'll be coming.

    In eastern Multnomah County, it's those who don't vote that are often the deciding factor in the election.Two years ago the undervote (those who voted on other items on the ballot, but not this race) was larger than Minnis' margin of victory. In a district where there are more registered Democrats than Republicans, we have a great chance at defeating the Republican Speaker of the House-- but it'll take all our help to get those Democrats out and voting.

    Location: Rob Brading’s campaign office, 330 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, or Ted Kulongoski’s campaign office, 128 NE 7th Avenue in Portland. Day: Saturday, July 29th Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. RSVP: Jenni Simonis, 503-248-0826 or Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can ensure enough materials for everyone.

  • Lane County Stategy (unverified)


    If you are in Lane, Linn, Douglas, or Benton Counties and don't feel like driving to Washington County for the Bus canvass, or Florence for the clean up, both Senator Walker and Chris Edwards will be hosting canvasses in Eugene. And if you can't make Saturday, there are plenty of other opportunities

    You can contact Senator Walker's campaign here and Chris Edwards campaign staff here

  • (Show?)

    we're having ice cream here in Corvallis, proving what we think about Dean's 50-state plan. (hint: it's yummy and refreshing.)

    of course the party insiders hate the plan; it takes away their money and clout and further promotes the power of the grassroots (i.e., voters). and god forbid voters dominate what the party does. Hillary and her witless ilk (Hillary Clinton: she's the big scoop of ice cream you looked forward to all day that plops off your cone onto the floor after the first lick) seem to think America wants their Repubican-lite "centrist" politics. they are confident committed Dems will vote for anyone who is the nominee -- we sucked it up for Kerry, after all -- and that the indie voters live just to the right of the center. to prove this they have a) Bill's two victories, and 2) Bush's two stolen victories. they ignore that Bill won on charisma and because his opponents sucked, and that Bush didn't win in 2000 and probably not 2004, either.

    it would help if there were a progressive front-runner, but we're still waiting to see who appears. in the meantime, and far more importantly, we must prepare the ground for national progressive victories by building the local progressive base. the Democratic Reunion is a great opportunity. we have ice cream in Benton County and Jenny Greenleaf stepping forward here in Oregon, and a ton of progressive candidates around the state who understand the Dean vision. the election is underway, kids; get out there and make it happen.

  • mconley (unverified)
    <h2>As Val said, the local party did its event last weekend, but please PLEASE come knock on doors with the Walker race this weekend. Give us a call at (541) 762-1082! And if this weekend doesn't work for you, get in touch anyway. We have lots of volunteer opportunities you can take part in. Vicki's race has been targeted by the Republican party as THE one to take down. We need every Blue Oregonian we can get to help ensure she stays working for us. Thanks.</h2>
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