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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Every DEC Needs A Headquarters

Throughout Florida, most DECs currently do not have their own headquarters. They are forced to meet as a general body, hold committee meetings, and conduct critical campaign operations from varying locations throughout their respective county. This is no way to build a party for the long term and also get Democrats elected.

For any DEC to be successful it needs to invest in some real estate to serve as a headquarters. As mentioned breifly already, a headquarters has a number of purposes, yet its main purpose is to centralize all DEC operations.

To be fair, most DECs don't have headquarters because they don't want them, its because they don't have either the organizational capability to go through the motions to get an HQ, or they just don't have the money. I would say that at best it would cost roughly $1,000-$1,500 a month to maintain a top-tier headquarters (this includes broadband internet access) DECs can gain the initial monetary resources need through better fundraising techniques, such as a recurring donor program. If the DEC can get 50 people contributing $20 a month, then it will have the minimum $1,000 a month coming in to rent and maintain a decent HQ. However, I'm also a strong believer in state party intervention here if needed. The state should be providing assistance at all levels in terms of DEC development. It is especially needed here. The FDP could come in, through its DEC Coordinator, and give the local DEC a block grant to rent and maintain a headquarters for say, 2-4 months. During that period, the DEC would be required to set up a recurring donor program and put a certain number of people on it depending on the size of the county and the existing strength of the DEC.

With a headquarters, Democratic Party loyalists won't have to scurry all over their counties to varying locations just to attend a meeting, nor will crucial operations need to be conducted at Bob's house one week and then at Jim's house the next. A headquarters, once again, centralizes operations, and allows the DEC to focus on more important matters (raising money, recruiting candidates and precinct captains, etc...) rather than worry about where the next meeting will be held and whether anyone will show up due to the confusion.

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