CrispAds Blog Ads

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Community Presence

Ray has talked a bit about community outreach in the "Party Building" series, but I had a further suggestion that I thought I'd talk about briefly. The Democratic Party, by definition, is the party of the people. But when do the Party and the people directly interact? Almost never. Candidate forums, DEC meetings, public party's and picnics, etc., are in many cases the only places where the public can find DECs or DEC members in public. All of these events are DEC-centric (or candidate-centric, etc.). There is some merit to those type of events, of course, but they shouldn't be the entire program of activities.

In order to be the party of the people, the Democratic Party needs to go to where the people are. Each DEC needs to identify the community events and activities that allow for or encourage political participation. And then they need to be at ALL of those events. Even if it is one or two members at a table with a sign and a sign-up sheet, the Democratic Party should be at every event in the community that they can have a public presence at. Let people know that you are part of the community and let people know that you care about what they care about. That's how you start building a name in the community and how you make the personal connections and relationships that are everything in politics.

These public appearances should include, but not be limited to:

*National holidays (July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)
*Local holidays (The anniversary of the founding of the town, etc.)
*Multicultural festivals
*Any kind of political rally
*Charity rallys (Cancer walks and similar events)
*Minority and/or disfavored group celebrations (African-Americans, women, gays, ethnic groups)
*Union activities
*Church/synagogue/temple activities for progressive or Democratic-leaning religious organizations
*Anything else you can think of (leave additional examples in comments, please).

There is no reason that we shouldn't appear at all of these events. We have to let our constituents know that we support them and that we share the same values year-round, every year, not just at election time. If we want their support, we need to give them ours.

No comments: