Dear Fellow Democrat,
We have been a strong force in Virginia . We worked hard before and since the election of Barack Obama to communicate the Democratic vision of the Commonwealth that so many of us share. In recent times, we’ve come up short and as you know I’ve felt that pain personally. But we should not, can not let our recent losses deter us. I don’t intend to let mine deter me. We must unite as a party and a people to fight for our shared beliefs. I look forward to having an opportunity to work with you.
As I pursue the position of DPVA Chair, I thought it important to share with you some ideas that I have for the position. I welcome your input. Please visit my website: www.brianmoranforchair.com
A Democratic Vision
By Brian Moran
The Democratic Party of Virginia is the party of inclusiveness and opportunity in the Commonwealth. We must continue to assert ourselves as the people’s party, one that looks after the interests of middle class and working families.
The number one goal of DPVA must be to elect Democrats in all areas of the Commonwealth, from Galax to Fairfax . Having served in the House of Delegates for 12 years and as former House Caucus Chair, I know how important it is to elect Democrats from the courthouse to the White House. We must keep control of the State Senate and gain seats in the House of Delegates in 2011 and we must ensure re-election of our president and senator in 2012. It will not be easy but I am eager to get to work if given the opportunity to serve as Chairman of DPVA.
The following is my vision for the DPVA, as your Chair:
Organization, Candidate Recruitment, Fundraising, and Communications are the four pillars of the party. Each is of equal importance to its foundation as we move forward. With the proper resources, our party will be able to help candidates across the Commonwealth. To be effective, we must have the resources to attract high quality staff, utilize innovative communication mechanisms and identify and support strong candidates.
The DPVA has made many strides, including buying our own office space and increasing staff, but there is still much to accomplish. I have heard from many of you that the Democratic Party of Virginia has a perception problem and we don’t reach out to the grassroots enough and that we are always on the defensive. If I have the privilege of serving as Chairman, we will have an organization that is built from the bottom up, not the top down, as we are the party of inclusion and opportunity. Moreover we will go on the offensive with both a positive Democratic message and paint a clear contrast to Republicans.
We need to work with committees in every city and county in Virginia . We have the resources to identify Democrats across the state with the Voter Activation Network. We have volunteers identified from the recent statewide campaigns. These local leaders are already identified; we just need to energize them.
As we work to strengthen our grassroots efforts across the state, we must also start looking toward the growing diversity in Virginia . We have thriving Latino, African American, LGBT and Asian American communities in our state, and it is vital that we turn to them to help our party grow. With leadership from these communities, we can show the phenomenal diversity of proud Democrats that are the political future of Virginia .
To accomplish these goals of growing our committees, we need to fulfill the new DPVA strategic plan developed this year and hire regional political directors, much like what the DNC had in 2008 with Joe Montano, Susan Mariner and Isaac Sarver. Staff can assist committees and help turn small committees into highly mobilized forces for our candidates.
I do believe that which cannot be measured does not get done. We will implement monthly goals that will be measured to achieve these outcomes.
From 2001-2008, I served as the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and I made it my mission to recruit Democrats to run for office all over the Commonwealth. I have criss-crossed the state and met with proud Democrats in every corner of Virginia . I have sat across coffee tables and kitchen counters and looked people in the eye as I asked them to run for office. I have heard their concerns about fundraising, organizing, and the impact on their families and businesses. As someone who has walked in their shoes, these are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. The state party can be there to assist candidates with organization, communications and fundraising.
A 140 Candidate Strategy
We should have 100 House candidates and 40 Senate candidates running in 2011. This will allow us to communicate our positive Democratic message throughout the Commonwealth. While Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, I recruited everywhere, even places where some people were sure we could not win. In Virginia Beach , we won two seats thanks to Joe Bouchard and Bobby Mathieson. Other successes include David Poisson in Loudoun and even in Lynchburg , with Shannon Valentine. It was not easy then and it will not be easy now, but you will miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. Not only will this effort be important in 2011, but it will better prepare us as we approach 2012 and work to re-elect Senator Jim Webb and President Barack Obama. Throughout my work in Virginia politics, I have learned how essential it is for the DPVA to recruit and support strong candidates to run for office. I know that we need to challenge Republicans at every level.
In order for Democrats to have candidates in 140 districts, the DPVA needs to assist in candidate recruitment as well as offering necessary support for them to compete in their districts. Support comes in a variety of forms and should include technical expertise, voter lists, sound campaign management tools and superior candidate training. DPVA should also provide an issue and policy bank. It has been a frustration of mine that we often have to re-invent the wheel. This must stop. Mike Signer and others have begun the invaluable work of institutionalizing this support and building a policy infrastructure that will make this a reality for our candidates and campaigns. I look forward to continuing that work with Mike to make sure that our candidates are fully prepared for their elections.
Fundraising is a key component to any successful political campaign. I know what it’s like to fundraise in every corner of this Commonwealth. And I am willing to spend the time necessary to raise funds for DPVA, but we must not rely on large donors alone. We need to utilize our grassroots network to aggressively cultivate small donors and energize our base as President Obama did in 2008. We must expand our donor base with more innovative and even “fun” fundraising events in addition to our successful annual Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner.
There couldn’t be a more important time to make sure our party and candidates are funded. We’ll only be able to do that with a strong multi-faceted fundraising effort that starts immediately.
I believe that the Democratic Party, as a whole, needs to build a better brand. We must be ready to go on the offensive. With Republicans sweeping all three statewide offices last year, we should be drawing sharp contrasts with Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli. The Democratic Party should be able to effectively communicate that they are outside the mainstream. It is our job to show Virginia ’s voters that the Democratic Party is the party of opportunity and clearly the better choice. We are the party that looks out after the interests of middle class and working families.
Moreover, DPVA must reach out to our local committees, elected officials, and candidates with a message that they can use to draw these sharp contrasts with the Republican Party. Current technology offers us the opportunity to communicate our message effectively and consistently from Alexandria to Abingdon. We will utilize a variety of mediums, including social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. DPVA will distribute weekly talking points with key issues to help position Democrats and hold Republicans accountable.
The Republicans have a message that is consistent and well disciplined. But, it is also a message that is short, simple and wrong for Virginia and for our country. As Democrats, we know that simple sound bites don’t equal solutions. Remember the “No Car Tax” slogan? As the party of opportunity and inclusion, we advocate for a wide variety of issues, such as greater educational opportunities, expanded healthcare, environmental protections, workforce training and equal opportunity for all Virginians. We have the right message!
And with your support, I am ready to lead our party to victory.
Please visit my website: www.brianmoranforchair.com