A Moment in History. January 20, 2021
It is so rare to experience a moment in history like the one we had today. It’s even rarer to experience one marked by a work of art worthy of the occasion. I could not put into words the feeling of watching Joe Biden become President of the United States. Fortunately, this extraordinary young woman did that for us.
National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman
Presidential Inauguration poem: The Hill We Climb
Why we have to reframe the debate
Our government has been failing, not because government cannot succeed, but because some people don’t want it to. Because those people dominate the debate, we have lost our ability to envision government succeeding and to articulate why that truly matters. That same lack of faith in our institutions and in each other now threatens the stability of our entire society.
Learn more: leftwords.org/mission
Educational Elitism: The culture war we’re currently losing – but don’t even know we’re in.
How is the Right winning over voters without college degrees? By portraying us as prejudiced against those with less education.
The conservative Right control the agenda of the public debate by 1. saying things that are blatantly offensive or demonstrably false and 2. proposing laws that are offensive and clearly unconstitutional.
We’re the Libs. They trigger us. We respond – giving oxygen to their dumpster fire. We can’t resist correcting people who are wrong or calling out people who are racist or sexist, and they know it. That’s how they control us.
Learn more: leftwords.org/educationalelitism
Blueprint for a Better Party
Real improvement requires that we open our ears and minds to what others can tell us, even if it means re-examining our own assumptions.
I developed this Blueprint in 2018 with the leadership of the state Democratic Party of Arizona, to be deployed in early 2019 through the 2020 elections. Arizona flipped blue in 2020 with a huge 4.78 point increase in Democratic performance (Clinton: 44.6% to Biden: 49.4%).
The Blueprint is a set of recommendations for a strategic improvement process to build capacity, improve services to candidates, develop leadership at all levels, increase volunteer participation, develop year round community presence and voter engagement, and improve the party brand both internally and externally.
These recommendations were based on more than 120 individual interviews and feedback from hundreds of party stakeholders including staff, leadership and volunteers at all levels, professionals, community activists and representatives of allied organizations.
Learn more: leftwords.org/blueprint
A Short History of Field Operations
Modern professional field operation can be traced directly back to traditional Democratic political organizations and their counterparts – urban progressives who saw what the “ward bosses” were doing, and thought, “we need to be as effective as they are, but without the leg-breaking”.
What we have to remember is that it can take a decade or more to build a really effective precinct operation, because the power to persuade and really get out the vote is in the personal relationships that your local organizers have with the people in their communities.
Learn more: leftwords.org/fieldops