The 50 State Strategy Working in NC

Jerry Meek is Chair of the NC Democratic Party

You’ve probably heard a lot about the DNC’s “50 State Strategy” lately.

When Gov. Dean ran for National Chairman, I voted for him in part because he promised that Democrats wouldn’t give up in any State and that State Parties would be true partners with the DNC. He’s keeping his promise, and it’s paying off right here in North Carolina.

After his election, Gov. Dean sent a team to North Carolina to find out what we needed as a State Party. Ours was the first State in the nation to which a team was sent. And, as a result of this assessment, North Carolina now has three new regional political directors – paid for by the DNC, but managed by the State Party – who are traveling the State, training local party leaders and helping to build local organizations.

I asked Kristen Ward, our Central Political Director and one of the DNC organizers, to tell you about her position:

As one of the three Regional Directors, I was charged with helping county parties build infrastructure. Better infrastructure means increased ability to meet goals. Generally, this means working towards effective and sustainable year-round local parties; moving away from an election based system of operation. Outside of the election cycle we focus on building the democratic community.

Now that we're gearing up for the 06 general, the focus is shifting towards Get out the Vote (GOTV). What does this mean for the Regional Directors? Well, we will work diligently to support races targeted by the State Party, but beyond this we will work with county parties in this state to gain sophistication and independence with their GOTV efforts. Independence?

Many county parties have depended too heavily on the state party to supply resources for the GOTV effort. In this year of relatively little financial resources for North Carolina we see a great opportunity to help county parties continue to learn to stand on their own two feet: set goals, create a GOTV plan, raise money to support it, recruit people to help, and see it through successfully.

Setting goals is crucial. For one county this might mean sweeping every seat, while for another it might mean increasing turn-out. Progress can be made in every county in our state, and where there are Democrats willing to work against the odds, we will be there to support them.

Kristen Ward
Central Political Director
North Carolina Democratic Party

The North Carolina Democratic Party is growing stronger. New people are joining the ranks, and local parties are more sophisticated and more active than at any time in recent memory.

Both the DNC and the State Party have an obligation to work towards long-term development of the Party, in every State and every county. We can’t just myopically focus on the next election – we need to be investing in ways that will strengthen the Party, both in the short term and the long term. Gov. Dean’s “50 State Strategy” is helping our State Party grow. And the work that he is doing will inure to the Party’s benefit for decades to come.


Hear, hear

I feel a shift in energy. I used to feel like the party was floundering from one election to another, just trying to hold on. Now I feel a real sense of purpose and long term planning going on. And in North Carolina we have Jerry Meek to thank for a lot of that.

What he (^) said.

I'd pretty much written off NCDP as an effective organization - and am thrilled with the new energy that's in the air. Thanks for sharing this update, Jerry.

For those who haven't had a chance to review where NCDP stands on the issues, please take a look. And when you're done, go read the pathetic GOP platform. God help us if the NCGOP ever takes control in North Carolina. It would be a dumbed down version of what's happening in national politics ... and that's scary dumb.

Change is good

The Democratic Party has always been in the middle of a conundrum in North Carolina. It is the one with the resources to help Democrats win, but has not always wanted to provide those resources to help local parties build the foundation necessary to be productive. Granted, some counties have been shortsighted enough not to ask, but for some of those that did ask (and my guess is for some of those that do), they ran into a state party on lockdown. And before Jerry Meek, those to the west of I-77 might as well have not existed.

The state party has a wealth of resources, despite what some may tell you, that county parties and local Democrats are going to need if we expect to remain in control of the Legislature and the General Assembly. Not all of these resources have been unlocked, but the Meek-Dean combo has started to move us in the right direction. Dead county parties are being reborn, activists are given the tools to do it on their own, and slowly but surely we are seeing some signs of Democratic life in very red places.

Is the Party and its plan as successful as Meek says it is? Dean's goal is to have an active, effective group of Democrats organized in every single precinct in the country. That's a lot to ask, but I do think the Party is on that path. To get there will require more (traditional) barriers are knocked down, including changing the mindset that leads party staff and county leaders to "myopically focus" on nothing more than winning the next election. And if they won't change, I hope the Meeks and Deans of this party know what they must do.

I hope that these changes will really take hold.

I was calling around for Larry Kissell last night and people were either completely uninterested or they were all in.

I know Thomas Brock has some issues with Onslow because they have no website! We need to get little things like that up and running.

Go Dems Go!

p.s. Thanks for the post, we would love to hear from Kristen Ward directly (she was at the podium at the state convention, right?), and from those out in the field.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Jerry Meek is the man

And, for full disclosure, Kristen Ward is my wife. This is the rebirth of the Democratic Party that we are talking about. So far, so good in my opinion, especially as the Meek/Ward team has rebuilt the Granville Democratic Party, a county which sits in the 13th district, which my boss currently serves.

There are hard decisions that have to be made about the resources of the party, though. There isn't the 'wealth' to do everything we want them to do, nor just what Jerry wants to do for that matter. Those decisions will sometimes result in a strategy that is more short term (winning the election) rather than long term (keeping the party strong). I think Jerry is doing a good job, and I think Howard Dean has made the right decisions, despite what all the talking heads in DC have to say. I believe it so much I bought a Democracy Bond, and you should too.

PJ Puryear
Brad Miller Congressional Campaign
(919) 834-2343

Scarlet Red Moore County

needs more attention. We have had a tidal wave of retirees from the north settle in to our little piece of heaven for the last 30 years. With this wave came a color change, from blue to red. Problem is, even those in the nothern part of the county, those who have lost good paying mill jobs due to Republican policies, also vote Republican. (WTF?)

But our Dem party still hasn't gotten organized, instead, they constantly bicker, in public. George Wilson is now the head of the Moore Dem party, a good man, but barely hear a peep out of him or them.

When Morgan was ousted by the Pope Puppet, Joe Boylan, a lot of Republicans were upset, enough to collect signatures to get Manilla "Bud" Shaver on the ballot.

A group got together, not our local "party", just independents, and got an ex-police chief, Gerald Galloway to declare his candidacy. The dem party got in then and collected enough signatures to also get him on the ballot.

This saturday, big DNC "Dem Reunion" saturday, the dem party is having a bbq for a dem running for county commissioner...still haven't seen any concerted efforts for Galloway.


Go Jerry, Go Kristen, Go Dean, Go You

I feel better about the Democratic Party than I ever have in the past.

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone putting time, energy, brainpower, money, blood, sweat, tears and soul into the long, hard work of taking our country back. We won't get there overnight, and I fully believe in Dean and Jerry's strategy of building lasting infrastructure. I'm glad Kristen's on the ground in my part of the state. (Give that woman a raise!)

But they're only part of the solution. We ALL need to put our shoulder (or wallet) to the wheel or none of it will work.

What are YOU doing to take our country back?

Feel like you're spinning your wheels?
Get some Traction... turning energy into progressive movement

How's the Dem Party in Lincoln County?

OK....stop laughing now.

I will make so many enemies in that conservative Republican county. I can't wait to get started. ;)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Jerry and Kristen

Thank you for putting this together. I've never been that involved with the party and probably won't in Mecklenburg county, but will when I move and do appreciate what you are all doing on the state level.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Goals, goals, and more goals

I am personally overjoyed to hear that NC has gotten so much attention from the DNC. I always tell my friends and family that I stay in NC because there is a great opportunity here to do so much good. Democratic values and progressive ideas would be such a boom to this state and I want to help it achieve goal.

Speaking of goals, I want to suggest one more to the DNC Political Advisors or to anyone still reading!

Youth. Youth, youth, youth.

We are being beaten on keeping our progressive brillant youth in NC. I can think of more than a dozen young north carolinians that have left us for "greener" pastures. They left us for the private sector, where their values hold no revelance, or different states.

Might I suggest after we've established a solid NC infastructure, we tackle the beast of growing and grooming the young leaders of democrats. We need viable think tanks, ones for higher education, the cost for youths in today's world, and NC enviromental policies. Centers and workplaces dedicated to put smart young progressives into the forefront of debate and working hard for more than just a "thank you".
We need to start turning these valuable young volunteers into dependable progessive leaders after this generation leaves the scene.

Kudos to you tho Chairman Meek and Mrs. Ward. Hopefully we will turn things around with leadership like yours.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Yes, there is movement....

To Jerry:

Thanks for posting here.

I've seen and experienced your support of the Orange County Democratic Party since before the 2004 elections. And I recently had the pleasure of attending a small database training session conducted by Kirsten Ward, who did a terrific job in the face of some fairly tough questions (some from me). We Dems (and especially PJ) are very fortunate to have her working for us.

To Obidah:

I would be interested in learning about the NCDP's "wealth of resources". Can you tell us more?

To momoaizo:

I've heard stories of counties where the Democratic chair is ineffective or worse. (We have been blessed in Orange County, thank goodness.) If faced with that reality, I would attempt to organize local Dems to take over precincts (just show up!) and take over the county party and elect your own candidate. As far as I know, it can be done. Or, if Wilson is a "good man" but too quiet, find someone - may be you - to take his place.

To all:

I'm so encouraged by people like Jerry and Kristen that I've signed up to donate monthly to both the NCDP and the OCDP.

There's a lot more than blogging that we all can do (hint, hint).

-- george entenman

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo



There is a town Meeting by Rep McHenry in Mooresville tonight. Give me some questions to ask him!!

Ask him what it felt like to be

censured by the North Carolina College Republicans for participating in a fundraising scheme that took advantage of elderly citizens. If I can find the link in the NC Conservative I will add it later.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own. made me stop and think

and i appreciate that! I have decided to get more involved. Saturday, I attended a Dem Reunion and talked to Mr. Wilson. When I tried to discuss the importance of the internet and "netroots" he told me that he wasn't much interested in that....

So, I will attend every Dem meeting...I will join the Dem Women....I WILL start a lte team...I will start being the change I want to see!

Racerrob...a suggestion

I "googled" your rep. McHenry....looks like he's a "good" Republican. He votes right along their party lines. Is he REALLY representing the wishes of his constituents when he voted against Stem Cell research, or FOR the Marriage amendment? How about Social Security reform, apparently he has had a number of engagements to talk about SS reform.

Maybe you could ask him why was it so important for him to vote on the "value agenda" marriage amendment, flag burning, etc. and not the "real issues" that his constituents have to deal with on a daily basis...high gas prices, stem cell research, ethics reform, etc.

There are many here, however, that would give you much better information than I....

Thanks for that,momoazio. I

Thanks for that,momoazio.

I have been doing some investigating, but as you say, he has done a good cya job. So far the most damning is his recommendation from some house leaders as "the next Tom Delay". I will use that as the first question.

racerrob - questions...

Ask him if he

- believes in Global Warming.
- believes in fully funding No Child Left Behind
- believes Tom Delay is guilty
- wants the Bush Administration to have to account for money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan

Those are the first off the top of my frazzled head.

Scrutiny Hooligans -