Three steps to achieve three 2019 goals
By Kate Franch
Can you believe that we’ve passed the midpoint of 2019 already?! Thank you to all of the GCDP delegates, alternates, and guests who attended the jam-packed SCDP Dem Weekend last month. What a weekend! It felt like the real kick-off to political action for the next year and a half.
That next 18 months can seem daunting in terms of all that will (needs to) take place, however, so let’s focus on chunks that feel manageable. I was reminded the other day that we often thrive and succeed best when given definitive tasks and deadlines. Here are three priorities to put on your calendars:
Elect Carrie Counton to the SC House District 19 seat. The excitement and ramped up political activity surrounding the Democratic presidential primary, the looming 2020 local races, and the surging Democratic momentum throughout the state will significantly impact the legislative agenda in the State House. When the legislative session opens again in January, Republican state senators and representatives will tack even more conservatively on issues and legislation in order to court base voters in anticipation of potential primary contenders and Democratic Party opponents. That pressure was in full preview at the July Greenville County legislative delegation meeting. Three of the five public comment speakers stridently berated the delegation for the failure to enact constitutional carry earlier this year. The final speaker rabidly supported personhood. All of them laced their comments with falsehoods and specious contentions. This is our reality if we don’t change our delegation’s political and ideological makeup as rapidly as we can
The District 19 special election on Aug. 20 can put another moderating Democratic voice of reason in the State House. But we have to make sure that district voters go to the polls in order for this to happen. That starts with everyone in the district knowing that there is even an election taking place. Find one day or evening, a couple of hours, to canvass or phone bank for Carrie; donate to her campaign. She can and will win this race if she has our manpower behind her. Carrie’s campaign: votecarriecounton.com.
Elect three Democrats to Greenville City Council. We all know the issues our namesake city is facing. Its growth is not slowing in the foreseeable future. We need leaders who will represent all community members and champion policies that create and ensure equity and equality in economic opportunity, access, and empowerment in the midst of the booming prosperity. Matt Johnson, Ken Gibson, and Dorothy Dowe are committed to those ideals and will be on the Nov. 5 ballot. We’ll get Carrie elected in August, then shift that same energy into building the support throughout the City that puts them on Council (that means canvassing, phone banking, donating).
Connect with their campaigns:
Matt Johnson: johnsonforgreenville.com
Ken Gibson: facebook.com/Ken-Gibson-for-Greenville-City-Council-District-3
Dorothy Dowe: dorothydowe.com
Grow our precinct infrastructure. Our power, sustainability, and future are fundamentally linked to voter connection at the neighborhood precinct level. If we want the Democratic Party vision – We’re fighting on behalf of the notion that anyone, from any walk of life, should have a fair shot at the American Dream – enacted, then we have to mobilize our fellow citizens to engage regularly with their elected officials and elect more Democrats to office. It starts with our realizing how very many of us there are, building trusting relationships, and sharing timely information and messaging . . . with the Democrats in our own backyard.
Toward those ends, the precinct development committee is actively organizing throughout the county. Precinct cluster leads have been meeting with their respective precinct officers to provide guidance, support, and materials. The GCDP is targeting resources such as our canvassing teams at the effort. An early success: Belle Meade residents (where Upstate Circle of Friends is located) have come to our last couple of Saturday breakfast meetings as a direct result of canvassing in the neighborhood. In addition, we’re creating call and email lists of newly connected local voters and seeing an ever-increasing number of folks signing up to volunteer with the GCDP.
You can double, triple, and quadruple these successes by assisting your precinct leadership to reach out to your neighbors. Again, it’s simple: canvass, phone bank, donate. Our goal is to create a web of knowledgeable, galvanized Democratic voters ready to activate the power of the ballot box at every election. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join in the fun and make change a reality!
The summer’s longer days provide a great opportunity to contribute to the GCDP’s vision of being an effective and resilient county party. With your participation, we’ll gain in strength and relevance . . . and become unstoppable, because we are stronger together.