WCDC Action Plan 2019-2020

Re-organization of Action Plan — January 2020 — this doesn’t overwrite the original plan, this is an effort to reorganize that long list.

There are 1) areas of focus for us as a County full of Democrats, 2) areas that are both County and Town oriented, 3) areas that are really Town-centric, and 4) some that are truly the realm of each person.

Communications Sub-committee

When we think about Communications, it really is a multi-headed beast, and in our modern times there are so many options, even within a tiny Vermont County. How did the Founding Fathers ever pull it off? Some of these areas remain town-centered, like posters, letters to the editor, etc. but some require County-level organization, like our website. We have the following (let us know what we may be missing):

1. Printed Materials — brochures, flyers, posters, signs.
2. Traditional Media — newspapers, radio, TV (including Community TV), magazines.
3. Email with standard Google tools — shared folders, etc. — this could be improved, and definitely more on the list!
4. Our Website — currently https://windsorcountydems.wordpress.com –this should be our central connection.
5. Forum/Bulletin Board — Linked to our website ideally — a way to communicate internally — working on it!
6. Facebook — as evil as it sometimes seems to be, it’s what it is — we have a Group and a Page
7. Twitter — more a way to follow someone you like a lot, but also a way to energize a person or position.
8. YouTube — anyone can upload content and make it public.
9. Ham Radio — ok, just checking to see if you’re reading this.

Keep in mind that the list above is all tools we can use to get our word out. It’s not looking at the content yet, but we fortunately have a lot of content from the State and National Democratic Parties, at least as far as our stands on any ssues go. Other kinds of content mean getting the word out about events, special announcements, etc.

At this point we need to focus on the technical tools — how do we get any message out to our fellow Dems? How do we get a ton more of our fellow Dems on our email lists, or any other connection? So we need some people to help focus on this part of the equation. That’s the task at hand for the Communications Sub-committee.

Events Sub-committee

We have numerous events, but we can do more, and we would do more if we knew that the Communications group could get the word out! 🙂 It’s hard to be too bold without know there is a way to get the word out to a few thousand Windsour County Dems. (And frankly, that’s where we need to get to — we need to be able to connect with at least 1000 Dems). So what kind of Events?

  1. Our monthly meetings, especially if we have a great topic, speaker, or a chance to dialogue with our reps.
  2. Other forums on specific topics — gun control, health care, housing — again, we might do more as we know we can get the word out. We might consider re-birthing the word “debate” — a few people to take different positions.
  3. Fundraising — everyone’s favorite topic, but our Windsor County Dems needs a bit of money — not tons, but enough to pay for, well, some of the tools we need like a true website, etc. The vast amount of what we raise goes to support our County Reps and Senators, but we’ve also paid gas money for people representing us in Montpelier that need the help..
  4. Events that build our connectivity — the summer BBQ, the Pasta Supper, etc., which are also fundraisers.
  5. Events that make it cear to others in Windsor County that we are active, energized, clear-minded: these should be the kind of events we need to be able to aim towards. We brought up the idea of sending a few busses to DC to bring VT baked goods to those folks who have protested outside of the White House for well over a year — not saying this is what we must do but events that help us generate positive response is key. What does being a Windsor County Dem mean?
  6. Regarding fundraising — okay we have a few events that raise some dollars, but this Sub-committee should focus on events that help build Dem support. Ideally we raise our small monetary needs via ActBlue and an annual request for funds to the names that we have addresses for. Easy math: 1000 Windsor County Dems giving $1 per month = $12,000. That would do it.

Which Sub-committee would you like to work on?

2019 Action Plan

The mission of the Windsor County Democrats (WCD) is to maximize the Democratic vote in Windsor County and to support Democratic candidates and principles.

In pursuing this mission, actions will be informed by the Vermont Democratic Party platform with emphasis on those items that have been prioritized by our membership, including economic opportunity for all, environmental conservation, equality and diversity, and building healthy communities.

Goals, Objectives, and Actions

Goal #1: Increase and improve communication with voters and future voters

Actions

objective 1: Frame our message and get it out there frequently and persuasively

  • Form a standing Communications Committee
  • Form a work group to hone our message
  • Produce a hand-out that conveys our message in direct and simple terms
  • Frequent use of public television
  • Encourage members to post frequently on social media and calendar
  • Produce a flyer about WCD
  • Business card with contact info on one side and what we stand for on the other

Actions

objective 2: Keep voters engaged in non-election years

  • Provide venues for legislators to communicate with WCD members and the public
  • Develop and sponsor public forums on issues (energy conservation, diversity, opiate prevention and treatment, etc.)
  • Issues-based canvassing
  • Maintain a presence at local events (e.g., fairs, farmers’ markets, parades)
  • Have monthly meetings on issues
  • Invite high profile media personality—someone who already talks to Democrats
  • Register voters at farmers markets
  • Women Making a Difference lunch a signature event

Actions

objective 3: Reach and educate young people

  • Create a standing Student Outreach Committee to visit high schools/middle schools with education about government, politics etc.
  • Talk with young adults one-to-one and encourage them to involve their friends
  • At least once a year go to schools to register voters
  • Community service events
  • Go where young people hang out, work with them to organize for events
  • Engage young professionals to discuss why politics works, encourage involvement

Goal #2: Grow activists

Actions

objective 1: Organize/reorganize every town in Windsor County

  • Reintroduce house parties
  • Form a Reorganization Committee to identify unorganized towns and potential organizers
  • Encourage town committee members to learn VoteBuilder
  • Explain benefits of town committees and their interrelationships with WCD and VDP
  • Use the WC town chairs meetings to explain process of reorganization

Actions

objective 2: Build active membership on town committees and WCD

  • Form a Nominating Committee to identify/recruit candidates for Executive Committee positions
  • Form work groups to plan/organize forums, fundraisers, and outreach events.
  • Announce meetings through town list serves, e-mail, social media
  • Refer to ourselves as Windsor County Democrats not Windsor County Democratic Committee
  • Produce a flyer about WCD
  • Business card with contact info on one side and what we stand for on the other
  • Attend public events with our printed materials
  • Use WC Town Chair meetings to communicate between all of the committees
  • Provide assistance (e.g., funds, volunteers, promotional materials) to town committees to increase their participation in local events

objective 3: Reach out to activists that may not want to attend meetings Actions

  • Increase contact and cooperation with other political groups. i.e. Rights & Democracy, Indivisible. etc.
  • Be specific about ways to get involved
  • Hold forums about issues and politics; i.e., on conservation, Civics for Adults, and air them on public TV
  • Encourage members to join an existing local group for downtown revitalization efforts
  • Use Social media more effectively
  • Advocate for affordable housing for all
  • LTEs and social media efforts
  • Co-sponsor a housing initiative (e.g., a Habitat for Humanity project)

objective 4: Promote connections between town politics and Democrats Actions

  • Recruit and support people for town offices who share our principles
  • Identify WCD members to stay abreast of town activities and keep WCD informed
  • Increase awareness of the work of town boards and how they shape our local culture
  • Sponsor house parties with town activists to introduce them to potential local candidates
  • Encourage people to join town boards
  • Run a mini-campaign for a town office candidate who shares our principles

objective 5: Work to build a bench of people in Windsor County towns who could run for office.

Actions

Urge Democrats in each town to:

  • Join a committee in town, i.e. conservation, energy, historic preservation to get to know others in town.
  • Get in the habit of being active in town.
  • Join the town Democratic Committee, then County Committee. Become known to others in town then run for Selectboard or School Board or Legislature.

Goal #3: Raise funds to support WCD activities

Actions objective 1: Ensure we have sufficient funds to sponsor initiatives and to support candidates

  • Form a work group to plan fundraising events
  • Produce buttons or other items for sale at community or WCD events
  • Act Blue
  • Charge small admission for issues-based public forums to offset costs
  • A dinner/speech event
  • House parties
  • High dollar raffle
  • E-Bay/Craig’s List sale
  • Silent Auction
  • 50/50 Raffle

revised feb 5, 2019

Proposed committees for WCD 2019

  • Student Outreach Committee — Prioritize and impliment strategies for reaching students
  • Communications Committee — Prioritize ways to improve communication with voters and future voters/join work groups
  • Reorganization Committee — Identify potential organizers in towns that are unorganized
  • Nominating Committee — Identify/recruit candidates for Executive Committee positions

Let Al Alessi know which committee or committees you would like to be involved with!