Message from John Burton: We Are Getting to Work

Last week, John Burton (the new Chair of the California Democratic Party) sent an update to members of the CDP’s Executive Board about what the organization has been doing since he took the helm in late April.

Please see the message below in its entirety (edited slightly to make it easier to read).  

Congratulations on your election to the California Democratic Party Executive Board!  Our first meeting will take place in Burlingame on the weekend of July 17th through the 19th.  I am looking forward to seeing you there.

And I also wanted to thank you for making the April 09 CDP Convention such a positive and high-energy event.  Our team has hit the ground running. (See the update below)

During this transition time, we are looking for the best ways to address the needs activists expressed to us during the campaign, and putting the programs in place to answer the call.  

During my campaign, I promised I would focus on the basics: getting Democrats elected – from local races all the way up the ticket:  Push to move red areas to blue, in all 58 counties;  Increase Democratic voter registration; give activists the tools and assistance they need to be successful; support our young Democrats; and re-energize the state party.


(Letter continued over the flip)

We are already laying the groundwork so that, together, we can meet these goals.  Plans are in the works for very extensive training program, including:  field strategy, community and online organizing, voter registration, data management, messaging and press tips, and more.  And we are excited to announce our program will also include Controller Hilary Crosby’s Finance Boot Camp.  We will work together to give instructions on PAC reporting, building finance plans and effective small donor fundraising.  

And this is just for starters.  After our trainings, we will launch voter registration drives around the state, focusing on building a base for new farm teams in red areas.  

We have also met with Alissa Ko, President of the California Young Democrats, to review plans to work together to keep young voters involved for 2010.  

In order to communicate more effectively with party leaders, we have distributed a questionnaire to Caucus Chairs and Regional Directors so we can get their ideas on ways to improve our effectiveness in the field.  We also plan to talk with the Regional Directors once a month so we can hear what’s going on in their areas, identify best practices, share information and coordinate messaging around the state.

In our first steps to overhaul the messaging of the party, enhance our communications technology and place a priority on new media, we have hired the CDP’s first Communications Coordinator.  

In order to elect a Democratic Governor, protect Senator Boxer and our legislative and congressional Democrats, as well as elect more local Democrats – we came away from the convention with a pretty ambitious agenda.  We are already hard at work developing the necessary programs.   These programs will give us the foundation to pass a Majority Vote Budget, defeat the Top Two Louisiana Primary and fight for real marriage equality.

There is a lot to do, and we want to do all of it well.  So at the Executive Board Meeting in July, you will see a complete roll out of our plan to elect more Democrats around our state, give the grassroots the tools they have been asking for, and build the foundation for big gains for next year and the years after that.

This is exciting, and I really think it’s going to be a lot of fun.  Onward to 2010!

Chairman’s Update:

1. Eboard Save the Date!:  The Executive Board will take place July 17th through 19th in Burlingame at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  Please save the date!

2. Tell us your ideas!   Please tell us about your convention experience, and let us know your suggestions on how to improve by filling out this survey.

3. Staff Communication: In order to enhance communication with our staff, please find a new staff roster online.  The CDP staff stands ready to respond quickly to inquiries from local party leaders and volunteers.

4. Training Programs: We are currently developing a comprehensive training program to begin in Summer 2009 and continue through mid 2010.  In the interim, we compiled a list of current trainings sponsored by other Democratic organizations to help activists obtain access to new tools now.

5. Meet the new staff: There are a few new faces at the CDP.  You can find out who joined our team by clicking here.

6. Special Election Activity: Continuing our fight for Democratic values, the CDP recently sent a mailer in support of the party’s position on Proposition 1C.  If passed, 1C would mean an immediate $5 billion dollars to protect social services.  In addition, at the request of the LA County Committee, the CDP got involved in support of Democrat Jack Weiss for LA City Attorney.    His opponent, Carmen Trutanich, has defended polluters and is supported by The California Rifle and Pistol Association, a right-wing affiliate of the NRA..