All posts by Thomas Bates

Democrats working to aid the recovery effort in SoCal

A lot of great stuff has been posted on Calitics about the fires in Southern California.  I wanted to share the “official” Democratic response and invite folks to join in these efforts.  Thanks for all that you are doing. 

The California Democratic Party, the San Diego Democratic Party and Democrats Work are working together to help Californians devastated by the fires, and we ask you to join us. After the jump there are some ways you can make a difference today and in the hard weeks and months to come.

I want to point out one great fact regarding the third item listed below.  In just over an hour, nearly 100 people from across the state (and even Nevada) signed up with Democrats Work to engage in on-the-ground rebuilding efforts when the time is right. 

Give Food and Household Goods

The San Diego Democratic Party is collecting food and household goods for families in San Diego. They need regular-size items in demand, including canned meat, fruits, vegetables, and juices as well as cleaning supplies, diapers, detergent, and personal hygiene products.  You can also send a gift card for a local food chain (Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons).

Items can be delivered or mailed to:

San Diego Democrats
8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 108
San Diego, California 92111

To make arrangements after-hours or in other locations around the county, email [email protected] or call (858) 277-3367.

Give through the “Virtual Food Bank” – Donate Other Goods or Money to the San Diego Food Bank

The San Diego Democratic Party has partnered with the San Diego Food Bank, which works with a network of more than 260 agencies throughout the San Diego area, to get food to those who need it. The Food Bank has a virtual market where you can shop for goods needed in the area or make a make a direct money contribution. Click here to make a contribution of food or money.

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Help to Rebuild

While there are many things we can do right now to help, there will also be a need in the coming weeks and months for assistance with the rebuilding efforts in the affected communities. Sign-up now to be a volunteer on the ground. We will keep you posted on opportunities to help the rebuilding efforts.  We must help these communities not only while the fires are burning, but, more importantly, with the rebuilding that will go on for many months and even years.

Democrats Work on Saturdays – Mission Cleanup on 7/14

Join Democrats Work, the San Francisco Young Democrats, and community volunteers for a Mission neighborhood cleanup event put together by SF Connect and the San Francisco Clean City Coalition.  The cleanup will be around the Mission Firehouse, Mission & Courtland Streets, and Holly Park on Saturday, July 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  This is a great community event, so please join your fellow Democrats to plant trees, weed, sweep, paint over graffitti, and generally help improve the neighborhood.

Please meet at the Firehouse at 9:00 a.m. and wear your Democrats Work t-shirt!

Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join SFYDs inDolores Park afterward for food, drinks, and conversation, all on SFYD!

You can sign up here.  See you there! 

Reminder: Democrats Work on Saturdays!

( – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Just a quick reminder to those of you in the Bay Area who want to get your hands dirty with fellow Democrats on Saturday.  Democrats Work is teaming up with the San Francisco Young Democrats and the Peninsula Young Democrats for two great events.  Details are here (Santa Clara) and here (San Francisco).  You can also check all of it out on

Hope to see you out there!

Democrats Work in the Bay Area This Saturday

Cross-posted on MyDD and Daily Kos

Join Democrats Work and volunteers from local Young Democrats chapters for one of two community service events in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, March 24th.  We will be getting dirty in San Francisco and helping teachers on the Peninsula.  As always, make sure you wear you Democrats Work t-shirt, which we will sell for a special price of $10 at the events.  All are welcome, so bring a friend!  The details are below, on the Calitics events page, and on our website.

Democrats Work in San Francisco from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Join the San Francisco Young Democrats and Democrats Work for some weeding and bark replenishing at Juri Commons (a neighborhood park in the Mission) and also participate in a planting of the median of Guerrero Street (between 29th and 30th Streets) with the San Jose-Guerrero Coalition.

We’ll gather at Juri Commons, and some of the Work Crew will head a few of blocks down the road for the Guerrero planting.

Juri Commons can be reached by taking BART (or Muni) to 24th Street/Mission and walking down Mission to 25th Street.  Turn right on 25th Street and walk to San Jose Avenue.  Turn left on San Jose Avenue and walk to the middle of the block.  You will be at Juri Commons.

Democrats Work in Santa Clara from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Join the Peninsula Young Democrats and Democrats Work to assemble classroom kits for public school teachers.  We will be working with RAFT, a local organization that takes donated materials and repackages them for classroom use in area public schools.

We will meet at the RAFT Processing Facility, 1035 Walsh Avenue (Building C Manufacturing) in Santa Clara. Click here for a map.

About Democrats Work: Democrats Work mobilizes grassroots Democrats to perform community service . . . as Democrats.  We partner with Democratic organizations to help connect Democratic volunteers with visible, tangible service projects in their communities – such as cleaning up parks and neighborhoods, working at food banks, building houses, sponsoring basketball tournaments, and helping at church bake sales.  Through this service-based approach, we aim to promote the Democratic brand at the local level, showing our neighbors that Democrats work hard to improve their communities every day, not just at election time.  You can learn more about us at

Democrats Work Event in San Francisco on Saturday . . . Good Stuff

(Because it is good stuff. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Democrats Work and the San Francisco Young Democrats joined forces to provide strong work crew that spruced up the Gilman Playground in the Bayview.

Check out Sarah Carter’s on Daily Kos about our great work event this morning in San Francisco.  I wrote about it on the Democrats Work blog.  Good times!

Democrats Work . . . Putting Our Values Into Action

(This may not satisfy Katie Merrill’s demand that the netroots only do what she says, but as with everything online it is a great way to bring together people who want to work together on this. – promoted by blogswarm)

I want to introduce Democrats Work, an organization dedicated to mobilizing grassroots Democrats to perform community service projects . . . as Democrats.  I also want to invite anyone in the Bay Area to two upcoming service events, which are also listed on the Upcoming Events section on Calitics.  Could be a free Democrats Work t-shirt in it for you! 

The “big idea” behind Democrats Work, which I co-founded and am now the executive director of, is our belief that we need to build a service-based approach to politics.  Let’s take the energy and enthusiasm we have around election time and use it to make positive contributions in our communities all year long.  Let’s do tangible things – clean up parks, paint schools, sponosor basketball tournaments, help at neighborhood rec centers – that people can point to and say: “The Democrats did that for this community.”

How does Democrats Work fit in?  We are working to connect Democratic volunteers with visible, tangible service projects in their communities.  We partner with Democratic and progressive organizations – including local clubs, state and county parties, and local chapters of national organizations, campaigns and elected officials – to get their members and supporters to volunteer for local service projects as part of a Democrat-branded “Work Crew.”  Basically, we are building a sustainable infrastructure to keep Democratic volunteers and supporters visible and active during the “off season.”

As for the “big idea,” what could a service-based approach mean for our country and our party? 

First, we simply do some good in our communties.  By making tangible contributions and increasing the visibility of Democrats at the local level, we show our neighbors that Democrats get things done.  When there is a need in a community, we want people to say, “Call the Democrats, they always have people who can help.”  Second, we engage the grassroots during non-election time to keep folks active and involved.  Instead of asking people to get involved every two or four years, we tap into that energy year-round and keep the band together.  Third, we reach out to people who might not otherwise get involved in purely “political” activities, but share our values. Not everyone wants to hand out campaign literature or phone bank or even wants to work for a particular candidate, but they are willing to paint a school or clean up a park with their friends.  And, fourth, we build a unified stable of motivated and easily mobilized volunteers who can help candidates win elections.

Check it out.  Send me your thoughts.  Let’s put our values into action by doing some good in our neighborhoods.