By Bobby Moak, Chairman, Mississippi Democratic Party
On August 1, 2016, our current Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Committee took office. There are many projects we want to complete, but we have made some significant headway toward our initial goal of getting this party back to where we should be: productive, significant, respected, and in the business of winning elections.
We won municipal elections!
During the June election cycle, our hard work which began in earnest last October paid off. We worked to set up Democratic municipal executive committees around the state and, thereby, gave our candidates the opportunity to identify as Democrats and to win. There is more work to be done at the city level, and that will be accomplished before the end of the year - setting our goal to elect even more friends to city government during the 2021 cycle.
We increased our direct contact database!
One year ago, we had only a tad over 4,000 email addresses in our system. That was not acceptable in today’s communication world. We increased that number to such a tremendous amount that we are seeing increases in our DNC Victory Fund payments, which is a gauge as to how well our system has been set up, functions, and is relied upon in the marketplace. We continue to add numbers and improve the system.
Our state party voter file continues to be a tremendous asset to our candidates. Candidates across the state now have access to the most up-to-date voter information which helps them identify and mobilize voters to get them across the victory line on Election Day. Our victories in the June municipal elections are a great example of what is possible when we effectively use the resources available to us.
We received the attention of our state leaders!
We will continue to support our Democratic allies in city, county, and state governments who are carrying the message by backing them up with all the resources we have. One of those categories has been the emails the Party shares. When those are being answered by our ‘friends on the other side of the aisle,’ we know the right buttons are being pushed. We have even been recognized by business and political leaders for those social media challenges that bring our issues to the forefront and continue to challenge an answer from the ‘other Party’s political leadership.’
Finances have improved!
Everybody can use more money, and we want to continue to raise more. During the last year we ‘dug’ out of a financial hole to stabilize the party coffers and keep our head above water on a consistent basis. We presented and adopted a yearly budget that sets us on track to continue in that mode and, by the 2019 elections, be in a competitive position to support Democratic campaigns.
Fundraising: a constant at the Party!
We are currently conducting the ‘20 for 17 Program,’ bringing in new supporters from the city and county level. Their ‘Yellow Dog’ contributions flow right back to the local level so that our municipal and county committees have the resources to conduct meaningful support efforts for their local candidates. Only by working together can be develop strong local and state party organizations.
We are also in the middle of a summer program from the DNC: Resistance Summer. We received a $10,000 matching grant from the DNC to help local organizations communicate our message and build our voter database for 2018 and 2019.
We have a new roof over our heads!
The decline of the physical structure of our Democratic Party headquarters has been a concern for many of us for years. That has changed.
Commencing in August, we will be able to conduct our business from the building on East River Place that was formerly the MS Homebuilders Association. Our new office will allow us to bring back volunteers that want to help us on a daily basis. It will afford interns a safe working environment to help us build our ground organization. Our staff will have the opportunity to conduct business in a professional manner. The Executive Committee and other organizations in our party will have the space needed to conduct their meetings. It is literally a game changer.
The large lighted sign on I-55 won’t hurt either. It will let everyone know we are here, growing, and ready to stand up and tackle the tough issues.
We have had many partners for this year of success. We cannot name them all at this time, but none are more important than those that help us daily by contributing to keep the state party functioning and strong and helping to make our local party organizations visible and viable for the future.
Sure, there are plenty of questions for the future in all sorts of areas, and everyone is formulating a question for a particular issue they don’t see addressed. That’s ok, because that’s what Democrats do. Hang in there. Without even saying, we are working on those you have suggested and raised.
Thank you all! Let’s keep working together for a better next year because it’s getting better – A Lot Better!
Posted Aug. 1, 2017