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View Diary: Ask me anything about Daily Kos (and elections!) (142 comments)

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  •  How do we get better candidate recruitment? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marynyc, elfling, Pandora, meralda, gabjoh

    Let me preface my question by saying how much I love DKE. I've been mainly lurking on  DKE/SSP since summer of 2010 and I've been very impressed with the  comprehensive coverage and the encyclopedic knowledge of the regular commenters. Whenever there's breaking political news, I always check the comments to get some of the most sensible discussion of the electoral implications. Thank you so much for creating this fantastic community.

    Anyway... here's my (admittedly long) question- It seems like right now, we  rely on our party leadership (and possibly some funders) to recruit good Democratic candidates. Usually, the grassroots efforts I've encountered trying to recruit a candidate involve a petition or a facebook group. What more do you think ordinary progressives could be doing to recruit good candidates?

    I think it would be useful to set up online platforms where supporters can declare how many hours per week they'll be willing to volunteer or how much money they'd be willing to give if the candidate entered the race. If it's a tough district,  supporters could list the reasons why the candidate could actually win. They could offer personal stories for why it's so important to have them in office. Have you encountered any outstanding grassroots recruitment efforts? Did they use any of the strategies I outlined above?

    In my opinion, candidate quality can make a huge difference.  If we can build on successful efforts, and come up with more innovative recruitment techniques, we can be more competitive across the country.

    •  I don't have an answer to you, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, meralda, Zack from the SFV

      but I really think this is a great question - I am not myself as avidly political as most Kossaks, and in particular the DKE community, and one of the things I find that makes me want to walk away is that the party candidates often seem so much crappier to me than the dude who doesn't really have a chance (hi, Bill DeBlasio!). I often wonder if there is a way to close the gap between the Great Nobody and the Meh Somebody in terms of elections.  I wonder if your platform idea could be a tool for promoting candidates to party leadership's attention and engagement? I think you probably need that for almost anyone to have a fighting chance, but the grassroots proffer could help.  (I know the elections folks may tell me that you have to be Somebody anyway, most of the time, to be electable, and that there are other electability variables here I'm not accounting for.)

    •  Thank you! (15+ / 0-)

      And your question is an excellent one—a seminal one, even. What I think needs to happen (or at least, to happen more) is that progressives need to start small, very small. Generally speaking, I think progressive activists who want to enter politics should not be thinking Congress, or even state legislature, but further down the food chain.

      Start with your town or city council, water board, school board, and the like. Learn how to run a small grassroots campaign, build connections, develop a network of supporters, raise money and so forth. Then, when an opportunity comes along, move up and seize it.

      So I think we need to focus on getting people to run for these humbler offices, so that we have a bench ready when there are openings for the legislature and ultimately Congress.

      And I don't think this can just be done with volunteers alone. I'd love to see some billionaire devote a bunch of money toward an organization which only focuses on the far downballot, in the weeds races.

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      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:28:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would add that (5+ / 0-)

        there is a lot to do and a lot to learn at these low level offices. They really matter. They make obvious differences in people's lives.

        I serve on my school board and really enjoy it. But even if you don't care to be elected, you can make a difference and learn a ton just by going to all the meetings.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:36:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As Sam Rayburn supposedly observed to LBJ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about the Kennedys:

        I'd feel a helluva lot better if just one of them had ever run for sheriff

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:53:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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