A Message from DNC Vice Chair Candidate, Adam Parkhomenko
The following message is from DNC Vice Chair candidate, Adam Parkhomenko. The Delaware Democratic Party is sharing this letter because State Party Chairman, John Daniello, believes that Adam's plan will move the DNC in the right direction. Chairman Daniello has not formally endorsed a candidate in any of the DNC leadership races.
Our Party must confront the challenges the next cycles present boldly and effectively – and in ways that inspire, engage, and mobilize Democrats across the nation.While we have thousands of dedicated, skilled volunteers, we need more. While we developed new exciting digital tools to spread our message and capture essential data, we must seize this opportunity to apply what we’ve learned and tailor it to make our party more responsive to state and local committees and the grassroots volunteers essential to our success. While we have dramatically increased our low-dollar donor base, we must find new ways to expand it and sustain it.In short, our Party cannot relax. We must be the Party that is always engaged, always working, always moving ahead – whether it is an election year or not.I believe in this. I know how to do this. I’ve seen up close what works and what does not work at the DNC. This is why I want to be your Vice Chair.As the following paragraphs detail, I will work to make our Party prominent in every state and region, to develop effective digital tools that engage and serve our members, to recruit and train volunteers and campaign staff, to work closely with state and local chairs, and to expand our low-dollar donor base.
Our Party Is a National Party and Must Be Vibrant in Every Corner of the Country.
We must continue our campaign to make our Party vibrant in all 50 states, DC, the territories and abroad. We can do this by expanding our Party’s reach – both online and offline – to recapture our Party’s organizing and digital advantages while capitalizing on each state’s unique opportunities.As DNC Vice Chair, I will:
- Strive to make sure all voices are heard – from grassroots and netroots activists to local and state leadership – in ways that foster openness, respect, and consensus. While we must never be afraid to disagree, we must be vigilant to ensure all opinions are heard and given thoughtful consideration. Just as our Party is the party of diversity, it is also the party of inclusivity. My philosophy when working with state Parties and local Democrats will be: “Find a way to get to yes.”
- Increase DNC funding to state Parties to support in-state staff charged with building field teams and low-dollar fundraising programs. State leaders and volunteers know their states, and state leadership should determine how best to spend these dollars within their state. The DNC should support these efforts.
- Liaise with DNC Officers, Council and Caucus Chairs, and Regional and State Leadership to build programs that support each state’s organizing and campaign priorities and recognize and celebrate volunteer leaders.
- Give local and state Party Chairs the resources and respect they need to implement their programs. Specifically, I will push for a robust, permanent surrogate operation and build a pipeline of prominent speakers for state party fundraising events.
- Champion and support a permanent DNC constituency staff that reflects our nation’s diversity. The DNC should have more full-time directors for outreach to diverse communities, including but not limited to: Americans with disabilities, veterans, the faith community, and ethnic Americans. Our Party’s outreach efforts and the diversity of its staff should not be tied to the election cycle; it should be permanent. Constituency staff should also be empowered with a bigger voice at the table when decisions are made. Further, the DNC should work in tandem with organizations that help people of color find opportunities in politics, and it should work with DNC members to bid all contracts and identify diverse vendors.
- Fully utilize all the talent in our Party. DNC members are under-utilized and our failure to take advantage of their talents and expertise undermines our effectiveness. We must fully integrate Democrats Abroad in our Party’s operations. Young Democrats, College Democrats, and High School Democrats must have a bigger seat at the table. The DNC should work to fully fund their programs and offer additional resources that best support their ability to organize.
- Leave no state behind and take no state for granted. We cannot assume Democratic victories in states just because those states have voted Democratic in the past. We also cannot be a party that targets only certain states, certain demographics, or certain communities; constant outreach to rural communities is a must. We are the Party of the middle class – and we must make sure voters in every corner of the country know that.
- Reassess why Democrats are losing support among key voting blocs. Even though Democrats are the Party that fights to protect Social Security and Medicare, we are losing seniors by big margins. Even though we are the Party that fights to protect collective bargaining, increase the minimum wage, and require the wealthy to pay their fair share, we are losing working class voters. We are not communicating our priorities effectively – and that must change.
- Coordinate more effectively with organized labor. Our labor unions are critical to our values and our success. We must respect them and fully integrate them in the DNC’s strategic planning and execution – rather than view them solely as a reliable source of campaign funds.
- Prioritize efforts to fight voter suppression. No right is more sacred to our Party and our nation – and no right is more threatened – than the right to vote. We must fully fund efforts to fight voter suppression everywhere it exists, while supporting the work of our Democratic secretaries of state and Democratic attorneys general to protect and promote the right to vote.
Technology Must Capture and Protect Data, Engage Voters, and Serve Our Members.
Our digital infrastructure is both our Party’s collective memory and our most consistent outreach tool. We have made significant improvements safeguarding our data in the past few months. But more work needs to be done to protect the data we have, connect with our members, and engage voters.Interim Chair Donna Brazile did an outstanding job responding to the hacking crisis and, in the process, embraced the offers of highly skilled, dedicated DNC members who volunteered their expertise. We must build upon work they began to ensure our digital data remains safe and that our safeguards do not undercut our outreach online.As DNC Vice Chair, I will:
- Fight to ensure that technology built during campaigns remains available, rather than archived in storage. Evaluating and improving existing technology – rather than starting from scratch – will benefit the Party at both the state and the national level.
- Urge that all presidential candidates who participate in our Party’s primary process swiftly share all campaign data with State Parties once their campaign has ended. We must ensure that State Parties can operate on all cylinders, which includes having all available data.
- Welcome and empower our Party’s dedicated, energized, and highly able technology community to continue to safeguard and enhance our digital presence and develop an innovative R & D process that maintains our edge online and offline.
- Work closely with the digital team to develop a process that embraces input from the field and makes users feel welcome, heard, and respected.
- Rely less on paid television and radio ads and explore new methods to reach voters. Many of my fellow millennials tell me repeatedly how important social media is to them, and we must be ready both to use existing digital platforms and to take advantage of new platforms as they become available. Constant contact with field and volunteer ground teams will help us anticipate how these new programs can expand and sustain voter engagement.
- Expand our use of social media as a political and messaging tactic. In particular, we must more effectively use Twitter to promote our Party’s message and fight the opposition.
Coordination with State and Local Recruitment and Training Efforts Is Essential.
While expanding our volunteer pool and our low-dollar donor base is very important, our Party also needs the best, most diverse, most well-trained pool of candidates and campaign staff possible. This means we must develop a process – a ladder – that recognizes and supports potential campaign staff and candidates. Our Party has a stunning amount of experience and skill to offer. We need to make that available.As DNC Vice Chair, I will:
- Refocus the Democratic Party’s efforts on state and local races. We must win back governorships and state legislative chambers. County and municipal races must be a higher priority than they have been previously. While the top of the ticket is an important investment, we must compete at the state and local level in every election and in every corner of the country. Winning down-ballot races requires strong candidate recruitment, financial investment, and voter education about the importance of these races.
- Coordinate with the DNC and other supportive organizations (within proscribed legal limits) to support candidate recruitment and training for up and down ballot offices.
- Work with the DNC and other supportive organizations to train campaign staff and ensure they understand the lessons learned from previous campaigns and the new challenges ahead.
- Lead the effort to help staff continue to stay engaged after their election cycle so that the DNC can maintain an experienced, skilled, diverse, and ever-growing pool of skilled campaign staff.
Thank you to the DNC members and supporters who have shared their ideas with me and helped shape this platform. As I continue my conversations with DNC members, I encourage your candid feedback, ideas, and suggestions for how we can build a stronger DNC.I humbly ask for your support on February 25.
All my best,