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Fellow Democrats,

I am pleased to announce that I am running for chair of the 4th District Congressional Committee.  I am doing this because I believe that the 4th District Democrats can win the next congressional election.  I am asking for your support, your vote, and your counsel.

Before I go on, I would like to recognize our current chair, Julie Nelson.  Michigan’s 4th district is one of the largest in the nation.  It spans from mid to northern Michigan, and includes 14 counties, each with unique challenges and needs.  Julie has served this district for the past 2 years; her time and efforts have earned our appreciation.

This is an important position, and I would like you to know exactly who you are voting for:

I believe in local organizations.
 It is impossible for the 4th district Democrats to elect a candidate if we do not have a strong foundation of local organizations.  In the first 90 days as chair of the congressional committee, I will survey our counties to identify their most immediate, short-term, and long term needs.  From these surveys I will attempt to match needs with resources by encouraging cooperation among county parties and by working to bring more resources into the district organization.  The performance of our local organizations is critical to overcoming the war chest of our opposition.

I have a deep appreciation for organized labor.
Each of us views our labor unions through a lens of personal experience.  For my grandfather, it was as a teenager, who started working for Chevrolet in 1933.   He saw the union as an organization that joined him and his fellow workers when they were preparing to strike in 1936.  For my father, it was as a young veteran and father, who went straight from Vietnam into Chevy Truck & Bus.  He saw the union as an organization that provided a stable and secure work environment.  For me, it is as a daughter and granddaughter who grew up safe, never wanting for health care, food, or other basic needs, and never questioning that it was organized labor that did this for me.  Today I am part of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, so that I can help defend the rights and improve the economic and working conditions of members of my trade.  The middle class of this country was forged by the alliance of Democrats and organized labor.  As chair of the 4th district, I will honor this alliance.

I am committed to closing the fundraising gap with Republicans.  Early money maximizes later returns.  Within the first 60 days as chair, I will begin to work with our local organizations to create a simple and sustainable fundraising program.  This program will focus on small, individual contributions and recurring donations, and it will remain in place at all times.  Strong fund raising performance in the off-season puts us in a much better position to raise funds during the campaign.   I am committed to developing new donors and capturing every possible donation for our 4th district candidate.  

As a network engineer and an active blogger, I have a great deal of confidence in technology.  The use of new technologies will enhance our communication with volunteers, voters, and each other.  As chair, I will develop a website for the district within the first 60 days.  Because web sites are a modern necessity, I will encourage and assist in the development of sites for county parties and clubs that do not already have them.  I will also support the development of multiple bloggers in each county, and I will lead the effort to build a mailing list and newsletter for the district.  

I believe in articulating and promoting our values.  A clear and consistent message is critical to winning an election.  Our opposition is relentless in their attack on our unions, universities, scientists, civil liberties, and Democratic leaders.  They’ve stolen elections and started wars, with little more than propaganda.  The media is their most powerful weapon.  In this age of instant information, we cannot allow even a single piece of slander to remain unchallenged.  The 4th district needs a leader who knows how to fight the right wing tactics of misdirection and lies, and I have a successful record of doing so.  In 2006 I was selected as a blogger for the Detroit News online.  During the gubernatorial debates, I had the honor of representing the Democratic position in a live blog against one of their regular columnists.  This was featured on the front page of the Detroit News web site.  I have had success getting media attention on local issues; my investigative work has been mentioned in the Flint Journal and been featured as the lead story in the local paper, the Argus Press.  My article on my grandfather’s experience in the Great Flint Sit Down was published in Solidarity Magazine.  

I am proud to be a Democrat.  I am proud of our values and achievements.  I will not remain silent while they are under attack.

My sole purpose in seeking this seat is to elect a Democrat to Congress.  If elected chair, every action I take will be in pursuit of that one single goal.  I will do everything in my power to recruit and train candidates, and to fully support the candidate who wins the primary.

If I have your confidence, I ask you to come to convention on February 24, and cast a vote for me.  I would be honored to serve as 4th district chair.

The Greek mathematician Archimedes said, "give me a lever and a place to stand, and I can move the world."  We already know where to stand; that’s why we’re Democrats.  Over the next two years, our family of counties will work together to build the lever.  In November 2008, the Democrats of the 4th District will move the world one step closer to where it should be.

Thank you,
Christine Barry

Originally posted to christinebarry on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 06:08 PM PST.

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