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Horserace speculation aside, I'm posting to appeal to people who have experience being in charge of precinct committees.
I don't know what to do. The position of precinct chairman fell into my lap after 4 of us from my precinct showed up at the county caucus.
I'll be going to district convention soon, helped the county revise the platform (did the rewrite after participating in the committee deliberations) and helped provide some entertainment for the county organization's March dinner-fundraiser.
Now what?
I'd like to set a goal: exceed the Democratic turnout in my precinct compared to 2010.  It is probably a very LOW bar...
I'm in a Des Moines, Iowa metro suburb attached to a significantly red Iowa house district. We have candidatea for IA House...the Senate(neither US nor state) seat isn't up for election... sheriff, and will be pushing for Obama, plus Congressman Boswell over Boehner's GOP lackey (Latham). Both sitting congressmen are moving into a newly apportioned district - it could be considered dead even, given the blue cities(Des Moines/Council Bluffs) and the red rural areas.
If this is going to be a war, and I do think it could become something like that come this fall, I'd sure like to be prepared.
I'm not prepared.
If anyone has a thought or two about how to conduct a local campaign...I'd sure like to hear about it!
Wish me luck!
(crossposted to Bleeding Heartland)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    It's about time I got off my lazy butt and do something...

    by NoStampTax on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:26:46 PM PDT

  •  Here, let an anarchist help (4+ / 0-)

    The first thing you'll need is registered voter lists.  Did your predecessors leave you with any such thing?  If not, you should ask your county and state3 committees if they have lists for your precinct.  If they don't you'll need to inquire with your local town or county clerk, whichever level election records are maintained at in your area.  You'll need those for turning out registered voters.

    Secondly you'll need the calendar of deadline dates for  voter registration.  You'll also want voter registration forms, or guides that direct new voters how to become registered.  You'll need those to get new voters.

    Third, you will want to contact your county and state party committees to see if they have contact lists of people who have been involved in your precinct in the past.  Because to get anything substantial done, it can't just be you, you'll need a working group.

    I think that's more than enough to start.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:35:42 PM PDT

    •  tipped, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, NoStampTax

      they definitely have a database of registered voters.  All states are now required to have them (because of the Help America Vote Act,  IIRC), and party committees definitely have them.  

      To the diarist, this isn't all on your shoulders.  Talk to the county Dems, and other precinct people, about what they do and what resources are available to you.

      Here are a couple books on running local grassroots campaigns.  It's a bit higher level than a precinct person needs, but still not too far up.

      Suffice it to say that most of the work of precinct people is direct voter contact.  Get ready to talk to a lot of people.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:50:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Books on order (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        ...and forgive me, I did it online. I read the Mother Jones article about people who work in the online order houses.  After 36 years in the US Postal Service, it's understood.

        It's about time I got off my lazy butt and do something...

        by NoStampTax on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:33:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent start! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy

      I don't anticipate much help with the local paper...or the paper that covers the adjacent county (the majority of area of our state legislative district). One deems 'political' letters to the editor as 'advertising', thus requires a fee to even publish said letters...and the other likes to run headlines like "Obama - Socialist" in huge type on its front page.
      Said papers: Norwalk, IA - Winterset, IA.
      Didn't mention: our State Rep (lower house) candidate is the mother of the latest actor to play 'Superman'...she's not included in the Bleeding Heartland list of possible Democratic Iowa house pickups this fall.  
      Thank you for your input. It's early...but early is good.

      It's about time I got off my lazy butt and do something...

      by NoStampTax on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're Up Against "All-Politcis-Is-Global"q (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivevoice, kurt

    and they're winning. ALEC alone is legislating simultaneously from the school board to the federal level.

    Good luck with your quest!!

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:47:32 PM PDT

  •  May I suggest an expert? (0+ / 0-)

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 02:01:06 AM PDT

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