Our Platform

Tina listening
We’re ready to listen to your ideas and your input

Here is our (draft) platform for action, and we seek your input and review:

  1. Focus our efforts on Washington voters and have voter registration and turnout goals in every county and LD, while fighting voter suppression at the state and local level. As Democrats, we must have the best data available on Washington Voters. This requires convening a working group to assess the quality of our voter data, our data tools, and our analytics from this cycle. We must create an executable plan to improve data in the voter file, and this must be a year-round activity that actively trains our party volunteers how to collect and update key voter data. Also, we must work closely with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the National Voter File Cooperative to identify opportunities to expand work with national progressive partners.
    • We must pursue qualitative and quantitative research that includes direct engagement with working voters, including surveys, roundtables, listening sessions, and direct voter contact in areas where democrats underperformed in Washington State in 2016 compared to previous elections.
    • We need to make sure Democratic volunteers (from Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) on up) are trained to use VoteBuilder to create walking lists and input data back into the voter file. We also need to make certain data that is input from volunteers in the field is not overwritten by the state party or others, as has sadly occurred in the past.
    • We must lobby for and win voting innovations statewide. When more people are registered and vote, Democrats win. Let’s engage with allies (there is already a Voting Justice group statewide) in a full court press during the legislative session starting January 9th to enact legislation that makes it easier for all Washington residents to register and vote.
    • Also let’s advocate for a Native Voting Rights bill, voting registration as a part of every naturalization ceremony, voting and centers in county jails (where people have the right to vote, but rarely the opportunity to exercise that right). We must also advocate that no one can be deprived of the right to vote because of a felony conviction, and insure there is automatic restoration of voting rights for those Washingtonians serving time for a felony violation after they leave Department of Corrections supervision.
    • Nationally, let’s advocate for reforms like national automatic voter registration when people turn 18, a robust Voting Rights Act, reformation/elimination of the Electoral College, stop gerrymandering during redistricting in 2020, and, within the DNC, let’s eliminate the practice of superdelegates.
    • Finally, let’s never do voting programs again without metrics at all levels within our party – precinct, LD, county, congressional district and state.  We must have transparent metrics to measure the success of our programs, and hold ourselves accountable to achieving our goals of registering and turning out the vote.
  2. Rebuild a grassroots party, with a 39 county/49 legislative district plan that includes developing a “bench” of local appointed and elected candidates, and accountability and transparency for those currently elected.
    • We will encourage Democrats and progressives to serve their local communities through appointed positions on local and regional boards and commissions, thereby creating a candidate resume that supports seeking elective office.
    • We will rebuild our “bench” by actively partnering with the myriad of progressive candidate training programs in Washington State and nationally, to systematically win both appointments and local races. We need to train and engage diverse qualified candidates ready to run for higher office. We need to be constantly be recruiting for candidates and adding them to our “system” of training, communication and engagement with their local constituents.
    • We must also create specific county and LD plans to recruit, train and run/appoint, that can be developed, owned and implemented by the local party organizations with support from the State Party; thus developing the infrastructure to never let a seat go unchallenged by Democrats. Ever.
    • Building our bench also means developing a sharable database of all appointed and elected offices and office holders in the state of Washington – schools, local districts, municipal, county, state and federal – that can be tracked by both local party organizations, and the State Party.
  3. Invest in year-round organizing, local offices, events and resources, and consistent, constant, and clear communication that connects our progressive values to the lives of people around our state.
    • Investing in organizing means locating strategic State Party staff across the state (rather than just in Seattle) to allow for more collaboration between staff and our candidates, and our county and LD volunteer leadership and members.
    • Investing in organizing means creating hubs around the state – a physical space or location – that can serve as a resource for meetings, trainings, and the orientation and support of our party volunteers. The hub can be large, small, and/or shared with other progressive organizations, but it must be easily accessible and accommodating to all in our party, including appropriate technology to compensate for distances and disabilities.
    • We must open up lines of communication within the party, ensuring that all have a voice in how their party operates. This would include better coordination between the Chairs Organization, State Party staff, and the state central committee, monthly calls/video conferences with local party chairs, and regional calls/video conferences with county and LD organizations. The State Party also should develop and send timely talking points, clips and shareable graphics and Facebook/Twitter posts that are sent on a weekly basis to every party volunteer in the state.
  4. Build a progressive fundraising base from the ground up – people give to groups that inspire, motivate and fight for shared values – and that should be the Washington State Democrats and their county and LD organizations.
    • Effective fundraising can only happen with good information and good planning. There has never been a true “statewide budget” that looks at both the needs and past fundraising efforts of local organizations along with the State Party. Let’s evaluate all current local and state budgets and fundraising plans to really understand requirements, capabilities and opportunities; develop joint fundraising programs, e.g., like a  $27 Club to replace the DEM Club ($9 each to state/county/LD); develop knowledge sharing, donation platforms, donor models and shared donor research to build effective state/local-based fundraising programs.
    • Let’s actively pursue grassroots fundraising, setting a goal for one-off and recurring low-dollar contributions from everyday Washingtonians. Let’s make it easier for local organizations to partner with the State Party to target effective digital, direct mail and phone fundraising. And finally, let’s be transparent in where our fundraising dollars our coming from, and work more closely with the progressive partners – unions, Tribes, associations – to advance our agenda.
  5. Respect and support the new and seasoned volunteers who make our party run, and give them the data and technology tools to be successful.
    • The most important resource of our party is our people. We need to make sure all of our party volunteers are appropriately welcomed and oriented to the party, as well as trained and recognized for their efforts. State should provide additional resources to help local organizations succeed, including:
    • Best and consistent party practices: provide a clearinghouse and library of everything from volunteer roles and job descriptions, to party history, to bylaws and rules, to simplified processes for meetings and endorsements, plus a real master calendar of critical events and deadlines.
    • Develop an “on-boarding process” for new party volunteers that really gives people the tools to succeed in achieving voter data, contact and engagement goals.
    • Develop a party member “code of conduct” on how we treat and work with each other, and provide training and resources for topics like racism, sexism, abelism, ageism, classism, homophobia and gender issues, for example. Additionally, let’s provide support and resources for resolving disputes in ways that reconcile, not break, our relationships with each other and other organizations.
    • We must expand tech tools like standardized software apps and website templates to ensure innovations make it all the way “down” to every PCO, and that allow us to mobilize and inform.  Promotion of existing efforts and initiatives made available by the state party needs to be a priority.  The local parties need to know what the state party is offering.

Of course, this is just the beginning. Democrats also need to quickly pivot to action in February for the two special elections in the State Senate in 2017, in the 45th and 31st districts.