Precinct Snapshots: A Tool to Help Turn AZ Blue

By Richard Gooding

Understanding Your Precinct

Every legislative district is subdivided into precincts. Precincts are the smallest administrative unit in the state. PCs are the representatives of their party for the constituents in their precinct.

Now that you are a PC one of the first questions you might have is what are the characteristics of the constituents in my precinct? How many are Democrats? How many are Independents? What was the voter turnout in my precinct? What were the election results?

To help you answer these and many other questions about your precinct, AZ Blue 2020 has created Precinct Snapshots for every precinct in the state. In addition to giving you information about the voting behavior of people in your precinct, it includes (1) the names and contact information of other PCs in your precinct and (2) the names and contact information for your LD Chair and State Representatives. A precinct within LD 28 has been randomly selected and included as an example.

How to us this information?

While it’s great to have this information, the more important question is how to use it to help turn Arizona blue. Here are some tips in using the information in each section.

Precinct Committeeperson

Every precinct is allotted one PC for roughly every 125 voters registered with a party. This section of the Snapshot shows you how many slots are available for Democratic PCs and how many are open in your precinct. One of the biggest challenges we face in building a ground game is recruiting and training more PCs. Most precincts have empty slots and some precincts have no PCs at all.

If you have empty PC slots in your precinct, one of your roles is to recruit other like-minded people in your precinct to become PCs. There are several approaches to doing that which we will cover in future BluePrint blogs. The more PC slots you fill, the more effective each of you can be in communicating with your Democratic neighbors and getting out the vote.

If this section includes the names of other PCs, you should contact them to introduce yourself and arrange a time to meet. If you build a PC team in your precinct, you can support one another, share ideas and divvy up the work. When you get together, you should develop a plan and divide up your turf to minimize any duplication of effort.

Voter Registration, Turnout and Voting Results

This section shows the number of registered voters in each party today and at the time of the last two elections. It does not include third parties. “Other” represents people who are not registered with any party. Typically referred to as Independents. It also shows you the turnout rate for the last two elections by party. The election results show what percent of the vote the Democratic candidate received of the total vote in the precinct. The data for every precinct will look different but here are some things you should think about.

What percent of the registered voters are Democrats?

Are you in a predominately blue, red or purple precinct? Two things can happen here. If most of the people in your neighborhood are Democrats, they may become complacent and not turn out to vote. On the other hand, if the precinct is predominately Republican, your constituents may feel their vote really doesn’t count. As a PC, the message you need to carry to your constituents is that every vote counts, maybe not at the precinct or LD level, but at the state and national level. Hillary Clinton lost Michigan in 2016 by an average of one vote per precinct!

What percent of Democrats turn out to vote?

If you compare the 2016 Presidential election with the 2014 mid-term election, you will typically see a significant drop off in the mid-term election. Across the state the turnout for Presidential elections is around 85% while the turnout for mid-term elections is typically 48%. Turnout is the way Democrats can win in 2018.

Again, each PC has about 125 Democratic constituents. If the PC did nothing in their neighborhood, approximately 60 of those Democrats would vote in 2018 and the other 65 would stay home. However, suppose over the next fifteen months the PC builds an ongoing relationship with their 125 constituents, meeting or calling them a few times, inviting them to coffees with the candidates, sharing information on issues, etc. What impact is that likely to have on turnout? Will ten of the 65 non-voters mail in their ballot? Maybe twenty? Those twenty additional votes would result in a 64% turnout rate, enough to turn this state blue in 2018.

How do I get my precinct snapshot?

If you’d like a Precinct Snapshot for your precinct, email info@azblue2020.org your LD number and precinct name and we will get one to you.

Once you get it, establish a voter turnout goal for your precinct and develop a plan to turn out those stay-at-home voters. You are the ground game and Democratic voter turnout is the key to success in 2018.

We Will Make It Count

By Jaclyn Boyes

As I stood in the FedEx store on Central Ave watching the photos print of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best, the men who were stabbed to death on train for protecting a Muslim woman, and the photo of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed in Charlottesville, the reality of their sacrifice overwhelmed my heart.

Trying to keep tears from falling on the fresh prints, I hurried out of the store and over to a friend’s house to make my protest sign. These Americans deserved a better president. They died as a part of the resistance. But a resistance to what? Republicans? Trump? I didn’t know. I only knew I wanted to follow the call to action from Heather’s Mom – “We’re Gonna Make it Count.”

In the days leading up to the protest many of my friends had decided against attending due to the recent violence in Charlottesville. I was slightly worried there wouldn’t be many people in attendance. But, as I turned the corner on 3rd St and Washington my fear evaporated. Standing with signs and t-shirts, expressing the many sentiments I feel towards this administration, were thousands of people. I immediately felt stronger. It was the same feeling I had attending the Women’s March in Washington DC, a feeling that we are stronger together.

However, within a few short minutes, I realized there was something much different about this rally. On the corner of the street was a man with a bullhorn shouting horrific racial slurs and with him were other white supremacist holding derogatory signs against Black Lives Matter and Muslims. I immediately found myself in a group of people shouting “terrorist” and “get out of my city.” Strangely, just minutes before I was calmly helping lost Trump supporters find their way to the right side of the street.

After the police moved the white supremacists away from the crowd, I sat on the side of the street with my head in my hands. Why did my typical response of love towards the opposition change to one of intense outrage and anger? I looked down at my sign, at the faces of the victims of domestic terrorism, and in that moment understood what they were resisting. These Americans gave their lives resisting the rise of white supremacy.

I now understand that when you deeply care for your country and humanity, the most loving thing you can do is to tell a white supremacist loudly and clearly that their hate will not be tolerated. Then, you match the level of outrage with the same level of organization. I choose to channel my outrage towards local organizing that will help turn Arizona Blue. I cannot single-handedly stop white supremacy, but I can work to elect officials who will do what Trump has refused to do–stand up against white supremacy and domestic terrorism in America.

Taliesin, Ricky, and Heather, we will make it count.

AZ Blue Visits the Rim Country

By Sarah Meaney

Weeks of planning paid off for the Democrats of Rim Country. With the help of AZ Blue 2020 and the participation of several statewide candidates, more than one-hundred constituents filled the Payson Senior Center for the Rim Country Roadshow.

The AZ Blue 2020 team started the trip at our favorite meeting place, the park and ride at Gilbert and the 202 and this time no one got lost. We all opted to seek solace in the shade while waiting for all the carpooling candidates to arrive. The day was hot and muggy. Kathy Hoffman had already spent her morning canvassing in the heat for Kevin Patterson in CD 6. Once everyone had arrived, we consolidated. We packed into our vehicles, cranked the A/C and began our ninety-minute journey to the cool, pine air of Rim Country.

We were quite the Democratic menagerie as our AZ Blue 2020 team entered the venue, complete with flyers, stickers, eight state candidates and ADP Vice Chair, Karyn Lathan. The list of candidates were:

Kiana Sears – 2018 candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission

Bill Pierce – 2018 candidate for Mining Inspector

David Schapira – 2018 candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Kathy Hoffman – 2018 candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

January Contreras – 2018 candidate for Attorney General

Jim Moss – 2018 candidate for U.S. Senate

Dr. Randall Friese – Arizona House Rep., Legislative District 9

David Garcia – 2018 Gubernatorial Candidate

Democrats of Rim Country began trickling in around 3:30 to hear the slate of speakers. Many attendees were sporting their Gila County Dems and Trump caricature shirts. The dull roar of mingling candidates and interested constituents created an electric buzz of excitement. Photographers roamed the room while voters got to know the candidates. The AZ Blue 2020 team stickered as many attendees as possible while John Ainley greeted people at the door.

The program began with AZ Blue 2020 outreach team member, TJ Cuddy, taking the mic to thank the Democrats of Rim Country for their help coordinating the event. Diane Green, President of the Democrats of Rim Country, did a great job promoting as proven by the turnout. TJ opened with an intro to AZ Blue 2020 and why the group helped bring candidates to Payson. “They’re depending on you,” he said to the crowd about the candidates. AZ Blue knows ground game is the most important aspect of winning elections. And, in line with our mission, TJ promoted the job of PC. “If you want to become a PC, find Chris Tilley.” He joked about her carrying PC applications with her everywhere she goes.

After the intro, Vice Chair Karyn Lathan was up first. She reiterated the importance of being an active participant in the legislative process. Karyn talked about her background and how she became involved in the party. Next up was Kiana Sears, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission. Kiana outlined the reasons she decided to run. At the top of her list were the allegations of corruption surrounding the current ACC. Sears has been a long time advocate for child welfare and education. She is a current Mesa School Board member and is running as a clean elections candidate.

 

Bill Pierce then took center stage, which may have felt odd for an engineer. Pierce spoke about his forty years of experience in the mining industry. He has several certifications and knowledge of the industry, making him a more than qualified candidate for mine inspector. He was followed by the two candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction who have both been vocal supporters of the Save Our Schools referendum on SB1431.

David Schapira was up first. He went through his substantial list of qualifications including his years of experience as an educator and administrator. He also spoke on Arizona’s current state leaders and contrasted their ideas about public education with his own. “They are working intentionally to dismantle our public schools in this state and we have to fight back.” David serves on the Tempe City Council where he helped pass the “Tempe Free Pre” initiative, finding money in the budget to provide year-round preschool for 360 students for the next two years.

Kathy Hoffman is an educator and speech pathologist in the Peoria school district. She has worked with special needs students, those with autism and English-language learners. Her platform includes advocating for these students to ensure they receive the public school services necessary for their success. Kathy outlined three priorities for Arizona: invest in our students, prioritize and fight for the inclusion of all students, and increase pay for our educators. As a first time candidate, Kathy represents true grassroots democracy.

The candidate for Attorney General is January Contreras. Her impressive resume includes experience as a County Prosecutor, State Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney Generaland former policy advisor to Governor Janet Napolitano. She served on the White House Council on Women and Girls under President Obama, contributed to the development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, and volunteered on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The list goes on and on. January also fights for protection of Arizona’s most vulnerable populations. She founded ALWAYS, a nonprofit that provides free legal services for children and young adults impacted by the foster care system. She spoke about the cumulative effect of her experience and how it has shaped her vision for the Attorney General’s office. January’s family is always close and supportive of her run. We have seen her mom, cousin and niece at our last two roadshow events. January has set the bar high for any candidate that chooses to run against her.

Jim Moss, a relatively unknown candidate, was next on the agenda. He and his wife Kelly are small business owners in Globe. He is running for U.S. Senate. Jim helped organize citizens to fight against a private prison contract supported by local officials in Globe. Although, many in the audience had not heard Jim’s name before they certainly remembered him after his speech. He had the audience clapping and nodding in agreement after his points about standing firm on progressive values. He suggested Democrats be unapologetic about their platform and forgo bi-partisanship in order to pass legislation that supports the party’s values. Jim and his wife own a trading post in Globe. He has degrees in political science and secondary education.

TJ then took a few extra moments to introduce the next speaker on the panel, Dr. Randall Friese. Dr. Friese didn’t hesitate to participate in a town hall organized by TJ earlier this year. Dr. Friese has been available not only to constituents in Legislative District 9, but has made a continual effort to support people allover the state of Arizona. He drove from Tucson to make the Rim Country event. As a surgeon, Dr. Friese has spoken out against bad health care legislation being passed at the state level. He mentioned during his speaking time the need for ACA improvement and a move toward universal health care. Dr. Friese has also been an advocate for improvement of the education system in Arizona. He is a veteran of the US Navy, a House Representative for Legislative District 9, a ranking member on the Health Committee and serves on the Judiciary Committee. Keep up with Dr. Friese for an official announcement about his run for U.S. Senate.

Rounding out the panel was Gubernatorial candidate David Garcia. Audience members vocalized their support of David during his run for Superintendent, which he lost by a narrow margin. Some Dems in Payson already had a soft spot for the candidate. He communicated that voters must be aware of the core values of the candidates they elect, “…the reality is we are going to go back to those core values that have built us, to those core principles of who we are and we’re going to fall back on those to make decisions.” He stated that is fundamentally how elected officials will govern. Garcia touched on the voucher bill and Doug Ducey’s strong push to support it. “I will venture to say none of you tweeted Doug Ducey to congratulate him on that voucher bill. Did you? But Betsy DeVos did. Betsy DeVos tweeted him to congratulate him.” The crowd moaned with disapproval to Garcia’s example of how the current Governor is mismanaging the priorities of the people of Arizona. David Garcia is a veteran and the first in his family to graduate from college. He is a nationally recognized expert in education research and policy and currently works as a professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College at ASU.

Once the speakers finished, attendees milled about talking and donating fives to the clean elections candidates. Payson Democrats turned in a stack of Save Our Schools referendum petitions to be brought back to the valley before the deadline. From the feedback and smiles the AZ Blue 2020 team received from Payson residents, the event appeared to be a success.

We cleared the hall and walked over to the Mogollon Moose. The local eatery provided delicious gourmet sandwiches, salad and pastries. Executive Chef and owner, Kristi and her husband were gracious enough to provide last-minute vegetarian fare for the non-meat eaters in the group. The sandwiches were works of culinary artistry. Everyone raved about the kale salad. Next time you are in Rim Country visit the Mogollon Moose, located in the heart of Payson. They make everything delicious…even kale.

Our events just keep getting better. Good candidates and engaged citizens win elections. AZ Blue 2020 will bring a roadshow to your town. Let’s work together to create excitement for next election. For more info email: info@AZBlue2020.org

 

 

Parties with a Purpose

By Ginna Martin

As a brand new PC, I poured over my walk list and the info it provided on my neighborhood. The excitement of seeing all those D’s gave me goosebumps.

Although I am just beginning my new job as a PC, I remind myself I am already a connected Democrat within my district.
I have hosted two candidate parties for Kathy Hoffman. The first house party was a “Meet the Candidate” event. I invited like-minded friends and neighbors. We shared our disdain for the current political climate and all agreed to turn those feelings into action. Kathy Hoffman picked up some donations, as well as volunteers.

The second house party was to support Save Our Schools Arizona (SOS). SOS advertised a meet-up at my home as a petition drop-off site with a notary available to shore up the process. We can now all celebrate that organization and its successful and impressive undertaking.

House parties are my favorite way to contribute. It is a casual atmosphere and well received. People like to be reminded they are not alone in their politics and more importantly, it provides a safe space for people who want to get involved somehow, but maybe don’t know how.

I am hosting another house event soon to introduce another local candidate, Chris Gifillan, LD 20 House Candidate.
My goal is to create a house party that multiplies into additional house parties, kind of like a pampered chef party. Anyone who hosts the next party brings in their friends, family, and neighbors. It’s a great way to spread the message.

Finally, I am also making calls for AZ Blue 2020. This has been an amazing experience. The calls to folks who signed up for more info at “We the People Summit ” are literally starving for more information and direction. The best part is, I can point them in that direction. As my mother use to say, “Many hands make light work.”

Let’s get together and get this done!

One Vote Per Precinct

By Morris Seeskin

In 2008 my wife and I, both lawyers in Oak Park, IL, signed up with the Obama campaign to assist with voter protection. We were assigned to a highly Democratic precinct in Gary, IN (Lake County). At the precinct, poll workers checked in voters using hard poll books with voter registration materials but the original poll books were kept at the county building.  The books used at the polling location were compiled before the registration period ended and consequently, meant the precinct books contained incomplete and/or possibly incorrect information. This affected anyone who registered after the precinct books were created, voters who had recently moved and properly reported the move, and those who had changed their name and timely reregistered.  If an apparent problem turned up at the precinct, poll workers were instructed to call the central office to verify eligibility based on the more complete original records.

By the time the polling place opened, a line had already formed. The line fluctuated throughout the day as people came and went. It was never under an hour wait until sometime after the nominal closing time. As a result, the poll workers were busy all day. The central office hot line was overwhelmed so incoming calls almost always got a busy signal. Poll workers didn’t have the “luxury” of repeatedly dialing the central office as the line began to move more and more slowly. Left to their own devices, the workers offered the voters provisional ballots. Unfortunately, provisional ballots are not even looked at unless the voter physically goes to the central office to establish their right to vote.

My wife and I decided to take on the task of calling the central office over and over again, as many as 20-25 times for a single voter. Once connected, we handed the phone to a poll worker. By the end of the day, approximately seven people got real ballots instead of provisional ballots because of our work. We left believing our efforts had accomplished little… until the next day. The election results estimated Barack Obama won Indiana by ONE VOTE PER PRECINCT.

Never underestimate your power to make a difference, no matter how incremental and tedious it may seem.

The Art of Retail Politics

By Michael Harris

Congratulations, you’re a Precinct Committeeperson! Like many of us, you got fired up after the election, found your Legislative District and said “sign me up!” You just had to DO something!

PCs are the bedrock of the party. When you hear about the “ground game” of a campaign, that’s YOU. You mobilize people. You spread the word. You’re the “go-to” in your community circles. That all sounds fine, but how do you get to that point? How do reach a level where you can pick up the phone or send an email and get 100 people heading for the door?

It all comes down to building relationships. And relationships all come down to a few simple things.

When you’re first starting out as a PC, you might be tempted to ask people for things. Don’t. Let’s face it, we are all turned off when people come out of the blue and hit us up for anything, no matter how small it is. Instead, try offering things.

When you introduce yourself, tell people you are there to make sure people in your neighborhood are up to date on what’s happening in the party, and, more importantly, that you can keep the party up to date on what matters to them. You’re their voice. Offer to provide regular updates via a newsletter, coffee visits, or whatever forum works best for your area. People are hungry for information and reassurance that somebody is, in fact, doing something. Feed them!

That’s the first step. The second: keep doing it. Show up and be consistent. People trust others that do what they say. Make small promises and keep them. Do it again.

Once you’ve built a relationship and credibility, you can start asking questions. What do they think? What do they need? What are they worried about? Don’t promise to solve their problems, but let them know you’ll pass them on and find out more about options.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve built trust and rapport with people in your precinct. The next ingredient: Fun. Find something you can celebrate together and make that the theme. Host a small party or picnic. The precinct that plays together, stays together.

Building these relationships takes time. It may feel frustrating that you’re only reaching a few people at a time. But an incremental approach will pay off when the time comes. You will know who you can count on to volunteer, to donate, and to bring others. You will know what will get people to go to the ballot box and what will keep them away. You’ll know when a candidate is going to resonate or fall flat. And you’ll know you can pick up the phone and mobilize them all when the time comes.

It’s a strategic choice to build intentional relationships. But these people are in your care. You are a PC! You are the bedrock. Because you bring the people.

We the People

By Sarah Meaney

The We the People Summit was created to unite people from all levels of political involvement and areas of the state in one place for one day of learning and activism. Organizers collected panels of experts to educate the public on a multitude of topics from creating sustainable organizations to the history of social and political movements. It was to be a day of impact.

Walking into the convention center, past the line forming at the door, I could see tables covered with name tags for the nearly 1,500 people in attendance. I grabbed my lanyard and name tag and headed to the AZ Blue 2020 tent. There was the team in matching blue shirts, displaying our new PC video under the big blue tent.

Shortly after I arrived, the slow and steady stream of people began. They grabbed coffee and milled about in a dull roar of conversation. Many of the people who passed were familiar allies, but the number of new faces was what had us most excited.

I began stickering people and striking up conversations. There were people from Yuma, Lake Havasu, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, current legislators and candidates. People came from all over the state with all different backgrounds.

In between stickering, I stopped at the Progressive Voices podcast table and chatted with Scott and Cara. While there, Athena Salman talked about her experience as a first year representative.

The corridor emptied as the first sessions began. I attended a session with OFA and got some valuable tips for sustaining a group’s members and creating consistent messaging.

Back in the corridor, I continued stickering and promoting visits to the AZ Blue 2020 tent. I stopped by the Save Our Schools Arizona table to talk to fellow volunteers and was asked by Dawn, head of communications, to film a short tutorial about why I support SOSAZ and the SB1431 referendum. That was an easy ‘yes’. I changed my shirt, the SOSAZ tee folded and packed in my backpack, alongside camera equipment and lots of business cards. After the video tutorial, some people stopped me to crack jokes about the ‘uniform’ change. I changed shirts a couple more times that day.

At the next forum, I learned about 501(c)¾ organizations and the tax rules associated with each designation. Fun stuff. After learning how to avoid tax evasion charges, I attended the Leaders’ Lunch. The founding members of many groups were in attendance. The creator of ResistBot spoke, along with AZ Resist and SOSAZ members.

I skipped the afternoon sessions to rejoin the AZ Blue 2020 team back at our blue tent. We received lots of traffic. Jodi signed up six new precinct committeepersons and a number of attendees signed up for our newsletter. We had many groups interested in scheduling AZ Blue 2020 for presentations and even secured a spot on a future Zod and Drea podcast.

Before the last session was over, the AZ Blue 2020 tent was visited by Deedra Abboud, as well as CD8 Candidate, Brianna Westbrook. Ms. Westbrook recorded us live on Periscope while Tricia Sauer interviewed.

When the final session of the day ended and the last bit of traffic filtered out of the corridor, our team packed up and headed to dinner. We stopped at my favorite downtown spot, Carly’s on Roosevelt. We ate, drank and shared our experiences from the day. It really was a day of impact.

White Mountain Roadshow

By TJ Cuddy

You would never guess how many Park-and-Ride locations exist throughout the East Valley, until you ask a group to meet at one. The proposed departure time found candidates and campaign staff scattered among multiple locations. The calls, texts and reroutes were fast and furious and, after a short while, the group assembled at a single location. The trip was officially underway.

Our roadshow carpool consisted of Outreach team members TJ Cuddy and Sarah Meaney, along with an all-star cast of candidates and surrogates including Arizona Democratic Party Vice-Chair Karyn Lathan, Arizona Attorney General candidate January Contreras, U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud, campaign staff for Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira.

In an effort to expand our operations into the rural communities of Arizona, events and meetings have and continue to take place in Pima and Pinal Counties. But this Roadshow was aimed at bringing our message to Navajo County, a rural county in the northeast that spans across Legislative Districts six and seven. AZ Blue 2020 Outreach organized a team of candidates, campaign staff and ADP officials to bring a group of exciting and engaging speakers to the White Mountain Indivisible and White Mountain Democrats groups in Pinetop-Lakeside.

The event was the definition of a collaborative win/win, with all parties involved as beneficiaries. A meet and greet prior to the general meeting afforded candidates and Outreach team members the opportunity to meet local dignitaries, party officials and county elected officials. White Mountain Indivisible arranged catering for the meet and greet and coordinated with the president of the White Mountain Democrats to organize the joint meeting. During the course of the meeting, we were able to discuss the reasons for AZ Blue 2020’s formation, the organization’s mission, guiding principles and plan for success. Outreach team member TJ Cuddy gave the AZ Blue 2020 PC Recruitment Presentation. Candidates, eager to spread their message and garner support among all Arizona communities, gave their stump speeches and took questions from the audience of about 35 attendees.  

Despite the disjointed beginning to our journey, the roadshow was an overwhelming success. Leaders from the Northern Arizona groups were appreciative of the outreach effort and look forward to future opportunities to connect with groups from around the state.  The candidates were grateful for the opportunity to engage with constituents in an often overlooked area of the state. AZ Blue 2020 was able to recruit several new PC applications for the Navajo County Democratic Party and connect several new PCs to AZ Blue 2020’s mission to empower PCs with tools, resources and best practices.

Our rural areas are important and deserve to be represented in the discussion of voter rights, education and healthcare. It is by connecting these communities to the issues and giving them the road map to create change that AZ Blue 2020 will achieve the goal of turning Arizona blue. AZ Blue 2020’s mission is to continue to facilitate the success of the party across the state by raising people.

Stay connected to AZ Blue 2020 for more reporting as we continue our roadshow across the state of Arizona. Send us an email at info@azblue2020.org if you want our Outreach Roadshow to visit your community.

Man with a Mission

By Gene Smith

I became a PC for the opportunity to get involved in my community. Voting every election was not cutting the mustard and I wanted to increase my civic engagement. I attended a meeting with like-minded citizens, equally frustrated with the state of affairs and it was here I was first introduced to the role of a PC. The importance of dedicated and trained PCs was immediately evident and AZ Blue 2020 drew me in with their enthusiasm.  By becoming a PC, I would be a positive influence in my community. I signed up on the spot.

This decision opened the door to a world I never anticipated and the benefits are continually unfolding. Long story short, by becoming a PC and attending my monthly LD meetings, I met a candidate and am now his Campaign Manager. Together, we are going to unseat Trent Franks. Together, our positive impact on our community grows. Together, we increase our level of civic engagement.

In addition, the evolution of this journey has allowed me to contribute skills accumulated over a lifetime of work and experience. The versatility of these experiences has led to a new nickname, “the Swiss army knife”. It has been an extremely rewarding experience to use my varied skill sets as problem solving tools. For example, the most common question I encounter in my new role is, “What is a PC ?” Fortunately, one of the tools tucked inside this “knife” is the ability to make videos. Using my video experience, I was able to make a training video answering that very question. The mission is to teach new PCs the duties of the position, explain how to engage people in conversation, and share the Democratic platform in an attempt to counter false rhetoric and propaganda.

This is my calling.

IDK, OMG…WTF?

People, can we talk about the acronyms, please!?!? As new PCs, we are all experiencing a learning curve with the lingo, particularly the never-ending list of acronyms. So, with that in mind, we have put together a list of commonly used abbreviations. Most are PC specific. Some we’ve run across because PCs come from many different backgrounds and bring their own jargon with them. And some, well, some are here just because we KIR.

PC: Hopefully this is a short way to describe you. And if not, what are you waiting for? It means Precinct Committeeperson. Also relationship builder, community guru, and Party Superhero.

LD: If you spent much of high school in a small room with five of your closest friends pouring over, amassing and then filing news articles, it means Lincoln-Douglas. But in our circle, it’s short for Legislative District.

CD: It used to mean that thing that came after cassettes but before mp3s. Now it means Congressional District.

ADP: Arizona Democratic Party. More pull than a county, less pull than national.

OMG: A natural response appropriate for a myriad of situations. Ex: “OMG! Did Ducey talk to anyone in Michigan before signing SB1431?” or “OMG, Jeff Flake was so dismissive at his Town Hall.” or “OMG! I just recruited my first PC!”

ADLCC: Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. I think this one wins for most syllables in a title. We appreciate this acronym.

GOTV: Get Out the Vote. The opposite of the multisyllabic ADLCC, there are only four syllables in the whole phrase, but who wants to type all those little words every time?

SMH: The appropriate response for when you ask a person to sign a petition to Save Our Schools (SOS) and they respond they “don’t do” politics…Shaking My Head.

ALEC: Cue Darth Vader’s theme music. This stands for American Legislative Exchange Council.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure. As in, “Launch the SOP to reach and engage PCs and potential PCs so we have a ready and willing army of volunteers come 2018.”

VAN: Not the “stranger-danger” kind, not the “soccer-mom” kind, but the Voter Activation Network kind. Full of more tidbits of info than Cheerios in the backseat of a minivan.

LOL: The sound that unwillingly escapes you when, as a PC, you meet other like-minded people who have been living in your neighborhood for years unbeknownst to you. Short for Laugh Out Loud. Not to be confused with LMAO, which is used when listening to Trump describe his inauguration numbers.

PAC: Political Action Committees. These groups pool money to spend for or against candidates or issues. AZ Blue 2020 is a PAC made up of small, individual donations from a group of grassroots organizers looking to impact growth in the ADP.  PACs get dicey when funded by large corporations trying to leverage money for influence.

IEC: Independent Expenditure Committee. Also known as Super PACs. *sigh* We like them when they’re for our candidate or issue but not when they’re not. Can we all agree there’s just too much money in politics?

AHCA: Abbreviation for Tax Cut for the Uber Wealthy. I know, it’s weird they got the letters wrong…

WTF: The abridged version of what silently goes through your mind when you encounter a voter who supports the current administration and it’s policies. What we actually say? “Thank you for your time. I’ll remove you from our list.” Because, ICYMI, when they go low, we go high.