Hope you all had a happy holiday and are ready to continue the battle to turn Arizona blue!
Since our last newsletter, we have been busy with the 2018 election, canvassing and calling our neighbors to get out the vote, and taking some time off to recharge our batteries. Turnout in 2018 broke mid-term election records with 69.6% of Democrats voting. Unfortunately, Republican turnout was even higher at 74.4%. So, we still have work to do.
In this newsletter we will share with you what we accomplished in 2018 and our initial thoughts on the 2020 election cycle.
Accomplishments in 2018 Election Cycle
Over the last two years we have made significant progress toward achieving our mission.
- Recruited over 300 PCs through outreach, presentations, webinars and referrals.
- Organized and delivered successful PC Training Programs to 400 PCs from LD21, LD22, LD24, LD13, LD30, LD8, Pinal County, Coconino County, Rim Country Dems and several other Dem clubs.
- Organized and participated in 30+ events with Democratic and progressive groups in Arizona including road trips to Mojave County, Pinal County, Pima County, Rim Country Dems, White Mountain Dems and Flagstaff. We were proud sponsors at We the People, MCDP Diamond Event and ADP Hall of Fame Dinner.
- Developed and published the PC Survival Guide which has been distributed to over 3,500 PCs throughout the state.
- Created PC Resource Library with samples of materials PCs have used to engage their neighbors: letters of introduction, post cards, flyers, newsletters, house party materials and scripts.
- Developed and published Precinct Snapshots for all 1,490 precincts in the state. They are distributed state wide to all LDs and Counties.
- Published Blueprint blogpost with articles on PC best practices, strategy and successes.
- Organized Rockin’ Democracy event where 400 activists came together to hear Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains, speak on the Koch brothers efforts to undermine our core democratic principles. She also made presentations in Flagstaff, Sedona and Tucson.
- Helped to build the capacity of the Democratic Party in Arizona. Besides supporting the Party’s efforts, many of our members have taken leadership positions in their Legislative District. Several ran for public office. We thank them for the effort and energy they put forth to help turn this state blue.
2020 Election Cycle
We made considerable progress in turning Arizona blue in 2018 but there is still work to be done, especially at the state level. While we won several state offices, we did not take control of the state legislature. We did make progress, but the Republicans will continue to dominate state legislation. Last year several laws were passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that undermine our democracy and counter the best interest of Arizonans. The legislative session has just begun and Republican legislatures are already proposing legislation that would prevent teachers from protesting the state’s insubstantial support of public education and deliver retribution for the RedForEd Movement and Prop 305. Who knows what other schemes they have up their sleeves to undermine what is in the best interest of Arizonans.
- Recruiting Precinct Committeepeople (PC). PCs are the grassroots foundation of the Democratic party. There remain over 3,500 empty PC slots in Maricopa (6,000 across the state). We need to get as many of those open slots filled with trained and engaged PCs as possible. We will be developing and implementing training to help LDs and PCs recruit PCs to fill empty slots and orphaned precincts.
- Training Precinct Committeepeople (PC). We will continue to work closely with ADP, MCDP, LDs and county party leadership to provide PC training. We will continue to distribute PC Survival Guides, 2018 Precinct Snapshots, and other training materials. Please let us know if you need copies of the PC Survival Guide. The updated Precinct Snapshots will be available in February.
- Voter Registration is the name of the game in 2020. The name of the game in 2018 was voter turnout. Typical turnout in Arizona in mid-term elections is 45-50%. Our work helped greatly increase turnout and Democrats won because of this higher turnout in 2018 (69.6%). In the 2020 election, voter registration will be the name of the game. Typical turnout in a Presidential election is 80-85%. There is very little potential for winning just by increasing turnout. We will be sharing our ideas and best practices on how to enhance the registration of Democrats.
- Expansion of the Neighborhood PC Model. PCs organized and networking with the neighbors is the most effective and efficient way to get Democrats elected. PCs talking with their neighbors is twice as effective as strangers canvassing strangers in strange neighborhoods. In future newsletters, we will contrast the traditional and neighborhood models of voter engagement. We will also be completing an analysis of voter turnout by party comparing those LD precincts implementing the neighborhood model with those using the traditional model.
- Singleshot Strategy and Winning the Arizona House. The logic of a singleshot strategy is that in purple LDs running only one House candidate avoids splitting independent votes between two Democratic candidates (i.e., independent voters voting for one Democrat and one Republican). There are a least two State House races in the 2018 election (LD6 and LD20) where one of the two House seats might have been won by a Democrat had there been only one Democratic candidate. Had we won both those seats Democrats would have had the majority in the House today! In a future newsletter, we will share with you an idea that might help LDs have more control over who their LD candidates are and how many are running for the House. It would also give the LD an opportunity to begin campaigning for their LD candidates prior to the August primary.
AZ Blue 2020 Celebration and Organization Meeting
Time to celebrate our accomplishments in 2018 and to lay out the plan for 2020.
If you are interested in being part of the AZ Blue 2020 team or in working with AZ Blue 2020 in your Legislative District, please come to our reorganization meeting on February 3rd 1:30 to 4:00 at the Burton Barr Public Library. This is where we held our first organizing meeting two years ago. It will be great to get everyone together who has been part of the team from the start.
Burton Barr Library
4th Floor Lecture Room
1221 N Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
1:30 – 4:00 PM
The work that AZ Blue 2020 has done and will continue to do is supported by your donations. We are a completely volunteer organization. The money we raise is used to recruit and train Precinct Committeepeople throughout the state. We do not charge for the training or training materials but rely on donations from people like you. If you want to support our efforts to turn the state blue, but can’t volunteer, you can be a part of the team by making a reoccurring monthly donation. We need your help. Together we make 2020 the year we want it to be.