Tom's Vision

I’ve spent the past couple weeks talking with party leaders, local officials and everyday voters across America. And like many of you, I have more questions than answers. But I wanted to share a few initial thoughts on how we can rebuild our party from the ground up as we continue the conversation about the future.

Standing up for what we believe -- from protecting civil rights to creating a level playing field for all Americans -- is a critical part of who we are as progressives and as Democrats. And in this divisive time, we have to unify our party, speak with a loud, clear voice and be heard. To make sure we fight for our values and protect our rights, we will:

  • Fight voter suppression and disenfranchisement by working with state parties and progressive groups to stop unjust laws
  • Target gerrymandering where it starts by working to elect more democratic state legislatures and governors
  • Stand up and lead efforts to stop policies that undermine the pillars of our middle class and make it harder for Americans to get a fair deal

The values we share and the message we bring must be driven from the ground up, from organizing to fundraising. Offering more opportunities for donors to support our cause with what they can will help grow our party and spread our message. We will:

  • Encourage and prioritize small-dollar fundraising
  • Increase the availability of surrogates to support state party fundraisers

Zip code should never determine your destiny in this country. And similarly, no matter where they live every American should hear our message of inclusion and opportunity. It’s not enough to shout at people from Washington, DC, or try to re-engage only when election season rolls around. We need to be listening and talking to voters year-round, with state parties driving the conversation -- and we also need to make sure we’re finding candidates who will stand up for our values. To make sure every zip code counts, we will:

  • Invest in state parties to help support candidates from school board to Senate
  • Build a deep bench of Democrats ready to run, including providing national and regional candidate training
  • States first: listen and empower state parties to drive the DNC’s national work

Democrats win when we tell voters who we are, what we value and communicate our message in every community we can. We can’t do that without the best progressive organizers in America. The DNC will build an increased grassroots effort to speak directly with voters by:

  • Recruiting experienced organizers and building a permanent organizing department
  • Develop a program to train the next generation of diverse advocates and leaders
  • Investing in local organizers and parties by increasing training and support
  • Building a strategy that supports all 50 states, the District of Columbia, territories and Democrats Abroad to ensure we reach Democrats regardless of where they are

Our state parties are on the front lines of finding the best candidates for office, reaching out to voters, and delivering our message of inclusion and opportunity for all Americans. This comes with challenges on all levels. But while many states have found answers to what works best, those solutions too often stay in one state. The DNC will:

  • Start a Best Practices Institute to share solutions to our common challenges
  • Increase collaboration between the DNC and state parties
  • Empower state parties by making sure they have the skills and tools they need to succeed at every level

A fair, transparent, neutral DNC supports our values of inclusion and opportunity. And the role of the DNC is to ensure those values are an unassailable part of the presidential nominating process, from the beginning to the end. To make sure that integrity is never in question, we will:

  • Set debate dates and rules for the nominating processbefore candidates declare
  • Make sure all voices and constituencies are heard and engaged in the process

Democrats win when we talk about who we are and what we believe. As voters become less attached to institutions and parties, showing Americans how much our values overlap with theirs and the positive impact a Democratic vote can make on our shared vision for the country becomes even more important. But we need to deliver that message effectively, using and building the right data and tools make sure our efforts are impactful. To find and effectively reach those Americans, we will:

  • Invest in data and analytics to ensure State Parties have access to the best information and capabilities in politics
  • Build new tools to empower outreach in every state

Our communications, strategies and data are an essential part of determining how we move America forward. With challenges to securing information constantly evolving, keeping it safe must be a priority. We will:

  • Invest in much-needed systems to thoroughly detect potential breaches
  • Ask outside experts for help and recommendations to strengthen our cybersecurity
  • Constantly monitor for systems attacks and unusual activity

Right now, it’s more important than ever for our progressive party to come together around a coordinated strategy. We cannot operate in silos - we need to act as one. Our collective focus must be on building the most effective, unifying DNC to fight for our values and elect democrats at all levels who will stand up for what’s right. To do that, we will:

  • Work to determine what the DNC and outside groups each do best
  • Leverage our collective strengths to make sure our values and messages have an impact