Why I’m Running for DNC Vice Chair
Today, I sent the following letter to voting members of the Democratic National Committee:
Dear DNC Members:
I want to begin by thanking Donna Brazile. Donna has been the heart and soul of the Democratic Party long before she became Interim Chair, and as we contemplate our leadership going forward, I want us to recognize Donna’s decades-long commitment to the Democratic Party and her willingness to go into the ring each day to fight for the issues we all believe in.
It was an honor to serve on Donna’s General Election team, and I want to continue her legacy by energizing our base and growing our Party, investing in our infrastructure by improving technology and customer service, and recruiting and training candidates, staff, and volunteers to represent our Party in all corners of our country. With that, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Our Party has a unique opportunity to maintain and grow our rank and file volunteers; increase support from low dollar donors; and recruit and mentor candidates and campaign staffers. Volunteers, old and new, are looking for new ways to get involved after the recent presidential campaign, and it is important that the DNC leads the way to engage them in an organized effort. We must be a Party that runs a continual campaign, never turning off the lights or laying the dust covers out. I am running to be a voice in leadership for grassroots supporters throughout the country that are looking for the best ways to support our Party through action.
Here are my priorities as DNC Vice Chair:
Growing Our Party in Every State
We must continue to build this Party from the ground up in all 50 states — online and offline. Each state has unique political opportunities, and we cannot leave any state behind or take any state for granted. As DNC Vice Chair I will:
- Liaise with DNC Officers, Council & Caucus Chairs and Regional & State Leadership to build upon DNC work started in the 2016 cycle to recognize volunteer leaders state by state and establish a state-by-state program that supports individual State Party organizing priorities for current and future campaigns.
- Create a process for individuals who have questions, ideas, concerns, or other comments to be able to have a conversation with our Party. In particular, grassroots and netroots supporters must have a seat at the table and an open line of communication with the DNC. I believe it is okay to disagree; however, we don’t ever want anyone to feel like they are not understood. The ability to have a conversation and ensure voters and volunteers are heard will continue to make this the Democratic Party.
- Expand DNC funding to State Parties to support year-round paid organizers in the states reporting to State Party staff to build relationships in the field and grow our low dollar donor base. State leadership and volunteers know how to best organize and work politics within their respective states.
- Support and fight for an expansive constituency staff that is all encompassing of our diverse country. This staff must be a constant organizing foundation and not something we simply expand or adjust for federal cycles.
Improving Our Technology and Customer Service
We have continued work to rebuild DNC infrastructure after our institution was hacked. We have incredible talent in this Party that can provide guidance, ideas and tangible help when it comes to R & D within our Party. I commend Interim Chair Donna Brazile for opening the doors of the DNC to those who stepped up to offer their help in this area and ensure the best and brightest were able to help. We must continue to build on this success moving forward to ensure our Party is the strongest online and on the ground. As DNC Vice Chair, I will:
- Fight to ensure technology built during campaigns doesn’t get packed up and put in storage after an election. Evaluating and improving existing technology, rather than starting from scratch in the next election, will benefit the Party at the state and national level. I will take a lead in coordination with the new Chair to ensure this box is always checked.
- Empower the incredible, talented members of the technology community within our Party to help rebuild and safeguard the Party and ensure a process in which those who want to help are able to do so.
- Rely less on paid television ads and ensure our Party is testing and building new technology to develop every possible means to reach voters in new ways. As a millennial, I have heard firsthand from many friends who have political entities reach out to them through social media and other avenues. We must compete in this space and listen to feedback from those on the ground for new ways to reach voters.
Focusing on Recruitment and Training
It is important that in addition to growing our rank and file volunteers and low dollar donors that our Party has the best and most diverse pool of candidates stepping up to run for office as well as well-trained campaign staffers available to run these races. We must have a ladder in which individuals who dedicate their time and careers to our Party can have opportunities to grow and continue to build upon the wealth of experience they develop. As DNC Vice Chair I will:
- Coordinate with the DNC and existing organizations within the legal limits to support candidate recruitment and training for Democrats running for office up and down the ballot.
- Work with the DNC and existing organizations to continue to train our campaign staffers to ensure the sharing of best practices with a special focus on lessons learned from this cycle. I will be a leader for these campaign staffers looking to get plugged into new opportunities following each campaign to ensure we maintain an experienced and diverse roster of talent while working to recruit new staffers.
My priorities are based on first-hand conversations with DNC members and volunteers, as well as personal ideas on how to best strengthen our Party. I look forward to expanding on these priorities in the weeks and months to come as I connect with each of you. I will work to make sure the voices of all DNC members are heard and that we utilize the incredible talents you bring to this Party.
I ask for your support and hope to earn it in the days and weeks ahead.
Adam J. Parkhomenko