Opportunities to flip CD10 from Red to Blue – August 2017

What’s happening in the Central Valley – Work to be done in CD 10

by Vincent Casalaina, August 1, 2017

Many organizations are at work to flip CD 10 from Republican to Democratic. Read all about their work below and find some orgs that you might want to work with. All of them will be glad to accept your help!

We recommend you first orient yourself to CD-10 with this terrific research document from SwingLeft:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mDh5_n2uuCkajdX2sBXDy5uEK0Bt6HhR8kYY-BiJYKA/edit#heading=h.pdu6au66nb6p

Working America is a 501(c)(5) tax-exempt organization which is the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.  Working America runs a door to door canvassing operation that reaches out to a broad spectrum of working-class people and brings them together to make change in their communities and across the country. In other states where they have used this model they’ve relied on paid canvassers. The effort in CA will add volunteers to their canvass that is based out of their Modesto office headed by Cindy Reed.

I took their training recently and came away really impressed with their vision of how to move people to action by becoming a trusted source. They even use a different word ‘Rap’ to describe the interaction at the door rather than the traditional word ‘script’. Their approach is based on starting face to face conversations that identify issues of concern to working families and to empower them with good information on candidates and issues.  It does not stop with the initial contact. Working America will send those they get to join periodic emails on the issue the people felt most strongly about. They’ll also get occasional action items for them to do.

To make sure everyone understands both the long term goals and the canvassing process they use a two-part volunteer training program before anyone goes to work in the field. First you fill out a questionnaire and then you attend a Working America Training for an hour before you head out to canvass.

You can find out more information about, and signing up for the training/canvassing at this URL. There’s also a link on this page to the form you need to fill out.


The canvassing takes place virtually every Saturday afternoon (starting 11 am) as well as some Tuesdays and Thursdays late afternoon (starting at 4 pm) all the way through September. It’s staged out of the Modesto office – around 1hr 30 min. away for the Saturday morning shift. As a canvasser you will use hand held devices such as an iPad with an app working from a labor generated database. You can bring your own and download the app or use one of theirs.

They’ve had a great response rate so far. Using a mix of their paid staff and volunteers they have knocked on 1,341 doors and made 603 contacts.  That’s a 45% successful contact rate. They clearly know how to build an enduring base of support for progressive policies and have a long term plan to increase civic engagement.

The California Democratic Party (funded in part by the DCCC March into ’18 initiative) is making an early investment in 20 Congressional Districts across the country. The CDP has put paid field organizers into three districts here in California; CD 10 Jeff Denham, CD 25 Steve Knight and CD 49 Darrell Issa. The program in CD 10 is headed by Lucia Nunez and is going to be working mostly in Tracy and Manteca during August.

The CDP is doing what’s called “deep canvassing” similar to Working America. The canvass reaches out beyond just Democrats to open a conversation with as many voters as possible. The canvass asks the person’s support for the President, the top issues they are concerned about and, where the conversation permits, a discussion of Democratic positions versus those of Jeff Denham. They are also doing voter registration at the door for anyone in the household that is not currently registered.

The canvassing use hand held devices such as iPads or mobile phones with the NGP miniVan Touch application. You can download it now and find out how it works at the training on the day of the canvass.

The August canvasses will be staged in Turlock (Aug. 6) and Riverbank (Aug. 13). Here are
the August canvass dates with the links to register:

  • Sunday, August 6th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here (Join us for a day of canvassing throughout strategic neighborhoods in Turlock. We will meet at Crane Park for a short training and then break out into teams for a day of making connections with local residents! The canvass will be followed by a Volunteer BBQ and Pool Party!)
  • Sunday, August 13th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here (We will go door-to- door
    in the neighborhoods to chat with voters about the issues important to them and the
    upcoming 2018 elections.  We may even register a few people to vote and recruit
    new volunteers to the movement!   You can canvass with a buddy or solo.)

The CDP will use the data collected to do follow up emails and canvasses based on issues the people are concerned about. They see the need to do be reaching out to voters more than just at election time.

In addition, Lucia has an idea for those of you who are not up for walking the Central Valley summer. She is working on getting precinct captains throughout CD 10. One way to reach all the voters in a precinct is to send them personalized postcards letting them know there’s going to be a canvass of their neighborhood. That’s where you can help. Set up a post card writing party and then send the completed cards off to the precinct captain for local distribution.

The Greater Tracy Democratic Club is headed by Vecky Elliot. Many of us went out earlier in the year to help them in their early voter registration efforts. They have now switched gears and are building their new GO Team operation (Grassroots Organizing Team) which is modeled on Keith Ellison’s 3,000 county strategy. This will kick off in earnest in September. The GO Team will be building a relationship with individual voters – much like the deep canvassing that is being done by other groups. The difference is the GO Teams will be precinct based and people working on a GO Team will return to the same precinct a number of times during the full the election cycle to build the relationship with the voters.

The GO Team structure is headed by a Tracy wide organizer who will work with four regional organizers who in turn will work with fifteen precinct captains. Each precinct captain will work with ten volunteers. That’s where you come in. Those volunteers can be either local residents or volunteers who want to build a relationship with people and work with them over time. You can sign up to volunteer here and someone will get back to you.


In the meantime Indivisible Berkeley as lined up one Saturday a month to work with the Greater Tracy Dem Club canvassing high priority precincts. They’ll be using the same script as the GO Team precinct canvassers but they’re looking at covering an entire precinct each day.

Here are the dates:

  • Saturday August 12 from 2pm to 5 pm
  • Saturday Sept. 9 from 2pm to 5 pm

Sign up through Indivisible Berkeley – billymcdonaldnp@gmail.com

The California Away Team is headed by Shabbir Safdar. It is a group of passionate Democrats who volunteer to leave safely Democratic places to go to battleground elections and volunteer.  This is their fourth election cycle running this program. In this election they are focusing on districts in California where the number of Democrats who skip the midterms is close to or greater than the margin of win. They run a program to activate registered Democrats who skip the midterms with a Get Out The Vote campaign targeted solely at those missing Democrats.

Currently they are focused in CD 07 where there were 50,000 missing voters in the last mid-term election. Energizing those missing voters will help keep this seat blue.  Shortly they hope to open a new front in CD 10 to take down Jeff Denham.  To make this happen they will need some organizing team members to get the program off the ground.

You can read more about the California Away Team and the opportunities in CA-10 to activate midterm-skipping Democrats at their website:


Organizing for California, headed by Patty Hughes in Modesto, is a 501c4. This organization can take donations for candidates from computers and office supplies to software and food. The idea is to find the resources that progressive campaigns can rarely find the cash to pay for. Before you toss that old iPad or the next time you go to the office supply store. Think about Organizing for California and what your donation can do.


Patty sees Organizing for California as strong group of community organizers using grassroots action to make positive changes in our local communities, region and state. They work together to help with the common cause for the common good. Whether working with a partner organization that addresses health, poverty, disabilities, politics, animals, environment, or another cause, they incorporate volunteer and voter education and/or skill training into any of our programs. She will have more concrete things for us to do once it starts to cool down in the Central Valley.

Super PACs targeting all 7 of the Congressional Districts Hillary won in California last year that still have Republican Representatives. You can give money to the PAC’s or you can wait, pick your progressive candidates in early 2018 and then give the money directly to your favorites.

Ellen Tauscher – CA7Project:

Michael Eggman – Red to Bue California PAC

In addition Patty Hughes has a PAC called Californians for a Democratic Congress. The PAC has already started an aggressive push to hold Republicans accountable in the Sinful 7 districts as well as CD 22 Devin Nunez and CD 04 Tom McClintock. Let’s make sure we win every competitive race we can in California.


Vincent Casalaina
Past N. Vice Chair
Progressive Caucus CDP



CD – 10 Organized by Indivisible Berkeley

Saturday, August 12, 2-5pm—IB Canvassing Day! in Tracy with Tracy Democratic Club, with help from the wonderful Vecky Elliott, who spoke at our Special Assembly last Sunday! Email billymcdonaldnp@gmail.com to RSVP and carlockjeff@gmail.com to organize carpools.

Sunday, August 13, 7:30pm, Indivisible Berkeley General Assembly, Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut Street, Berkeley.

Sunday, August 13, 4:30-8:30pm, Canvass in Riverbank with Lucia Nunez. RSVP here.

Sunday, August 13, 6:30-8:15pm, Walk a neighborhood in Modesto with Nuestro Voto! RSVP here.

Thursday, August 17, 10am, Voter registration for new citizens. Per the organizers: “Helping brand new Americans activate their citizenship by registering to vote is one of the most fulfilling activities we can participate in. From countries all over the world, they pour out of the Paramount Theater after taking the oath of allegiance to their new homeland, where we welcome them with an offer to register to vote the same day. Join us at 10 am in front of the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Look for a row of ironing boards on both sides of the entrance. No experience is necessary – we will train on site at 10 am.” RSVP here.

Sunday, August 20, 7:30pm – next Elections Team gathering, likely to be a postcard party! BFUU Connie Barbour Room, 1606 Bonita Ave.

Saturday, September 9, 2-5pm—IB Canvassing Day! in Tracy with Tracy Democratic Club. Email billymcdonaldnp@gmail.com to RSVP and carlockjeff@gmail.com to organize carpools.

Saturday, October 14, 2-5pm—IB Canvassing Day! in Tracy with Tracy Democratic Club. Email billymcdonaldnp@gmail.com to RSVP and carlockjeff@gmail.com to organize carpools.

Saturday, December 9, 2-5pm—IB Canvassing Day! in Tracy with Tracy Democratic Club. Email billymcdonaldnp@gmail.com to RSVP and carlockjeff@gmail.com to organize carpools.

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