Opportunities to flip CD10 from Red to Blue – Sept 2017

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

by Vincent Casalaina, September 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.




9/9 Sat: Dem Club of Greater Tracy, Indivisible Berkeley

9/10 Sun: CA Dem Party

9/17 Sun: Dem Club of Greater Tracy, CA Dem Party

9/23 Sat: Dem Club of Greater Tracy


Working America

If you want to support labor, Working America is where you want to volunteer.  Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, is a “knock on every door” in-depth canvassing operation. They reach out to a broad spectrum of working-class people and bring them together to make change. They are looking for volunteers to supplement their field team that works out of their downtown Modesto office . It’s headed by Cindy Reed.

Here’s a first person account of Carla, one of our volunteers.  “We were directed to a working class area and Debbie and I tag teamed.  I did the rap while she input the information into the iPad and spoke up when I faltered. We knocked on 25 doors and had conversations at 13 of them. Ten people joined Working America and all ten signed the action item petition against Jeff Denham. Debbie and I were uplifted and the people were warm and welcoming.”

Working America’s strategy does not stop with the initial contact.  They send those who join periodic emails on the specific issue the people felt most strongly about. Not only did the volunteers listen at the door, Working America follows up with information and occasional action items related to their important issue – becoming a “trusted source”.

You can find out more information about their campaign and sign up for the training/canvassing here:  http://www.workingamerica.org/centralvalley/volunteer

The canvassing takes place virtually every Saturday afternoon (starting 11 am) as well as some Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the late afternoon (starting at 4 pm) all the way through November.

Even though each canvass does not reach many people, the response rate from the people you talk to is outstanding. Using a mix of their paid staff and volunteers they have knocked on thousands of doors with 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.


Democratic Club of Greater Tracy

Headed by Vecky Elliot, President of the Dem Club of Greater Tracy, the club is officially kicking off their new GO Team operation (Grassroots Organizing Team). It’s a “deep canvass” program modeled on Keith Ellison’s 3,000 county strategy and developed by the San Diego Dem Party. This program has proven successful in San Diego, raising Democratic voter turnout by 14%.

In Tracy the GO Teams will focus on precinct organization.  There’s a precinct captain in charge of organizing the volunteers in the precinct. Here’s where you come in: when you volunteer you’ll be assigned to a precinct and every time you come out you’ll go back to that same precinct. New canvassers will be assigned to Democratic houses with the overall goal of knocking on every door. The object or the canvassing is to form a bond with the people in the precinct. This long term strategy looks to make you a “trusted source” that can influence voter.

These are the dates in Sept. for canvassing:

  • Saturday Sept. 9
  • Sunday, Sept. 17  Kick Off BBQ 12-2pm  Canvass 2-6pm
  • Saturday Sept. 23

To sign up for any of the September event, please go to www.tinyurl.com/SeptemberGO. When you sign up you’ll get the staging location.  All of the canvassing will be in Tracy. If you are not sure about the date you want to canvass or want to learn more about the GO Team concept click here: http://greatertracydems.weebly.com/join-the-tracy-go-team.html

In an effort to form lasting relationships, the GO Teams will follow up the initial contacts with information on local events, issues of importance and ways that they can become involved. They want to make sure that Tracy is Deep Blue by the elections in 2018.

There are 19 Bay Area groups already signed up to help implement the GO Team program including Swing Left, Indivisible, OFA, Our Revolution and Democratic clubs from San Joaquin County, the Tre-Valley area, and the inner Bay Area. Check with you local club to see if they have dates for canvassing planned.

Indivisible Berkeley has lined up one Saturday a month to help with the Dem Club of Greater Tracy’s canvassing. For September that date is:

  • Saturday Sept. 9  – carpools leave at 12:30 – Canvass 2-6pm

Sign up through Indivisible Berkeley:  https://www.indivisibleberkeley.org/event/canvassing-sep9.

For more information contact – carlockjeff@gmail.com


California Democratic Party (funded in part by the DCCC March into ’18 initiative)

The California Democratic Party (CDP) is working to flip House seats in 2018. They have 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 working throughout the district.

CDP is doing “deep canvassing” similar to Working America and Greater Tracy Democratic Club. The “deep canvassing” 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 September canvasses will be staged in Modesto (Sept. 10) and Turlock (Sept. 17). Here are the September canvass dates with the links to register:

  • Sunday, September 10 from 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Click here to reserve your spot for Modesto canvassing! Join us for late afternoon canvassing in strategic neighborhoods of Modesto. We will meet at North Valley Labor Federation and then break out into teams to make connections with local residents!
  • Sunday, September 17 from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Click here to reserve you spot for Turlock canvassing! We will meet at Crane Park and then go door-to-door in the neighborhoods of Turlock to chat with voters about the issues important to them and the upcoming 2018 elections.

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.

Lucia wants to remind people that there will be a Congressional Recess the week of Sept. 15 – 22. She’ll have some more fun activities for those who want to come out to CD 10 and make your voice heard at Jeff Denham’s office. In August they held him accountable for his ACA vote at a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new healthcare center.


California Away Team

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 and in this election they are focusing specifically on Congressional 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: http://www.calawayteam.com/midterm_skippers_in_ca_10


Organizing for California

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: http://organizingforcalifornia.org/

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

There are 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 – CA 07 Project – focus just on Congressional District 7: https://www.ca7project.com/
Article about Tauscher’s Super PAC: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/23/borenstein-tauscher-has-a-plan-to-unseat-seven-congressional-republicans/

Michael Eggman – Red to Blue California PAC – focus on 7th Congressional District:   https://www.redtoblueca.org/
Article about Red to Blue: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-midterm-elections-democrats_us_594fe14be4b02734df2b15fb?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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 CasalainaPast Northern Vice ChairProgressive Caucus CDP