Lots happening in the Central Valley before we settle on a candidate for CD 10 – an update on activities from Vincent Casalaina, Past Northern Vice Chair of the Progressive Caucus CDP
There are several organizations working in Congressional District 10 to flip the district from its current officeholder Jeff Denham. We hope you’ll be able to join in on the great work being done in that district with several organizations described below.
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. The effort in CA is based out of their Modesto office headed by Cindy Reed.
They have a different approach to canvassing. Working to advance good jobs, a fair economy and a democracy that represents all of us, Working America has face to face conversations to identify issues of concern to working families and to empower them with good information on candidates and issues. To do that they have a two-part volunteer training program before you go out to work in the field. First you fill out a questionnaire and then attend a Working America Training.
You can find out more information about, and signing up for the training at this URL: http://www.workingamerica.org/centralvalley/volunteer.
The canvassing takes place virtually every Saturday afternoon (currently starting 11 am) as well as some Tuesdays and Thursdays late afternoon (starting at 4 pm). It’s staged out of the Modesto office – around 1hr 20 min. away at that time of day – and will use hand held devices such as an iPad using a labor-generated database.
They’ve had a great response rate so far. In the past two weeks since they started actively canvassing, their paid staff and 30 volunteers have knocked on 1,341 doors and made 603 contacts. That’s a 45% successful contact rate. For those of you who know some about canvassing, a 25% success rate is usually considered excellent. They clearly know how to build an enduring base of support for progressive policies and they have a long term plan to increase civic engagement and capture the hearts and minds of potential working-class voters.
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 centered around Tracy and Manteca.
Since this is well before a candidate is endorsed, the CDP is doing canvassing similar to Working America. The canvass is reaching out beyond just Democrats (looking at the total universe of voters) to get them talking. The canvass looks to find 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 will use hand held devices such as an iPad or mobile phone with the NGP mini Van application that can be downloaded and installed at the training on the day of the canvass.
All of the July canvasses will be staged in Turlock at the Crane Park and are currently scheduled to start at 1:30 (there is some thought about pushing the time down an hour to work as the day cools off). Here are the July canvass dates with the links to register:
Sunday, July 9th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here.
Sunday, July 16th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here.
Sunday, July 23rd 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here.
Sunday, July 30th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here.
Sunday, August 6th 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm RSVP: Click here.
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 is coordinating a booth at the Tracy Farmers market primarily aimed at voter registration. That has proven to be a good location as people come to browse so spending a few minutes talking about registrations seems to work into people’s time frame.
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.
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 developing an “adopt a precinct” operation which is starting with local precinct groups but will soon be asking for outside support within that program.
The Stanislaus Democratic Central Committee wants to be part of the “Blue Wave”. They held a candidate recruitment / fundraiser on June 24. They are rightly concerned that of the 147 local election seats on in 2018, 130 are held by Republicans and in the last election cycle, many of those Republicans ran unopposed. I’ll keep looking to see if there is something there that we can work on.
Two new Super PAC’s are targeting all 7 of the Congressional Districts Hillary won in California last year that still have Republican Representatives (Sinful 7 – CD 10 Jeff Denham, CD 21 David Valadao, CD 25 Steve Knight, Cd 39 Ed Royce, CD 45 Mimi Walters, CD 48 Dana Rohrbacher and CD 49 Farrell Issa). 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. Take a look at the PAC websites and see what you think.
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.
Past N. Vice Chair
Progressive Caucus CDP