Build Blue into the New Year

As we brave the new frontier into 2022, NDTC would like to take a moment to appreciate the incredible work Democrats have done to build blue across America. 

We are revved up for a successful mid-term election year. Furthermore, we remain inspired by each and every one of you who stand up to be the change your community needs. This is why we are here every single day to stand up for you. From our on-demand academy to our live trainings and intensive cohort programs, use us to kick this year into full throttle! 

Let’s take a look at our roundup of some of the insight and resources from our first-ever Build Blue Week in September of 2022. This event kicked off the 2022 election year, so we can’t think of a better way to reflect. 

Building Blue

Campaign Planning is Essential

If you’ve spent any time training with us, you know we preach and practice campaign planning. You need a plan to win. Hard stop. And if you are a candidate or campaign staffer looking for help in building that plan, we’ve got you covered.

For Serious Candidates Only: In January 2022, we launched our Campaign CoPilot—a free, guided, online, and on-demand training program for any Democratic candidate anywhere in the country running in 2022. CoPilot walks candidates step-by-step through the creation of a personalized campaign plan and provides expert training on the fundamentals. 

Once the plan is built, campaigners must plan, track, and adapt. If circumstances or the current political climate encourages you to shift your focus or deviate from the timeline, that’s okay too! 

In our Home Stretch Success Q&A featuring NDTC Expert Trainers Jes Cruz, Jordan Berg Powers, Sarah Joy Pearson, and National Organizing Director for DCCC Pavitra Abraham, we discuss the importance of ethically doing what you need to do to win. Here, sometimes the persuasion phase of the field plan continues on until Election day.  

Great Local Leaders Make All the Difference

Building strong local infrastructure ensures future Democratic victories. In order to build blue, Democrats must strengthen local power through increasing volunteer capacity and familiarizing voters with progressive messaging. Through developing ties between community groups, labor organizations, and engaged community members, you can make inroads into red communities.

To discuss how to build strong systems, labor leaders from AFGE, SEIU, TWU, and the NEA convened around community building for collective action during Build Blue Week. 

Run For Office With NDTC

Running for office is a powerful calling. It takes confidence, grit, discipline, and the will to fight on behalf of the community members who put their faith in you..  The lived experience of current and potential candidates illustrates what it means to run for office. 

Listen to DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, Illinois State Senator Robert Peters, and Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta speak on their journey, as you contemplate your own and then head over to our Run for Office page for a round-up of resources to get you started on your journey.

Build Blue in Red Areas

In order to build power in red districts, you need specific tactics for persuading voters and raising money. This starts with proper voter targeting and assessing your persuasion universe and ends with building the right relationships through meaningful conversation. 

Build Blue Week panelists are living proof that building a campaign in Republican-leaning areas shouldn’t seem as daunting as it appears. As they reflect on the challenges faced, think about how to construct a framework that works for you in your community. 

Furthermore, red and purple state Democrats should coordinate messaging and field tactics accordingly based on the current political climate. “Flipping Seats, Flipping Voters: Campaign Lessons from Red Areas,” brought together the State Democratic Party Chairs of Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas to discuss how. 

Build Blue Communities

Behind every electoral victory lies countless hours of communication with individual voters. Blue communities are built one person at a time through relational organizing. Relational organizing focuses on effectively leveraging our existing relationships to motivate people to take political action. After all, folks listen to those they already know. 

You can maximize relational organizing’s impact in your community through our campaign experts and local leaders. Learn how, when, and why relationships should be used throughout the different phases of a campaign. 

Fostering Equitable Democratic Campaigns  

As Democrats, we seek to create a culture of inclusion and equity across the country. We must also implement these values in our own spaces. Progressive campaigns must actively accommodate folks from marginalized groups and translate a heightened awareness of social issues into concrete equitable practices. 

Our Build Blue Week panel, “Q&A Session: Inclusive Campaign Practices” engaged officials from progressive organizations including Higher Heights for America, Elect Black Women PAC, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund

Protecting the Right to Vote

Since the 2020 elections, Republicans in Congress and in statehouses around the country have been working around the clock to decimate Americans’ right to vote. From purging voter rolls to cutting early voting and instituting voter ID laws, Republicans are dismantling our sacred right to vote as we speak. This is why it is so important to raise our voices as Democrats and Americans in order to protect this fundamental right. 

During Build Blue Week, elected officials, electoral behavior researchers, and voting rights leaders addressed how campaigns can make voting accessible to all, even as voting rights are under attack.

Engaging Volunteers 

Volunteers provide the backbone to any and every successful campaign. Maintaining an engaged and dependable group of volunteers is essential for building power across America. How you manage your volunteers will determine whether or not you have a winning team. Leaders from Netroots Nation, Swing Left, and New Virginia Majority joined NDTC to break down how to be successful in this endeavor as part of Build Blue Week.

Check out our course, “Intro to Volunteer Recruitment and Management,” in order to learn the fundamentals of recruiting volunteers, as these individuals are indispensable resources for any campaign. 

Build Blue Into the Future

Our first ever Build Blue Week closed with “Building The Future,” a special event featuring NDTC Honorary Co-Chair Rep. Nikema Williams (GA-5). Representative Williams and NDTC CEO Kelly Dietrich talked about the future of Democratic campaigning and the opportunities available for those seeking to make changes in their communities. 

Ultimately, Building Blue across the Democratic ecosphere requires us to come together for collective change. Let’s be clear. Progressive change does not happen in a silo, as it takes time and the buy-in of many different individuals. 

Thank you for being part of that community of change. It’s an honor to fight alongside each of you as we work to build a nation that works for everyone. As you jump into 2022, take these 9 tenets from Build Blue Week to build blue into the New Year.   

  1. Run for Office and/or Recruit Leaders to Run
  2. Build Strong Campaign Plans
  3. Develop Local Democratic Infrastructure
  4. Further Progressive Engagement in Red Areas
  5. Stress Democracy and the Right to Vote
  6. Organize Relationally
  7. Exercise Equity and Inclusion 
  8. Grow Your Volunteer Team
  9. Vision Forward

 

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