– By Peter Minett
Ever since last year’s election there has been a substantial increase of interest in politics for everyone in the center, and left of center. Nevada County has seen the formation of several Indivisible groups, and other resistance organizations, and renewed activity in the Democratic Party here. Extra volunteers have made it possible for the party to accomplish a good deal. The real proof will be in next year’s elections.
In Communications we, the Nevada County Democratic Central Committee (aka Nevada County Democrats), are seeing a significant increase in the number of pieces that are getting published in the Union, and other local media outlets like YubaNet and the Auburn Journal. We’ve re-designed our logo, webpage, and newsletter. While those are still in ‘transition’ we’ve added a blog to the website, and are making the newsletter an on-line, and stream lined production. Working with local media professionals we’re producing video clips for events, and candidates. Professional talent has also stepped forward to advise us on integrating and focusing our messaging.
After a complete review of our By-Laws, we’ve made explicit an early endorsement procedure, and provided candidate Hilary Hodge (BOS 3) with that endorsement. Our Candidate Recruitment and Support committee has created a Candidate & Campaign Training which they’ve run 3 times. We’ve received 4 requests to bring it to other parts of northern CA. They’ve also sponsored a Speakers Training for which there is further demand. And, they’re in the final stages of providing us all with a complete list of elected and appointed positions in Nevada Co. There are close to 200!
Our Fiscal committee has retained the services of a professional treasurer, which is a practical necessity in these times. A central committee automatically qualifies as a PAC so there are filing requirements generated by every election in all parts of the state. One of our stalwart volunteers has built us a storage unit to reduce the need to pay rent and streamline our expenditures.
The fundraising committee has made excellent progress in securing regular monthly contributions to cover more than half of our monthly expenditures. The obvious goal is to cover all our regular monthly costs so that we can raise more money for campaigning. We’re getting there. We will start 2018 with a dedicated campaign fund to be used to support election efforts and contribute directly to targeted campaigns. Additional good news is that we’re tweaking the way we manage special events so that they pay for themselves, and are now succeeding most of the time. Our annual Gala was among our most successful ever.
First Tuesday events have seen nearly twice our previous attendance, and has necessitated renting a larger space several times this year.
Our Fair Booth is completely new, and much more attractive. Our participation in the Fourth of July parade and Constitution Day parades was also high, and highly energized. We have plans to partner with other organizations next year. We tabled regularly at Thursday evening markets in Grass Valley, intermittently at the Nevada City Farmers market and Sierra College. Our annual outreach to high school students is in the planning stage.
Our Volunteer & Headquarters committee has made over 3,000 calls this year – which is great for a non-election year. 2018 should see 7 times that number. We are working on creating teams of volunteers with a variety of specific targeted “missions.” The improvements made to our data utilization and integration are nothing less than dramatic.
The Nevada County Democrats have also chartered 3 new Democratic Clubs this year. The Tahoe-Truckee club is dually chartered in Nevada and Placer Counties to meet the needs of that area. Sierra Forward targets CD 4, of which part of Truckee is included, and is making enough of an impact to now have that congressional race on the state and national radar. Nevada County Indivisible Dems for Progress has been working all year on finding common ground between centrist and progressive Democrats, doing a lot of voter education on various aspects of political processes including the role of money in politics, and promoting daily and weekly activism. At the regional level our central committee members have been instrumental in the formation of a CD 1 chartered organization (CD 1 Democratic Alliance) that is permitted to work across the 11 counties of CD 1 for Democratic causes.
Our members have been involved in campaign preparations, voter registration, protesting badly conceived legislation, advocating for progressive changes in the state, and within the state party; in working with many other organizations within Nevada County. The most exciting development, for me, is seeing the emergence of a Democratic community in our county informally constituted of many groups and individuals. It’s a very welcome change.
We’ll know the progress is real when we see the results of this year’s 2 elections; June and November.