A full agenda greeted the 224 elected PCs who attended the County Committee Meeting on December 7 in a
comfortable lecture hall on the University of Arizona campus.
After a moment of silence to remember those killed in the
attack on Pearl Harbor 78 years before, Carlos Martinez, president of UA’s
Young Democrats, welcomed PCs and observers, and encouraged PCDP to reach out
to younger members.
PCDP Chair Alison Jones introduced the elected officials and
PCDP officers in the room, and recognized the many volunteers committed to turning
Arizona blue. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Cat Ripley, PCDP’s Executive
Director, for her tireless work and incredible contributions to PCDP.
“Cat is the most capable person I know,” she said, to
Alison also thanked HQ Operations Manager Bill Laray, volunteer
coordinators Leftie Vaughn and Barbro Huth, and all others who, she said, have helped
turn HQ into a lively and welcoming hub for the party and our Democratic
candidates. Thirty volunteers now staff HQ, up from a small handful one year
”Something magical is
happening at HQ,” Alison said.
By any measure, 2019 was a banner year for PCDP. Tucson
elected Regina Romero as its first Latina mayor with the highest voter turnout
since 2003 (39%–which gives us a LOT of room for improvement). PCDP hosted the
primary mayoral candidate debate, managed finances, and contacted voters
through phone banks and canvassing. PCDP also hosted the primary and general-election
night parties, and the Inaugural Luncheon – Adelante Tucson! – which attracted
many from the business community.
Catalina Democrats, PCDP’s most generous individual
contributors, helped PCDP exceed its fundraising goals in 2019. There were only
six Catalina Dems one year ago; now there are 60, Alison announced. The Udall
Dinner raised a record amount in 2019. The ongoing Platform Film Series explores
important social issues, brings previously unengaged community members to PCDP,
and brings in revenue. It’s not unusual to have 80 new faces in HQ at these
events. Alison thanked Cat and others on the fundraising team for their
Treasurer Maggie Winchell reported on the financial
condition of PCDP. Successful fundraising in 2019 has put PCDP in a strong cash
position going into 2020. PCDP is compliant with reporting requirements.
A 2020 budget will be presented to the Executive Committee in February, as the
Training and education programs strengthen and grow PCDP. PCDP
held workshops this year to train PCs, convention delegates, treasurers, and
the voting public. “Civics 2.0: What
They Didn’t Teach You in Middle School,” is a monthly speakers series that
covers issues, legislative news, and the workings of government.
PCDP’s social media reach continues to see “huge’’ gains in Facebook
and Instagram visits, and a 90-percent growth in
Twitter followers, Alison said. “While we don’t have the number of followers of
the state or Maricopa County parties, visitors engage with PCDP sites at a much
higher rate,’’ she added.
Recruiting new PCs and turning out Democratic votes are high
priorities. ADP is working on the details of a coordinated campaign for 2020,
but it really doesn’t change what our PCs need to do. The mission of PCs is to
get out of our echo chambers and engage with those who have not felt a part of
the process. “Talk to everyone you know,” she said. “Have uncomfortable
conversations. Tell people why they must vote Democrat. You know what you have
Labor is fertile ground for PC recruitment. “I’ll go to any
meeting Labor will let me in,” Alison said.
PCDP faces an ongoing challenge to more closely resemble Pima
“By far, the biggest shortfall is Latinx representation,”
Alison said. “The Latinx community apparently does not see value in engaging
with our party. That’s on us. It is our responsibility to fix this.”
After two officers elected in 2018 resigned, Alison appointed
an acting treasurer and recording secretary. During the meeting, the body
elected by acclimation Maggie Winchell and Zoey Fife, who served well in their
After Michael Dues, a platform committee member from LD9, explained
the committee’s year-long process, the full body voted to adopt the proposed
platform. Representing a cross-section of PCDP constituencies, the platform
committee met at least twice monthly for a year. They consulted local experts and
held focus groups of Pima County PCs and others who provided feedback. The committee
will recommend updates to the platform as circumstances evolve.
“The platform describes the world in which we want to live.
It is aspirational.” Michael said.
At our August meeting, Merrill Eisenberg gave a thorough and inspiring presentation about the Outlaw Dirty Money ballot initiative. A pizza party followed, where we enjoyed socializing and learning more about each other. Our PCs are busy welcoming newly registered Democrats in their precincts, and circulating ODM petitions and petitions for candidates of their choice. We’re also ramping up to begin inviting selected independent voters to register as Democrats for the Presidential Preference Election.
It’s been a hot summer for voter registration! Teams have been trying out new ideas, partnering with other LDs, and the Field Team 6 organization. LD9 teams tried voter registration at laundromats in July, which they’ll repeat in September or October.
Field Team 6, led by LD11’s
Gil Wier, held two “First Day of School” events. The PCC event covered
four campuses and generated 81 registrations. The U of A event was also a
big success, generating 91 registrations.
LD9 Voter Registration team extended the events with two additional days at PCC and one at U of A. The U of A scored an additional 10 registrations.
We welcome volunteers
from all LDs, clubs and caucuses. Planning a voter-registration event? Contact
Mary Keerins LapisAZ@outlook.com or Ellen Toigo email@example.com and we’ll publicize it to our VR Volunteer email
list. We would also love to hear your ideas for events.
Training – The LD9 Training Team has been working with PCDP’s Education Committee to create a calendar of trainings to be held at HQ and other locations. Stay tuned for a calendar of exciting trainings for PCs and volunteers.
And Then They Came for Us – This exciting film event sold out 100 seats, but we’re planning another film event for January.
September 8 – Precinct
We will launch LD9’s
strategy for electing Democrat Regina Romero Tucson’s mayor!
LD11 has been working with Field Team 6 to register voters in Tucson and the surrounding area. We have held two 2 day events, the latest being on July 22 and July 23. Gil Wier from our Voter Registration and Contact Issue Action Committee coordinated the events and he reports that a total of 234 forms for voters have been submitted to the Pima County Recorders Office.
We are forming a new Issue Action Committee in LD11 on Healthcare. To kick off the committee, we had Dr. Randy Friese speak at our June meeting. There was great response and we had several people sign up to be on the new committee. At our July meeting Greer Warren is giving a talk on AZ Civics 101. We have encouraged PC’s to bring younger people to learn about how AZ government works.
We are planning our first LD11 and clubs Social Hour on August 1 right after the debates. The event will be at the Overlook restaurant at the Oro Valley Community center. This is a great way for PC’s and members of our eight district democratic clubs to meet and mingle and share thoughts on how to best turn out Democratic voters in our district. We plan to have another one in a few months for our Pinal County PC’s in Maricopa or Casa Grande.
July is traditionally a slow month in Tucson, but LD10
Democrats have been ramping up our efforts to get Democrats elected. We’re hot,
In early July, volunteers sent letters welcoming 485
newly-registered Democrats in our LD, suggesting ways to get involved with LD10
Democrats. The project included a “Letters to New Voters Mailing Party,”
which drew 27 participants.
Our July “Hoppy” Hour fundraiser at Hop
Street Lounge, 7215 E. 22nd St., was a great success. We sold approximately 90
tickets, and everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, beers and wines. A big “thank you’’
to everyone who attended, bought raffle tickets, and bid on silent-auction
items. Your generosity is so appreciated! If you’re in the neighborhood be sure
to check out Hop Street Lounge – and support local businesses!
Congratulations to Karen Randolph, who won the Grand
Raffle Prize of a Tucson Staycation at the Downtown Clifton Hotel, tickets to a
production of the Arizona Theater Company, and gift cards.
In July, LD10 Democrats began working on our
volunteer-recruitment project. Our goal is to recruit enough volunteers to
effectively canvass all of LD10 in 2020. The first step was a “Develop
Your Personal Story” training, which drew 14 participants. Volunteers learned
how to use personal experiences to connect with potential volunteers and
voters. Two Volunteer Recruitment Training classes followed, one drawing 22
people, another 23. These trainings covered the best practices for recruiting new
Finally, on July 30, LD10 Democrats will host a
presidential primary debate watch party at PCDP headquarters aimed at
attracting local Democrats and introducing them to LD10 Democrats and what we
In August, we will shift gears and conduct a “ballot
chase’’ project for the City of Tucson primary election. At 6 pm on Tuesday,
August 6, we’ll hold a class at PCDP headquarters on how to chase ballots. The
following two Tuesdays – August 13 and 20 – there will be 6 pm ballot chase
events at HQ that combine training and phone banks. LD10 Democrats volunteers will
contact targeted voters in their precincts to encourage them to mail in their
ballots. This project will help get sporadic voters into the habit of voting
regularly, and give LD10 Democrats valuable experience in conducting a
coordinated voter-contact campaign.