Thank you for documenting the issues in grassroots organizing, which has been happening in the party since 2004. The party is indeed loosing valuable organizing assets and volunteers.
I have experienced this issue first hand. As a college grad, I worked both for the outsourced grassroots fund raising company mentioned in the article (an issue that deserves its own attention) and a state party on the national campaign in the last two months of the election in 2004. While I never directly worked for the DNC, it was direct enough that I came up as an expenditure for the 2004 campaign. I was enthusiastic, passionate and deeply disappointed when we lost.
Not once since I left my job on the day after Kerry's concession speech have I heard anything from the national organization. Even with the 50 State Strategy in force, the party which I committed to, which invested in me as an organizer, discarded me with the loss in 2004. There are many of us floating around, forgotten by the party. It wouldn't have kept much to keep us involved, but the party didn't do it.
I hope they can learn from 2004 and in 2008 do the following not to lose those who are involved this year:
As part of the contract with GCI get names of the canvass staff in order to thank them and get them to volunteer with the party in the future (many are college students who would be wonderful campus organizers)
Contact the paid staff at the end of the election regardless of the election outcome and thank them. They work long hours for low pay out of passion.
Keep in touch with the paid staff. Help them get involved when they move (since large numbers of them move after the election), finding projects on they local level they would like to volunteer for, or smaller campaigns which need part or full time staff.
The Democratic Party needs to value everyone who participates and keep in touch, beyond the candidate level.
Feb 25 2008 - 11:27am