Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Voter Outreach

Well, I would like to get your all's opinion on something that the BVDC (Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee) is working to get together.

As we are a small committee compared to others, and seeing as how I'm the only member under about 40, I am consistently referred to as "the youth movement." Right now, "the youth movement" is working with the Vice Chairman and one of the Precinct Captains, in conjunction (well, actually, we're still in planning) with the Washington County Virginia Democratic Committee, to do some kind of event--potluck, party, dinner, whatever--to get high school and college students involved in the party.

We held a mock election at my high school before the 2005 election, and Russ Potts got more votes than Tim Kaine did (Leslie Byrne was the only one to win, oddly enough), but, that being said, I would still put our number of Democrats (at least in the senior class) as something like 45 (of 98).

I've been working, one-by-one, on converting some folks, and I've received a fair amount of success. After you convince the more "country" folks that abortion and gay marriage won't bring about Armageddon, and that no Democrat wants to take your hunting rifle (and you don't need an AK-47 to shoot a deer unless the deer is armed, too), the rest is easy. The tax stuff makes sense to them, the national health care sounds like the best thing to them to come around the bend, they're all for unions, and think stem cell research could save all kinds of lives.

So I see no problem with growing our base exponentialy in rural Virginia. The problem is, "I'm only one man," in other words, I can't convert all of them.

So, now to my question; Would something like this work? Would people show up (as the food is free), and should some semi-notable Democrat be invited to speak?

Thoughts? Opinions?


Alice said...

Maybe Boucher would 'cause he is running for reelection?

Charlie said...

This past election, I tried to recruit people from GMU law school to volunteer for the dems in the election . GMU law, as many people don't know, is one of the most conservative law schools in the country. So my task was similar to yours!

I did the free food thing too (pizza, in my case - the owner of a local pizza joint was a big kaine supporter and cut us a great deal!). So the free food thing is a great idea, works well.

Having some prominent local dem come to the meeting is a good idea too, I wasn't able to do that. I'm sure that would boost turnout even more.

Good luck!

Genevieve said...

Neal- I did something like what you're suggesting when I was in high school (all of a whole year ago, lest you think I'm one of the over 40s!), and, if you plan it right, it can be a major success. Give me an email if you'd like, it would take up several pages to explain what I did and what I'd do differently if I could do it all again. :D