Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes urged Jackson Democrats to embrace the coming election cycle, so that when the smoke clears after the 2020 election Michigan will see more successes like those of 2018 rather than the heartaches of 2016.
Barnes spoke to more than 80 area Democrats, candidates and officeholders on Sept. 7 at the Jackson County Democratic Committee’s 62nd annual FDR Dinner, the JCDC PAC fund’s largest single fundraiser of the year.
The event also saw two Democrats honored for their dedication and hard work, during the past year and over a lifetime of service.
Karyl Baker, former JCDC vice chair and current 7th District treasurer, was named Volunteer of the Year, and former JCDC chair Sandra Marsh was the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In her speech, Barnes issued an enthusiastic call to arms for all Democrats to get involved and volunteer for all aspects of the coming campaigns — at both the national and local levels.
“What I want you to hear me say is you have a state party that supports the work you’re going to do here in Jackson,” Barnes said. “We know Jackson’s important. We know there are Democrats everywhere in this state we can identify, talk to and turn out.”
Click on a thumbnail to view larger versions of 2019 FDR Dinner images.
Barnes outlined the state party’s effort to build a strong coordinated campaign — with 10 offices in place by the end of 2019 and 80 organizers on the ground by next year’s national convention — that will work with the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
“We’re building it early, we’re building it big and we’re building it well, so that when a presidential nominee comes in June or July of next year, we have something in place for them already,” Barnes said. “We’re going to have this thing in place that’s designed to support candidates up and down the ticket.”
Toward that end, Barnes said, the state party has hired:
- A digital organizing director to work with Democratic organizations across the state.
- A voter protection director who will not only line up lawyers to address possible Election Day abuses, but also will assist voters with new voting rules, including an aggressive absentee-voting effort.
- A director of rapid response whose job will be not only to call out lies by Donald Trump and his surrogates in Michigan, but also to show why Democrats offer a better alternative.
“I’m going to try to do some forward looking, and I’d like you to come with me looking forward about what we want to do with the future of our party, both here in Jackson and all over the nation,” she said.