Till the polls open on November 8th 2016.

Are you ready?

No really, I’m asking.

Seems to be an awful lot of chatter on the internets about this race already and Georgia’s sixteen electoral votes comes up frequently.  Is it wishful thinking that we could be the object of a serious and sustained Presidential battle in 2 1/2 years? I don’t know, but I can tell you someone is accumulating the metrics to make that judgement call.

Wait, did I just say metrics, and not hopes, dreams, unicorns and rainbows. Why yes, yes I did.  Folks, it’s just not enough to whine about it. We have to pull our big people pants on, check a zillion egos at the door and get to work.

I apologize for harshing your rainy day with my very jaded view of our landscape but the situation now requires some tough love.

We’ve all read the numerous articles about the team of  professionals who worked for the DNC and OFA 2.o beginning in 2007. Not one will fail to mention the stunning amounts of data mining that went on for years to create the targets and then used them to create the superb  re-election plan.  Toiling away deep underground, testing hundreds of scenarios in the “cave” and applying the most minute changes to the complex algorithms and adjusting accordingly. Then delivering it to the assembled army of volunteers and paid staff. In a nutshell it all boiled down to getting the turnout of our voters. Exactly what Sen. Doug Stoner was saying during his campaign for DPG Chair. We ONLY want to register our folks and then get them to vote for us. Duh. Democratic Voter Registration and GOTV is not “civic engagement” it’s the hard concrete people in politics play on.

But Juliana, I don’t “like” my county party, elected Democrat, DPG, local leader” etc, because “one time in band camp I went to a breakfast and the people there were too busy to notice that I had arrived for the first time ever and they went about their business and didn’t acknowledge my unique and special qualities, so I never went back, but on Facebook I commented in a group and said  all y’all should be doing something to turn Georgia Blue “.  Yes that was meant to be one sentence, because it’s very nearly a direct quote from many mouths yapping around me. I’m all for welcoming folks into our groups and organizations, but please take two minutes to introduce yourself ask how you can help, what you could learn from the folks in the room and by all means before you back me into a corner to yell at me about something I have sh*t all to do with, take a deep breath first.

But back to metrics, I imagine someone in cave is looking at our likely scenarios.

I’ve put together a couple questions that could easily be checked in early 2015, just for shits and giggles I added a little intellectually light weight reasoning. I believe that if the answers aren’t a unequivocal yes, we’re doomed.

Did the DPG reorganize itself into well funded, professionally staffed and volunteer supported organization?

Will they work and play well with the DC consultants, operations people, PACs and divas?

Did they identify likely Democratic voters, get them registered and create a GOTV effort that increased Democratic turnout statewide in 2014 by at least 300,000? Heck Fulton has about 200,000 alone.

Did the large donors finally get into the Georgia money pool or are they still exporting their resources to other states and campaigns? I’d like nothing more than to see the folks who’s names regularly appear on host committees to start keeping their money local.  Or if they want to rub elbows with the grand and powerful, at least make a corresponding donation that will stay here. I’m not calling anyone out, yet. But I’ll say that many many many people in grassroots organizing have been doing the heavy lifting  in Georgia since before 2003, it sure would be nice if the well heeled could get our back once in a while.

Was Georgia able to elect at least one Democratic statewide officer in 2014? We have nine chances, but really only one counts. At this point statewide offices are about all we’ve got left to connect the many disparate factions and interests in the party. Redistricting is clearly a major obstacle for gaining back the GA House or GA Senate and the few “purple” districts are not going to unify our mob.

I’ll be watching to see who is working on these plans, and who is talking about working on the plans, and who is just looking for affirmation of their existence.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

If your county party is broken, join it to fix it. If you don’t have one, start one.

Reach out to the Democratic Party State Committee members that represent you, if they are  jerks or unresponsive-run against them. Heck there may even been Vacant seats available. Fifty rural counties are not currently represented on the State Committee.

If you have a couple extra bucks each month put it here.

Are you Young or Young at Heart? Join these folks.

Don’t know how to help folks fill out a voter registration form, get trained by your local NAACP, League of Women Voters or your elections board. Better yet organize a meeting, and invite them to train a bunch of you.

Don’t know how to work Vote Builder, contact your Congressional District Chair to arrange a training.

Don’t know how to work Social Media to get your committee’s events out, ask someone to help you. Check out your local Library they may have someone who would be glad to do it.

I could go on, but you get the idea.