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8.22.19 A Dozen Ways We Help Local Candidates

You can feel it: Excitement is already building for the 2020 election. 

Unless you’re running for office yourself, you may not know all the ways KCDP supports local Democratic candidates. For the next 14 months, we’re focusing on this with more intensity than ever before. 

Count ‘em!
A dozen ways we help local candidates

“One of the most important things we do —especially for candidates who do not have background in campaigning — is help them get off on the right foot,” says Jake Andrews, Chair of the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party. 

“We want them to have a realistic understanding of what will be required — how many neighborhoods they’ll need to walk, how much money they’ll have to raise, how much time it will take out of their lives.”


So KCDP helps candidates bring the big picture into focus in four important ways: understanding the local political landscape, developing a campaign strategy, laying out a concrete fundraising plan, and identifying organizations to approach for endorsements


We also help candidates put together a field plan, which predicts turnout and identifies priority precincts for canvassing and mail efforts.  


“All these things are really important, but perhaps the most crucial way we help candidates is in fine-tuning their message,” Andrews says. “We work with them to make sure it is compelling for voters in their district.” 


For the 2020 election, five to ten targeted campaigns will receive financial support from KCDP — funds that primarily come from your membership dues and other donations

And KCDP supports all local Democratic campaigns in other significant ways: 


Free-of-charge access to the otherwise-expensive goldmine of information that resides in Voter Action Network (VAN)—the Democratic voter database that allows targeted canvassing and mailing efforts. 


Monthly and then weekly Campaign Coordination meetings at the KCDP office to which every campaign sends a representative. This produces a coordinated calendar so campaigns avoid scheduling events on the same day. A master tracking document records doors knocked and phone calls made by all the campaigns. 


Use of the KCDP office as a meeting and work space for their volunteers. 


Templates for campaign tools.  


And importantly, inclusion in the “slate mailer” that lists the Democratic contenders for every office in the county. It’s sent to 30,000 – 40,000 households as election day approaches.  

The July 25, 2019 edition of this newsletter explains why it’s crucial that Democrats have an engaged candidate in every race.Toward that goal, Andrews says, “We have invited representatives from many community groups to be involved, and they’ve been very helpful.  

“We don’t want to operate in a bubble. If Democrats want to represent the whole county, then we need to be proactive about reaching out to the whole county to find candidates.” 

The good news is that these efforts are paying off! Several newcomers have come forward to explore a run. Candidates are still needed, particularly in Texas, Schoolcraft, Richland and Pavilion townships. To learn more, email Andrews at kcdp-chair@kzoodems.com.

175 contributions last month!  

July was a tremendously successful fundraising month! KCDP Director of Development Margy Belchak reports July income of $13,398 from 175 contributions. August is shaping up to be another banner month, and year-to-date contributions have exceeded $56,000. 

Margy Belchak, KCDP Director of Development

“We are building up the KCDP’s resources so we can do more and do it earlier in 2020,” Belchak says. “2018 showed us that our hard work pays off. Our community has been very receptive to our fundraising events and membership renewal drive. Many thanks to our donors!

“Local Democrats know that 2020 may be the most important election of their lives. I am grateful that the KCDP is able to give people an opportunity to channel their frustration and horror at the current administration by donating to support our work to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. It’s great to see the Blue Wave already gathering momentum!”

There’s still lots to do! Interested in serving on the KCDP Fundraising Committee? Contact Margy Belchak at fundraising@kzoodems.com.

Coming soon

KCDP is pleased to be a sponsor for the YWCA Women’s Equality Luncheon on Friday, August 23, 11:30am-1:30pm, WMU Fetzer Center, 2251 Business Court, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. We need volunteers to distribute info at our table. To sign up or get info: volunteer@kzoodems.com.

KCDP is participating in the MDP Voter Education Day of Action on Saturday, August 24, 10am-2pm. We’re looking for canvassing volunteers to register voters and spread the word about permanent, no-reason absentee voting in Texas Township. Bring a friend and come for as long as you can; training provided. Meet at Hoadley for Congress headquarters, 5320 Holiday Terrace, #8, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. More info: volunteer@kzoodems.com.

We’ll have a lively presence at this year’s Bronco Bash on Tuesday, August 27, 3-7pm,  Sangren Pedestrian Mall on the campus of WMU. KCDP volunteers will greet students, distribute information and register voters at this fun, annual event. Come for as long as you can. To sign up or get info: volunteer@kzoodems.com.

The KCDP Volunteer Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 11, 5:30-7pm at the KCDP office, 3254 S. Westnedge Ave. in Kalamazoo. New members are welcome. For info, email Jenny Snyder, newsletter@kzoodems.com, or just show up! 

Our monthly KCDP “Third Thursday” meeting will be on September 19, at Traveler’s Cafe and Pub, 5225 Portage Rd, Portage, MI. 5:30-7:30pm—Speaker from 5;30-6:30pm; business meeting from 6:30-7:30pm. No reservation necessary; we have the whole back room. You can order dinner, just a beverage, or nothing at all, but do join us! Questions? Email info@kzoodems.com.

Mark your calendar! You’ll soon receive your invitation to Brown-Todd-Wolpe, KCDP’s biennial award presentation & fundraiser, to be held Saturday, October 12, 5:30-8pm at Niko’s Landing, Kalamazoo.   

Why I’m a Democrat—
Randy Wolbert

“Booker T. Washington said, ‘There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.’ I am a Democrat because we are the party of pulling up. Democrats stand up for: the rights of all; health care for all; education for all; and justice for all. Time to listen to our better angels and take our country back by voting Democratic.”

Hitting Reply

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Thanks for reading!

Paid for by the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions are not US tax deductible.