Retake the Roundhouse, Round II: An Emerging Strategy to Identify Democrats Who Impeded Passage of Progressive Legislation in 2017 and Apply Some Heat.
In November, the Democrats retook the Roundhouse, but in the 2017 legislative session a great many bills failed to even get to either the House or Senate floor for a vote. Why? Retake is developing a strategy through which we will identify committees where good bills dies and specific legislators who impeded passage of progressive legislation and develop a better understanding of how the legislative process actually works. The strategy is still in its formative stages and you can impact the development of the strategy by getting involved. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved in this work. We will be meeting monthly to advance the strategy. We anticipate the following steps to our plan.
- Interview a dozen or more key lobbyists and ask them how their bills died? What committees voted not to pass their bills or stalled the bill by not taking a vote? What legislators were most responsible?
- Compile a list of those legislators, identify their district boundaries and reach out to activists and progressive Democrats in those districts and engage in conversation: Is this something that concerns you? Do you have others who might be concerned? Would you be interested in collaborating to apply pressure on your legislator?
- For districts where we identify activist and progressive Democrats who want to collaborate, we would first support their efforts to expand their base, developing flyers and fact sheets, and even offering to provide training in the ‘Community Conversations-Listening’ canvassing we are doing in support of Equity Summer. Obviously we would not be using the Chainbreaker script, but one revised to focus on their local issues and their legislator.
- Then, local activists would seek a meeting with the legislator to share the specific bills that they had hoped would have been passed and seek the reasons that their legislator had not pushed the bill forward. They will ask what would need to happen for the legislator to support the bills for which they are advocating.
- If the legislator is not cooperative or is unresponsive, the activists will then consider trying to identify a more reliably progressive candidate to run in the 2018 primary.
- At the same time, will work together to identify 8-10 high priority bills that represent progressive values and represent all regions of the state to create a Progressive Platform and advocate with the State Platform and Regulations Committee (SPARC) to incorporate these 8-10 priorities as a preface to the full platform that is in development. We will also communicate with legislative leadership to encourage them to formally adopt the priorities as a Democratic Party High Priority Legislative Agenda. This can’t be a ‘Santa Fe’ platform, but rather must reflect the progressive priorities of all regions of the state.
- The activists will then seek a second meeting with their legislator and share the platform priorities and ask if s/he would support them strongly.
- In doing 1-7, not only will we identify the legislators who have been problematic in advancing progressive legislation, but will also have organized constituents in those districts to apply ongoing pressure or to actually run a candidate in the primary. It will also create a progressive priority legislative agenda to hold the party accountable and to focus their legislative efforts in 2019.
Email us at email@example.com if you would like to get involved.