In Western North Carolina, the counties that have been most successful at electing Democrats are also counties where Democrats take the lead in social action. It’s about putting the Democratic brand on the work that we normally do anyway.
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a quick listen to Diane Tilson in Watauga County as she describes how they turned their county from red to blue. Democrats now hold a 5-0 majority on their county commission – Watauga Democrats carried their entire slate in 2006.
It all started with a few simple words: “I’m here on behalf of the Democratic Party.” They said it when they volunteered at the library book sale; at a community litter clean-up; as they fixed up a childrens’ playground; as they delivered meals-on-wheels. Eventually they also wore bright shirts with the slogan “Democratic Pride – we’re on your side.” People noticed the Democrats helping out and when it came time to vote, they remembered Democrats at the ballot box.
Obviously that’s not all it takes to win elections, but when we make the effort to back talk with action, our words carry a lot more credibility.