To win elections we need to develop strong county parties. The county party serves as the local backbone for campaigns. They provide resources, contacts, media, trained volunteers and donors. Without a well-oiled local political machine, candidates are not just spinning their wheels…they’re also reinventing them every cycle.
The County Development and Enhancement Program (CDEP) is the Libertarian National Campaign Committee’s 5 year plan to build the LP’s political machine from the ground up.
In 2014 we will be working work with a total of 25 county parties in 5 states (the program has already started in Arkansas, Ohio and Colorado). LNCC Executive Director Evan McMahon will spend a full week every 3 months working in person with the county chairs in each state. By working directly with this small group we can neutralize any bad habits or negative thinking. Also, by working a smaller scale, we will be able to put a larger portion of time and energy into keeping the targeted counties on track and moving forward.
With each trip the state party will organize a two-day intensive training session for the 5 county chairs and their officers. This is then followed up by a full day of one-on-one planning sessions in each of the 5 counties. The quarterly training sessions will be focused on a specific area of county development. These sessions will cover the following topics in depth; 1) Volunteer Recruitment and Training; 2) Media Marketing and Messaging; 3) Candidate Recruitment and Vetting; 4) GOTV Planning.
The guidance doesn’t end after the week is over. Each week, Evan will hold a one hour conference call with each individual county party and a 3 hour statewide conference call each month. He has started doing this with Arkansas, Ohio and Colorado county organizations. That’s an average of 28 hours a week in direct contact with the targeted county parties. The individual calls help to track their progress, reconfigure goals and strategies and offer advice as needed.
We will provide each county with a “LNCC Leadership Manual” and forms for event planning, volunteer training, message development and scheduling, fundraising and candidate recruitment and vetting.
The objective of this program is as follows
1. Build 5 highly active local parties in each of 5 states by:
a) Holding public events that the average person would want to attend
b) Reaching out to registered Libertarian voters and/or national party members
c) Converting fence sitting Libertarians to party members
d) Developing goals for the growth of members, registered voters, donors and volunteers
e) Cultivating positive media contacts
f) Creating a message calendar for media, members and social networks
g) Recruiting, training and regularly tasking volunteers
h) Being very visible as a positive force in the local community
i) Creating and using a system to collect data on contacts, members, donors, volunteers, potential supporters and voters
j) Creating an outreach program to work with other local groups
k) Developing a plan for recruiting high quality candidates
2. Each county party will now have the “political machine” necessary to win elections
3. Sponsor a neighboring local party to help them implement this program
4. Create regions/districts of fully developed county parties
5. Have the entire state, within 5 years, filled with highly active and visible local parties
Amy Lunde-Provines, Regions DirectorLibertarian Party of Colorado
“We are very excited to work with Evan McMahon over the next year, and look forward to strengthening our County Parties. After these inaugural counties complete the program, they will be spreading the knowledge to neighboring counties, eventually forging Colorado into a state to be reckoned with.”
Full Statement: News from the Regions Director
This is a huge commitment of the limited time and financial resources of the LNCC. The cost over the year for travel, lodging, materials and support averages out to $9,000 per state ($45,000 total). But we believe that to win elections we need to help develop strong county parties. The county party serves as the local backbone for campaigns. They provide candidates with resources, contacts, media, trained volunteers and donors. Without a well-oiled local political machine, candidates are not just spinning their wheels…they’re also reinventing it every cycle.
If you believe that building up strong county parties is imperative for electing Libertarians to local office, please help the Libertarian National Campaign Committee keep this essential program up and running by helping to raise $45,000 with your contribution today.
Together, we can turn the tide and reshape American politics.