By Bill Street, Neighborhood Leader Coordinator, Clackamas County Democrats
Our Neighborhood Leader Program has been wildly successful. Attend any of our Clackamas Democratic Central Committee meetings and listen to the self-introductions. No matter how they begin their introduction: be it State Senator, State Representative, County Commissioner, or precinct person, almost to a person that introduction ends with, “And I’m a Neighborhood Leader.”
Why does everyone want it known that they, too, are a Neighborhood Leader? Is it because they know that our Neighborhood Leader program was instrumental in defeating Tea Party crazies who just a few years ago ran our County?
Is it because they know that our Neighborhood Leader program was key in creating a Democratic super majority in Salem? After all, we were the only County (or parts thereof) where incumbent Republicans were defeated.
Is it because of the satisfaction and impact when a Neighborhood Leader has voter turn out in their turf often exceeding average turn-out by 10 per cent or more? As impressive as each of these outcomes are, that is not the reason the program is as successful as it is.
Clackamas County is in the thick of it this election as various political analysts agree the governor’s race between Kate Brown and Knute Buehler will be decided here and in Washington County.
An article in the Portland Tribune makes it clear: Multnomah County voters predictably deliver a big number to Kate Brown’s re-election. But the bottom line will come in the two big “swing” counties, those known to go both ways or sometimes lean one way or the other.
Let’s take a quick look at voter registration, which gives Democrats the edge, then we’ll visit the turnout numbers. Continue reading →
Bill Street, reporting on NLP campaign successes for Measure 101
The Central Committee of the Democratic Party Clackamas County met at the Institute of Electrical Engineers Hall in Gladstone for likely the last time, as a new location is being sought for the ever-growing party. The IOEE has hosted our meetings for over a decade, and we thank them greatly for supporting us for all those years.
Chair Peter Nordbye started the meeting with a sorrowful and moving statement on the recent shooting at a Florida high school. Continue reading →
One important goal of the Clackamas County Democrats’ Neighborhood Leader Program is to mitigate the influence of money in politics. The program intends to achieve this objective by substituting one-on-one, face-to-face contacts established over a number of years for money that buys ads and attempts to educate and inform or misinform voters.
By establishing a neighborhood leader for every 40 Democratic voters in a neighborhood, the neighborhood leaders become a sustainable and permanent army of advocates for social justice and democracy.
Today the effectiveness of this program is amazing. Voters living in areas with a neighborhood leader have significantly higher voter turnout and elect more progressive candidates than voters in areas without a neighborhood leader. The Neighborhood Leader Program is a major reason that Clackamas County is now a much more progressive place than it was five years ago. Continue reading →
The appreciation was obvious as applause filled the room. At last month’s Democratic Central Committee meeting, Neighborhood Leaders who volunteered for the special election were recognized for the work they did to make this Special District election one of the best in recent memory.
In contested seats for school boards, water and sewer districts, fire districts, and other positions, candidates endorsed by the county Democratic Party won 8 out of 11 seats.
One reason for this was the tireless work of those involved in the Neighborhood Leader Program. During the Special Election, Neighborhood Leaders knocked on doors, talked to their neighbors about politics, dropped off slate cards, and phoned to GOTV. Continue reading →
Clackamas Democrats have confirmed what experts say is the best way to win an election — with face-to-face visits with voter by volunteers. Consider the simple facts:
Ken Humberston defeated incumbent Tootie Smith for a County Commission seat after she earned 47 percent of the vote in a three-way primary. Humberston beat her by some 1,600 votes. That was in November.
Martha Spiers was elected to the Oregon City School District Board on May 16. She also took out an incumbent.
Dylan Hydes and Ginger Fitch won election for two open seats on the West Linn-Wilsonville School District Board.
Kathy Wai, in the same election, was chosen by voters for a place on the North Clackamas School Board.
Irene Konev also won her election, this one for the Clackamas Community College Board.
Sara Pocklington unseated a 10-year incumbent in her election to the Lake Oswego School Board.