Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Transparency In Leadership


Transparency is as vital in our personal life as it is in our professional or even public one. And there is no better place to discover transparency in ourselves than through the lens of our most immediate relationships. If a leader, elected or volunteer, wants to create and maintain dialogue with others, they need to be as transparent as possible and at all times.

Starting with leadership, transparency helps us measure success. Successful leaders recognize their obligation to help the people they work with and the common cause. Moreover, leaders consistently ask for continuous support as purely, fully, and freely as they offer it. This is transparency in action.

Leaders help us grow. How many of us have personally experienced, whether in recent months or distant years, the difficulty in establishing or maintaining relationships with leaders? Although even just one person experiencing issues with transparency in leadership is problematic, twice that, or more, hinders growth.

Leaders should always be transparent. Transparency reveals a leader's actions when they clearly go against the common cause. In these unfortunate scenarios, this is typically good cause for a change in leadership. But if we want progress, if we want change, we need leaders that are a constant example of transparency.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

New Frontiers for Democrats

From Precinct Chairs to volunteers (new and veteran), we have many caring people ready to see progress through for the Collin County Democratic Party. But the question of who our next Chair will be isn't just about where we've been or who we are. A more pressing question is: Where are we going?

As we wrap up early voting in the 2018 mid-term primaries, statistics show us that people are voting on Republican ballots in Collin County at an astounding rate of 2:1 over Democratic ballots. Coupled with current and past CCDP Leadership failing to build effective infrastructure or 
to elect Democrats for over two decades, we are facing a new frontier. 

Republicans know all of this, of course. How could they not? For decades now, I daresay, they've exploited it. Beyond local Republicans dominating non-partisan offices, one need not look further than the red mapping efforts after Obama was elected in 2008 to see profound evidence of Democrats losing political ground, locally and nationally, at all levels of government.

Yes: We have an influx of people running for office under the Democratic Party flag in Collin County. And, Yes: We are seeing an amazing turnout compared to years past. But, No: This surge isn't because of some specific planned efforts of local Democratic Party Leadership. In fact, the current party chair said at a public event in March 2017, that "we were not prepared" for the amount of people wanting to help the party after Trump was elected.

As someone who witnessed party activity both before and after November 2016, it seems to me that the rising tide of Democrats is built upon time and circumstance. In this case, that circumstance was the election of Donald Trump. Time has worked in favor of current leadership, but lack preparation is making our work difficult.


Time and circumstance continues to show us that progressive Collin County citizens, ready to take action since Trump's election, are not going to flock to the dark side of politics. Even moderates continue to migrate to the left. When we start with why, we see the oncoming Democratic Party tsunami for what it is: A clear force of political nature driven by the need to wash away the hate and fear-mongering on the right.

So, where are we going? A better question might be:  Where could we go? Take a moment to read (or re-read) through my prior blogs for suggestions I've made since mid 2017. I might suggest starting with some of the recent ideas addressed in Building the Foundation and Turning Theory into Practice, Politically Speaking.

Our work is never finished. Who we elect March 6th as County Party Chair is who will navigate us beyond the rising tsunami, through the aftermath, and in to new frontiers. #progresstakeschange

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Sign Of The Times

Over the last year, progressives have experienced a growing number of people new to politics looking for answers to seemingly simple questions. A lot of these questions have few to no answers found or, at least, easily accessible. As a candidate for Collin County Democratic Party Chair, one of my goals is to offer an FAQ page for our website among other online informational ideas that we should have implemented years ago. 

One of the general inquiries I get asked about a lot is best management practices for yard & road signage considerations. Until I'm elected or CCDP Leadership decides to rectify this, I'm more than happy to share some basic ideas that most any candidate or campaign team can benefit from. These are lessons learned from communication with other candidates throughout the State of Texas during my City Council bid. 

Keeping in mind that requirements in each municipality may vary, a candidate in Texas might consider:

  • Reading through and honoring the State of Texas requirements here, Texas Ethics Commission on Political Advertising, and all links therein
  • Importance to add the 'Political Advertising By' and the other TXDoT 'Right-of-Way' disclaimers (per the above link) on all signs. Did you forget? No worries. This can be added as a weatherproof sticker
  • Only print double-sided yard and road signs
  • Create a sign map (Google's My Maps is your friend)
  • Ask for permission when placing signs on private property. When in doubt, follow suit with what others are doing (but be prepared to monitor that decision)
  • Public property placement is only applicable at municipally managed polling places (with schedules typically determined by municipalities) and cannot typically be bigger than 2'x2' in a lot of municipal areas
  • Have as many yard signs as possible for polling places during early voting, primary, run-offs, and general elections. Sustainability Tip: Ask everyone with yard signs to place them at the polling places. Keep in mind, you have to arrange to pick them all up in the municipally determined time period (road signs have a longer grace period for pick up but still limited)
  • At a minimal, purchase heavy gage t-posts, long outdoor zipties, and a solid pair of scissors or box cutter
  • Invest in at least one post driver and post remover (both will save your life or that of those planting your signs) and a good pair of leather gloves
  • Be sure all of your road signs have rivets (based off sign size). Tip: bring a screwdriver or something similar to poke extra holes for extra zipties (the wind is stronger than you think)
  • In high wind areas, support signs with a top brace (a wood crossmember should work)
  • Periodically drive by, or have others check in on the state of, all signs 
  • Don't assume that a local party's recommendation(s) for sign printing options is the only option
Again, this isn't a complete list of signage considerations for every candidacy. However, progress takes change, and I look forward to your vote on March 6th, 2018.