Showing posts with label collin county democrats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label collin county democrats. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Collin County Democratic Party Chair Forum

Thank you, Women Organizing Women Democrats, for hosting yesterday's #CollinCountyDemocraticPartyChair Forum. Whether there in person, or watching on Facebook Live, events like this offer the public the opportunity to not only hear the candidate's agenda, but, more importantly, to see the candidates state their positions side by side. Looking forward to future WOW Democrats forums and other candidate events! #StrongerTogether #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.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In This Moment

Building upon the strong Democratic candidate base who met the filing deadline this week, coupled with Doug Jones' win in Alabama as well as other recent special election wins, we have to now look beyond this moment and into the next. Because a desire for change - whether as a concerned citizen, voter, advocate, volunteer, candidate, or elected official - without a strategic plan and a vision, will only take us so far.

This is a key point in many areas of the country, including Texas. It's certainly a significant factor in Collin County where Democrats have not won a partisan seat in decades and the Collin County Democratic Party have only very recently shown their acceptance of the need to be prepared. So what are some takeaways from these monumental occurrences, and how do we leverage this information for more progressive wins in 2018?

Ides of March

Trump's Presidential win in November 2016 was a tipping point in American history. So many of us woke up on November 9th with doubt - doubt in ourselves, doubt in others, doubt in our future. But just as the death of Julius Caesar proved to be a turning point in Roman history, changing a Republic to an Empire, we would find comfort in each other.

Running on Empty

With the new year, we found strength in numbers with women's marches drawing crowds in by the hundreds and thousands across the U.S. and around the globe. Activist groups found new hope and resistance movements were being born everywhere. Municipal elections in May 2017 proved equally exhilarating with hundreds of new candidates in Texas alone, each as ready as the next to make change. 

I know, because I was there. I was in Austin with tens of thousands of people feeling energized. I know because I ran as the only openly progressive, unapologetic Democratic candidate in a race for a non-partisan seat in Plano, Texas. What I (and many candidates and activists alike) discovered though, in Texas and definitely in Collin County, was that for all of this glorious momentum, we were dependent on a Democratic Party, struggling financially in communities that heard little from them and expected nothing. Because that's all they had seen for decades.

Progress Takes Change

We have so many people in Collin County looking to be the change they wish to see in the world. We have people wanting to volunteer and even run for office. But in order for those people, especially those new to politics, to be successful, they need training & education, they need tools & resources, and they need money. They need to know that the party who's flag they wave, is going to be there for them and all Collin County citizens, before, during, and after every election cycle.

With a new year, March is the month to watch. Because on March 6th, 2018, Collin County voters will not only decide on primary winning Democrats to run against well-established, tenured, and extremely well-funded Republicans in the November 2018 midterms. Collin County Democrats will also be given a choice to vote for a new leader, with a new vision, and a new plan for our future. 

Stirling Morris for Collin County Democratic Party Chair.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Empowering Community

Continuing a series of interviews called Building A Better Collin County with the goal to reach out to our county and North Texas community and create a sustainable path to our future:
Among similar interviews with other organizations I've worked on, this interview is with Terri T. Thomas, President / Founding Member, Collin County Black Chamber of Commerce. As I note in all these videos, this not an endorsement of me or the Democratic Party.
Until equality is realized for all citizens, organizations like this are vital to our future locally, nationally, and globally. #ProgressTakesChange#Vision #Unity #Community #Empowerment

Stirling Morris for Collin County Democratic Party Chair

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Power of Change

Engaged, educational, empowering. Are these words you would use to describe the actions of your local Democratic Party? 

In my last couple of blogs, I've addressed our need for the Collin County Democratic Party to create better Vision and Unity. However, if we want to empower people to get involved and stay involved, we have to have find better ways to engage with our community to get Democrats elected. 

For months, I've suggested to Collin County Democratic Party leadership to employ better community outreach programming. It was great to finally see party leadership take steps to address this need. It's equally important though to recognize another case I have presented, continuous improvement strategies

Implementing new programming, for any organizational effort, serves a good purpose. CCDP's Ready for '18 program, launched this past Spring, is a good example of trying. But one campaign program effort, especially unwritten, does not a strategic plan make. 

Unless we have a written strategic development plan to ensure our party's continued success, we will continue to face the same problems, not the least of which is not being able to get Democrats elected into partisan office. 

This has been a problem for decades, and unquestionably under the current County Chair's watch. We have to look beyond 2018 to grow as an organization and get Democrats elected.

How do we get there?

There's never one right answer, but there's always a better answer. To grow, we need:

Transformational Leadership:  Since the current two term County Chair, now asking for a third, has failed to elect Democrats into partisan office, we need a new County Chair with a new leadership model.

Strategic Development Plan:  We need an executable action plan to address infrastructure, administrative & operational needs, and continuous improvement planning. Remarkably, the current CCDP leadership structure does not have a written strategic development plan. 

As representatives of the Democratic Party in Collin County, we have an obligation to be recognized as changemakers by helping progressive Democratic Party leaders get elected at all levels of government. 

With a renewed vision and continuous improvement strategies set in motion, we can turn Collin County blue and grow future local, state, and national leaders along the way.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Being Better Stewards of Our Community

In my last blog, I addressed the need to create a vision for Collin County. Once we've attained a sustainable vision, we must do everything we can to actively pursue as many acts and organized methods of unity as possible. Only by bringing together individuals, organizations, and one cohesive community-at-large in Collin County, can we achieve a true sense of unity.

Months before announcing my candidacy to be the next Collin County Democratic Party Chair, I analyzed the current CCDP infrastructure. With a focus on candidate awareness, leadership training, and public outreach, along with conversations with multiple people and like-minded organizations, not all of which were affiliated with the Democratic Party, I came up with the following assessment and action plan:

As the assessment reflects, Collin County Democratic Party needs to create a Vision of our future with Unity at the core to drive an Empowerment message of hope for candidates and all citizens of Collin County. 

After attending a seminar a couple of weeks ago, in which the topic was systemic privilege and oppression, I was further reminded that Unity starts with empathy. All too often in Collin County, Democrats, who are not elected leaders or regular volunteers, are told that they are not members of the CCDP and occasionally made to feel bad for offering an opinion about making the party better. 

If this is true for registered Democrats reaching out to their local party that they feel doesn't represent all we could be, what must the general community of Collin County think of the Collin County Democratic Party?

Within the CCDP itself, we have to better coordinate moderation and organization so that each individual understands the importance of interpersonal communications, respecting the needs of the group, and embracing how this will have larger implications for us as a whole. 

Externally, are we reaching out, in a sustainable manner, to the Collin County community as a whole? We have so many like-minded individuals and organizations in our county, working towards common progressive goals, who the CCDP doesn't actively maintain positive relationships with. At the very least, this list includes:

  • (remarkably) Democratic Party affiliated groups
  • Resistance groups
  • Political activist organizations
  • Advocacy groups and organizations
  • Municipal groups
  • Religious organizations
  • Schools
How many more can you think of? 

None of this is implying that the CCDP hasn't tried reaching out to other groups or hasn't maintained some relations with a few. But in my conversations and interactions with our community, we haven't scratched the surface. This is particularly worrisome, for a non-profit organization like the Collin County Democratic Party, that presumably represents all of our nation's people. 

At the end of the day, there's never one right answer, but there's always a better answer. Let's work together with our community, our nation, and our shared world, to create a sustainable path to our future in Collin County, one that reflects a sensible path of Vision, Unity, and Empowerment. From there, the Collin County Democratic Party, will simply grow organically.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Building A Better Vision for Our Community

It all starts with vision. A vision of who we are. Who we want to be. Who we can be.

To build a better Collin County Democratic Party, we have to look at Collin County both as a whole and as individual citizens working toward a common cause. To change our county, and inspire others to want to change with us, we have to reassess our place in it.
"I've always been more interested in the future than in the past." Grace Hopper
A good first step is working together to create a Vision Statement that exemplifies the diversity of Collin County while growing future Democratic leaders along the way. The design and implementation of that Vision Statement is intended to complement our Mission in getting Democrats elected as well as being a constant reminder to always look forward.

We need to be less concerned with how much better the party is today compared with the problems of yesterday. This disrespects our attention to the present, and undermines our need to focus on the future. Whether we actively participate in the Collin County Democratic Party or not, citizens of Collin County must unite as one to make any difference at all, for all.

Visualizing unity applies to our internal interactions as well as our public outreach with the community at large. We need to do a better job aligning ourselves with like-minded community organizations working on common causes. This is paramount to the public having confidence us. First impressions make all the difference. 

Maintaining a consistent vision of empowering candidates to have the tools and resources to run and win is vital to Collin County Democratic Party. When the public appreciates the voter education and public outreach efforts we employ, and sees that we can consistently win partisan offices, financial and volunteer support will grow organically. 

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Train-the-trainer programs are critical to our elected leaders having innovative decision making abilities. We need to be grooming the next generation of future leaders as soon as we step foot into office with the goal being for them to take over when our term is over. 

Ultimately, our vision is like our humanity, doing the most we can as a collective whole for the good of all while always being focused on the future. We need to embrace regular continuous improvement and strategic development programs that encapsulate visions of change. Otherwise, we're doing ourselves the greatest disservice of all - accepting that there is only one vision of our future.

What's your vision of the future? And what does it hold for Collin County?

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a series of blogs that focus on my vision as a Candidate for Collin County Democratic Party Chair. #ProgressTakesChange