Showing posts with label texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label texas. Show all posts

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.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Good Citizen

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 Saif Islam representing both Good Citizens DFW and DFW for Beto. As I note in all these videos, this not an endorsement of me or the Democratic Party directly.
That said, I fully support both of these groups and am honored to get to know Saif better. His support of DFW and humanity represents the best of our ability to provide positive, proactive efforts in Collin County and across the metroplex.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cause and AFFECT

Continuing a video series of interviews called Building A Better Collin County with the goal to reach out to our county community and create a sustainable path to our future, one that reflects a sensible path of Vision, Unity, and Empowerment.
Among many similar interviews with other organizations in prior and in weeks to come, this second interview is with Pastor Ramon Hodridgerepresenting both AFFECT, Avenue F Family Enrichment Corporation of Texas, Inc, and the Ave F Church of Christ. As I note in all of these videos, this not an endorsement of me, my campaign, or the Democratic Party.
That said, I fully support causes like AFFECT and am so honored to get to know Ramon better. His support of the Douglass Community in Plano represents the best of our human ability to provide positive, proactive efforts in Collin County. Please consider donating to AFFECT here,

#BlackLivesMatter #ProgressTakesChange #Vision #Unity #Community#Empowerment

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Building a Better Community

I've created a series of interviews called Building A Better Collin County. The goal is to reach out to our community and create a sustainable path to our future in Collin County, one that reflects a sensible path of Vision, Unity, and Empowerment.

Among many similar interviews with multiple community organizations in weeks to come, this first interview is with Jeanne Rubin representing GALA, Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas. As I note in the videos, this not an endorsement of me, my campaign or the Democratic Party.

That said, I support the efforts of GALA 100%, and I am proud to know Jeanne. She supports our shared Collin County community in so many positive ways, and I look forward to growing that relationship. Please consider donating to GALA here,

#LoveIsLove #ProgressTakesChange #Vision #Unity #Community

Stirling Morris for Collin County Democratic Party Chair

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