• December 6, 2021

We have a rendering problem.

Some of the old campaign ideas are, well, wrong

One of the unspoken ideas in political campaigns came from the idea that wealthy white men would bring in a lot of campaign cash and have significant support, as well as more time to campaign. This assumption led to decades of persecuting doctors, lawyers and businessmen to run for public office. It also led to the representation problem, linked above. Campaign workers, myself included, see something very different. While rich white men have an inside track, it’s not enough to be the only way to fundraise or provide you with a great candidate. Research now shows just how flawed and dangerous this assumption is for the process.

In the academic research published in the Researchers at the University of Washington tested the ability of candidates who don’t fit into that group of wealthy white men to raise money for a campaign..

Grumbach said he also wondered if candidates of color suffered a “backlash,” or if white voters gave them less or actually turned to donate to their opponent.

“We ended up finding a small decrease in money from white donors to minority candidates, but it is more than offset by the increase in minority contributions. And opponents don’t raise additional money when they compete against minority candidates.

“In general, minority candidates, especially Democrats, are at least as competitive in fundraising as white candidates. This should mitigate fears that running more minority candidates would hurt fundraising. “

The assumption that you need a white candidate has always been a way of raising your hand and saying, “Well, this is what it takes to win,” while ignoring the inherited racism and misogyny of not looking for strong candidates who should. to serve. based on their merits. Eliminating candidates or deciding their likelihood of success early on based on their ethnicity and wealth is discriminatory, and the Democratic donor base knows this, and as confirmed in a study, their donations are driven by the belief that they don’t. holding on to the problems of the past.

Diversity is desperately needed and possible

In some areas, the fact that there is no diversity is maddening and tells us that something is really wrong with the system right now. The Reflective Democracy campaign looks at all areas of government, but when I want to show others how problematic the situation really is, there is no office in America that has a bigger problem with diversity than law enforcement.

Campaign for thoughtful democracy

So there it is: the truth. California? 91% White. New York? 4%. Washington State? 100%. Hundred percent.

In all of these states, effective campaigns can and should be led by candidates representing communities. Problem charts like this show us that it’s not just about who gets elected to office, it’s also about who gets supported and who gets recruited to run for office. While nationally most of these positions are nonpartisan, the people who participate in these races do not leave their partisan ideals at the door. Candidates are still recruited or asked to run especially for high-profile positions and are supported by people who have known them for years of ties to the party. We love to talk about the Democratic Party and its successes, but when it comes to analyzing local elections, graph after graph will tell you that we are simply not doing enough to recruit and support good candidates beyond the old white men. That trend must stop.

Encouragement is key

Forget some of the old ideas about what makes a great candidate. Instead, think about what makes a great community and look for candidates who care about their community. Support them and show those candidates that you support their campaign. Across the country, more young candidates are appearing asking for support. We can and must make sure we give it. Of the nation:

On April 6, Harris and his friend Fran Wilson released Ohio Elementary, a political action committee dedicated to supporting young, underserved, and progressive candidates for state and local office. In doing so, they joined a network of organizations that provide comprehensive support – training and mentoring, fundraising and staffing assistance, media coverage, and more – to young people running for elected office.

At all levels of government, the average politician is older than the average American. The average mayor is 56, the average governor 58, and the middle school board member 59. Meanwhile, the average American is just 38.

Supporting young and diverse candidates is one way to prepare and train candidates for the future. Supporting them is important to building an inclusive party and it’s easy to do, whether it’s with a small amount of funds to support them, volunteering on their behalf, or recruiting that young college graduate you know to run for public office.

States with large Democratic populations and representation in local offices that are all white males – I’m looking at you. Start cheering and making an effort to lead the way of change.

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