Committee Spotlight: Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) takes organizing seriously; you can hear the passion and excitement DLCC executive director, Jessica Post, has for organizing in her voice. She’s determined to dispel the misconception that the DLCC doesn’t focus on organizing as much as other Democratic Committees. In fact, the opposite is true.

While the DLCC works to help Democrats win state legislative seats and chamber majorities across the country, they work closely in partnership with states to put a strong emphasis on field outreach and organizing. Many of these districts will be won or lost by very small margins—margins that can be drastically influenced by the power of centrally organized, volunteer based, and data-driven field strategies.

Having learned the power of field through a long career of organizing, Jessica came to the DLCC in 2010 with a mission to create a centralized state legislative caucus field program. A mere six years later, the DLCC field program is robust. Led by national field director Graham Wilson, Grassroots Victory Program director Josie Bradley, and deputy national field director Reggie McCoy, the DLCC field team works directly with state legislative caucus field directors to train and develop organizing staff, implement and improve state programs, and provide guidance and support.

Their successful, smart, and strategic efforts deserve a shout out—read our spotlight of their amazing work below.

Committee:

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)

Mission:

Working to build democratic power in states by helping Democrats win state legislative seats and chamber majorities across the country.

Approach:

A 50 state political committee, most DLCC investments are focused in places where their efforts can flip a state legislative chamber from Republican to Democratic. The DLCC investment strategy works with each state’s individual legislative leader (a majority or minority leader in the legislature) to create centralized funds for the state caucus, allocating resources strategically to the races that are the most competitive (pending state finance laws, of course). Next, the DLCC determines what the caucus needs to win and figures out how to provide that support. Very often, their help comes in the form of their Grassroots Victory Program, the DLCC’s national field operation.

Focus on Organizing:

The DLCC invests heavily in organizing, training 100s of organizers who will work in caucuses across the country and managing and supporting state legislative caucus field directors in target states. Door knocking is an incredibly powerful persuasion medium at the state legislative level. When a candidate knocks on an elector’s door, shares their story and hears from voters, they make a connection that will inoculate themselves from the negative communication voters might later see from outside groups. Creating volunteer-driven programs that identify supporters often helps the candidate reach their win number.

Fun Fact:

The DLCC Chairman, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, has calluses on his knuckles from knocking 100s of doors each week in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Even though he’s been in the state legislature for over three decades, he still believes so strongly in the importance of talking face-to-face with his constituents. As the leader of the DLCC, his belief in the power of field organizing sets the tone for the committee, modeling how candidates can use field to more effectively win and govern.

Get Involved:

Chat with your manager to see if it’s possible to coordinate with the DLCC and state legislative candidates in your turf. (Make sure you’re following state election laws!) If you can work together, you can identify supporters for local candidates at the doors, combine canvass and phone bank kickoffs, and share volunteers who want to elect your candidate and their local state legislative candidate.

Even if you can’t coordinate in your state, you can follow the work of the DLCC on their website, Facebook, and Twitter. And which state legislative caucuses should you be watching? Some big wins are possible this cycle in these chambers: Minnesota state house, Colorado state senate, Maine state house, and Oregon house and senate.
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