FWD BLOG: Former DPVA Chair Candidate Jim McBride calls for Unity and Reforms
Jim McBride for Virginia Democrats
**** PRESS RELEASE ****
Date: March 21, 2022
Contact: Jim McBride, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703–867–5070
Former DPVA Chair Candidate calls for Unity and Reforms to lay the groundwork to win two key U.S. House Districts and ensure it’s not wasting the time or money of Volunteers or Donors.
DPVA has changed its policy on paying interns due to grassroots pressure but it has not shown support for Paul Goldman’s “2022 House of Delegates Election” lawsuit, disenfranchised delegates registering to vote at district conventions to maintain power and is rolling out dated technology solutions
FAIRFAX, VA — Jim McBride, 2022 Candidate for Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, issued this statement in response to the results of the elections at the DPVA’s Q1 Winter Meeting.
“Although I am disappointed at the results, I look forward to working with the members of the newly-elected DPVA Steering Committee and Central Committee in the months ahead as we approach the critical 2022 Mid-Term Elections where we need to re-elect our 7 Democratic Members of the U.S. House.
“DPVA’s top priorities this year should be rallying Democrats across the commonwealth behind two amazing women in tough battleground districts: Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger.
“We all need to do our part because we don’t want to risk the prospect of Republicans taking control of the U.S. House and electing a Speaker McCarthy to attempt to roll back the progress we have made in the past year or even come up with an excuse to impeach President Biden in the process.
“I don’t think it was an accident that six Virginia Democratic Members of Congress decided not to endorse in this election because this isn’t the time for coronations or pats on the back.
“However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Chairwoman Swecker announced DPVA will finally be paying interns during her victory speech on Saturday. I hope that is a sign that the state party wants to live by the values our elected officials are preaching every day but it was only done after it was discussed publicly during this campaign.”
“But much more needs to be done. The Loudon County NAACP just announced they’re seeking to join Paul Goldman’s lawsuit to call for 2022 House of Delegates elections with the newly-drawn districts since they weren’t ready for 2021 and I hope the Democratic Party of Virginia is at least working behind the scenes to show their support.
“Not waiting another year to run House of Delegates elections is a win for voters and as Virginia moves away from COVID restrictions a re-match should be a win for Democrats too.
“I will try to do my part and am still committed to furthering my “Democrats United’ vision for a stronger DPVA through collaboration with the state party leadership as well as city/county committees, grassroots groups and volunteers.
- “Reinvigorate the Soul of DPVA by reflecting the values of the Obama campaign’s “Respect. Include. Organize, WIN.” Culture.
- Rebuild DPVA through community-driven organizing initiatives.
- Unite DPVA through proactive democracy-driven coalition-building strategies.
“As part of that process I will seek to empower all Virginia Democrats to have their voices heard and I will facilitate as many of their ideas as I can if they will make our party stronger.”
“The first step to progress is opening up our communication channels. That is why I created the first-ever Virginia Democrats facebook group last week and first-ever VA-11 Democrats facebook group during our district convention.
“I think we can quickly develop a network of district groups so every Virginia Democrat will have a regional platform to share content relating to their own or recommended Party, Campaign or Issue Advocacy events and actions.
“This is needed because DPVA is decades behind on the use of technology and communications for party-building and message distribution.
DPVA’s Vice Chair of Technology & Communication announced during his committee report after the election a plan to promote district committee online platforms using linktree but four district committees don’t have web sites and two have no online presence at all other than an email address on the party web site: CD 2 & CD-3
“They also are just announcing they plan to use the Mobilize.US event platform that has been widely used by campaigns and the DNC since 2018.
“DPVA has a press secretary but hasn’t posted a press release on their website since November.”
“We also need to have a discussion about the convention process that I believe failed us during this year’s convention process that intentionally or unintentionally resulted in several cases of Voter Suppression and maybe hundreds based on the methods they used and what I have heard. I call upon DPVA to release the names on the rejected delegate applications so an audit can be made of their performance.”
“Based on the process I witnessed, grassroots participation was considered a hassle not a necessity, disenfranchisement was greeted with indifference and the rules were designed to favor the incumbents.
“We need real solutions like an Independent Elections Commission composed of non-partisan leaders to provide oversight of future conventions.
“I talked to one gentleman several times who was wrongly rejected as a Delegate because the party’s voter file database wasn’t updated but he was never notified so he could appeal. After I looked him up on the list and told him to appeal he finally got approved but was never given a ballot. I can offer evidence of his story upon request.
“Aside from the election process, the DPVA Chair also made no attempt to explain her record during her term or propose an agenda for the future. The party hosted several “De-brief” events in December but didn’t even bother to visit us in Northern Virginia.
“Either way, it seems that the party line excuse is it was the statewide coordinated campaign’s fault we lost in 2021 and the party wasn’t involved despite the fact it is technically a joint venture of our statewide candidate and the state party.
“The problem with that reasoning is the incumbent was nominated by our 2021 Nominee Terry McAuliffe in 2015 and his campaign manager was the former Executive Director of DPVA.
“The campaign also hired the HFA Campaign Manager who lost to Trump in 2016 due to a well-documented series of bad strategic decisions like not polling or having the candidate show up in key battleground states.
“As a result, the campaign failed to mount a robust field campaign online or offline so it was limited to a bare bones Turnout operation and threw Persuasion to the side which would help explain our weakness with Independents.
“The campaign couldn’t even distribute yard signs to supporters which are critical in rural areas especially. Meanwhile, I messaged the Glenn Youngkin Facebook Page and within 15 minutes they sent me an address and email to contact to pick up a yard sign. Screenshot comparisons are available upon request.
“This culture is unacceptable. I encourage all Virginia Democrats to demand more action, transparency, accountability and fairness in the future.
“Like I said in my campaign speech, the theme of the incumbent’s ticket was “Virginia Forward” but moving forward requires Virginia Democrats to be united working together to do better in 2022. Otherwise, I don’t see how DPVA can continue to be relevant enough to maintain the support of volunteers, donors and voters. As we saw in 2021 if the game plan is ineffective it has ramifications with voters on Election Day.
And the epitome of this fact is that despite the fact that the Chair paraded a series of high-profile endorsements and spent lots of money on a fancy campaign video to 300+ DPVA Central Committee Members on March 11th but as of Saturday, March 19th it had 19 views and 0 likes on YouTube which has since been taken down. I can forward the email where it was included upon request.
ABOUT JIM MCBRIDE:
Jim has over three decades of experience in communications and politics. He is the founder of Network For Progress and currently hosts Blue Victory War Room national zoom briefings and “Keep Virginia Blue” War Room zoom briefings as a member of the DNC Community Organizing Program.
As part of his recent organizing work he served as an Ambassador and Trainer for the Relational Organizing Program of DPVA’s 2021 Coordinated Campaign (Virginia Turnout Project).
Jim is working on building a “Democrats United’ Political Playbook modeled after the movement he helped build from scratch in 2007–2008 as the first Volunteer Database Coordinator for Virginia For Obama and the founder of Generation Obama-DC Chapter while serving as President of Arlington Young Democrats and Vice Chair of Precinct Operations for Arlington Democrats.
He has worked at two awarding-winning public relations agencies and was hired by former VA-11 Democratic Committee Chair George Burke at the International Association of Firefighters about a year after 9/11 to support the Communications & Media Department due to increased demand. Jim managed the office during the successful “Firefighters for Kerry” Campaign in 2004 that included victories in the Iowa Caucus and Super Tuesday.