I’m Amanda — the Political and Organizing Director here at the DNC.
Shortly after Jeff Sessions was confirmed by the Senate, Tom Perez and I sat down for a conversation with a little-known former U.S. Attorney from Birmingham. His name was Doug Jones, and he was mounting a longshot campaign to turn Alabama blue.
The moment Doug won the Democratic primary, we told him we would do everything we could to help. We believed in him, and we knew committed supporters like you would, too.
My team spent weeks on the ground in Alabama working with the campaign, and this election is another proof point for the importance of good organizing. The volunteers and organizers working on the ground made this victory possible.
With your help, here are three things we did that made a huge difference in the Alabama race:
1. Boots on the ground
We were on the ground early. We recruited organizers from the base communities that we needed to organize in, and they got to work recruiting volunteers, knocking doors, organizing rides to the polls, and getting out the vote on campuses. On Election Day, we had a diverse team of 30 embedded in the campaign and in the community — and we knocked on 325,000 doors in just seven weeks.
2. Investment in local leaders and programs
We knew African-Americans — particularly black women — and millennials would be key to victory, so we listened to leaders on the ground about how to organize those communities. We not only supported and amplified their programs, we put resources behind those leaders and programs. This included a program to mobilize black women in Jefferson County, to engage faith communities and religious leaders, and the #WeVote turnout campaign in north Alabama.
3. Data infrastructure to win
In today’s modern world, campaign data can make the difference between a win and a loss. We made a five-figure investment into the data infrastructure so Doug Jones had the voter contact information necessary to turn out voters. This data enabled us to run a full-scale digital program, including 1.32 million phone calls made and more than 1 million text messages sent.
Now it’s time to replicate this success across the country. The new DNC is about making sure every ZIP code counts and that we are winning from the school board to the Oval Office. We know what it takes to win: boots on the ground, investment in local leaders and programs, and the best data infrastructure.
Amanda Brown Lierman
Political and Organizing Director
Democratic National Committee