Owen Carver for Nevada State Democratic Party Chair
Owen Carver for Nevada State Democratic Party Chair
Today more than ever it's critically important for the Democratic Party to be the voice of reason, the refuge for diversity, and the party of inclusion where new ideas, fresh faces, and our youth feel welcomed and empowered to be the change they wish to see in the world.
It is our task now to acknowledge how crucial it is now, more than ever, that we unify our various communities and factions to create the most robust, modern, and well organized party that we've ever seen. The stakes have never been this high, and with Trump in the White House we are now up against the most divisive, dangerous, and deceptive enemy we've ever faced. We must now overcome a political environment in which hate and distain for the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters is threatened and attacked on a daily basis.
Our calling now is to rise up with dignity and pride to reinvigorate the name of our party and the definition of what it means to be a Democrat today. We are standing at the most critical junction our country and our party has seen in decades, where our next steps, words, and actions will show whether we can rise up to transcend the challenges and divisions we faced last year, and if we have the courage to imagine the many new opportunities we have to innovate, diversify, organize, and fundraise to strengthen, grow, and diversify our party.
The Democratic Party is a diverse group of many unique and talented individuals, each with their own experiences and perspectives which we all bring to the table. We are strengthened by our diversity and our respect for the differences that make each of us powerful and beautiful in our own right. At the same time it's essential that as a party we uplift, respect, and empower the voices of everyone who wishes to speak up for our shared Democratic values. The reason why we have debates in our Democratic Platform Committee is because we are part of an ever changing and improving world in which new progressive ideas and perspectives can be introduced and discussed, and through our current process, eventually added into what we know today as the Democratic Platform.
As a party we have the power to create new processes and forums where everyone's voice can be heard and everyone can be confident in the fairness and transparency of our internal processes and proceedings. If elected as Chair I would endeavor to create new avenues of communication and empowerment whereby every single Democrat in our great state who wishes to be heard can speak up and know that they are being listened to, that their ideas and contributions are taken seriously, and they have an outlet to be transmuted into positive actions and results that benefit everyone.
Our Party is the party of inclusion and diversity. We are stronger because of the differences in our talents, passions, perspectives, and experiences. Every single Democrat regardless of geographic location, physical limitations, native language, ethnic or religious background, economic status, or sexual preference are mandated by our values to have equal opportunity to participate and engage in every aspect of the business of our Party including all processes, organizing, outreach, planning, and discussions. We must lead by example and live up to our promise to activate and engage every single person who seeks to join our party and become an agent of positive change through our platform.
In Nevada we have a wealth of diverse leaders from all religious, ethnic, gender, economic, and geographic backgrounds. We are all Democrats, and we must do everything we can to empower everyone who is able to become an active voter, donor, volunteer, fundraiser, and champion of our democratic values. By proactively reaching out to every party member on a regular basis to ask for their ideas perspectives, and skills we will ensure the best chances of gaining their active participation and leadership within their communities. We must give our members a roadmap for the vision of our party including our growth strategy, goals, and a clear understanding of how they will be recognized for all forms of contributions to the party that they provide.
We must work diligently immediately after the elections this Saturday, with the input of every Democrat who seeks to be involved, to create a plan to ensure that no Democrat in our state will ever again say, "I don't know what I can do to help my party", or "I don't know how to get involved and help". If elected as Chair I will create a new communication and outreach system that will incorporate current tools and processes while adding a comprehensive second layer of analog and digital communication systems that will allow us to easily and cheaply contact, onboard, train, and educate thousands of new volunteers and organizers so that for the first time in Nevada's political history we can actually have year-round active precinct-level leadership in all of the 1,853 precincts in Nevada.
It's no secret that the status quo for political fundraising in the Nevada Democratic State Party is to first contact the roughly 25 biggest individual donors who we heavily rely on for the bulk of donations we need to keep our party running. We also have all seen other emails asking for contributions to other Democratic campaigns. But if we want to have assurance and security in the long-term power and effectiveness of our party we must put an equal or even greater emphasis on reframing the importance of small level donations from every single registered Democrat in our state who can reasonably afford to contribute.
Contributing to the party should be made into a regular habit, on par with everyone's morning rituals. The activation of every democrat and the emphasis on the importance of this commitment to their party and what it means cannot be understated. Driving this kind of participation in the party will not be easy, but it also is not impossible and can be achieved by combining innovative new ideas and technology systems with established institutional knowledge and a deep analysis of the effectiveness of our fundraising and outreach efforts in the past, looking at least as far back as 2013.
There are 637,000+ registered Democrats in the state of Nevada, and even if only 25% of them donate $27 this year to building our party we will be able to raise $4.29 Million dollars for our Party to fully fund our State Party operations and kick-start even more fundraising efforts for the remainder of 2017 so we have a powerful head-start leading into the 2018 election cycle.
Getting 25% of all registered Democrats in our state may seem impossible to older generations and perhaps even to seasoned political fundraisers who have been professional fundraisers for many years. But, the world is changing dramatically, and today there exist new technologies and digital engagement tools that have proven to be able to capture the attention, time, and money of people of all ages, but especially those 35 years or younger, which is our fastest growing and most important growth segment of our party.
With Harry Reid stepping down to retire, we cannot rest easy relying on old standards and procedures to help us grow our party and win future elections which we MUST WIN! We can't assume that without Harry Reid's connections and power as speaker we will be able to repeat the level of fundraising from the same sources as we have been in the past. And 2014 was a year that we must never forget when Harry Reid was still in power and still raising money for our party, and we had a record low voter turnout of nearly 35%. Ask yourself right now what new innovative approaches to fundraising and activating our party that will be much different than the approaches we had in 2013 and 2014. High level voter activation does take money, but it also requires totally new ways of thinking about how to engage voters, especially young voters in the places and spaces they interact every day and in a language and interface that speaks their language. We MUST NOT allow the low turnout of 2014 to be repeated, and we MUST ACTIVATE ALL DEMOCRATS TO PARTICIPATE AND VOTE!
Our cause has never been so true and so dire as it is today, and we need leadership that can be present and able to organize and fundraise from day 1 to begin the processes and conversations needed to organize our party into the most powerful and effective political engine for change that we know it can be. With your vote for Nevada State Democratic Party Chair I pledge to work closely with everyone to ensure that we can achieve our goals and move forward to be a force of empowerment and unification for our party and our community as quickly as possible so that we can build the strongest force we can to tackle the toughest election cycles we have ever seen that we know are coming.
The Democratic Party has an unprecedented opportunity today to grow and strengthen ourselves for the greatest challenges we've ever faced. I humbly ask for your vote and support in the election on March 4th so that we can face our challenges together with a party that's as strong, prepared, and active as it can possibly be.
As a 36-year-old business owner and 13 year resident of Clark County, I have dedicated my time and talents towards building socially responsible businesses, community projects, events, and movements to make Nevada a more thriving and sustainable place for everyone. My qualifications include:
For a full list of qualifications, see my resume & nomination form.
A clear vision for the future
A clear vision for the future
Out of the roughly 1,000 precincts in Clark County only about 250 Precinct Captains are involved, and of those, only about 50 actively work to fulfill their duties as a precinct captain. Imagine a football team where only 25% of the players show up on game-day and of those only 5 putting on equipment and walking onto the field. That is the state of the Democratic Party on the ground in neighborhoods in Clark County, and yet our Party spends tens of millions of dollars on campaigns paying people to do the exact same work our precinct captains should be doing. This has to change.
With the power of new innovative digital tools we can successfully execute high-level organizing, at scale, to train and activate all 1,853 Democratic precinct captains throughout the entire state of Nevada and create highly motivated precinct teams that can understand and translate how elections and politics impacts the lives of everyone in their own local community. With the right vision, messaging and leadership we can transcend the turmoil of last year's election and create a more active voter, donor, and volunteer base than this Party has ever seen, while saving tens of millions of dollars for Democratic campaigns state-wide!
In the age of Trump we can't afford to depend on old ways of thinking and outdated systems. We will only be able to win with a fresh new approach from leaders who can innovate and quickly adapt with creative solutions to solve the many unpredictable and ever changing challenges we will surely face ahead.
the best choice for chair
the best choice for chair
I have Two Distinct Advantages over the other candidates running for Chair.
Firstly, once elected I will be able to begin my #1 duty, which is fundraising for the Party, on my first day as Chair. I am not bound to any other political office nor required to serve or fulfill duties to any other constituency or political body than the Nevada State Democratic Party (NSDP). Since I am not an elected legislator, unlike one of the other candidates Assemblyman McCurdy, I won't have to wait until July to begin fulfilling my duties. I also will not have any fundraising restrictions throughout my entire tenure as Chair which could happen anytime for a State Assemblyman if a Legislative Special Session is called, which can happen at critical times during election season. Our Republican Governor could never remove me from my duties whenever he chooses by calling a Special Session, nor could he use this power as leverage against our Party. And there will be no potential conflict of duty, nor confusion as to which constituency I am serving at any given function or moment in time while serving the NSDP.
Secondly as someone who supported both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential Primaries, I am in the unique position to bridge the divide in our Party.
I was a proud Bernie Sanders supporter and self-titled 'Berniecrat' during the 2016 Democratic Primary elections while running for public office, a Clark County Delegate for Bernie, an attendee of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, and as one of just 4 candidates endorsed by Our Revolution in Nevada, I am intimately aware of the perspectives of those who felt that their voices were left unheard throughout last year's election. And these constituents need Party leaders who can truly relate to the experiences they've had and activate their energy and passion for the good of our Party.
I also maxed-out to Hillary Clinton's campaign during the Democratic Primary in the summer of 2015 which was before I became a strong Sanders supporter later that year. The maximum allowed donation at the time was $2,700. I had flown to New York City to attend an intimate fundraiser to meet Clinton at a private home with about 50 people. I shook Hillary's hand, took a photo with her, and listened to her speak. During that same visit I attended a campaign strategy meeting with 3 of her New York organizers and 7 other special guests. A month later flew back to New York to hear her economic speech also in person at NYU in July.
At this time it's critical that we elect a State Party Chair who can speak to the Democrats and Independents who felt marginalized in last years election and who are an essential part of the voter base we rely upon to elect Democrats into office. It's also critical that we elect a strong visionary leader who is keenly aware of the challenges we face as a Party, who has an intimate understanding of what it takes to run in highly competitive election races fighting to win votes in traditionally red districts, and who is familiar with the mechanics and apparatus of our State Party as it relates to DNC and national campaigns.
We must take advantage of every resource and opportunity we have to activate existing and potential voters, donors, and volunteers if we are to defeat the Trump agenda and dominate our local and state government by electing Democrats up and down the ballot. We need a leader who understands culture, speaks everyone's language, and has the creativity and know-how to combine established institutional knowledge with the newest and most passionate segments of our Party to achieve extraordinary results.
Talk to owen
Talk to owen
I want to hear from you! Tell me your thoughts on the Nevada State Democratic Party. What would you like changed? Do you have a strategy or vision to create a future that everyone is excited to be a part of and drive forward? I want to hear it!
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