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January 25, 2005

Greg Rodriguez - Candidate for Washington State Democratic Party Chair

Greg_rodriguezGreg Rodriguez is passionate about becoming Chair and using that position to get the state Party running smoothly.  He is the first of the four candidates for Washington State Democratic Party Chair we interviewed.  Read on for the full interview, and if you have questions or comments, feel free to post them below... who knows, maybe Greg will even jump in and answer them himself!

Check back in later this week for interviews with Kat Overman, Bill Phillips and incumbent Chair Paul Berendt.

Q: What have you been doing to revitalize the Democratic Party in this state?

GR: Most recently I've been Chair of the King County Democratic Party.  I was in charge of financial operations for two years before that.  In both roles, I streamlined operations.  I have a background in operations and I'm compulsive about efficiency.

So we got the King County financial structure in good working order and then did the same with the technology systems.  We developed a good web presence and focused on getting accurate data in our databases.  We trained the staff and did good caucus training.  We were one of the first to institute an email alert system.  That's old hat now but it wasn't then.

 

Q: How would you sum up what you did or learned?

GR: In King County, we got everything running like clockwork.  We built a base and established a direction for where the County Party would go.

 

Q:  What would you do as State Chair?

GR: We need to approach this in a much more businesslike fashion.  We need people who can build a team and bridge different agendas. People have different skills; let's put that to work

I see the state Party providing the resources: training, messaging and techniques, much like a franchise.  The different county Parties can make use of that as they like.  In addition, the State Party will develop an on-going statewide field operation, increasing our presence in areas we haven't been in before.

We need to think like a business.  That means having a business plan.  Then we think like a business.  How do we grow our business? We take our safe blue areas and expand those.  We keep people engaged.  People are dying to have something to do.  We need to fund leadership training.

The Republicans started doing all this thirty years ago.  It shouldn't take us that long because we've laid the groundwork and we have what they did as a model. 

We also need better caucus training.  Last year the State provided a training video for the different counties and legislative districts. In King County, we developed a PowerPoint presentation to complement that and gave it to the other Democratic organizations.  I went out myself and did about 15 trainings based on the video and the PowerPoint presentations.  It was extremely successful.

We need to do the same thing with all aspects of field operations.  We can do very simple trainings to get people involved on an on-going basis -- things like how to write a letter to the editor, which issues are important on the state level, on the national level.  We can do regular messaging across the state.

Lastly, we need to develop alliances with other progressive organizations.  There is change afoot and we all need to be a part of it.   

 

Q:  Why should you be the Chair?

GR: This will take someone with management abilities, someone willing to work with others.  That's me.

Q:  How would you involve the other candidates if you win?

GR: I would seek out the other candidates for their input and utilize their ideas to make this Party stronger.  I already have strong ties with most of the candidates and would value their input.

 

Posted by Lynn Allen on January 25, 2005 at 04:39 PM in Inside Baseball, Interviews | Permalink

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