Flaccavento for Congress, Post-Election Meeting: Summary of Brainstorming on Next Steps

During a meeting on December 3rd, the group of approximately 50 people brainstormed a range of possible ‘next steps’ and other actions that might be undertaken, following the campaign.  That list is attached as part of a meeting summary.  The list below includes those same ideas, organized into five groupings.


Local Actions

  • Update VAN - Voter Activation Network – list to improve accuracy (One county core group intends to do this by mailing notes to all strong and leaning Dems, and independents)

  • Flacc Volunteer Core Group members join and strengthen local Democratic Committees (DCs)

  • Local DCs do tangible work in community (food drives, etc) to help improve reputation of Dems

  • Make local DCs more inclusive, diverse through outreach/engagement with African Americans, millennials and others

    • Consider using the Dialog on Race as a model for this

    • Reach out across ‘Red-Blue divide’ as well, using Dialog on Race approach

  • Surface, support candidates for local offices

  • Local core groups contact Virginia Organizing to look at forming new local chapters of VO

Regional Actions

  • Undertake ‘deep canvassing’ in different parts of the region, that is, canvassing to build trust, to listen to people’s concerns and potentially to educate folks on specific issues or campaigns, rather than based on VAN and a specific candidate

    • This might include a focused effort in the coalfield counties, as the power of coal companies continues to wane

  • Create a ‘Resource directory’ on line that includes groups/resources/events/information at both local and regional level (Could include national groups as well)

  • Develop and implement a ‘multi-media’ approach to help educate and engage folks in the region, especially Republicans and people not currently engaged

    • Set up a speakers’ bureau (possibly focused on the Rural Progressive Platform, bottom up economics, as well as other issues and ideas)

  • Develop our own alternative media, likely beginning with podcasts

  • Reach out to students and millennials, not just during campaigns

National Actions

Reach out to, advocate with the national Democratic Party to push for more understanding, involvement with rural communities

  • Revive and disseminate the Rural Progressive Platform

  • Develop a ‘Rural Progressive Think Tank’ to help lead and support the effort to strengthen progressive ideas and strategies in rural areas (possibly other goals as well)

  • Reach out to conservative think tanks in efforts to find common ground

Legislative Actions

  • Support efforts currently underway to fight gerrymandering, including:

    • Support for legislation in the VA House – HB 1641 (would allow absentee voting without voters needing to have a justification for it) and HB 1658 (would create a pilot, ‘vote by mail’ program in VA)

    • Support, involvement with One Virginia 2021 (Advocates for fair redistricting in the state)

  • Make calls for Christian Worth, the Democratic candidate running in a special election on December 18th that could bring Virginia’s House to 50:50 (contact Daniel Shearer if you’re willing to make calls – drshearer@gmail.com)

  • Support Yasmine Taeb, who is running against Dick Saslaw in the Democratic Primary for his House seat, as he is heavily supported by Dominion Power

  • For 2019, consider focusing on a few or even one House of Delegates and VA Senate seat, utilizing the races as opportunities for voter education, with strong, broad support for the candidate(s)

Issues (on which people would like to focus)

  • Public education – support, financial support and other advocacy for public schools, better teacher pay, etc, especially in rural areas

    • It was noted that Virginia Organizing is already working on this issue, locally and at the state level

  • Climate Change – we must begin to raise this critical issue with urgency

  • Find or develop better ‘frames’ through which we can discuss abortion, guns and other hot button issues

    • New frame on abortion might emphasize our commitment to children, moms, the elderly and students