My name is Tomas Vera, and I am running for Chair of the Placer County Democratic Central Committee (PCDCC).
Placer County Democrats are a dedicated, energetic group, known for working hard to advance the mission of our party. We actively participate in activities such as voter registration, neighborhood canvasses, and phone banks (the basics). We work with other groups such as NextGen America, various Indivisible chapters, labor organizations and many others to help promote the Democratic platform. In spite of all our successes, we’ve failed to find success in our core goal: to elect Democrats to office.
I feel that we can turn our fortunes around working together. This won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. Turning Placer County blue will require that we create a strategic vision, a plan to realize that vision, and an organization willing to work to bring that plan to fruition. I feel that I can be instrumental in bringing these plans to life and through them bring success to our Democratic Central Committee.
Relationship with our Clubs
Our clubs are our greatest asset. We have nearly 500 Democrats who are members of one or more clubs in Placer County. This is a testament to the work our clubs are doing in the area of recruitment and voter engagement. Our clubs know their neighborhoods, the local issues, and how to reach their neighbors best.
In considering my run for this office, I reached out my fellow club Chairs and many of the DCC members directly to gauge their opinions of the DCC. Several of the club Chairs expressed a desire for more independence for their clubs in determining how they can best contribute to the mission of our DCC. Working together for a common goal will be a key in finding success in Placer County. I believe that the DCC can be a better partner for our clubs. I have personally, for many years now, worked with the members of the DCC and our clubs at various events, always striving to find a way to make our interactions mutually beneficial. I would like to bring that spirit of partnership to the relationship between our clubs and our DCC. Working together as partners, we can accomplish more.
Building the Base
In 2018, we’ve seen a very competitive race for Congress. Many of you were (or are) active volunteers in one or more campaigns. Having effective representation in Washington and Sacramento is important. Just as important to the residents of Placer County, are the many positions on local boards and commissions. Finding great candidates and helping them campaign for all these positions should be a fundamental activity of our DCC. This is a great way to help increase the success of our local party. Currently, we do little in this regard.
I feel that Placer DCC needs to focus in this area and begin identifying candidates, races or appointments that in turn will begin building the base of what can be a successful county party. I believe that I can help set milestones and measurable goals that will make positive, incremental progress on our path to success.
Placer DCC has several established standing committees that are designed to do the “heavy lifting” of the Central Committee. Membership on these committees is open to ALL Democrats in Placer County. Yet too often, our committees are understaffed and overburdened because we do not have enough members on those committees. Most of our committees are staffed exclusively with DCC members. Most DCC members are then forced to serve on several (as many as four or more!) committees in order to accomplish the tasks required of these committees.
I would like to lead Placer DCC in actively identifying and recruiting DCC members, club members, and members from our community at-large to serve on these committees. If I can help with a successful recruitment, our DCC members can limit their participation to the committee (or two) which works in the area of their greatest interest, enthusiasm and ability. I will work to achieve a committee membership levels that allow each DCC member to serve on one (possibly two) committee(s) and still provide more functionality where all participants (DCC, club and community members) can take action and contribute to our mutual success.
Plan for the Future
Placer DCC has developed a strategic planning document which addresses many of the points listed above. However, we have not taken action to execute that plan. The result is that we are doing a lot of work, but not making progress toward our goals.
As a leader of the DCC, I will work to ensure that we execute our plan of action, and revisit it periodically, check our progress, and adjust the plan as needed such that we are always making progress toward our goals. I believe that we must move quickly to review our strategic plans, and begin our march to the future. I feel that I can help move us forward in a positive manner quickly.
Our DCC represents the Democratic voters in Placer County. Yet, during my entire time serving on our DCC we have had only one member who was not an active member of a local club. Recently, that member left the DCC and cited various reasons why our DCC is not serving the Democrats in our county. In addition, our DCC does not represent the diversity in our community. Placer County includes several sizable minority groups (African Americans, Latinos, South Asians, Pacific Islanders and many others) and people of various religious backgrounds (Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and others). Yet we do not currently reach out effectively to these people and groups. I will make sure that we begin outreach to these various groups for our mutual benefit.
Just as important, we can not forget our young community members who are the future of our party. They are facing challenges that differ from the challenges faced by many of the members of our DCC. I will ensure that the DCC addresses their issues and challenges, welcomes their points of view in our discussions, and advocates for their issues.
I will ensure that our DCC actively seeks to include people from ALL areas of our community. I believe that when we all work together, we accomplish more.
Our DCC is composed of great people who work hard to better our party. However, we are lacking a clear vision of where we want to go how to get there. I feel that the ideas and vision that I have listed above will help make Placer County Democratic Party an organization that is effective and successful in our mission to elect Democrats to office.
I have formed these ideas, plans and goals over the last several years, after working alongside, and speaking with members our our DCC, our clubs, and our community. I have, over my lifetime, made it a point to listen to everyone’s thoughts and ideas. It is through listening to others that I have been able to improve myself and I will bring that same curiosity and willingness to learn to our DCC.
I am posting these ideas here for your information. In the coming weeks, you will likely hear similar ideas, plans, goals and thoughts from other people or candidates for this office. Should that happen, I would simply remind you that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
[Below you can see me working in various capacities to promote Democrats and the Democratic Party.]