It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint
August 2nd was a great day for Shelby County. Many people worked for years to see this day. Democrats won every county-wide seat and captured an 8 to 5 margin on the County Commission. Now, Republicans control only one county-wide seat and many are predicting that it will be very difficult for Republicans to launch any concerted take-back effort starting from such a small base. Congratulations to all the winners and to the candidates Future 901 endorsed – Lee Harris, Michael Whaley and Tami Sawyer. The citizens are indeed optimistic and looking for that New Era in Shelby County.
But our mission continues. Future 901 remains committed to recruiting and electing Progressives for Shelby County. The success we experienced in August can be leveraged for our state and federal elections in November. And here is how -
- Success breeds success. August was a huge game-changing event; Democrats are excited with this taste of victory and now know with hard work and great candidates we can win. Everyone needs to talk this up with their friends and family. And not just with our Democrats; we are finding that the positions we represent – Healthcare expansion, education funding, and a fair deal for all – appeals to independents and moderate Republicans.
- We have achievable, reality-based goals we can explain. We know Democrats will not overturn the Republican majorities in November, but it turns out we don’t have to. In the House, we just need to flip 8 seats to break the supermajority. Without a supermajority, Republicans will not be able to ignore Democrats because they will need Democrats present and participating to pass anything. In the Senate, we just need a few more Democrats so that we can have more than one Democrat on each committee. Last session, a Democrat could make a motion in a committee to condemn neo-Nazis, and it would fail because there was no Republican who would second it. We just need a few more Senators to stop this.
- We must support our state-wide candidates. These are open seats and we have real races and credible candidates at the top of the ticket. And for a change, Tennessee has national attention. This is the first time in 12 years our vote for Senator will make a difference. This is the first time in 8 years our vote for Governor will make a difference. This does not happen very often. Watch our FB page for information on when these candidates will be making appearances in Shelby county.
- We must support our local candidates. Shelby County has a seat we must retain with Dwayne Thompson in District 96. We have a competitive State Senate race with Gabby Salinas in District 31. We have 4 strong House races with Danielle Schonbaum in District 83, Sanjeev Memula in District 95, Allan Creasy in District 97 and Dave Cambron in District 99. Our candidates in safe seats need to run as if they are being challenged so they drive voter turnout. In addition, several of these Shelby County challengers have been identified as races where we can flip a seat, but the candidates can’t do it alone. All these candidates need donations and volunteers for canvassing, phone banking, and GOTV activities. To get involved, check their websites or contact Future 901.
- Support the organizations backing these candidates. Future 901 is throwing a fundraiser on Sept 28th for several of these candidates – watch our Facebook Page and your e-mails for more information. Other groups backing these candidates include the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Shelby County Democratic Party, Tennessee Rising, the Germantown Democratic Club, Collierville Democrats, and Democratic Women of Shelby County. All these organizations provide a means to getting involved. Check their websites and Facebook for more information.
- Generate publicity. We have a good story to tell and we need to be telling it. Campaigns need people to write letters to the editor about these races – both to the Memphis and the Community papers. Campaigns need people calling into local radio shows about these races. And yes, even posting on social media is important. Share articles and event announcements, retweet posts, comment on interesting posts – one important caveat, stay positive, avoid the arguments.
- And finally, vote!! And bring your friends and family to vote. Vote early. Remind your neighbors to vote. When you are standing in line at the grocery, ask the clerks if they’ve voted. Drag your children and grandchildren to the poll. When you are dining out, ask the servers if they have voted. If you know someone who will be out of town – get them signed up to vote absentee. It has been proven that social pressure to vote can increase turnout. As we saw in August – when Democrats vote, Democrats can win.
And remember – what we do now is a prelude to the future. The Presidential election is only 26 months away!!
Written by Dave Cambron, candidate for District 99 State Representative