Chair Report – Charlotte County Democrats

Editor’s note: Patrick Hurley, Chair, gave the following report at the November general meeting of the Charlotte Democratic Party.

I am grateful to report to you tonight that the Charlotte County Democrats have made impressive gains in our outreach and engagement with voters.  We knew that Change Takes Action, and so many eager, helpful, and generous supporters like all of you here tonight said, “I’m In. How Can I Help.”

Let’s recall that it was January of 2018 when we outlined our new organizational structure with multiple committees designated to oversee major functional responsibilities and improvements.  It’s a wild understatement to say we made exceptional progress with efforts related to Communications, Precinct Coordination, Events, Candidate & Campaign Support, Diversity and Inclusion, legislative participation and on and on and on.  Our fundraising has more than doubled.

The Precinct Coordinator’s Committee marshaled an army of precinct outreach volunteers to organize, canvass, and phone bank in numbers that exceeded expectations.  We’ll remember that this team started with a small team precinct captains/supporters. Now our membership is growing more robust each month, adding Precinct Captains, Associate members, and volunteers.

We should take pride in the many ambitious outreach efforts:  starting with our Holiday party last year, various marches, the March For Our Lives Voter Registration Event, The MLK Jr. Parade. many Dearborn Street Farmer’s Markets, a booth at the Taste of Punta Gorda, and also at the Charlotte Sun Hurricane Expo, Politics in the Park, Caribbean Festival, and most recently the campaign rally with Chris King and Andrew Gillum at St. Mary’s Primitive Baptist Church!

We cannot overlook the important allies that have joined us in our effort.  The volume of letters to the editor in support of our values, candidates, and party has been a steady and impressive statement of our values.  The press coverage we’ve received has been encouraging, and we continue to build allies within the media outlets in the area.

Our efforts were designed to win elections, yet we were certainly disappointed with the outcome of several races.  While we’ve made much progress, and all of your efforts are deeply appreciated, we all know that we are still in the developmental stages of a long-term process to grow our local party.

We need to channel our energies to do more.  What we need will take more hard work. We need to scale our efforts by getting more people engaged, well need to hold more events and small gatherings, and be more visible, and attend more local government meetings.   We’ll need to register more new voters, reach out and contact more of those who are no-party-affiliated, and chip away at our neighbors to finally break with the “us versus them” mindset in the opposition party. All of the fear, blame, lies, and false promises will not improve the lives of most Charlotte County citizens.

We will rise to the challenges.  I know we will because I’ve seen what you folks are willing to do to win.   We’ve built a foundation. These challenges are not going to hold us down. We are playing the long game, and we will make a positive impact on our Charlotte County community between now and the 2020 elections.  I want to thank you all for the generous support, tireless work, and inspiring dedication.

Respectfully Submitted, Patrick Hurley Chair – Charlotte County Democrats