by Kevin Perez, County Vice-Chair
The first step in fixing any problem is admitting there is one, and we have a major problem facing Utah Democrats.
The Utah County Democratic Party over the last several decades has slowly been losing power and representation in Utah County, as well as across the state. Since 1980 when Utah Democrats lost both houses of the state legislature, Utah democrats have been in an ever growing downward spiral that has only gotten worse in the subsequent decades due to the polarization of American politics. We can now see the failed efforts from various Democratic party administrations that have led us to this final nail in our coffin. This nail has been forged by the lack of representation and political competition that Utah Democrats encounter.
Now we stand in a place where we are subjected to constantly changing leadership and pushing agendas that have no support or backing due to the lack of political capital. In order for our party to go anywhere and be able to push our agendas, we must first have the political strength and support of the people, only then we can proceed to make the change we desire.
Nevertheless, how do we accomplish this?
As a county party, we must realize that if we’re not winning, our values don’t mean a thing. That is why the answer lies with long term planning and strategic fortification.. Over the last year, with help from the rest of the executive committee, I’ve developed a road map for the county party to follow so we may regain our strength by the end of the decade. The goals are as follows:
- Regain 70% of available seats in government. Both partisan and nonpartisan races.
- Fundraise $3 Million over the next 10 years to invest in our campaigns and expand our operations.
- Establish all state level issue caucuses at the county level
- Create trainings for every position in the party
- Create a pool of trained candidates for every race
With these goals outlined, the master plan would be as follows:
- Phase 1 – Building the Scaffolding
- Phase 2 – Storm the Trenches
- Phase 3 – Implement Policy
In Phase 1 we will be building up the party and growing the base, as well as the services we provide to members, candidates, and other fellow Democrat county parties.
In Phase 2 we will be executing our campaign strategies that will lead us into winning our first seats in the better part of 3 decades. The overall strategy will focus on trainings, voter education, and voter registration.
As we begin to gain ground with Phase 2, we will move towards Phase 3 where we will begin to implement policies that represent not just Democrat values but also Utah values.
It is with this framework that we will begin to rebuild the democratic party not just in the county but across the state. To all the Democrats in Utah County, consider this a call to arms. Donate, Run for Office, Volunteer. There is a plan, we will succeed, and we will be heard.