Annual Report of the Chair, delivered February 2020
During 2019, the Democratic Party of Milton Township worked tirelessly to support the 20 elected Democrats who represent all or part of Milton Township including all 5 statewide offices, our 2 members of the US House, our 2 US Senators, 2 members of the IL House, our 3 members of the IL Senate, 3 members of the County Board, and 3 countywide offices. In addition to supporting all of these elected Democrats, we helped to recruit and gain name recognition for another new 25 Democratic candidates who are running in the 2020 primary this March 17th.
To that end, in the fall of 2019, we held our first 2020 Primary candidate forum to introduce these candidates to our membership. For the last quarter of the year, we worked hard to get our PCs and volunteers out to gather signatures so that these candidates could officially be on the ballot this March. We have continued to hold candidate forums in 2020 and will continue to do so all the way through the General Election in November.
Election success requires a strong organization of dedicated precinct committeepeople to educate and mobilize Democratic voters. In 2019 we undertook a deep dive into our precinct coverage – actively recruiting in precincts where we had no coverage and in precincts where we could use some more vigorous coverage. As a result of that process, we signed up 16 new precinct committeepeople. While our precinct committeemen coverage to dropped from 114 of 130 precincts to 103, we are excited about the strength of the committed and active PCs interacting with our voters. Our goal is still 100% coverage, but we want it to be 100% effective coverage; otherwise the number doesn’t matter. Therefore, we are working tirelessly to identify strong leaders in our uncovered precincts and get that goal met.
With so many new Precinct Committeepeople, we realized we needed a more robust orientation and training program for new PCs so that we can set them up for success. In 2019, we created a position of dedicated PC trainer who meets individual PCs and gets them up and running in their precinct. As a result, our PCs are more confident canvassing and speaking to their voters. We also held PC Forums throughout the year where we armed PCs with information on the 2019 municipal elections and got them started passing petitions for candidates for the 2020 primary. Our leadership team is dedicated to ensuring that our PCs are informed and feel valued and I’m proud to say that we usually get them whatever they need within 48 hours of a request. PCs do, after all, play the most important role we have in getting voters educated and out to vote.
In the summer of 2019, our PCs distributed 15,000 of our Summer Flyers to voters in Milton Township – a document that laid out several of the important issues our Democratic organization is working to address: Affordable Healthcare, Climate Change, Personal Safety and Human Rights. We distributed 5,000 more of these flyers than the previous year – so we continue to expand our outreach. We hope it made voters think about the values that are important to them and encouraged them to think about voting for a Democrat in the upcoming election.
In the area of community outreach, Milton Democrats continued to clean up our Adopt-a-Highway stretch of Butterfield Road several times this past year, participated in the annual Great Western Trail Cleanup, and staffed the Glen Ellyn Welcome Center for the homeless during the frigid winter months of 2019.
We also continued our events and activities for all Milton residents. We staffed a booth at the Taste of Wheaton and marched in the Glen Ellyn and Wheaton July 4th Parades (where we won the prize for Best Political entry…let me say that again – in WHEATON – we won the prize for Best Political entry!). Are there no boundaries to what we can accomplish?!
Our vibrant monthly meeting speakers program in 2019 featured timely topics such as the future of solar power here in DuPage County, campaign finance reform, the IL fair tax proposal, and a discussion on criminal justice reform. Our speakers included US Congressman Sean Casten, Former IL State Senator Daniel Biss, IL State Rep Terra Costa Howard and John Conroy of the MacArthur Justice Center.
We did a lot of work in 2019 to set us up for success in 2020 as we hope to continue the 2018 Blue Wave that swept the nation. We have a wonderful group of Democratic candidates running for office and a committed group of PCs. We look forward to educating our voters on these candidates and getting people out to vote for them. The 2020 election will be one of the most important elections of our time and I am honored to be a part of an organization that is working so hard to make sure we have strong Democratic representation in all levels of our government.