Peter Rousselot: “A Full-Time Chair for DPVA”


    The latest email from Peter Rousselot for DPVA chair, in which Peter pledges to “serve out the entirety of my term, devoting myself full-time to my role until May 2013.” Good stuff, go Peter!

    Dear Fellow DPVA Central Committee Member,

    I have promised that if I am elected Chair of the DPVA, I will serve full-time in that position.

    I have outlined an ambitious set of strategic priorities that the next Chair of DPVA must pursue.

    I have made proposals about Messaging, Organizing (my 134-locality strategy), Candidate Recruitment and Training (contest all 140 VA Senate and HOD seats), Electronic Communications, Coordination of the Work of Major Stakeholders, and Fundraising.

    And today I’m making another promise to you: If you elect me as DPVA Chair, I pledge to serve out the entirety of my term, devoting myself full-time to my role until May 2013.

    Why is it important for the next DPVA Chair to serve full time? Why can’t a part-time DPVA Chair get the job done? Why does the Chair need to commit to serve the full term?

    The right answers to these questions depend on what the next DPVA Chair must do compared to what a part-time Chair could do.

    The next DPVA Chair must undertake all of these tasks simultaneously:

    Pursue a 134-local committee strategy

    DPVA’s next Chair needs to take a pro-active role to help maximize the performance of ALL local Democratic committees in Virginia by leading in the development of committee-specific plans to move each local committee to “the next level.” Unless and until DPVA can raise the money to hire field organizers to help the Chair, the Chair personally needs to spend a substantial amount of time on this task.

    Contest all 140 VA Senate and HOD seats

    I have proposed a very specific plan for exactly how DPVA ought to lead in contesting all 140 Virginia Senate and HOD seats – not just the relatively few seats traditionally “targeted” by the heads of the VA Senate and HOD caucuses. Many of the details in my plan will require the personal time and attention of the Chair. These details include:

    Help to recruit prospective Democratic candidates.

    Work with the House and Senate Caucus leadership to re-examine our targeting criteria.

    Arrange one high-profile fundraising or political event in each district with a prominent statewide or regional Democratic leader as the “draw.”

    Spread the Democratic message

    Many members of the Central Committee have complained to me that DPVA, particularly in 2010, has been largely silent about the major issues and controversies in Virginia. As the head of the DPVA, the next Chair personally must speak out continuously and relentlessly in support of Democratic priorities and against the far right wing agenda of Cuccinelli, McDonnell, Marshall, and the RPV. To do this effectively, the Chair must get the message right. Getting the message right means:

    Have a message that appeals both to a majority of Virginia voters and to our Democratic base.

    Spend enough personal time to get it right.

    As one of you put it to me:

    “In order to inspire Democrats at the local level, DPVA has got to communicate a vision that it stands for something more than just electing more Democrats to office.”

    Coordinate the work of major Democratic stakeholders

    DPVA should play a leadership role in being sure that we are maximizing the resources of various critical Democratic groups with agendas and operations in Virginia, and minimizing the risks that these groups might inadvertently be doing things that are undercutting one another. These groups include the staffs of Senators Warner and Webb, our Democratic representatives in Congress, the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America (OFA), and the Virginia Senate and House Democratic caucuses. The next DPVA Chair personally must spend a substantial amount of time making sure this happens.

    Raise more money

    DPVA needs to raise more money, and that is more challenging with a Republican as Governor in Richmond. By adopting the strategic priorities described above, and the other priorities I have outlined during my campaign, the next DPVA Chair will build a dynamic and successful organization in which small and large donors alike will want to invest, paving the way for Democratic victories in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The next DPVA Chair should work with the DPVA Finance Chair and our Democratic elected officials to develop a finance strategy for the next three years that capitalizes on our substantial growth prospects.

    The next DPVA Chair must pursue these strategies full time, and I am the only candidate for DPVA Chair who will pursue these strategies full time.

    If you have any questions for me ahead of the Central Committee meeting, don’t hesitate to email me, call me at (202) 285-5365, or visit my website at

    I’m counting on you to stand with me. Please vote for me for DPVA Chair at the meeting, this Saturday, December 4 in Newport News.

    Best regards,

    Peter Rousselot


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