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DPVA Chair Susan Swecker: Ideas for a Revamped Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC)


From DPVA Chair Susan Swecker, who is running for president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC). It will be fascinating to see how this news (current ASDC president Ray Buckley dropping out of the DNC Chair race and endorsing Keith Ellison) will impact the ASDC race…

Fellow Chairs and Vice-Chairs,

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of you about my plans to make the ASDC the powerful organization I believe it truly can be. Your input has been invaluable and I will continue to reach out to hear your ideas. In the meantime, please take a moment to read my platform and let me know what you think and how we can work together.

How we move forward (and win!): Here are five ways we can professionalize the ASDC into a strong independent entity that works closely with the DNC and other Democratic organizations.

-Develop a strategy to harness the energy on the ground. We have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the energy on the ground. A record number of new folks are showing up at local committee meetings. Other unaffiliated groups are springing up. We need to provide them with productive activism opportunities that help elect Democrats. We are on the ground. We are on the front lines. We can and must be leading this effort.

-Shift focus to building financially stable parties at all times. Empowering and assisting state parties to become more financially independent. We need strong state parties ALL the time.

-Financing Down Ballot Races. It’s never been more important to elect Democrats at all levels. It falls on state parties to recruit and fund the best candidates possible. I will work with you to develop a separate fundraising program dedicated to recruiting and running local candidates.

-State Party Voter Protection. DPVA has the first full-time voter protection program in the country. As Republicans fight to erode access to the ballot box, voter protection is more critical than ever. Our top priority must be ensuring that each state party has access to voter protection resources.

-Networking and mentorship. We need to learn from each other, share our knowledge with the next generation, and retain the best talent. I’ll develop a new mentorship program between Chairs and previous Chairs as well as Executive Directors and other top tier talent to make sure no state party is left behind.

Here are five ways I’ll be the leader and partner ASDC needs to accomplish our goals:

-Pitchwoman and dealmaker. I’ll fight for what we need whether that’s working with the DNC, vendors, or elected officials. And given my base in Virginia, I can run up those Amtrak Awards quicker than you can say Joe Biden and meet face-to- face with key players across the Potomac.

-Running ASDC like a business. We need formalized procedures and sound management in addition to leadership. As a small business owner, I’m well-suited to implement those changes to ensure we’re all spending our time and resources wisely.

-SPP. We all love SPP – but let’s make it bigger, better, and more useful. We’ll start by cataloging the needs of each state party. Let’s create a real partnership with the DNC that is based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility. This is not about a handout, it’s about all of our state parties and the DNC working together in one common direction with one common goal, winning.

-Intel gathering. We need to know what’s going on in our states. Simply put, we all know some organizations don’t always make that easy. I’ll serve as a liaison between outside organizations and state parties so everyone knows who is working in their state for each cycle.

-Band together and negotiate. We need to reinvigorate our collective bargaining power. Everything from vendors to expensive media subscriptions to surrogates from the DNC– if we use our bargaining power, we can secure much-needed resources at value rates.

I will be a change agent. If elected, I will work for YOU. It’s that simple. If the ASDC is going to be a force to be reckoned with, we need to reject the hierarchies of the past and get to work.

Let’s start the conversation now – feel free to email or give me a call.

Susan Swecker


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