It may only be 9 days since the election, but despite what some think there’s plenty that can be done now to begin the process of reclaiming a Democratic Majority in the Tennessee State House and Senate.
First of all, this ain’t gonna be easy. It’s a pretty steep uphill battle, particularly in the State Senate. In 2010 there will be 9 Republican Seats and 8 Democratic seats up for grabs. Picking up the 3 seats necessary to flip the Senate is going to take a huge statewide effort, but it’s not impossible.
Get involved in your local party – If you don’t know anything about your local party, the TNDP has this handy search tool. Go out of your way to find out what your local party is doing. Go to a meeting. Contact your State Execom members. Most importantly get and stay involved and informed.
Support Democratic Organizations – I’ve been pretty damn critical of the TNDP over the past several days, but despite my unhappiness with what’s happened, or hasn’t happened in the past, I’m still a Democrat. Politicking is an expensive business, and if we want the state and local party to be something more than a dependent of the national party we have to give time and money. So I’m putting my money where my blog is. On the right side there are links to the TNDP, the House Democratic Caucus, the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Shelby County Democratic Party. We can’t expect these organizations to be strong if they’re lagging behind in the funding department.
Do Some Research – Finding out information about what your government is doing can be difficult. While Tennessee has open meetings/records laws on the books, the rules governing, or the processes by which the information is made available can be…interesting. Start on this now, so later on in the process you don’t get caught behind a lengthy process.
Consider Running for Office – Making the decision to run for office, even in a smaller market, is a big commitment. There are lots of things to think about and even more work to be done to build a viable campaign. Right now, when you basically have a year to do some of the legwork and soul searching you’ll need to be successful, is the best time to get started. Contact your local Election Commission to find out what is necessary to run. Be nice, because you’ll be dealing with these folks a lot if you throw your hat in the ring.
Stay Involved – Just like everything else in life, from the diet you gave up on months ago, to any other new activity you introduce into your life, keeping the faith is harder than initially “feeling the spirit”. It’s easy to feel discouraged, but don’t let that discouragement stop you from staying engaged in the process. Make it a habit to do the little things, and the bigger things will get easier and easier.
This list is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a start. If we can get people involved throughout the state now, we will have a much better chance of winning back the State House, the Senate, and retaining the Governorship in 2010.