Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
It’s 2020 and I’m stoked. On this first day, I want to take a moment to thank you for everything that you do for the Democratic Party. Together we’re building a better Alabama, for you and your neighbors. 2019 was a milestone year for Democrats, and none of it would have been possible without the support and engagement of our smart, savvy, passionate, and loyal members like you.
I find my thoughts reflecting back on our shared journey that began November 2nd. When you entrusted Patricia Todd and me as your chairs of the Alabama Democratic Party, the responsibility has set me ablaze. We’ve got to get this right but that’s only possible when we’re working together. In 2020 we must work with a common purpose, and we will.
Democrats across Alabama came together and accomplished so much in 2019—some of the highlights include:
Organizing From the Grassroots
Early in 2019 Chair Worley organized regional leadership meetings across each congressional district. County chairs were briefed on the party’s 2018 analysis and were given new strategies for organizing. The events were well attended by party leaders and good democrats alike, laying a solid foundation for growth throughout the year.
Three Down, Two to Go
2019 started with only two large city mayors, Randall Woodfin in Birmingham and Walt Maddox in Tuscaloosa. That changed Oct. 8 with the election of Steven Reed in Montgomery. Thanks to strong grassroots and groups like the Alabama Democratic Conference, Montgomery elected a Democrat and the city’s first Mayor of color. Going forward, our challenge is replicating this win in Mobile and Huntsville. We can, we will.
A Party That Reflects the People
2019 saw a new commitment to diversity with amendments to the Alabama Democratic Party Bylaws. The creation of additional diversity caucuses ensures that everyone, regardless of their constituency, has a home in the Democratic Party. Representation for Asians, Hispanics, Youth, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ+ community was enhanced while maintaining the historic leadership of African Americans. The state committee’s numbers grew to ensure that every county and all communities have a voice on the state committee.
New Leadership and a New Voice
November elections brought familiar faces to leadership. Representative Chris England was elected Alabama Democratic Party Chair, the first African American to hold the title. Likewise former Representative Patricia Todd was elected Vice-Chair, the first lesbian elected to Alabama Democratic Party leadership. We ran to unify the party and bring new energy to Democrats everywhere. People listened. New contributions are past $50,000 and Facebook friends have grown by 1,000 likes.
Investing In Our Future
Speaking of Facebook, Alabama Democrats are engaging online in exciting new ways. We’ve turned-on Facebook, twitter too. We’re serving it fresh daily. Technology is the greatest organizing platform available and the Alabama Democratic Party is investing in tools like NGP 8 to keep you informed. With new tools and a new attitude, look for regular communications across all of the platforms.
Expanding the Field
Seventeen Presidential candidates, a record number, filed with the Alabama Democratic Party in November. Coupled with local and statewide candidates, look for an engaging ballot on March 3rd with over 400 Democrats running for office. Campaigning for public office is an enormous sacrifice; please show gratitude however you can. Give your time, write checks, knock doors, tell your friends, have those hard conversations with neighbors. Support the candidates. Say “thank you.” Without candidates, we wouldn’t have a Party.
First Things First
One of our key goals in 2020 is getting the Alabama Democratic Party back on track. To that end, Party leadership is working with the DNC to overhaul Party operations, improve Alabama’s delegate process, strengthen cybersecurity, and restore partnership funds. The DNC is our closest partner and strengthening these bonds is a top priority.
Reflecting back on all that we accomplished together in 2019, I am amazed at everything that we were able to achieve. I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy, and bright New Year—and I’m looking forward to the new ways we can partner together in 2020 as we take on the most pressing challenges facing Alabama and seize the extraordinary opportunities in the year ahead.
Christopher John England
Alabama Democratic Party Chair