- I propose the precinct captains or local party bosses of each county come to Helena on January 5, the same day the 2015 Legislature starts.
- I propose they meet in a public location, such as the basement of Jorgenson’s or something similar, and that the press is notified and that anyone who wants to be a Democrat can come and participate.
- I propose 4 to 6 hours should be set aside for this, and for the sole purpose of airing grievances, presenting ideas, and getting on the same page.
The Democratic Party in Montana desperately needs this right now, and Democrats across the state desperately need a forum to present their thoughts and feelings on a myriad of issues and beliefs.
I’d like to see a line-up or schedule that looks something like this:
9:45 AM: Sign-up sheet and standing about with coffee
10 AM: Put people into groups based on what they put on sign-up sheet, something like this maybe:
- 1 Person from Eastern Montana;
- 1 Person from Western Montana
- 1 Person from Heavy Republican Area;
- 1 Person from Heavy Democrat Area;
- 1 Person from Rural Area
- 1 Person from Urban Area
I think dividing things even further, perhaps based on age, income level, and if you own property or not, work for someone or have your own business…those all might be something to think about. Overall, 5 to 7 people in each group is ideal.
10:15 AM: Talk in group about problems, come up with list of things, loosely like this:
- What did Democrats do right in 2014?
- What did Democrats do wrong in 2014?
- What are 5 major problems facing the state right now?
- What are 3 issues Democrats think are really important?
- What are 3 issues Republicans think are really important?
- What has the Democratic Party in Montana been?
- What does the Democratic Party in Montana need to be?
10:45 AM: Groups present their ideas and conclusions to the meeting at large. If you can’t come up with a consensus and conclusion within your group, we’ll save you for last or perhaps postpone you indefinitely. I’d give each group and its members 5 minutes, timed.
11:15 AM: Now is the time to let the groups shout around to each other, depending on how many groups there are, and how long the individual presentations lasted.
11:30 AM: When the shouting is over I’d like to see more group work, as I feel that’s the best way for each person to feel comfortable enough to get their views out. Or else you’ll have a lot of people attending but just a few talking. Just count-off 1’s and 2’s and make new groups, hit up the same questions, got to lunch.
12 PM: Lunch, but maybe some big-time Democrats can kick in some vending machine food or something and we can listen to some party top-brass give an inspirational speech or something.
12:30 PM: Now’s the time to have a key presentation on what the 2015 Legislative agenda is for the Democrats, how this ties into Democratic strategy going into local elections in September and November 2015, and then into the early 2016 presidential candidate bids and how they shape the 2016 Democratic Message.
1 PM: I’d like to see more group work at this point, perhaps with people making their own groups or we come up with a new way. Either way, I want to see people put out there what they want that 2016 Presidential, Congressional, and even voter-driven message to be, both locally, in Montana at the state level, and nationally for our future-presidential candidate.
Remember, National has no idea on this yet, so we can really shape the agenda here. Having Tester on that DSCC can count for something there as well, and I can’t help but think if this meeting is taken seriously by participants and the media, it can mean something.
1:45 PM: Present group work at-large, discuss. Pound home on what we can do to help that 2015 Legislature, our key showcase for candidates come 2016.
2:00 PM: Adjourn
Well, that’s the gist of it, the rough edges and all. I’ll put it out there because I know no one else will.