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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (3/8/17) 10:57am - ... wherein Peter looks into helping out with the local Democratic Party.

Last night I had a chat with Susan Shelton, who's just finished up a term as the president of Texas Democratic Women, to try & learn how to get more involved in the local Democratic Party.

Here's what I learned!


The most direct way to help out the Democratic Party is via your precinct.

There are literally hundreds of precincts in Travis County -- if you're in Austin, your precinct is probably just "your house and three blocks in any direction from your house." Precincts are how you get involved at the hyper-local level. The party runs registration and voting drives for each precinct (among other things).

If you want to take a first step towards party involvement, this is the logical starting point.

"But Peter, which precinct am I in?"

The easiest way to figure this out is to contact the Travis County Democratic Party at (512) 477-7500 (they're open from 9am to 6pm). Yes, I know, we hates the phoneses, but these folks will be happy to hear from you, and it's good to talk to folks involved in running the party. Just give them your address and they can tell you what your precinct is, and who your local precinct chair is. Note: your precinct chair might be *vacant* -- so you could do a huge favor to the party by *taking over* as precinct chair and sorting out canvassing for your little microhood. Or, if your precinct already has a chair, you can do a huge favor for the party by contacting that person and offering to help out.

If you absolutely can't abide the phone, then you can check out this interactive map -- set the top right selector to "precincts" and then, with judicious zooming, find your neighborhood. Once you have that precinct number, you can use this precinct chair list to find your chair's name and email address. And then: contact them and figure out how you can get involved.

Become a Deputy Voter Registrar

The first Tuesday of every month (so yes, we just missed March), at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 6:30pm, the county tax office over on Airport puts on training and certification sessions where you can become a Deputy Voter Registrar. As a Deputy Voter Registrar, you can get Texans registered to vote -- a vital skill to have if you'd like to help flip anything blue.

I'm told, though, that if we can get, say, at least ten folks together who'd like to become Deputy Voter Registrars, and if somebody's willing to put up some theater space for a couple of hours, we could schedule our own training and certification session that might work better with our schedules.

If you'd like to attend a session like this, or you have space for putting it on, contact me or comment below.

The "Fair Shot" Training Summit

The weekend of April 1st is the annual meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee, right here in Austin. As part of that, they're putting on a two-day training summit. They're still hammering out the details, but the general idea is that they'll have working groups, panels, and trainings for learning how to organize in your community. You can RSVP here, and I'll keep my ear to the ground and pass on any further details about it.

(Side note: the meeting itself is open to the public, so it can be a good thing to watch if you want to see a bit of the inner workings of the Democratic Party.)

So: those are the main action items for now: find your precinct, become a voter registrar, and sign up for the training summit. I'll keep folks apprised as I keep exploring this. And as always, let me know if I can help you out.

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