September 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
DNC announces Victory Leaders Councils
Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade, Victory Leaders Council

Hillary Clinton (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Without sounding too confident, it is fair to anticipate Hillary Clinton will win big in the District of Columbia and get our three electoral votes. So she only needs 267 more, easy right?

That thinking is dangerous. While we can be confident a number of other states will be blue there are still many important things those of us in states considered safe for Democrats can do to help ensure victory in every state. From phone calls to door knocking to fundraising we need to work not just for Hillary but for those Democrats running down-ballot across the country where winning is about getting out the vote. We win and win big if our voters go to the polls.

The great thing about our country is more people believe in fairness, equality and decency than support the racism, sexism, homophobia and demagoguery of Donald Trump, which has taken over the Republican Party.

To get what we need done in coordination with the Hillary for America campaign the newly invigorated Democratic National Committee, under the leadership of Chair Donna Brazile and Chief of Staff Brandon Davis has announced a sweeping new program to energize Democrats across the nation.

The DNC is organizing through a “Victory Leaders Council (VLC) program, which will help Democrats put red states in play as well as mobilize volunteers and grassroots support in blue states. The goal of the councils is to help elect Hillary Clinton and win down-ballot elections this cycle and beyond.”

Brandon Davis said, “Democrats are competing across the country and building for the future. In states from Georgia to Arizona, demographics and politics are changing quickly — and Democrats are making the investments to make gains now so that we can take majorities later. We are mobilizing voters across the country to elect more Democrats and to deliver on the policies being driven by the Clinton-Kaine ticket and Democrats at every level of the ballot.”

The person chosen to lead this 50-state effort is the amazing Adam Parkhomenko, who has been named the DNC’s National Field Director. Many of us know Adam from his early days in Virginia when as a 17-year-old student he began an organization to support Hillary Clinton. The nation heard about Adam when he co-founded Ready for Hillary, serving as its executive director, setting in motion the movement to encourage Hillary to run for president. He was then named Director of Grassroots Engagement for Hillary for America working 24/7 through the grueling and winning primary campaign.

Each Victory Leaders Council will include prominent individuals and elected officials and will depend on grassroots activists who put elbow grease into electing Democrats up and down the ballot. The idea is for the structure put in place today to live on beyond Election Day to help Democrats win in mid-term elections, flip Republican majorities, and help President Hillary Clinton enact her policy agenda.

During this presidential campaign, the Victory Leaders Councils, while volunteer-led and driven, will work closely with each Hillary for America state director as well as the executive directors and chairs of each state party. The VLC program will be overseen by the Democratic National Committee’s field team and each VLC leader will have a designated liaison at the DNC. The work will include keeping stakeholders engaged through regular meetings and phone calls, organizing door-to-door canvasses, phone banks, and Get-Out-The-Vote efforts in each state.

The D.C. Victory Leaders Council will be ramping up its work and will take to heart the words of Donna Brazile, who has said about the future, “We are building on the momentum of our hugely successful convention, where we passed the most progressive platform in history that would do the most good for the most families. There is a stark choice for voters to make in this election, and Democrats have a historic opportunity and responsibility to help voters see that choice clearly. The Victory Leaders Councils are one more way that Democrats are investing in all 50 states.”

Democrats and everyone around the country who want to make a difference and work toward a more progressive vision for America can be a part of this effort. Whether you knock on doors in your neighborhood, help make phone calls, fundraise or travel to a swing state everyone is needed to ensure there are enough workers on the ground so Hillary and down-ballot Democrats win.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist.

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