07. July 2022 · Comments Off on Message from the Chair · Categories: Announcements

Summer is in full swing!

Last month, we celebrated love, self-expression, and the freedom to be one’s authentic self as part of Pride. It was also a time to take inspiration from members of the LGBTQ+ community who had the courage to fight for equality.

The Biden-Harris administration has joined that fight in full force. Over the past year and a half, the president has issued one of the most comprehensive executive orders in the history of LGBTQ+ rights, provided Americans with a gender neutral passport marker, prioritized the needs of queer and trans foster kids, and fought for safety and justice for missing and murdered trans BIPOC people.

Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans continue to look for reasons to divide the country and play political games with people’s lives. Their unrelenting war on reproductive health care that resulted in the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is just the beginning.

Enough is enough. As Democrats, we work tirelessly to make sure that every single voice is heard. That is the basis of the American Dream: we are all equal.

We need to elect public servants who deliver for their communities. We need to elect governors, attorneys general, state legislators, and federal representatives to stand as the last line of defense for Americans’ reproductive rights. We need to elect leaders who do more than talk about gun control but actively build upon the most major gun legislation in 30 years.

We need to elect Democrats.

As summer heats up, we’ll be counting on you to spread the word. The Democratic Party is committed to the founding ideals that make this country great. When you vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, you’re voting for integrity, service, and equality.

That is how we will strengthen our majorities in Congress and flip seats in statehouses. It all starts with you.


Jaime Harrison
Democratic National Committee

Captured at Howard University in Washington, DC, USA on July 8, 2021. by Kevin Lowery, @kevloweryphoto

Roe v. Wade

In response to Republican calls to ban abortion nationally, the DNC is launching an extended campaign branded “MAGA Hot Mic” to turn the volume up on Republicans up and down the ballot, detailing what their extreme MAGA agenda actually is: wildly out of touch with the American people, dangerous, and deadly. We’ve also built a website called DefendChoice.org to share resources and places to direct your attention to help take action and speak out. A record number of activists have already signed up. People are showing that they will do everything within their power to enact change and secure women’s right to control their own bodies.

On the Ground

The DNC announced new investments in Democratic state parties across the country, which will fund state-specific programs for organizing, field, and voter protection to help Democratic candidates compete up and down the ballot this November:

The new Tennessee Democratic Party organizing director will help register and turn out potential voters across the Volunteer State. Through this organizing program, the TNDP will target key legislative races to lay the groundwork to break the Republican supermajority in the Tennessee Legislature.

The South Dakota Democratic Party’s new field director will help the party compete in races around the state and work alongside the native outreach director to organize within the nine tribes of South Dakota. The new field director will also help hire and train Young Elected Legislative Leaders (YELL) Fellows, an innovative program that allows college and high school students to help organize for local candidates.

The North Dakota Democratic-NPL will hire a new organizing director to focus on early and robust voter engagement. The organizing director will direct volunteer recruitment and community outreach projects as well as lay the strategic and operational groundwork for the 2022 coordinated campaign. The new hire also will lead a comprehensive statewide program that will fortify relationships with unions and other allied organizations.

The Democratic Party of Virginia is investing in a voter protection operation that will run programs across the commonwealth that combats misinformation coming from Republicans. Additionally, the new program will combat Republican attempts at voter suppression and create a strong poll observer program to ensure voters are well-resourced on Election Day.

In Louisiana, a new communications director will drive messaging and expand outreach for Democrats up and down the ballot. The Louisiana Democratic Party is focused on an intensive and targeted campaign to register and turn out more Democratic voters and an aggressive messaging campaign to make sure that Louisiana voters know Democrats deliver results.

The Massachusetts Democrats are hiring an organizing director to build out its “Blueprint to ’22” voter-mobilization program and ensure coordinated voter engagement efforts across campaigns at all levels.

Folks You Should Know

Sam Alleman, LGBTQ+ Coalitions Director
Sam previously worked at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s national political team for five years, working to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care. Sam has also served on the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s Campaign Board for three years, where he raised money for LGBTQ+ candidates up and down the ballot. Before this Sam also served in roles at Hillary For America, Battleground Texas, and Wendy Davis For Texas.

Ellie Blaser, Coalitions & Community Engagement Director of Operations
Prior to joining the DNC, Ellie served as the Senior Executive Coordinator at NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she spent over three and a half years fighting for reproductive freedom and abortion rights for all Americans. She is a graduate of Hood College and previously gave a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

Ariel Garayar, Coalitions and Community Engagement Manager
Ariel oversees youth outreach. She previously worked for the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, where she helped advocate for a better quality of life for immigrant and refugee communities. She has mobilized communities to vote as a Deputy Coalitions Director in Virginia during the Biden for President campaign and while serving on the board of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV), the Latino Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia. She has previously held roles in the offices of Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) and Senator Tom Udall (NM). Ariel is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants.

Alan Clendenin, Chair of the Southern Caucus
Alan is a labor organizer and retired air traffic control tower manager. He began his activist work in 1975 as a high school volunteer for President Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Since then, he has been actively involved in numerous local, state and national campaigns and held numerous state party positions including Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. Currently he’s the senior DNC member from Florida.

Nancy DiNardo, Chair of the Eastern Caucus
Nancy is a retired educator with 31 years of service in Bridgeport, CT. She began her career as a teacher, then became a school psychologist, and then became an administrator, serving as Director of Psychological Services. She has been in politics just as long having won a seat on her local town council when she was just 21 years old. She was just one of four Democrats on the 21 member council. She later became a member of the Connecticut Central Committee and was elected the first woman to chair the Connecticut Democratic Party in 2005. She was reelected in 2020 after serving in other positions.

Ron Harris, Chair of the Midwestern Caucus
Ron is the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Minneapolis, a position held by fewer than 100 people in the entire world. He leads the city’s strategy to reduce vulnerabilities in the community and prepare businesses to survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of disruption. Ron first ran for the DNC at age 24 in 2014. His narrow loss inspired him to continue to remain active in the party, and two years later he won a seat with support from all over the state.

Tina Podlodowski, Chair of the Western Caucus
After a career as an executive at Microsoft, Tina won an at-large seat on the Seattle City Council. On council, she championed new civil rights legislation including the inclusion of gender identity into all city ordinances, created the first civilian oversight body of the Seattle police department, and pioneered in-neighborhood council meetings to engage a more diverse group of constituents in decision-making. Tina won her first term as state party chair in 2017. During that year, she traveled to and worked with all 39 Washington counties and 49 legislative districts and pledged to rebuild the party’s grassroots infrastructure.

The DNC Organizing Team’s “Summer of Service” is in full swing. Across the country, we are hosting a series of service-oriented events and activities for our DNC grassroots supporters and Biden-Harris volunteers. Send us your photos and videos from the Weekend of Action that kicked off on June 11.