December 3, 2014
Through your leadership, commitment and hard work you have earned the respect and admiration of your fellow Democrats, who have entrusted you, as a member of the Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee, with the responsibility of choosing our next party chair.
We, in turn, respectfully ask that on December 16th you entrust us with the responsibility of leading our party into the future.
In compliance with the by-laws of our party, only one of us – David Pepper – will have his name entered for consideration for the position of party chair. But, we have adopted as our theme a phrase that Nina Turner uses regularly: “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.”
So, please, make no mistake: we are running as a team and will lead as a team.
Serving our party in this capacity is a natural extension of our long years in public service at the city, county and state levels fighting tirelessly on behalf of our constituents. Our joint experiences in office and running for office have offered us a unique opportunity to learn about our state, our party, and ourselves. We are constantly reminded how the values of the Democratic Party – like fairness, opportunity, equality, and human dignity – are the values of all Ohioans. And while the outcome of November’s elections represented a set back for us, our values and goals remain as important as ever.
As elected officials and candidates, we have seen first-hand where our party excelled in connecting with Ohioans and where we need to do better. As diverse as our great state is, we’ve heard about and witnessed the challenges and concerns that are shared by everyday Ohioans from all corners of the state. And we felt how important it was for Ohioans to know they have a Democratic Party fighting for them and with them to make sure Ohio remains a place where they can raise their families and build their measure of the American Dream.
Our experience on the campaign trail also taught us how well we work together as a team. We grew up in different parts of the state and have had different life experiences. Despite our different backgrounds, we have both served and delivered results for our communities with energy and passion. And we are headed in the same direction, guided by the same values and driven by the same sense of purpose. We learned that by working together, we reach broader constituencies than when working apart, and that our skills and expertise – in fundraising, communicating, organizing, and engaging constituencies –complement one another.
We are asking for your support to put these complementary skills, shared values, and common purpose to use restoring the Ohio Democratic Party to the vigorous and victorious advocate that Ohioans need it to be. Because when decisions are made about the future of our state, it is our job to make sure everyday Ohioans have seats at the table.
The Ohio Democratic Party has much to accomplish in the short- and long-run. We have crucial elections coming up, including mayoral and city council races in 2015, the 2016 Presidential and U.S. Senate races, protecting our U.S. Senate seat and winning back statewide offices in 2018, and picking up state legislative, judicial and local seats along the way. And for the next two years, with the Republicans holding their convention in Cleveland and Columbus as a key contender to host the DNC, the attention of the country will be on Ohio. Ohio Democrats need to focus on building from the ground up and lifting as we climb in order to present a united, persuasive and credible force that delivers victories for ourselves and the nation.
With your support and input over the early months of 2015, we will lay out a clear short- and long-term, 88 county strategy to build our infrastructure and win elections in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and beyond. Our plan will focus on embedding a strong message in everything we do, on activating our infrastructure, on recruiting and supporting the best candidates, on energizing voters, on unifying and energizing activists and party stakeholders across Ohio, and on raising the resources necessary to do all this.
And to be clear, there is more at stake beyond winning the next election. What is at stake is what comes after the elections: what we, as Democrats, do with the responsibilities that Ohioans grant us. The path forward for the Ohio Democratic Party will involve more than improving how we communicate and how we carry out our campaigns. It also will require us to restore the faith of Ohioans that our party is best suited to protect and pursue their interests and make their world a better, more just and equitable place.
As a team, we respectfully ask for your support for the opportunity to lead our party toward this future and look forward to seeing you in Columbus at the Executive Committee meeting on December 16.
|David Pepper||Nina Turner|
|Candidate for Chair||Leadership Team Chair|