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Gideon Moore for Mecklenburg GOP Chairman

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[Editor’s Note – PunditHouse asked each of the candidates for Mecklenburg County GOP Chairman to submit an outline of their candidacy as a way to introduce themselves to our readers.  We are publishing them simaltaneously, in alphabetical order.  They each welcome your comments and questions.]

Who is Team MeckGOP?  

In party leadership campaigns across America this year and every year, it’s typical to line up behind the name of a particular candidate for chairman.  As we’ve thought and planned for what the MeckGOP needs to grow and succeed.  We’ve intentionally avoided that paradigm. 

As we face the daunting task of overcoming the 100K+ vote gap from the 2008 presidential election, we would argue that this election must be less about choosing one chairman over another, and more about making sure that we put forward the strongest possible team of leaders to work and build a strong vibrant MeckGOP that will organize and build in order to take the fight to the Democrats for Mecklenburg County in 2011, 2012 and beyond.

In order to win, we must first grow the MeckGOP and build our organization across the board.  Team MeckGOP intends to focus our efforts on the four following specific aspects of the MeckGOP.

#1) Messaging
#2) Fundraising
#3) Organizing
#4) Campaigns and Elections

Below are Team MeckGOP‘s detailed plans and ideas for implementing this proposed vision for building and winning.

MESSAGING: Communicating what the MeckGOP Stands for and Why 

The MeckGOP has a strong core values that MUST be communicated over and over and over again, both to active Republicans, inactive Republicans, Unaffiliated voters, Conservative Democrats.  The MeckGOP’s core values are:

·         LIMITED GOVERNMENT – Our elected officials must respect the constitutional and practical limits on what government can do and do well.   

·         FISCAL CONSERVATISM – The government should be frugal and efficient with our tax dollars. 

·         STRONG FAMILIES & STRONG COMMUNITIES – Strong families and communities are society’s building blocks. Their worth can never be replicated by a government program.

·         HONEST GOVERNMENT – Leaders should walk in integrity. We won’t accept anything less from them, regardless of their party identification.

However, messaging doesn’t just happen.  We will implement the following plan to consistently share the MeckGOP message with the grassroots and with the community generally:

A)  Social Media:  Over the last two years, the MeckGOP has implemented a social media strategy that has seen it go from not having a Facebook or Twitter presence to having the most followers on those two platforms of any County Republican Organization in North Carolina (and among the most in the entire nation). 

However, there are still tens of thousands of Mecklenburg County voters must be reached.  We must continue to build out this platform primarily by continuing to ask MeckGOP activists to draw in their online communities and providing a steady stream of relevant content.

B)  Email:  Over the last two years, the MeckGOP has more than doubled its email list and created the MeckGOP Weekly Buzz which has been used to promote MeckGOP candidates as well as all events for local and regional Republican and Conservative groups and the three recent Mecklenburg Tea Parties.

However, there is still MUCH work to be done in this area.  We MUST grow the MeckGOP email list and seek new innovative ways to interact with Mecklenburg County Voters.

C)  Mobile/Text:  Text messaging is not simply the way of the future, but already primary means of communicating for many Generation Y and Millennial generation voters.  Moreover, studies consistently show that text messages are MUCH more likely to be opened than emails.  We must implement a text strategy prior to 2012 that will provide the MeckGOP the capabilities of quickly and efficiently communicating with Republican activists.

D) Education:   It’s not enough to “preach to the choir” of Republican activists.  The MeckGOP must build out innovative programs for reaching Mecklenburg County College and High School students.  Unfortunately, we can’t trust the schools to accurately explain what Republicans stand for and why, but it is also not enough to complain.  We will build out specific programs to better educate and activate Mecklenburg County college and high school students.  After all, it is their future we’re fighting for.

E) Community Relations:  There is an old saying that people don’t “care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This is certainly true in the political realm.  The MeckGOP must make the continuous investment of building ties to the community that we are seeking to serve.  Moreover, the MeckGOP must make a specific, concentrated effort to reach out to the minority community to build coalitions based upon many of our commonly shared conservative values. 

To that end, we are proposing that the MeckGOP Plan of Organization be amended to provide for two new voting positions.  The Community Outreach Liaison would work to build ties with churches, tea party groups, and community groups of all types throughout Mecklenburg County.  The Minority Coalitions Liaison would work to build ties specifically to the minority community and support the establishment of conservative coalition groups within the various minority communities.
FUNDRAISING: The Resources to WIN!

It surprises many Republican activists to learn that the MeckGOP has struggled in fundraising at many times in recent years.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised out of Mecklenburg County to support state and national candidates and other republican organizations, but very little of those resources make it back to Mecklenburg County and the MeckGOP.

This MUST change. Without resources, even the best of plans to build the MeckGOP organization or improve our messaging capabilities, simply will not succeed. 

No one needs to be told that times are tight in Mecklenburg County, and that it is much more difficult to fundraise for any community organization.  We accept those circumstances, and will not be deterred.  Team MeckGOP is committed to making certain that the MeckGOP has the resources necessary to build the organization we need for the 2011 and 2012 election cycles and to support the election of our candidates local, state and national offices. 

A) Bigger Bang for the Buck.  Whether you are a small donor or a large donor, your investment in the MeckGOP will be spent wisely and frugally to make the biggest impact possible.

B) Investment Mindset.  The finance team will work side by side with other parts of the MeckGOP leadership to make certain that we can all properly articulate each donor’s “return” on their investment in the MeckGOP with specific stories of where that MeckGOP donation will be making an impact (that could not have been made without those resources) building and strengthening it’s messaging and organization for 2011, 2012 and future elections.

C)  Team Approach.  Too often MeckGOP fundraising falls on the shoulders of a couple of individual leaders.  Team MeckGOP will be returning to the organizational structure set forth in the MeckGOP Plan of Organization in which a team of at least 9 individuals from all parts of the county and all ages and stages of life will work to build out a Fundraising infrastructure.   In order to be successful over the long term, the MeckGOP must seek a healthy mix of large and small donations from donors at all ages and stages of life.

D) Events-based Fundraising.  We must provide opportunities for donors of all stripes to give to the MeckGOP and see for themselves the impact the MeckGOP is making with their donations.   Along with quarterly events in which we will seek prominent national and state level speakers, Team MeckGOP will organize smaller monthly fundraising gatherings possibly hosted by prominent local Republicans and elected officials around the county.

ORGANIZING: Building to Fight Street-by-Street across Mecklenburg County

MeckGOP has 172,456 registered voters and should have over 300,000 registered voters (especially when considering that there are a total of 606,736 registered voters in Mecklenburg County).  There are no silver bullets in building from where we are to where we need to be.  The only way to get to where the MeckGOP needs to be to win elections and affect change in Mecklenburg County is a coordinated effort fighting for Mecklenburg County votes street by streetneighborhood by neighborhood, and precinct by precinct.

It will take time.  It will take hard work, but there is no other way.  Team MeckGOP is committed to building out the MeckGOP into a dynamic precinct organization that will draw more Republicans into neighborhood level organizations and give Republican candidates a distinct advantage that they have not had before.

A)  Power to the Precincts.  We encourage everyone to read Article III of the MeckGOP Plan of Organization (SIDENOTE: If you are new to this, the Plan could also be called the MeckGOP’s Constitution).  The MeckGOP Plan describes an organization in which 5+ person Precinct Committees meet regularly and take ownership building the MeckGOP in each of their neighborhoods.  If fully built out in all 195 precincts, the MeckGOP would have at least 975 Republican precinct activists working day by day in neighborhoods all across Mecklenburg County to grow the party, help campaigns and turnout Republican voters.

Team MeckGOP will build out this Precinct Organization.  We will meet regularly with Precinct Chairs within the various Districts, and we will encourage each Precinct Committee to meet regularly and to take ownership for building the MeckGOP within their neighborhoods first.  The first step to winning the entire county is to win the neighborhood where you live.

B)  Priority to the Precincts.  Hundreds of interested potential volunteers call and email in the MeckGOP that they are interested in volunteering.  Our first priority for plugging in any volunteer is going to be back in to their own precinct.

C)  Building Community.   It’s hard to ask voters you don’t know to vote for MeckGOP candidates or to walk precincts with MeckGOP Voter Guides.  So let’s get to know each other.  Team MeckGOP will be fundraising to provide for precinct level gatherings where activists can get to know the Republicans they live around.  These can be inexpensive ($30 for some pizza), but this investment in building the Republican community can go a long way to strengthen the MeckGOP.

D)  Encourage Innovation.  Mecklenburg County is incredibly diverse. We have rural, suburban & urban precincts.  We have precincts that are mostly white, and precincts that are mostly African American.   The MeckGOP precinct organization is going to have to look different depending on where you live, and that is a very good thing. 

Team MeckGOP will encourage and expect each MeckGOP precinct committee to think outside of the box of tradition about how best to reach and organize their neighborhoods. Some of those ideas will work, and some will fail miserably.  We will learn from the ideas that work, discard those that don’t and continue to grow and build.

E) Partnering Precincts.   There are some precincts around Mecklenburg County where there is no MeckGOP organization to speak of.  However, Team MeckGOP is unwilling to surrender any part of Mecklenburg County to the Left.  We will spend 2011 building out the precinct organization described above, and in early 2012 we will evaluate where each precinct is and begin the process of partnering strong precincts with weaker precincts.  We won’t leave anyone behind as we build and grow for the future. 

CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS: Building the Farm Team and Winning Elections!

 

The MeckGOP’s ultimate goal is to be a positive impact in our community, and we do that by electing strong, Republican leaders.  Leaders who show an ability lead by drawing folks in, gain support and stand on for their principles.  In addition to working to build out our messaging capabilities, making sure we have raised the resources to compete and building out a strong, dynamic precinct organization,Team MeckGOP will focus on the following areas to make certain we have the best team of candidates on the field and that we get them elected:

A)  Building the Farm Team.  The MeckGOP must invest in young leaders.  We must make certain that young leaders within the MeckGOP are trained over and over again in how to deliver their message, how to win elections and how to govern effectively.  There are an enormous number of resources that the MeckGOP can bring to bear to train up future generations of leaders, and Team MeckGOP will work to prepare as many young leaders as possible in building for the future.

Additionally, Team MeckGOP will work with our elected officials to make certain that young leaders are getting the opportunities they need to serve on city and county boards to build the experience necessary to make them stronger candidates for public office.

B)  Recruiting Strong Leaders.  As we recruit and groom candidates and young leaders for public office, we never know where those leaders will go or how their public service will impact not just Mecklenburg County, but North Carolina and America as well (for instance, in 2002, Barack Obama was a state senator and Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wasilla).  

Team MeckGOP will draw from the MeckGOP Farm Team, as well as, local business and community leaders to put forward the strongest slate of leaders possible. Leaders that won’t just get elected but that will govern well. Team MeckGOP recognizes that, ultimately, our neighbors won’t judge us simply on whether we win or lose elections, but on how well those leaders govern.  Nothing will build the MeckGOP brand more for future generations than the positive work that our Republican elected leaders do for the community.

C)  Supporting Campaigns.   While individual campaigns and candidates may run based on individual playbooks based on their personal strengths, individual districts and the positions they are running for, we will encourage teamwork among the MeckGOP candidates wherever possible. 

Also, Team MeckGOP will work to provide messaging and organizational resources to help our candidates effectively and efficiently communicate with and turn out Mecklenburg County voters.  Specifically, this will take the shape in many forms: providing campaigns and candidates access to the MeckGOP Weekly Buzz, training volunteers on the Voter Vault and VSS systems, targeted mailings to absentee voters, joint mailers among campaigns, distribution of the MeckGOP Voter Guide, coordinated sign placement,  recruiting and organizing election day poll greeters and observers.

D)  Protecting the Ballot.  Finally, it’s unfortunate that this even needs to be mentioned, but Team MeckGOP is committed to protecting our elections.  We will work closely with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections to make certain that election laws are obeyed across the county in order that we can have confidence that the will of the voters is evidenced in our election results.

CONCLUSION

As we draw to a conclusion in describing the Team MeckGOP Vision for Building & Winning,  we want to return to the thought we started with … TEAM.  The plans and ideas that we’ve been describing are just that plans and ideas.  Ultimately, the ideas expressed in this Vision for Building & Winning will not lead to Republican victories in our community in and of themselves … but a strong Team of committed citizens and leaders working together for one common purpose to execute on this vision will.

Thus, we extend the invitation to JOIN TEAM MeckGOP!  We need your help as we fight for Mecklenburg County.  Share your ideas.  Attend your precinct meetings on February 17th.  Help us elect the Team MeckGOP Leadership Slate at the March 19th MeckGOP County Convention.  Commit with us to working and giving in order to build and grow the MeckGOP.

With your help, we can build and grow the MeckGOP through (i) communicating effectively with our community, (ii) raising the resources to win, (iii) building and empowering a county-wide neighborhood organization and (iv) recruiting, equipping and electing strong leaders who will serve our community well.

www.teammeckgop.com

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