Made up of more than 700 volunteers in 65 counties and all four Congressional districts across Iowa, the New Iowa Project and our five working committees will focus on how we can share strategies that work in every county across Iowa.
Registration and Turnout Committee
Dave and Donna Langer (Urbandale Area Democrats)
Susan Bryant, Sharon Lake, Tara Shochet (Eastside Iowa City Democrats)
The Registration and Turnout Committee is focused on ideas and strategy to help strengthen democratic voter registration and turnout numbers across Iowa through voter registration strategies, precinct captain programs, and ballot chase programs. Making great strides already, the Registration and Turnout Committee has completed training and published a manual on the Neighbor to Neighbor model for community organizing, pulled together a calendar of hundreds of events across the state as possible options for voter registration booths, and are working on additional training on different local organizing models.
In addition, this busy committee has also:
Created a voter registration booth checklist
Created and completed voter registration booth training
Had voter registration forms translated into Bosnian and Spanish
Look for more training opportunities from this committee coming soon!
Communications and Voter Education
Lindsay Paulson (Polk Events Chair)
Whitney Mixdorf (Cerro Gordo County and North Iowa Dems)
The Communications and Voter Education Committee’s goal is to get simple voter registration information out across the state while helping create a bigger Democratic presence in the digital realm, on radio and in newspapers, while finding new communication methods and developing new ways to educate all voters about their rights. They are off to a great start with the creation of a Statewide Resource Library, a strong social media presence to help share our message and build recognition for the New Iowa Project, and work on materials for voter protection programs and training. The committee is also responsible for:
11,000 handbills on voter registration distributed statewide
10,000 handbills on voter suppression and checking voter
status distributed statewide
Customized graphics for all 99 counties on the Pate Purge
Social media on voting rights that can be utilized by all 99 counties
The newly created Branding and Messaging subcommittee (chaired by Sarah Eastman, Black Hawk County) will focus on overall messaging and is currently working to create databases of statewide resources that can be utilized by candidates, campaigns, and the state party.
Community Outreach Committee
Mickey Carlson (Polk County)
Mary Sconiers Chapman (Polk County)
Reverend Dr. Frantz Whitfield (Black Hawk County)
As the committee looking to purposefully connect with communities of color and new voters, we found three of the best individuals our state has to offer. Mickey Carlson and Mary Sconiers Chapman are leaders many of us will recognize for their decades of service to Democratic causes. Many of us are also familiar with the amazing work of Reverend Dr. Frantz Whitfield of Waterloo. A fearless pastor, an early endorser of President Biden, and the President of the Iowa National Action Network, he’s a one of a kind leader in our state.
The Community Outreach Committee is off to a great start, already hosting a Statewide Townhalls on Education and Voting Rights, and a Statewide Youth Townhall. They have established a Youth Outreach subcommittee and are working on outreach to former felons who have had their voting rights restored.
The committee has also:
Begun the work to connect with groups and programs that
focus on new citizens
Created a program for high schools around the state to
provide voter registration documents to every member of their graduating classes
Offered training on registering voters in the Asian, Latino and Muslim communities
Worked to create programs that expand college registration efforts outside of the big three universities in Iowa.
Independents and Inactives Committee
Mari Hall (Johnston Democrats)
Shanda Carstens (Guthrie County Vice Chair)
This committee is tasked with reaching out to independent voters and working to re-engage non-voting Democrats.
The purge of voters after the changes to Iowa’s voting laws have kept this committee busy. In addition to helping create the calendar of all the 2021 community events across the state, they have created scripts and training on contacting inactive voters and purchased and disbursed the list of 12,000 inactivated Democrats in Iowa.
The committee is currently working on deep canvassing training.
Data and Benchmarking
Judy Downs (Polk Executive Director, Urbandale School Board Member) Nate Gruber (Cedar Falls School Board Member, Former Black Hawk County Vice Chair)
The Data and Benchmarking committee makes sure we’re tracking registration numbers across Iowa and helps counties benchmark what they can be doing to help grow our registration numbers. Their mission might start with measuring the numbers and setting goals, but they don’t stop there. They’re also working on training for county parties on requesting data from their county auditors, ways to collaborate and share data across counties, and Brighter Blue training for city council and school board candidates.
The committee also:
Sets monthly benchmarking voter registration goals for counties based on population
Created training for county parties on how to develop programs
for local races
Created a directory of party registrations for all school board members in Iowa.
A similar directory for all city council members in Iowa is next up for the Data and Benchmarking committee.