3 thoughts on “Do Democrats in the legislature need to deepen their bench?

  1. Most emphatically, yes!! Emerge, WI is a good template to start with but for many women the program is too expensive and/or too inconvenient. Expense and convenience should be taken into account if the party embarks on a mentoring campaign. Anyone who is a member of the Democratic Party should have access to mentorship and training for public office, and the grooming process should be ongoing, not just a crash course prior to an election. I’d stress that in addition to the mentoring of future candidates, the training of staffers and campaign managers should be included as well as legislative process and procedure within the context of the Wisconsin constitution. I’d also recommend mentoring for local/municipal offices to outline reasonable paths of advancement to the legislature. The goal being to cultivate leaders with high integrity and impeccable statesmanship, i.e. grooming not politicians but public servants with both knowledge and wisdom of public affairs administration. But first, I’d suggest the Democratic Party of Wisconsin codify its core principles. I, for one, can’t ascertain what they are. That would go a long way in identifying potential Democratic leaders and also running them strategically.

    As to how to do all of this? One, regularly host town halls with mentor/future candidates so they hone their skills, familiarize themselves with the community’s concerns and constituent’s own ideas/solutions. Two, For more technical matter – why not online education? Are there not plenty of online education platforms to choose from? The E-Learning component could also be a way to inform constituents on how the legislative process works so they can be more informed when evaluating legislative decisions made by their representatives. Three, Is there no way for former legislators to give some up some of their time in order to pass on their knowledge and wisdom – record a few videos? Would any former legislator not be willing to share their insights into how things work in order to develop a future leaders curriculum? The White House puts out a number of policy info-videos. Maybe look at those to get an idea. Also look at what conservatives are doing nationwide – they have been aggressively targeting local elections (particularly school board) for years.

    Or am I off base? I never know.

  2. Not that Democrats ever really had a deep bench, but 2010 wiped out a lot of them. It is going to take a while to build them back up. One thing the Democratic party has never been good at is helping people in local races. Start at the bottom and build up.

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