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2020 Annual Report

Progressive Democrats of LaPorte County 2020 Annual Report

The election of Joe Biden and Kamila Harris has ushered in a new chapter in America’s long journey toward a “more perfect union”. But the November election has made painfully clear that Indiana and many others states have a long way to go to make the Democratic vision of a just, prosperous and peaceful country a reality to our neighbors.

To start our second year of operation, we changed our name to identify ourselves as a County-wide organization, and then we followed through. We had County-wide reach and impact.

We want to bring you up to date on the activities of Progressive Democrats of LaPorte County. Despite the Pandemic, 2020 was a year with multiple accomplishments.

We want to invite you to become more involved, including joining or renewing your membership for 2021.

First Congressional District Candidate Forum

Longtime Congressman Pete Visclosky (1st Congressional District) announced that he would be retiring.  after the 2020 session. PDLC held a Candidate Forum with an overflow crowd for the first seven of the fourteen candidates running in the Democratic Primary to succeed Rep Visclosky.  This was one of the first public opportunities for candidates to present themselves.

Issue Forums

In partnership with 25 Women for 2020, PDLC held 14 Issue Forums on a wide range of topics, including Education Funding, Reproductive Justice, Veterans, and Affordable Health Care. These forums are available on our website

Democratic Party Convention Resolutions

PDLC submitted four Draft Resolutions to the Indiana Democratic Party Convention for inclusion in the Party Platform.

Two of the resolutions, for a Women’s Caucus and for a Veteran’s Caucus, had been submitted two years ago at the 2018 Convention. The Women’s Caucus was approved in 2018, only to be sent to die in the Rules Committee by the Party leadership. Both caucuses were intended to strengthen the Party’s connection with extremely important constituencies.

The other two Resolutions were focused on making the Indiana Democratic Party a majority again. A mere eight years ago, Democrats elected a US Senator.  We can do it again, but we must make our case to the voters more effectively at the grassroots. The first resolution called on the State Party to ensure that Democrats run for the State legislature in EVERY jurisdiction, in contrast to this year—27 seats remain uncontested in the 2020 General Election. The second called for Democratic Precinct Chairs to live in the precincts they represent. Today, many are appointed by the local County Chair, live elsewhere in the County, and don’t take responsibility for precinct work.

Unfortunately, none of these resolutions were accepted by the Platform Committee, so they were never presented to the 2020 Democratic Party Convention.

Finding Candidates for the Indiana Legislature

After the Democratic Primary, PDLC launched the “Contest Every District” initiative to find Democratic legislative candidates in as many districts as possible, making sure that Republicans faced a Democratic opponent in every race. We reached out to party leaders and activists to explain the process of nominating candidates through the caucus system and encouraged potential candidates. This effort resulted in a few more Democratic Candidates running for the legislature.

The 2020 General Election Work

PDLC raised $1,200 to print County slate cards and voter information cards, buy candidate signs and place ads in newspapers for the LaPorte Democratic Party Slate of candidates for the November election.

With the help of a new political group, LaPorte County Nasty Women, we stuffed 3,000 bags with campaign literature and distributed them door-to-door in 40 targeted precincts in South LaPorte County in the three weeks prior to the November election.

Disappointing 2020 General Election Results

The 2020 Election were very discouraging for Democratic Candidates. 

President Trump carried LaPorte County with 52.54% of the vote, up from 49.74% in 2018.

Many LaPorte County Democrat incumbents were defeated, including Dr. Vidya Kora (County Commissioner), County Clerk, Sup Ct 1 Judge, Auditor, Recorder, and Coroner.  Only two county-wide positions were won by Democrats:  Treasurer and one County Council member.  County Commissioner Sheila Matias won’t be up for reelection until 2022.

While Democratic candidates generally increased their votes from the previous election, this was not enough to overcome the surge in Republican voters brought out by President Trump and an expansion of straight Republican ticket voting.

PDLC Priorities for 2021

Over the past two years, Progressive Democrats of LaPorte County has sought to bring new vitality to the local Democratic Party, including providing a space where issues of vital national and local concern can be discussed and expanding the base of election volunteers.

  • Deepen understanding of critical policy issues facing our community, state and nation;

 

  • Engage with the State Democratic Party to encourage reform, including support for local candidates and for grassroots party development;

 

  • Identify and train Democratic Party activists to run for Precinct Chair in every precinct in LaPorte County (in the May 2022 Primary).

Join or Renew Your Membership in PDLC

Please become a 2021 Member.  It costs only $15 per year. Or become a Sustaining Member for $10 per month.  Either way, we’ll keep you informed about local Democratic politics and how you can become more involved.  Join here.

2019 Accomplishments

Objectives

  • To Deepen Understanding of a Progressive Political Issues

  • To Build a more effective LaPorte County Democratic Party with deeper grassroots leadership

  • To Elect Democratic candidates through Voter Registration and Door-to-Door Canvassing

  • To Celebrate the Growth of Progressive Politics Locally and Nationally

 

 

2019 Accomplishments

  • Political Forums: 

To give Democratic candidates an opportunity to present their agendas to the public and for the public to present their priorities

  • Primary Election Candidates for the Democratic nomination for Michigan City Mayor and City Council

  • General Election Candidates for Michigan City Mayor and City Council

  • Caucus Candidates for vacant LaPorte County Council position to be selected by LaPorte County Democratic Party  

 

Issue Forums:

To inform voters of the critical political issues what will inform the 2020 Presidential Election

  • Immigration Reform  

  • Expanding Health Coverage  

  • Gun Safety  

 

Door-to-Door Canvassing for Democratic Candidates: 

To strengthen Democratic party grassroots political participation

  • Printed and distributed 3,000 Voter Cards of the Democratic slate for the Michigan City Municipal Election on November 5th

 

Presidential Debate Watch Parties:

To celebrate the wealth of talent in the field of candidates running for the Democratic Nomination for President