It's official. Battleground Texas has launched, Deep in the Heart of Texas.
Yesterday evening in Austin, Jeremy Bird, Senior Advisor to Battleground Texas, gave an exciting and thorough look into what Battleground Texas is and what it hopes to accomplish.
“Texas isn't as red of a state as people say it is, if you look at the numbers,” Bird started off, “…not by looking at the number of donors, not by looking at the number of volunteers who made some 400,000 calls to Florida in the last three days of the election, and not by looking at the 300 people who showed up yesterday in San Antonio.”
There was standing room only at the kickoff in Austin last night. During the last several days of the 2012 presidential election, volunteers in the Austin area alone made around 125,000 dials to voters in Florida. Their hard work did not go unnoticed, and there is much more hard work to be done in Texas over the next several years that, hopefully, will also not go unnoticed.
According to Bird, Battleground Texas will be many things, but foremost it will be a “100% grassroots organization.” It will be “digitally sophisticated” and use a message strategy working with partners across the state. He also noted that Battleground Texas is not a national organization, and that the money raised here will be spent right here in Texas.
More about their plans below the jump.
In terms of being digitally sophisticated he went on to explain that they will be tracking everything they do with analytics to be “stewards of your money.” Essentially they will be able to see what is working and what isn't, and where things are working and where they need improvement. This kind of sophisticated data, combined with the professional 'donor etiquette' in a campaign is nothing short of a dream come true for organizers, donors, fundraisers, and basically anyone who has ever worked in Democratic politics.
There were many questions regarding the inclusion of all the different types of Democratic groups and the nature of the involvement of these groups. The responses from both Jeremy Bird and Jenn Brown, former Field Director of Ohio for the Obama Campaign and current Executive Director of Battleground Texas, were confidently and consistently answering “yes” to every question of inclusion, even mentioning the great meetings they've had already with big time organizations such as the Texas Democratic Party, and Annie's List.
There was also a strong emphasis on training, with the understanding that if you want to do things correctly, the investment must be made in training everyone. Bird, as he has clarified in almost every notable appearance, qualified that there is much work to be done, and it will not happen overnight:
“The hardest thing to do in politics, I think, is to take people who think that their voice doesn't matter, and show them that it does.”
When referencing Rick Perry's “pipe dream” comment, Bird said that Perry “is not discounting me, but he is discounting you,” the people of Texas, and it's time that he and all the other Republican leaders are finally held accountable to the people of Texas. Bird's efforts and intentions are obvious. This movement is about us: the people who believe they haven't been heard from or represented fairly in Texas over the past 20 years.
Bird finished up noting that Republicans “want us to be afraid” and are quick to discount this effort, to which Bird declared, “I love that.”
Clearly Jeremy Bird (not unlike like Texas Democrats) is no stranger naysaying critics. If Democrats can work hard, and together as a team, turning Texas Blue will be a probable impossibility. We'll win some, we'll lose some, but it's going to be a game of the long season, no matter what.
One thing is sure. Battleground Texas has come out swinging, and Republicans have not let that go unnoticed. Game on.