Will's plan to revive the Alabama Democratic Party

Will's Vision for the ADP

I believe Alabama Democrats can win again when we clearly show that our party possesses the true spirit of America—hopefulness and optimism.  Alabama Democrats must remind fellow Alabamians that it was the Democratic Party that gave America:

  • social security and Medicare;
  • minimum wage and overtime laws;
  • unemployment insurance and labor protection; as well as
  • equal opportunities for women and minorities.

The Alabama Democratic Party must constantly remind Alabamians  that  its  core  values  which  include equality, fairness, and freedom inspired its party members to push for progress so that all Alabamians have equal opportunities to realize the American Dream.

The Alabama Democratic Party must counteract attempts to mislabel Democrats by constantly letting voters know our party has morals and values that include helping the poor and fighting to keep Alabama families together!

Now is not the time for us to remain divided into silos within the Alabama Democratic Party—seeking to hold on to power that is only shared amongst a few who once had a vision for change.  Now is the time for all Democrats to work alongside each other to fight for:

  • ethical excellence,
  • economic development,
  • educational equity,
  • exceptional healthcare for all,
  • equal justice for all, 
  • ending voter suppression, and
  • ensuing all Alabamians have their voice heard at the ballot box and a “seat at the table.”

To take back the statehouse and win local elections up and down the ballot, change must begin at the top of the ADP.  There needs to be transparency and improved lines of communication between the ADP chair, officers, the SDEC board, SDEC members, and county chairs.  This transparency will restore trust in the Alabama Democratic Party leadership and inspire donors who once supported Democrats to confidently invest in a winning Democratic strategy and prayerfully be proud to publicly identify as a Democrat donor.

To execute a statewide winning strategy that ensures Democrats who believe in our party’s ideologies are elected “up and down the ballot,” the ADP must: 

1.  fullyorganizeprecincts and legislative districts—canvasing and using tools like Votebuilder and miniVan to:     

  • disseminate targeted candidate and party messaging/materials and
  • collect data to be used in local, district, and statewide races;

2.  recruit energetic candidates who can clearly communicate the ADP platform and our core values, providing:

  •  public speaking classes and 
  •  Dale Carnegie training to help candidates better communicate with future constituents;

3.  connect voters and potential voters with county parties, democratic organizations within their county, legislative district, or congressional district to collaborate canvasing efforts;

4.  build better coalitions between all Democrat groups (i.e. DNC, ADC, ADRC, AFDW, AYD, High School Democrats, etc.) for the purposes of networking and discussing best practices for engaging with voters;

5.  partner with “Democrat-leaning” groups (i.e. Organized Labor, and the Alabama Education Association), 

  • inviting their leadership to serve as ex-officio members of local and state democratic executive committees, and 
  • collaborating to better train organizers and volunteers in The Party;

6.  improve communication within the ADP and with voters/potential voters by utilizing social media (Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram) while also heavily investing in tools for micro targeting voters (i.e. geo-fencing and messaging by voting history).  Furthermore, the ADP should: 

  • allow SDEC members to have access to each other’s contact information
  • publish a centralized calendar (below) for county chairs, organizations, and candidates, and
  •  provide material for each county’s social media team;

7.  increase transparency within the ADP, beginning with:

  • provision of at least a two-month notice for biannual meetings of the SDEC, and
  • provision of access to the budget, funds, and financial activities to all SDEC members and county chairs; 

8.  raise needed funds to retire the ADP debt and produce high quality podcasts, radio programs, and commercials for election cycles.  Specifically, the ADP chair will cultivate relationships with past, current, and prospective donors for the specific purposes of:

  • planting Alabama Democratic Party regional offices in the seven congressional districts,
  • providing funding to each of the 67 democratic executive committees (parties or clubs) to have at the minimum one storefront headquarters location in each county for the months between the Primary and General Election,
  • purchasing air time on local radios, 
  • placing ads in print media across the state, and
  • producing/inserting statewide commercials in four major television markets across the state during the months leading to the General Election; 

9.  re-brand the ADP as the party for the poor and working people as well as the party in Alabama that is pro-family, pro-business, and pro-Labor;

10.  continually communicate our party’s core values which include freedom, fairness, and equity; 

11.  revive Democratic congressional districts to provide greater support to the county chairs, elected officials, SDEC members, candidates, organizers and volunteers by:

  • inviting all elected Democrats, SDEC members and county chairs to attend congressional clusters to discuss more specific strategies for winning elections and
  • providing county chairs a local network for collaboration and sharing of best practices; 

12.  provide every candidate who becomes the party’s nominee for any local or state office with access to Votebuilder free of charge

13.  connect candidates who qualify to run for statewide office with members of the legislature for the purposes of coaching, mentoring, and learning about fundraising; 

14.  protect the right of every Alabama voter to be heard at the ballot box—working to end voter suppression and unjustly purging of voters for reasons other than death and crimes of moral turpitude, partnering with groups like the NAACP and other civil rights or social justice groups seeking equal justice and desirous of protecting the rights of voters and the reinstatement of voter rights;

15.  educate county chairs, candidates, organizers, and poll watchers on the proper steps to take to address engagement in voter fraud or voter suppression;

16.  inspire and support organizations outside the party to promote voter engagement (i.e. sororities, fraternities, college organizations, and community action agencies);

17.  encourage each county party to start a legislative action committee whose sole purpose will be to follow statehouse activities and help educate voters throughout the year so that they become more aware of the ways the opposition seeks to use ballot measures to divide the electorate;

18.  launch an ADP podcast and YouTube channel produced by Alabama Young Democrats and Alabama High School Democrats;

19.  appoint a political strategist to assist the ADP Chair and vice-chairs in crafting and executing a strategy to ensure that U.S. Senator Doug Jones is re-elected and as many Democrats as possible win in 2020 with the goal of “turning Alabama blue” by 2022; and

20.  work closely with the vice-chairs of county affairs, minority affairs, youth affairs, and labor to

  • ensure there are regularly scheduled meeting of county chairs (all 67) and meetings by congressional districts,  
  • ensure that all minorities feel they have a place in the party and are not taken advantage of only at election time while also ensuring that the ADP follows utilizes a clear and fair formula to determine the number of at-large members to be added to the SDEC by the ADC as prescribed by court ruling (currently 22% of the SDEC—34 males and 26 females),
  • partner with Organized Labor to:

                    1.  help more high school students explore in blue collar jobs,

                    2.  help more Alabamians seeking work to enroll in labor training schools, and

                    3.  fight together for the rights or “working families” in Alabama.

  • ensure that AYD, ACD and all other “Democrat-leaning” organizations primarily comprised of youth (40 years or younger) are supported by the ADP and fully integrated into all ADP activities that engage younger voters and high schoolers approaching voting age.  Specifically, the ADP should encourage as many youth in the Democratic Party as possible to take an active part in the leadership and management of organizing efforts, mobilization of voters, recruiting of candidates, facilitating town hall meetings, leading rallies on college/university campuses, and moderating candidate forums.

Suggestions for ADP Meetings

In efforts to improve communication and transparence with the Alabama Democratic Party, I propose having:

  • monthly meetings with the SDEC executive board which is comprised of a male and female from each of the state’s seven congressional districts;
  • biannual joint meetings with the ADP Officers and SDEC Executive Board—with the focus on preparing for biannual SDEC meetings;
  • quarterly meetings with each of the seven congressional districts and their respective SDEC members, county chairs, and club presidents; and
  • two biannual statewide meetings for all democrat leaning organizations (ADP, ADC, Young Democrats, Alabama Federation of Democratic Women, Young Democrats, College Democrats, High School Democrats, etc.) to promote unity, preparedness, and connectedness amongst Alabama Democrats.

Training for county chairs/vice chairs

Because the county chairs and vice-chairs are “on the front lines” in every one of Alabama’s 67 counties, officially carrying out duties prescribed by the Alabama Democratic Party, Secretary of State, and probate judges within each respective county, I propose annual training sessions for county chairs and vice chairs before or after regular biannual meetings of the SDEC.  I propose covering the following county level activities:

  • Election/duties of local executive committee officers
  • Ways to organize local executive committees/county parties
  • Duties of local executive committee officers
  • Expectations for electronically reporting data to ADP and FCPA
  • Steps county chairs and candidates should take to solicit and accept contributions
  • Ways to conduct meetings
  • Election duties and expectations
  • Communication
  • GOTV
  • Ways to organize and canvass by precinct
  • Poll worker appointments and qualifications
  • Poll watcher appointments and activities
  • Suggestions for following legislative action

Online resource center for county chairs and candidates

In additional to biannual statewide training sessions and quarterly meetings with county chairs by congressional districts, I want the Alabama Democratic Party to embrace technology more by making the following forms, documents, manual, and templates to be available on the ADP website: 

  • Democratic County Chair Manual
  • Qualifying forms that can be edited online and printed for notarization
  • Forms to submit to probate judges to certify candidates
  • Public notices for county chairs to use to announce process of recruiting candidates
  • Outline of expectations for poll workers
  • Appointment of Poll Watchers (for county chairs)
  • Names and contact information for SDEC members (who also serve as ex-officio members of their respective local county executive committees)
  • Letters to executive committee members 
  • Press release templates
  • Sample letters (Qualifying, Public notices, nomination and certification of candidates to probate judge) 
  • Flowchart of relationships between the ADP and other Democratic entities  (i.e. DNC, ADP, local executive committees, ADC, Young Democrats, county democrats, Alabama Federation of Democratic Women, College Democrats
  • Providing ways for candidates seeking nomination to access forms online to declare candidacy through ADP Chair (if seeking federal, state, circuit, district or legislative office) or county chair (if seeking county office)

Statewide Administrative Calendar

In efforts to better assist county chairs and candidates with administrative deadlines observed by the Alabama Democratic Party, the Alabama Secretary of State, and local probate judges, I propose developing and disseminating a statewide administrative calendar the includes the following:

  • Last day candidate can withdraw their name from ballot (78 days before election)
  • Days in which ADP Chair and county party chairs must certify names of primary candidates to secretary of state or county chairs must certify names of candidate for county office to the probate judge
  • Days in which county chairs must approve poll watchers and ensure they attend training sessions
  • Days when county executive committee members must meet and receive, canvass, and tabulate returns by precinct and publicly declare results
  • Date in which the ADP chair and executive committee must meet at state capital and receive, canvass, and tabulate returns and provide the Secretary of Sate with state primary election returns by prescient
  • Last day to apply for an absentee ballot (for primary or general election)
  • The last day for military and other UOCAVA voters to postmark an absentee ballot returned by mail to the absentee election manager.
  • The last day candidates in an election can accept contributions to retire a campaign debt.
  • Legislative blackout periods
  • Last Day to Register to Vote in Primary or General Election
  • Primary & General Election Dates
  • Qualifying Dates

Statewide Events Calendar

As outlined in my 20-point initiative for the Alabama Democratic Party to move forward, I strongly believe we can stand better united as a party if we have a centralized calendar that can be shared by all 67 county executive committees and parties. I propose that our statewide ADP calendar provide dates and times for Democratic events that include:

  • Debates
  • Town Halls
  • Cookouts
  • Fundraisers
  • SDEC Board Meeting Dates
  • SDEC Meeting Dates 
  • Democratic Congressional Meeting dates
  • Legislative Sessions

I am thankful for all who have worked hard to serve Alabama’s Democratic Party.  I believe it is time to move the party forward with a bold new vision.  I hope my proposed initiatives give members of Alabama’s Democratic Party a clear understanding of my desire to lead our state forward and win big in 2020 and many years to come! 


Dr. Will Boyd 

2018 Lt. Governor nominee (D-AL)