Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the major party organizations in Yolo County. The second part, featuring Republican organizers, will appear next Thursday.
With a competitive election on the horizon that could result in the first Democratic president in eight years, Democrats in Yolo County are banding together and gearing up for the local campaign.
Yolo United, a coalition of various Democratic groups throughout the county, is bringing together various groups with the idea that there is strength in numbers.
Members of Yolo United come from the Yolo County Democratic Central Committee, Davis College Democrats, Yolo for Obama, Students for Barack Obama and the Davis Democratic Club.
The goals of Yolo United include winning the presidential campaign and supporting the California Democratic Party platform, said member Ryan Loney, who is also the northern California regional director for Students for Barack Obama.
Yolo United is also opposing Proposition 8 – a constitutional amendment to eliminate gay marriage rights in California – and supporting Proposition 1, the high-speed rail bond.
“We want to get out the vote,” he said. “We’re trying to knock on every door in Davis.”
The Davis headquarters will open soon on Hanover Drive. The tentative date of the opening is Aug (Aug. br) 17, but it needs to be voted on and approved in an upcoming meeting, said organizer Betty Woo.
“We’re almost ready”, (ready,” br) said Woo. “We really want UC Davis students to feel welcome to come and help and get involved. We’re still setting up [the headquarters] so they can come and help us with that.”
The Davis headquarters will be used as a home base for neighborhood canvassing, a place for people with questions to call or visit, and as a phone banking location. Volunteers will call registered voters and encourage them to use their votes.
“We have a database of all registered voters in Davis and we will be calling all of them,” Loney said.
Members aren’t waiting for headquarters to open before getting started, though. Groups of volunteers have already made phone calls from their cell phones, averaging roughly 1,000 calls a week, Loney said.
During the coming months volunteers will be calling voters in states that are not overwhelmingly polling for one candidate over the other, creating an opportunity for either party to win the state in the presidential election.
“We’ve been doing a lot of out-of-state calls to the swing states and battleground states [and districts],” said Loney. “Places like New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas.”
The new headquarters in Davis and Woodland have been set up for Wi-Fi and are registered for Skype (an online phone service) which will allow volunteers to bring their laptops and use them to make calls to voters.
The group’s Woodland headquarters will open with a kickoff bash Friday, a date chosen for its uniqueness, said Woodland headquarters chair Leslie Marcus.
“We associate the number eight with prosperity,” Marcus said. “Getting a good candidate elected will help America be more prosperous compared to what we’ve seen for the past eight years. I like to call it the ‘Opening ceremonies of the Olympic Election.'”
The Students for Obama group will be tabling at the Memorial Union from the first day of school until Oct. 20, the last day for anyone to register to vote, Loney said.
“Davis has almost 6,000 students coming in and we’re only going to have three weeks to get them registered,” he said.
For more information about the opening of the Davis headquarters and other scheduled events, visit yolounited.com.
ALI EDNEY can be reached at email@example.com.