Section II


Grassroots Accessibility & Outreach

A core function of the Party, the DPO held and participated in outreach activities to reach nearly every corner of the state and every constituency.

Check for Democracy

The DPO Check for Democracy Grant Program disperses funds collected through Oregon’s Political Party $3 Checkoff on individual state tax returns. The program is managed by a volunteer committee of representatives from Oregon’s five congressional districts, who consider county party grant requests and award up to $500 to county parties with approved proposals. Historically these grants have been awarded biennially in even years, but the program has since become annual.

Since its inception, the DPO Check for Democracy Grant Program has dispersed $16,291.94 to our county Democratic parties which have been used to purchase computers and phones, for campaign office rental, and for a myriad of resources and campaign-related expenses.

Travel grants

In 2018 the DPO implemented a new travel grant program which was funded in the 2017-2018 Budget. DPO Staff worked with the Administration Committee to build an application process for this program and successfully awarded approximately $1,500 in travel grants in the first year.


For the first time, the DPO provided extensive scholarships for Democratic activists demonstrating financial need to attend ticketed DPO events. While the scholarship program was not budgeted until the 2018-2019 Budget, the DPO did provide scholarships for the 2017 Summit. Twenty-five participants were given scholarships to attend the 2017 Oregon Summit, 40 participants were given scholarships to attend the 2018 Wayne Morse Gala, and 45 participants were given scholarships to offset the registration fee for the 2018 Platform Convention.

Live Streaming

The DPO also began live streaming events to offer increased participation for people who are unable to attend in person. In 2017 the DPO streamed the 2017 Oregon Summit — to date these Summit sessions have been viewed nearly 4,000 times. The 2018 Wayne Morse Gala live stream has generated more than 2,300 views. The 2018 Election Night Event generated more than 1,300 views (this event was also free to the public).

In addition to live streaming these events, the DPO has also supported the Douglas County Democrats with a pilot project allowing them to live stream their Central Committee meetings to members in rural areas. This project has also helped the DPO gain insight on how to improve live streaming for the 2019 Oregon Summit. Additionally, the DPO has also invested in a telemeeting system for the CD 1 Committee to pilot.

Facilitator Support/Conflict Resolution 

As needed and requested, the DPO assisted county parties in hiring and executing conflict resolution services.

Neighborhood Leader Program

The DPO Neighborhood Leader Program (NLP) is a partnership with our county Democratic parties. The DPO adopted the Program in May 2017 as its county party organizing module, and began an ambitious campaign to expand and grow the program through summer and fall “Pledge to Vote” canvasses and with 17 county visits, presentations, and trainings. This effort was a success, nearly tripling the number of counties participating from eight to 23 by the end of 2018, at which time the program had a total of 1,730 Neighborhood Leaders — with 1,170 Neighborhood Leaders new to the program.

Oregon had three election cycles in 2018, and our Neighborhood Leader Program participated in all three.

January Special Election

(Single-issue ballot, affirming expansion of Medicaid)
NLP counties – 19
Participating NLs – 747
Voter Attempts – 31,303
Contacts – 6,744

May 15th Primary Election

NLP counties – 17
Participating NLs – 822
Voter Attempts – 40,143
Contacts – 11,371

November 6th General Election

NLP Counties – 21
Participating NLs – 1381
Voter Attempts – 82,990
Contacts – 36,318

2018 Neighborhood Leader Program Totals

NLP Counties – 23
Participating NLs – 1,730
New Participating NLs – 1,170
NLP Shifts – 2,950
Voter Attempts – 154,436
Contacts – 54,443

Voter File Training & Tech Support

The DPO NLP requires counties to designate volunteer program coordinators to manage recruitment, canvassing and technical training, support for their Neighborhood Leader volunteer canvassers, and to do the technical work to provide their NLs with voter lists and walk sheets. DPO staff is responsible for training NLP county coordinators on using VAN and the NLP Services website — the online portal for managing NLs and providing NLs with their voter lists and walk sheets. These training activities are ongoing and conducted through in-person, online, and phone conference group trainings, via an email group dedicated to communications with NL county coordinators, and through individual mentoring.

SCC Meetings


The method for credentialing delegates was significantly modified in 2018 to allow updated credential reports throughout the SCC business meeting. The method reduces waste and increases efficiency, delegation accuracy, and accountability.


The DPO partnered with the Disability Justice Caucus to develop guidelines for DPO facility rentals to ensure that all facilities used by the DPO are accessible. The DPO also implemented a better system for communicating with members of the SCC on accommodating individual needs.


Special Group Caucuses are a critical part of the grassroots building blocks of the Democratic Party of Oregon.  Any registered Democrat in the state of Oregon is welcome and encouraged to participate in any of the 17 officially recognized issue and identity-based caucuses, where they can work on issues they care about and help elect more Democrats.

Our caucuses do great work. Below are some brief examples of their work:

Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus

  • Participated in Oregon Asian Celebration, Asian American Youth Leadership Conference, Portland International Muslim Cultural Festival, DPO Booth at the Oregon State Fair
  • Facilitated candidate training for APAICS

Black Caucus

  • Held Black Leadership Conference and Dinner
  • Held Meet and Greet w/ DNC Vice Chair Karen Carter Peterson

Disability Justice Caucus

  • Founded in summer 2017
  • Facilitated Disability Justice Training for the SCC
  • Developed accessibility analysis of the DPO and events

Education Caucus

  • Developed resolution to condemn US Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos
  • Heavily participated in the drafting of the DPO Education platform

Elections Integrity Caucus

  • Implemented Voter Registration Witness Protection Program
  • Implemented ‘Truth 4 Power’ training series

Environmental Caucus

  • Increased volume of digital communications with members, yielding up to a 39% open rate on emails.
  • Heavily participated in Platform Convention

Gun Owners Caucus

  • Developed permit to purchase resolution for the SCC
  • Focused heavily on firearm safety

Health Care Caucus

  • Participated in State Fair Booth
  • Lobbied during interim days and during session for Medicare for All

Labor Caucus

  • Organized Party Unity Forum
  • Participated in Platform Convention

Latino Caucus

  • Hosted a Meet and Greet with former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
  • Participated in Platform Convention

Native American Caucus

  • Founded in Summer 2018
  • Developed and began implementing outreach to and beyond the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon.

Rural Caucus

  • Increased focus on voter registration in rural communities
  • Increased volume of digital communications with members

Small Business Caucus

  • Hosted candidate event for Mike Ellison (HD 19) with more than 50 people in attendance
  • Outreached to small businesses in rural communities

Stonewall Caucus

  • General membership met nine times in 2018
  • Organized Portland Pride float and tabled at Pride events in several counties
  • Facilitated LGBTQ training at SCC meeting

Veterans Caucus

  • Hosted Mr. Ibrahim Mubarak who spoke about homelessness and the work of a veteran led homeless community he visited in Arizona
  • Endorsed Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Women’s Caucus

  • Increased member outreach through county parties
  • Increased volume of digital communications with members

Young Democrats of Oregon Caucus

  • Founded in Summer 2018
  • Developed and executed a multifaceted fundraising program

New Caucuses

Disability Justice Caucus was officially recognized in June 2017. Young Democrats of Oregon Caucus was officially recognized in June 2018. Native American Caucus was officially recognized in June 2018.

PCP Recruitment

Precinct Committeepeople (PCP) are the grassroots building blocks for the Democratic Party in Oregon. Elected and appointed locally for every 500 registered Democrats, PCPs help decide county Democratic Parties’ agendas, elected leadership, and help fill vacant legislative seats.

In 2016 the Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO) worked with county parties to recruit individuals to file to run for Precinct Committee Person positions, yielding roughly 1,819 filings for the May primary ballot.

Starting in November 2017 the Democratic Party of Oregon began work to recruit eligible Oregonians to file to run for the 6,800+ PCP seats across the state.  Party staff identified opportunities to grow the PCP recruitment program and set a goal of increasing the amount of elected PCPs from the 2016 number (1,819) by at least 500 and having at least one Democratic PCP in every precinct.

DPO Staff identified several needs for increased recruitment which included the following

  • Targeting current elected and appointed PCPs to refile
  • Targeting a diverse array of constituency groups with active bases
  • Utilizing social media and texting services to outreach to potential PCPs
  • Utilizing county parties and caucuses as additional recruitment communities
  • Developing partisan and non-partisan materials for Party use and constituent group use

The Constituency Organizing Coordinator did outreach to a number of partisan and non-partisan organizations including, but not limited to the following:

  • IBEW
  • SEIU 49
  • SEIU 503
  • OEA
  • OLCV
  • Emerge Oregon
  • Bus Project (now NextUp)
  • Basic Rights Oregon
  • Unite Oregon
  • One Oregon
  • Latino Network
  • PCUN
  • Oregon College Democrats
  • Common Cause Oregon
  • Color PAC
  • Oregon Women’s Campaign School
  • Labor Candidate School
  • Oregon Student Association

Several of the above groups did very active recruitment work (both non-partisan and partisan) including SEIU, OEA, and Emerge.

The efforts of the DPO and partner organization recruitment yielded a 94.55% increase in elected Democratic Precinct Committeepeople over the 2016 numbers.

2016 Elected PCPs – 1,819

2018 Elected PCPs – 3,538

Growth – 94.55%

2016 Elected PCP Re-Recruitment

  • 1,159 of 1,819 2016 Elected PCPs filed and became Elected PCPs in 2018.
  • We used the text message service Hustle to contact current and potential PCPs with the following results:
  • 1680 Existing Elected and Appointed PCPs texted; 572 Interested, 81 Not Interested
  • 404 Prospective PCPs texted through Hustle; 157 Interested, 13 Not Interested

Events & Visibility

Platform Convention

The 2018 Platform Convention was a three-day event in Salem which had record participation with 508 participants from 31 of 36 counties. The weekend’s events were supported by 29 volunteers who worked in shifts for the entire weekend event. Post-convention, the DPO sent a Survey Monkey ballot to eligible delegates to select the DPO’s Priority Legislative Action Items (LAIs). 423 eligible delegates voted and provided insight on priority action items.

DPO Staff provided approximately 90 hours of pre-convention support to the DPO Platform Committee to draft the 2018 Platform.

2017 Summit

The 2017 Oregon Summit was a three-day event at Sunriver in October that had record participation with 439 participants throughout the weekend. There were 17 panels, featuring a total of 91 panelists. In 2017, the panels had record representation of diverse communities, bringing in people from constituencies across Oregon on each panel. Plenary sessions were presented by DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake and Aimee Allison from Democracy in Color and #SheThePeople.

Elected officials who participated in the weekend included: Senator Jeff Merkley; Congressman Peter DeFazio; Congressman Earl Blumenauer; Congressman Kurt Schrader; Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici; Governor Kate Brown; Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum; Treasurer Tobias Read; Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian; Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick; State Representatives Julie Fahey, Paul Holvey, Alissa Keny-Guyer Rob Nosse, Diego Hernandez, and Tawna Sanchez; State Senators Sara Gelser, Lew Frederick, and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward; Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall. Keynote Dinner remarks were given by Congressman Ted Lieu.

The DPO also held a Candidate Meet and Greet with the candidates running for the Congressional District 2 primary nomination. Additionally, the 2017 Summit was a successful fundraiser, raising $180,053.

Health Care Rally

In January of 2017 the DPO provided logistical and staff support for a Health Care Rally in North Portland. This event featured elected officials such as Senators Wyden and Merkley, Representatives Blumenauer and Bonamici, and other local elected leaders. Despite a foot of snow on the ground, the event was attended by close to 2,000 people.

Women’s March

The 2017 Women’s March in Portland was a history-making event around the globe where the DPO was well represented. The DPO held a pre-march meet-up that was open to the public and was attended by several hundred people, featuring special guest Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. The DPO provided sign-making materials and brought a large contingent to the March.

Pride Parades

The DPO Stonewall Caucus takes the lead in organizing Pride activities. In 2017 the DPO organized a pre-Pride get-together at Kell’s Irish Pub. In 2018 the DPO Staff and Officers participated in the Pride Parade with custom-made t-shirts.

Election Night

The official Election Night Party for Governor Kate Brown and Democrats was organized and run by the DPO. The DPO Election Night party was held at the Downtown Portland Hilton and was covered by more than 20 press outlets and photographers, featured dozens of speeches, and attracted a maximum capacity crowd. The event served as the venue for Governor Brown’s acceptance speech upon reelection. All members of the Oregon Congressional delegation spoke, as well as Oregon House and Senate leadership, DPO-endorsed initiative campaigns, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and a diverse number of partner groups.   

Local Events & State Fair Committee

The DPO State Fair Committee changed its name in 2017 to the DPO Local Events & State Fair Committee in order to highlight the need for DPO assistance to county parties in their outreach efforts through local events, including community pride events and county fairs.

To that end, the DPO Local Events & State Fair committee created a Google Group for county parties designed so the county parties can share resources and promote their local events.

In 2019, the DPO State Fair booth will mark its 74th year, making it the oldest continuous vendor booth in Oregon State Fair history.

In 2018, the DPO State Fair and Local Events Committee filled nearly 200 volunteer shifts at our booth. The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters provided four volunteers to assist in setting up and taking down the DPO State Fair Booth.

  • Collected and returned 272 Voter Registration forms to the Marion County Clerk’s office.
  • Received a total of $976 in contributions for merchandise.
  • Made more than 12,000 contacts with Fair attendees.

Pledge to Vote/Resistance Summer

Oregon’s 2017 Resistance Summer prompted an increase of active Neighborhood Leaders, increased engagement with community-based organizations, and helped jump-start electoral field organizing earlier than ever before. The program resulted in 2,703 total doors knocked, with 991 contacts made. The majority of these contacts were generated by recruitment to four Labor Day Weekend Canvasses. Additionally:

  • The DPO earned a $10,000 matching grant from the DNC to support its participation in Resistance summer.
  • The DPO launched Resistance Summer in Oregon with a June 2 statewide call to action conference call with more than 300 participants and led by Senator Jeff Merkley, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Chair Jeanne Atkins.
  • As a part of Resistance Summer the DPO launched efforts to grow the Neighborhood Leader Program and recruited nine new counties and 610 new participants.
  • The DPO launched the “45 on 45” statewide issue update call series with the first call held on June 19 covering immigration issues and a second call focused on workers’ rights.
  • The DPO hired a full-time Constituency Organizing Coordinator tasked with supporting the various caucuses and expanding the party’s engagement with allied organizations, as well as supporting Resistance Summer activities.
  • The DPO hosted a second Resistance Summer canvass kick-off call on July 15 with Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chair Jeanne Atkins and more than 100 participants.
  • DPO also hosted a Resistance Summer canvass training and a canvass in Tillamook during the first day of the 3rd Quarter SCC meeting in August.

Resistance Summer Numbers:

Pledge to Vote Cards in 1,937
Pledge to Vote Cards Reported 2,764
Phone Bank Shifts Recruited 29
Canvass Shifts Recruited 129
Canvass Leaders Recruited 4
NLPs Recruited 706
Digital Pledge to Vote 1,452
Total Cards Reported Including Digital 4,216


At the beginning of 2017, the DPO Political Organizing Coordinator initiated outreach to individuals in the early Indivisible movement, primarily to ascertain how best we could or should interact with these progressive activists. It quickly became apparent that Indivisible resonated deeply with Democratic and allied progressives in CD2, in step with the emerging number of Democrats exploring running against Greg Walden. The DPO’s outreach role in engaging Indivisible was primarily informational, explaining how the DPO and the Democratic county parties were organized (who we are and what we do), and how the shared goals of the DPO and Indivisible might lead to an alliance of interests.

This approach led to organizing staff being invited to present at the inaugural CD2 Indivisible Leader Retreat, in Jackson County on May 6-7th, 2017, on the structure and culture of the DPO and county parties. The DPO  was invited back to present on the demographics of the CD 2 electorate at CD2 Indivisible’s Fall Retreat on November 4th and 5th, 2017. These presentations and personal connections helped solidify and define the relationships between the DPO, our county Democratic parties, and CD2 Indivisible as we entered the 2018 election cycle which featured an unprecedented energy to defeat Greg Walden.

Allied Outreach

The Democratic Party of Oregon maintains communication with a large number of partner organizations. Through Summit recruitment, the Measure 101 Special Election, the Precinct Committee Person recruitment campaign, Resistance Summer and regular day-to-day business, the DPO has strengthened and deepened relationships with groups including, but not limited to:

  • Carpenters Union
  • Bus Project (Now NextUp)
  • One Oregon
  • Causa
  • Basic Rights Oregon
  • Amplify NW/ ColorPAC
  • Northwest Health Foundation
  • Coalition of Communities of Color
  • Oregon College Democrats
  • Oregon Student Association
  • IBEW
  • Oregon Education Association
  • SEIU 503
  • SEIU 49
  • OLCV
  • Emerge Oregon
  • Unite Oregon
  • Latino Network
  • PCUN
  • Common Cause Oregon
  • Oregon Women’s Campaign School
  • Labor Candidate School

National Leader Roles

In 2017-2018 many Oregon Democratic leaders played important roles in National Democratic organizations:

  • Governor Kate Brown, DNC Representative of the Democratic Governors Association
  • Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Co-Chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association
  • House Speaker Tina Kotek, Chair of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (2017-2019)
  • Travis Nelson, Western Region Director, DNC Black Caucus
  • Lupita Maurer, Member, DNC Hispanic Caucus
  • Christine Chin-Ryan, Executive Vice Chair, DNC Small Business Council
  • Brad Martin, President of the Association of State Democratic Party Executive Directors

Holiday Card

Each year the DPO sends out a holiday card to more than 2,000 members of our extended community. Staff are responsible for designing the card; curating a list of donors, activists, and community partners; and working with our printing service to ensure the card is mailed in time for the holidays.

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Internal Organization