In a sign that new national party chairman Tom Perez is serious about the 50-state strategy, the Democratic National Committee includes South Dakota among the first five states to receive funding for “Resistance Summer” activities:
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, Perez’s opponent for chair and now his top deputy, said the intent is to help local Democrats manage everything from rallies, town halls and neighborhood meetings to registration drives and voter database improvements.
“We’re asking them to engage neighbors not just in this whole mess about Trump but on what kind of vision we have for our country,” Ellison said, adding that he and Perez are talking regularly to many of the independent groups on the left.
Party leaders hope to use the anti-Trump groundswell to improve voter turnout, and swing elections back in their favor.
Initial recipients of the funds include Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Kansas and South Dakota. Those states span the spectrum of Democratic fortunes: Massachusetts is a liberal bastion; Michigan is a presidential battleground; Arizona is nearing swing-state status; Kansas and South Dakota are Republican strongholds [“DNC Funds ‘Resistance Summer’ in Hopes of Harnessing Trump Opposition,” AP via Fox News, 2017.05.17].
A source familiar with the South Dakota Democratic Party tells Dakota Free Press that South Dakota Democrats will raise matching funds and use the DNC dollars to register voters, mobilize volunteers, organize local teams, and boost voter turnout among our American Indian neighbors. The effort will include hiring seven organizers part-time over the summer based in five reservation communities and in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
Related: In other organizing, the South Dakota Democratic Party is hosting a Summer Issues Caucus at Augustana on June 9 and 10. That Friday afternoon and evening, Democrats will discuss seniors, women, youth, and LGBT issues. Saturday morning and afternoon, Dems will discuss rural and small business, veterans and military, Native Americans, and diversity. The caucuses are free; Saturday lunch is a measly $7!