I want to thank you all for the fantastic birthday card and all the warm wishes you sent along with it.
I find birthdays to not only be about celebrating but also a time to reflect on where you’ve come from and what you’ve been able to accomplish. I can hardly believe that it has been 35 years since I set out on a quixotic mission to upset big developers’ plans by building a new bike path along Lake Champlain — my very first political victory.
Soon after that victory I ran for State Representative and I knocked on every door — twice! But if you would have told me back then that I would go on to run for President, become Chair of the DNC, and found a million-member organization, I wouldn’t have believed you. I just knew that I needed to stand up and fight for what was right in the moment — and because I found a strong network of support, I found the courage I needed to move on to do much bigger things.
One of my favorite things about Democracy for America is that it offers a network of support to progressive candidates all across the country. No other organization does quite what DFA does — which is why it’s really important to me that DFA continues to grow and succeed.
I would like it if you could celebrate my birthday and all we’ve accomplished together by supporting DFA. Will you chip in $3 or more on my birthday to help DFA build on our shared vision of a people-powered 50 State Strategy?
There are so many inspiring DFA success stories. Take, for example, newly-elected Virginia delegate Jennifer Boysko. Jennifer was the Virginia State Director for my presidential campaign back in the day, and DFA backed her in her first run for office in 2013, as a part of the statewide Purple to Blue effort to flip the legislature.
When Jennifer first got in the race in 2013, polls showed her down by a whopping 16-point margin. DFA staff helped her build her campaign from the ground up, and DFA members across the country made hundreds of calls into her Virginia district.
Two years ago this November, Jennifer lost that election by only 33 votes — a tighter margin than anyone could have imagined when she first jumped in the race.
For some partnerships between candidates and organizations, that might have been the end of the story. But DFA stuck by Jennifer. When she announced that she was going to run for the same seat again this year, DFA was the first to endorse her.
With the on-the-ground support of DFA members and staff, Jennifer ran another fantastic campaign — and this time, on Election Day two weeks ago, Jennifer was elected in a thrilling victory few would have predicted two years ago.
When I suspended my campaign for president, I chose to found DFA because I knew what the amazing network that had built up around my candidacy had done for me, personally and professionally — and I wanted it to be there to support future progressive candidates like Jennifer and so many others.
DFA has been more successful than I could have possibly imagined when it comes to helping progressives run and win — and I want to make sure this asset continues to be available for the next generation of candidates.
Thank you for all that you do. Together, we are unstoppable.
Howard Dean, Founder
Democracy for America