Driving back from our successful organizing meeting in Gaines County late last night I started thinking about the huge needs for Democrats in rural Texas. As a PAC, we have taken our first steps to grow county Democratic parties where there are none. That does not cost much. We plan keep it up for the rest of 2022 and in 2023 and beyond. But what happens next? We can't wait until we are down to having county chairs in all 134 counties before we do anything else to help these and other rural counties. We have to help those folks who are out there right now giving it their all.
Then I started thinking about a wish list of things I would like to see our PAC do if we only had the resources. Here is what I came up with off the top of my head driving down US 87. These are not listed in any order of priority.
Funds to help each new county party offset the cost of a permanent party office and meeting place in their county.
A rural advertising program, tv, radio, print and digital, to raise the profile of rural Democrats across the region.
Creating a mentorship program for county chairs (perhaps with TDCCA)
A program to train precinct chairs in the political role of a precinct chair.
Funds to collect, build and maintain accurate date for every rural county so we can generate accurate voter profiles for each county and target lists.
Create a resource book/website for statewide candidates for rural areas
A coordinated, region wide program to expand early voting in rural counties.
Sadly, while the need is great, so far there is no will to provide these things on a large, systematic scale by the party or anyone else. As a PAC we aren't anywhere close to being able to do all these things. They take a lot of money and paid staff. We are small, relying on volunteers and your generous donations. You are what keeps us going. The need is great, but that does not discourage me. If we as rural Democrats stay committed to taking control of our own destiny and building ourselves, our will and our organizations up over time, these things, and other even better things will come.
We will continue to organize community meetings and reach out to Democrats in the most remote areas of The 134 and beyond. We will continue to help find county chairs, precinct chairs and help rural county parties rise from the ashes. We will continue to raise money and help rural counties with whatever financial resources we have available. We will continue to cooperate with anyone or any group that shares the same vision and goals as we do. We will put one foot in front of the other every day, growing the Democratic presence and vote in rural Texas over the next 40 years and beyond.
If you are one of our sustaining partners. Thank you. You make what we do possible. If you would like to help us you can donate here: The 134 PAC — Donate via ActBlue If you have an interest in supporting a particular type of effort or project, (financially or otherwise) either one of those listed above, or something else, please reach out to us. We would love to talk to you.
November 9, 2022 is not the end. It is only the beginning.
Jon Mark Hogg is co-founder of The 134 PAC