Why I'm Running for TNDP Chair
Dear TNDP Executive Committee Members,
As a third generation Tennessean, there is not a time I cannot remember fighting for progressive values in our state. Many members of Tennessee’s 91st district often joke that I was canvassing before I was walking. I mobilized throughout high school and college, eventually transitioning this experience to serve as Tennessee’s Young Democrats Chair for four consecutive years where I served with many of you on the TNDP Executive Committee. During my tenure on the executive committee, you all became my family. I can truly say the TNDP Executive Committee further groomed me to be the legislator I am today. When we think about transitioning to a new chair to lead our TNDP family, I believe our best chance at success is letting one of your own, someone you’ve invested in and built up, continue to lead the family. I believe that is me. That’s why I am running to be your next Tennessee Democratic Party Chair for the 2021-2023 term.
Prior to becoming a legislator, I have advocated and advanced policies on the national, state, and local levels that support families, women, and healthcare access. I have worked as an advocate for public education where I empowered, enlightened, and engaged parents and community members in failing and priority school districts to also be advocates by utilizing their voices, being knowledgeable in educational policies, and voting on those that impact public schools and its students.
I have managed and won several state and local campaigns that contributed to helping other goal-oriented community leaders get elected into office. Furthermore, I served as the statewide Outreach Director and national Maternal Healthcare policy for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, where I traveled the state and country getting stakeholders, advocacy organizations, voters, and elected officials engaged and supportive of his candidacy while simultaneously being in session.
From my deep experience and relationships in the Democratic party of Tennessee, I was proud to be re-elected as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus and elected Secretary of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. Entering into my second term as a State Legislator, I have had the opportunity to see how many Republican policy stances are negatively impacting the lives of Tennessee families. Underfunded public schools, denying access to healthcare, suppressing the right to vote effectively and a complete disregard for Tennessee lives during the COVID-19 pandemic - we deserve stronger leadership in our state. Point blank, Tennessee’s Democratic Party has a lot of work to do and these next few years will determine the next decade of outcomes. I’ve shared a list below of some of the priorities:
We must increase our legislative membership on the state level and elect strong local leaders to build our bench. We need to focus on where we can win.
I will act as a bridge builder between generations, the party, our government entities, our advocacy organization, rural and urban communities and our voters. It’s imperative that we strengthen our relationship with the House and Senate caucuses and further our collaboration with advocacy organizations, county parties and unions.
It is imperative that we grow our base of national, state and small dollar donors, out-of-state contributors, and recurring gifts. We must execute a national, state, and local fundraising plan.
Tennessee Democratic County Parties and their dedicated members deserve more support through building organization infrastructure, training, weekly check-ins, digital assistance, and messaging guidance where we can set accountability standards and expectations. Additionally, we must provide incentives to motivate our counties parties to do the work.
It is our obligation to continue supporting Tennessee Democrats who embody representation at all levels. We must recruit candidates who embody the values of the national and state party platform, while also being representative of the communities they live in.
It’s 2020, and Tennessee’s Democratic Party deserves a data and digital strategy to match the decade.
Last but not least, Tennessee is hungry for a Democratic Party that understands messaging between rural and urban communities may look different and that we must focus on the needs of each community differently.
This is not all of the things demanding attention, but it is a beginning list of priorities demanding strong party leadership. As a lifelong Tennessean, a known advocate for the Tennessee Democratic Party, a proud black female state legislator, and a proven leader, it is my greatest honor to take my commitment to Tennessee’s Democratic Party further and formally announce my bid for State Party Chair.
I would like to thank each of you for your commitment to this party and our values. I look forward to learning each of your visions for the party and getting to know each other better throughout this election.
Rep. London Lamar