In our Daily newsletter recently, I wrote about how election results in rural eastern North Carolina were unkind to Democrats this cycle and asked readers for ideas about how progressives can do better in turning out rural voters and rural voters of color in 2024 and beyond.

Reader DUSTIN INGALLS sent this response:

“RE: Eastern NC, have been having a lot of conversations about this topic since the election and even before. We need to scale up programs that already exist from organizations like Down Home, New Rural Project, New NC Project, NCLCV Foundation, and A. Philip Randolph Institute. They’re already on the ground doing the work to register and regularly communicate with voters of color and white rural voters who might align with progressive values, but they don’t have enough money to hire enough staff to recruit and train enough volunteers and knock enough doors. The Democratic Party also needs to have a permanent field operation of its own across the state to amplify the work its elected leaders are doing in the field and then shift those organizers to GOTV close to elections. Then candidate campaigns can focus on persuading swing voters. Having this permanent campaign is also a way to address the talent drain and seasonal nature of campaign work that has plagued NC progressive infrastructure for so long. We need to keep NC people who want to do good work in NC if they want to stay here. To do that, they need to also be compensated well and allowed to unionize.”

Ingalls’s comments got some traction on Twitter, especially the part about how GOTV volunteers should be paid well and allowed to unionize if Dems want them to stay here.

“That last sentence!!!,” wrote THE NEW NORTH CAROLINA PROJECT. “If we are going to show up for North Carolina, we need dignified wages and benefits for our working class.”

“The @NCDemParty actually HAD their first year-round field team ready for 2022, but a lack of coordinated planning ended up derailing that team to the point it had to be dissolved,” wrote commenter TYLER BEALL. “After unionizing – and new leadership – we will hopefully see more consistent organizing #ncpol.”

“To put them in the field all year every year will require enough fundraising to pay them a decent wage,” wrote commenter VICKI BOYER. “And may require fewer contractors at Goodwin House & a salary for the Chair. SEC meeting going to be interesting.”

“This is perfectly logical,” wrote commenter ELIZABETH LEIGH COULTER. “Unfortunately, the NCDP is a concentrated pool of ineptitude and behind about 50 years in having a statewide ground game.”

“So proud of the work @NewRuralProject did this past election cycle!!” wrote commenter JAMIE HILDRETH. “These organizations need more support!”

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