Colleen Lowry, Engagement Director for ODP, provided an overview of the new Ohio Democratic Party strategy for (re)creating the Ohio Brand. The essence of the new strategy is “People First”. “I/we will put People First, as Democrats always have. People First, ahead of Politics, ahead of Powerful money, ahead of Party, ahead of Lobbyists.”
According to the research, one of the problems in 2016 is that we didn’t really know what Democrats stood for. We are the Party that puts people first. That is what we are now owning, that is what we are embracing. It is called “Blueprint for Ohio: People First”. Colleen introduced the five branches of the “value tree” that ties issues to the Democratic Platform:
- Education opportunities for everyone
- Jobs with a Living Wage
- Leaders You Can Trust
- Affordable Health Care for All
- Fighting for Women
The new messaging: People felt like the process was first and they were in the back seat. Voters feel like they should be put first. They want progress. These core values clearly link Issues to the Democratic platform, and we will stick with the five most critical issues on the minds of Ohio voters:
Affordable Healthcare. One of the most important areas that people are concerned about. This used to be a problem just for poor, but that has changed. It is a high anxiety area for everyone. And much of the feedback indicated that people feel what we have now is not a wellness system; it’s a “somebody’s sick” system. That to needs to change with a focus on wellness.
Educational Opportunities. Ohio voters see education as one of the key tools necessary for a better life, for themselves and their children. They also place a high value on work experience and on-the-job-training in addition to traditional learning. Research indicated this is especially important to women in suburban areas.
Jobs with a living wage. Job creation alone is not enough. Ohio voters want respectable jobs with a LIVING WAGE. We shouldn’t have to work 2-3 jobs to support our families. We know many are working harder for LESS.
Fighting for women. Women are fed up with being second-class citizens and are energized an d ready to hold politicians accountable for letting women down. The issues that concern women are far broader than abortion rights.
And Leadership is the root system for this “value tree”:
Leaders you can trust. Voters are tired of politics as usual. They believe politicians are lying and working for themselves, not for the people. The want authentic leaders with big ideas who truly work for the people. They want leaders who are not corrupt and not under the thumb of “big money”.