Sometimes, before we go off inventing the wheel again, it is worth looking around to see if someone else hasn’t beaten us to it. (More)

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In the memory of Paul Wellstone, such a wheel, building the Democratic party, has been rolling along for 13 years. Wellstone was a senator representing Minnesota from 1991 until his death in a plane crash in 2002. He saw politics as “improving people’s lives” and was famous for saying, “I am the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.”

When Paul died Wellstone Action was created to further his legacy of progressive action. Here’s a few highlights from their website:

The Wellstone Impact

Founded to carry forward the work of Paul and Sheila Wellstone, we arm progressives with the strategies and skills to win. We develop political leaders. We strengthen movement organizations. We ignite change.

Trained 80k progressive leaders

Propelled 850 alumni into elected office

Guided 3,500 winning campaigns

Engaged 350 partner organizations

Inspired 25k donors

Wellstone is committed to building power in the states … 55% of the participants received a scholarship to attend and 49% of the attendees self identified as people of color.

It is definitely worth a visit to their website as I have given but a few of the highlights here.

Vox has an explainer on how the chair of the Democratic National Committee is chosen. Apparently lots of Democratic activists see the DNC and its chair as key to rebuilding the party. But before you get too excited by this, other than Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or Howard Dean, how many past chairs of the DNC can you name?

Keith Ellison (MN) is running for chair of the DNC, and he said:

“The real issue is vision, where are you going to take the party,” Ellison said. “My vision is to focus our attention on strengthening the grassroots, put our priority on voter turnout, and to campaign 365 days a year and then talking door to door with people in their neighborhoods and in their communities.”

I like Keith Ellison just fine and if he wants to be the chair of the DNC, good for him. I just think in the post election frustration, the DNC chair has gotten an awful lot of attention of the “it will save us” sort. If I wanted to build (or rebuild) my local Democratic Party I’d rather have Wellstone Action’s training and help than wait for the DNC to get it together. Just saying, it’s a nice wheel that they have already built and road tested.

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Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.