Flip the 14, the only organization with a comprehensive strategy to compete in all 14 Congressional Districts held by a Republican in California, announced its plan today to help the Resistance take back Congress, almost 400 days before Election Day. Watch Flip the 14's kickoff video:
“Democrats need 24 seats to take back the House from the Republican Party and 14 of them are in California,” said Doug Linney, Campaign Manager for Flip the 14. “Opposition to the extreme agenda pushed by Trump and Congressional Republicans is strong here. While a lot of groups are focused on the seven districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016, we think it’s important to amplify the voices of the Resistance in all 14 districts. Our state is where the Resistance is going to turn activism and outrage into votes and take back Congress.”
Just this week, the Cook Political Report said it’s “even money” whether Republicans will be able to hold onto the House of Representatives. Flip the 14 believe it’s time to go big, and we have a cost-effective and comprehensive strategy to expand the map of winnable seats.
“California will be the center of a perfect storm in 2018,” Senator Don Perata said. “We can’t ignore this opportunity. It’s imperative that the Resistance compete in all 14 Republican-held districts in California. Together, here in California, we could very well change the destiny of America.”
Flip the 14 is helmed by Senior Adviser Don Perata, Campaign Manager Doug Linney, and Field Manager Maureen Erwin.
Flip the 14’s Field Plan
Flip the 14 is devoting most of its resources to field operations focused on turnout, avoiding costly mailers and television ads that have a dubious track record in recent election cycles. Victory will come in the districts where volunteers are able to turn out the voters that House Republicans either ignore or work against. California’s 14 have consistently voted to erode our access to health care, trample workers’ rights, destroy our environment, scapegoat immigrants, and throw up barriers to families struggling to make it in America. They’ve relied on word of these votes not reaching the people they purportedly represent. No more!
Flip the 14’s plan is to train, assist, and pay local field organizers that are already working in each district. This empowers effective local Resistance leaders to be fully devoted to coalition building, volunteer recruitment, and door-to-door canvassing. To test and refine this strategy, Flip the 14 hosted a campaign training in partnership with the North Valley Labor Federation. The training attracted leaders from 13 Resistance organizations, who came together to plan and coordinate districtwide canvasses in CA-10 to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham. As part of this collaboration, Flip the 14 has been providing and designing labor-printed walk pieces free of charge to partner Resistance groups.
Working with partner organizations in the Resistance, outreach is focused on Democrats who only vote occasionally, labor households, students, voter-rich apartment complexes, new registrants, voters likely to be familiar with federal programs that help support families, and communities that often get their news from non-English news sources.
“In California, when a lot of people vote, Democrats win. It’s that simple,” explained Maureen Erwin, Flip the 14’s Field Manager. “Our plan focuses on magnifying the work of the Resistance and providing them with tools they need, like good data, good walk pieces, and the vision to expand the pool of voters who will turn out in 2018. We’re not settling for what’s been done before. There’s no settling in the Trump era.”
Flip the 14’s Vote Archive
Flip the 14 is also compiling a comprehensive history of votes taken by California’s 14 Republican Members of Congress. This database will be easy to search, easy to understand, and available for free to every group, candidate, and voter who wants it. Flip the 14 is the first organization to do this work in a systematic and easily digestible way. Importantly, Flip the 14 will also translate this information into the many languages spoken in California, making it available to the widest possible spectrum of California voters—for the first time.
“As someone who has run congressional campaigns before, it’s shocking to me that this kind of information is so hard to find. We’re providing a valuable service to the Resistance,” Erwin added. “When our vote archive is completed, California voters of all backgrounds will finally have access to the information they need to see how inadequately they are being represented by the 14 Republicans in California. With that knowledge comes power: the power to vote them out.”
Who We Are
Flip the 14 is backed by campaign professionals and policymakers with a history of winning elections:
- Senior Campaign Adviser Don Perata holds a distinguished record as a public servant who advanced from schoolteacher to president of the California State Senate. Previously, he served on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors (1986-1994), in the State Assembly in 1996, and in 1998 was elected to the California State Senate. Over the next decade, he became one of the most powerful and influential leaders in California, selected on three occasions by his colleagues to serve as President Pro Tem of the Senate.
- Campaign Manager Doug Linney has spent 35 years as an advocate, political strategist, coalition builder, and fundraiser. In 1996, he founded The Next Generation (TNG) to advance conservation efforts by offering campaign services and political strategy to nonprofit organizations, environmental coalitions, and progressive candidates.
- Field Manager Maureen Erwin has been managing winning campaigns and effective communications strategies in California since 1998. Her clients have included successful campaigns for federal, state, county and local offices, and ballot measures requiring 2/3 voter approval for schools, parks, roads, and transit infrastructure. Her 2012 campaign for Congressman John Garamendi’s primary election focused on a strong GOTV program and shifted his Cook Report rating—removing him from the NRCC’s list of targeted seats.
Why All 14 Districts?
Flip the 14 is focusing on all 14 districts, because California is uniquely positioned to be the epicenter of a wave election. Specifically:
- Every poll shows that the Trump agenda is widely rejected in California. There will be a lot of energy during the 2018 election cycle, bringing out voters and volunteers at an unprecedented level for an off-year election.
- Unlike in a lot of other states, California Republicans in Congress can’t depend on gerrymandered lines or voter suppression tactics. We can register voters online and on Election Day; 16 and 17 year olds can now pre-register to vote; and by 2018, automatic voter registration will be fully implemented at the DMV. This means there will be a lot of Democratic-leaning potential voters in California that no campaign has ever reached out to. We’ll change that.
- California is a diverse state with a lot of voters who are ignored by traditional campaigns, and Flip the 14 has a comprehensive plan to reach them. Turnout is key.
- California is likely to see multiple high profile statewide races with two Democrats competing for votes in the general election. That means on top of the work being done on the Congressional level, there will be multiple active statewide campaigns bringing out Democratic-leaning voters. Conversely, many of the traditional voter turnout efforts on the Republican side will be muted compared to previous election cycles.
- Trump’s erratic and increasingly dangerous behavior continues to hollow out his base of support, and California’s 14 Republicans in Congress have been complicit in their silence. Multiple Republican leaders have warned us about Trump’s unsuitability to serve as president, and there’s a good chance that the results of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will be released before the election. It’s essential to be prepared for every outcome in 2018 and to seize every opportunity that arises.
About Flip the 14
Flip the 14 was formed to provide the critical field infrastructure, on-the ground strategy, and grassroots tools the California Resistance needs in order to turn passion into effective action that wins elections. Donald Trump’s election has inspired a new generation of activists and seasoned campaign veterans to get engaged—many for the first time. They have the time and the energy, but many have never worked on a political campaign before. Flip the 14 is led by people who know how to build a field program, recruit precinct captains, train and manage volunteers, run phone banks and precinct walks, and track and interpret data. We want to share this knowledge with partner Resistance groups, free of charge. While Flip the 14 uses time-tested tactics, we believe strongly that this is pivot moment in our country, and we are open to new ideas and new voices.
Flip the 14 is online at http://www.flipthe14.com. Flip the 14 is also maintaining an active social media presence on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/flipthe14) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/flipthe14), where it is working to broaden the reach of voices resisting Trump and California’s 14 Republicans in Congress.