HOWDY, I’m Jehmu Greene.
I’m the child of undocumented immigrants, a community organizer, a MEDIA STRATEGIST, and a proud Texan. I’ve delivered for progressives as head of Rock the Vote and defended Democratic policies on Fox News. I’m writing to announce my candidacy for the Chair of the DNC and to ask for your support.
My story would not be possible without the Democratic Party.
I was born in our nation’s capital the same year Shirley Chisholm took her historic presidential candidacy to the floor of the Democratic National Convention and Barbara Jordan became the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in the House of Representatives.
Growing up in Austin, Texas - a blue city, in a red state - I proudly shared a hometown with legendary Roe v. Wade attorney, Sarah Weddington, and celebrated Ann Richards becoming the first woman to be elected to a statewide office in over fifty years. As a young girl in a city with a woman serving three terms as Mayor, I learned something early on about women and politics: we belong there.
After an historic year and devastating losses up and down the ballot, it is women who are are stepping up to protect the rights and freedom of every American. We are organizing, taking action, and marching to demonstrate our opposition to the next administration’s hurtful, hateful policies. It is critical that the debate over the future of the Democratic Party reflects this energy -- transforming the party and the country cannot be done without us.
LIKE SO MANY WOMEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY, I AM STEPPING UP AND PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE. I AM RUNNING FOR DNC CHAIR.
MY TAKE ON THE CHALLENGES WE FACE:
We rightfully went high this past cycle; but when they went low there was no bedrock to greet them. By winning 3 million more votes nationally than the President-elect, we have a clear mandate from the majority of Americans to mount a powerful resistance to his administration, to fight injustice.
To do this, the Democratic Party needs to be a constant presence in communities across America -- not just a force that descends every few years at election time.
President Obama’s leadership pulled us back from the brink of an economic crisis and put us on the road to recovery. As he gives his farewell address tonight and we celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the last eight years, we must also acknowledge that the Democratic Party has been neglected. As you know all too well, this neglect hurt well before we lost the 2016 presidential election. Republicans have taken control of state legislatures; won an incredible number of gubernatorial, secretary of state, and attorney general races; garnered control of the U.S. House of Representatives; and now have a majority in the U.S. Senate.
There is no question that the Party’s brand was hurt in 2016: by Russian operatives, by WikiLeaks, from within, and even by our allies. We begin 2017 with a real opportunity to rebrand and more effectively communicate what we stand for; but this process has to start with real conversations and real engagement at the local, state and federal level. The real solutions will come from the grassroots up -- not from DC.
MY VISION FOR OUR PARTY’S FUTURE:
Transformation requires willingness, radical candor and strong change management. We have to inspire with our ideas and then deliver results that matter. In order to rebuild the Democratic Party, we must:
✓ Prioritize ongoing, sustained investment in - and engagement of - local communities, so that we are having conversations beyond two-year election cycles.
✓ Make significant investments in states where our base is rapidly growing, even if the electoral payoff isn’t immediate.
✓ Develop a robust, diverse pipeline of candidates eager to advance our principles -- and support them when they run.
✓ Communicate better with the young people who share our values and yet aren’t showing up to vote because they feel left out of the process, so we can build an inclusive membership base.
✓ Be wary of overcompensating for strategic mistakes, so as not to throw out the good with the bad.
✓ Take a good, hard look at our electoral processes and make some tough decisions concerning superdelegates and our primary calendar.
I don’t have all the answers -- no one person does. But as chair, I will be a partner to local party leaders. I will seek out and elevate the best practices from the local level. I will commit resources to building a grassroots army of diverse volunteers, trainers, staff and candidates. I will build a leadership team comprised of the most thoughtful, compassionate, locally-focused group of people around.
WHO I AM, WHAT I’VE ACCOMPLISHED:
The DNC needs a Chair who is a SEASONED ORGANIZER and a FIERCE MESSENGER. A Chair who can counterpunch the disinformation about our candidates and our values coming not just from the GOP but also from the media. Someone who has a proven track record of prioritizing young people, people of color, and women.
I am a Democrat because I am the daughter of Liberian immigrants who were once undocumented. I am a Democrat because school lunches fed me as child. I am a Democrat because I am the only person entitled to make decisions about if and when I have children.
I am a disrupter and political innovator with the heart of a grassroots organizer. Exactly what the party needs right now.
After serving as Executive Director of TEXAS YOUNG DEMOCRATS, I dropped out of college and drove to DC with the desire to help empower disenfranchised and vulnerable communities. I arrived with no job in sight and $10 in my pocket. 20 years later, with countless campaigns under my belt, and having been on the front lines of organizing major social change movements, I am a Democrat because this party helped me live the American Dream.
Under my leadership at ROCK THE VOTE , our community grew from 1,500 to over 1 million and young voter turnout increased by 11%, the largest increase ever recorded between two presidential elections. Together with Jose Antonio Vargas, Alicia Menendez, and Jake Brewer, I co-founded DEFINE AMERICAN to elevate the immigration conversation. I’ve worked to amplify women’s voices in the media as President of THE WOMEN’S MEDIA CENTER and in local politics as a founding board member of VOTERUNLEAD. I innovated in the private sector to bring solar light and power to people living without access to electricity as President of WAKAWAKA.
As a FOX NEWS Political Analyst since 2010, I have a unique understanding of how to use the media to create real change. I have stood, and I will stand toe-to-toe with conservatives who lie for a living and I’ll win with the truth.
You may know me from my days working at the DNC as the Director of Women’s Outreach and Southern Political Director. Or our paths may have crossed while I served on the Credentials Committee and Commission on Presidential Timing and Scheduling in 2004. I have worked inside campaign headquarters, served in leadership roles, and agitated from the outside to strengthen the progressive movement. I AM THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDS THE INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
The media wants this race to devolve into a Clinton vs Sanders rehash. I won’t let it happen. We are all in this together and the Party is only as strong as we are united.
I’m sure election night knocked the wind out of you, as it did me. In the aftermath of a defeat that threatens all the values we hold sacred - inclusivity, fairness, equality - I turned inward, stopped consuming media, got off Facebook and made my Twitter account private to block out the alt-right trolls. I did some serious soul-searching to process what I, what we could have done differently to defeat a religion- and race-baiting sexual predator with a penchant for constant lies, one who encouraged a foreign government to interfere in our electoral process and whose candidacy was endorsed by bigots and thugs from the KKK to the Kremlin.
In his farewell address, President Obama challenged us all to “embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually improve this great nation of ours.”
THIS WAS NOT A LAST-MINUTE DECISION. I HAVE SPENT TWO FULL MONTHS REFLECTING ON THE ELECTION AND TALKING WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ABOUT THE CONCERNS AND IDEAS YOU HAVE FOR OUR PATH FORWARD AND I AM EMBRACING THE JOY OF REBUILDING OUR PARTY. WHILE MY CAMPAIGN IS JUST GETTING OFF THE GROUND, I INTEND TO BE YOUR NEXT CHAIR. I AM ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN HELPING ME DO THIS.