Dear County Chairs,
It is an honor to be entrusted with the important work of our Party, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve you. This week we hit the ground running and are off to a great start.
It has become obvious in just this first week that the key to success for the RPT is for the Chair and the Party to maintain strong relationships with each of the constituents who are critical to our success: the SREC, donors, officeholders, press, the White House (since we have a Republican President), staff, the RNC, grassroots Republicans all across the state, and Texas’ Republican County Chairs. It was a pleasure to be able to connect with some in each of those groups this past week, and I’d like to share some updates on those interactions with you.
As promised, on Monday we emailed to all SREC members the presentations from our 2nd Quarter SREC meeting last weekend. We also involved relevant SREC members in events that had been arranged before my election so that we could receive their vital input and ensure that those events be successful. I’ve also had calls with many of you, and am very excited about what we will be able to accomplish together over the next year.
We are also preparing materials for our first Officials Committee meeting call. Our plan at this time is to hold the meeting on June 26. Per the bylaws, of course, any member of the SREC is welcome to participate. A second, muted line will be made available to guests who wish to listen to the call.
I am very excited to report that the increased clarity and visibility of the Republican Party of Texas has been rewarded with a warm reception from donors who have not previously given to the RPT. I have met personally and had calls with many of those donors to ensure our Party is equipped to fully support the Platform that has been entrusted to us. Donors have pledged roughly $100K so far, and we have already received this first week many times more in large non-event-related donations than was collected in the prior 5 months.
We are hard at work planning and preparing for more events and donor visits and calls, which will help us make up the $500,000 drop in RPT balances over the last three years.
On another encouraging note, we have also had 37 new signups for the Grassroots Club – an increase of 4% – in just this week. It is imperative that we continue encouraging would-be donors of every size to give to our Party as we continue to prove that we are the Party of the big tent. If you are not already a member of the Grassroots club, please join now.
The three-tiered Grassroots Club functionality we all heard about on Saturday is not ready for production with our current vendor. We are working on alternative approaches so that we can release such functionality as quickly as possible.
On Monday we sent the Governor the SREC’s letter on the Legislative Priorities. His office’s response was positive. Less than 20 hours later he released his call for a Special Session which included 10 items from our platform. We’ll be reaching out to the Lt. Governor, the Speaker, and all elected Republican members of the Texas legislature to do our part to make sure those items are passed successfully during this Special Session.
The number of elected Texas Republicans who have either reached out or taken my calls due to the potential value they see in the RPT is overwhelming. Each one I have spoken with has pledged to help us raise the funds necessary to get the RPT back at least to where we were three years ago, and to enable us to beat back the onslaught that will undoubtedly face us in next year’s midterm primaries.
More on elected official contact in the White House section below…
In the six days since becoming RPT Chairman, I have conducted three TV interviews, four radio interviews, and one podcast audio interview. The topics of discussion included becoming the new RPT Chairman, my trip to Houston with Vice President Pence, unifying the Party, the Comey testimony, controversial regular and special session bills, Texas politics, and looking ahead to 2018. You can see and hear some of these appearances by visiting our Facebook page here.
We will continue to get our message out across every media market in the state in an effort to showcase our values and welcome more voters into our Party.
Vice President Pence traveled to Houston to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center where the new astronaut class of 2017 was introduced. I had the privilege of greeting him at the airport and was able to discuss some fundraising opportunities for the Party. He is a very gracious man and offered his support for our Party’s success.
You may have heard that we received a couple of staff resignations this week. We wish the absolute best for both Ann-Marie Birdwell and Mikenley Heller in their new opportunities.
Our first hire this week was Rachel Malone, a stellar grassroots activist with countless hours of grassroots training and volunteering for the Party. She is our new Director of Operations and can be reached at (512) 937-3006 or email@example.com for anything you might need.
We also took a staff photo today, and folks, we have a happy and motivated team here at the RPT HQ!
(from left to right: Mike Joyce, Communications Director, Stephen Wong, Asian Engagement Director, Rachel Malone, Director of Operations, RPT Chairman James Dickey, Jennifer Stoner, Accounting Director, Mason McKie, Intern, Kyle Whatley, Executive Director, John Alvey, Accountant)
Today I spoke to RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel about how the state and national Party can work together to Keep Texas Red. As we already know, the Democrats are putting a bullseye on Texas once again in 2018, and have already begun fielding multiple candidates in races where Republicans currently hold office across the state. Together, we will continue to build the necessary infrastructure to win up-and-down the ballot in a pivotal midterm election year.
I pledged to you that I would strongly support the Texas GOP platform, and I look forward to working with both the legislature and our grassroots volunteers to advance our platform and priorities during this special session.
In order to empower the grassroots with the necessary tools to make a difference, we have scheduled a webinar, “A Special Session Primer,” to be held Tuesday, June 13.
We are hard at work on hiring a new Election and Training Manager who will provide County Chair training and support. As a former County Chair, I take that responsibility very seriously so we have recruited some former County Chairs to assist us in recruiting and evaluating candidates.
I’ve also had numerous positive calls with County Chairs and am excited about learning more about the best practices that we can work to spread across the state. While during those calls I have unfortunately already had to disappoint more than one County Chair by not being able to personally attend all of the many events being held, I have been able to confirm attendance by either me or another strong team member at almost every one.
Some of you have requested information on the Engagement and Outreach activities taking place, so we thought we’d share with you the reports we receive each week from those team members:
What Events/Meetings did you attend this week?
Provide details on what happened at the meeting, who was there, and what you accomplished by attending.
Date of Event
Name of Event
Gave training on RPT structure/SREC and Chairman election/GRC to 20+ TARA members and guests; will follow up with VDR training in Travis County
TPPF Liberty Leadership Council
Talked up engagement program to conservative millennials at reception; ~50 in attendance; raised profile of RPT work among like-minded folks
Political Update: What is happening in your department?
List any updates, problems, or upcoming events in your region.
· VDR Trainings in development for Austin, Houston, Dallas area
· Exploring a training in Plano, Tarrant County and/or mid-cities area in June/July
· Reached out to Representative Tony Dale’s office to do something around a resolution he entered honoring the Chinese Society of Austin
· Trying to get letters from Senators Cornyn and Cruz for the 18th; Chairman Dickey has been invited (he has a breakfast in Houston on the 19th)
List upcoming events you will be hosting or attending
· Austin Taiwanese American Professionals event June 15
· June 17: SD 17 meeting; interns helping call Asian activist list; Chinese American Professional Assn Conference
· June 18: South Vietnam Memorial Service, Chairman Dickey is invited
Week of June 3-9
This week Hispanic Engagement focused on closing out the Quarterly Listening DIME Tours. There will be more focus on data entry, reports, and creating newsletters for all cities. Efforts will be made in catching up on all reports, tracker, returning emails, phone calls and all other pertinent paperwork required by RPT from the past 3 weeks due to heavy travel and DIME events. Conference calls were held with several stakeholders as well as District Director of LULAC to discuss future relations.
This week’s top goals was to attend a BNI meeting to network with small business leaders in our area as well as serve as a guest speaker. Hosted an important meeting with a local Pastor and 2 committee members to discuss future initiatives with him and others in 3 target cities. Also, worked on planning out future trainings with Staff across Texas. The focus on the next couple of weeks is 4th of July event with Millennials, scheduling and promoting RPT training with coalitions built from the past DIME tour cities, attend SD 17 Meeting & Training, and Senator Cruz Bar B Que!
As we are gearing up for the Primary season, my pledge to you is that the RPT will be the best resource for candidates and campaigns. We will roll out the training, tools, and accessible resources needed for a successful Primary. If you have any ideas or questions, please reach out to Rachel Malone, 512-937-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The special session begins in just a few weeks, and the Primary begins soon afterwards. I look forward to working with everyone as we come together to make this next year an amazing one for the Republican Party of Texas.
Republican Party of Texas
P.S. I will be sending these emails weekly, but please feel free to reach out at any time if you have any questions.