Once you have been elected – or appointed – as a precinct chair, there are several different privileges and responsibilities that you gain and should attempt to fulfill. In the next few posts I will provide detailed information on each of these, but to start with I will briefly list them.
Precinct Chair Responsibilities
Seek Out Training Opportunities
Many of the tasks a good precinct chair should perform may seem rather intimidating at first. A lot of them can involve a fair amount of interaction with strangers, which can be a little nerve wracking if you have not done a lot of community work before. If you do not know exactly what it is you are supposed to do, it can be even worse! Thankfully training is available to help you get a handle on these tasks – remember that the State and County party desperately wants you to be as successful as possible, and are there to help.
Serve On Your County’s’ Democratic Committee
Each county in the United States hosts a county committee that is the official local branch of the state and national parties. In Texas this is called the County Executive Committee (CEC), although it may have a different name where you live. As precinct chair you are a voting member of this committee and it is both your privilege and duty to attend meetings of this committee to discuss and vote on business of important to the county party.
Organize Your Precinct
As precinct chair, you are the organizer in chief of the party in your precinct boundaries. Active precinct chairs will seek out volunteers (more on this in later posts) to help them with get out the vote efforts both before and during the election cycle. Having a pool of engaged volunteers can also allow you to improve the strength of the party county wide by organizing gatherings of likeminded folks.
Get Out The Vote (GOTV)
This is very important. Ideally all precinct chairs will do this, but it does take some effort and time which not everyone does have. Organizing phone banks to your local democratically inclined voters, arranging block walks, and offering drives to voters who cannot get to the polls unassisted. These are just a few examples of get out the vote activities precinct chairs can get involved in.
Be A Local Resource
Sometimes voters simply want to know more about what is going on in the political arena. As a precinct chair odds are you will be keeping fairly well informed about the policy positions of your local candidates, and about issues that are important to the local community. If you can answer the questions of your local precincts voters in helpful manner, voters are likely to remember that friendly Democratic Party official come election day.
I think that summarizes the main duties of a Precinct Chair. If anyone thinks I’ve missed any feel free to comment below or contact me. Over the next few posts I will expand on each of the responsibilities above in greater depth!