Caucus to Convention 2018

2018 Caucus & Convention Planning


Key Dates:

Wednesday, October 4th: Training Call #1 (Messaging)

Wednesday, October 11th: Training Call #2 (Digital)

Wednesday, October 18th: Training Call #3 (Field)

Wednesday, October 25th: Training Call #4 (Data)

Wednesday, November 1st: Deadline to submit Caucus Google Form and confirm locations

Sat, Jan 13th – Sun, Jan 14th: Statewide Weekend of Action #1

Sat, Jan 27th – Sun, Jan 28th: Statewide Weekend of Action #2

Monday, February 5th: Precinct Caucuses

Saturday, March 24th: County Conventions

Saturday, April 28th: District Conventions

Saturday, June 16th: State Convention


Planning Your County Caucuses & Convention

  1. Set up a time to chat with Blair to walk through your thoughts on number of caucus sites and the size of your county convention.
  2. Begin to reach out to reserve caucus and convention sites. Things to consider include; making sure the site is ADA compliant and has WiFi. Free sites are always encouraged. The caucuses will start at 7pm on February 5th, with registration opening at 6:30pm. The sites will need to be reserved from 5:30pm to 10pm on caucus night.
  3. Fill out the Google form by November 1st to let us know what your confirmed locations are and which precincts will be present at each location, and goal dates for follow up with caucus attendees. Link to Form.
  4. Confirm leaders to run each caucus site and precinct breakout.


Volunteer Roles to Increase Turnout

  1. We will not be having a County Party Conference Call in October. Instead we will be offering four training calls on October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. The calls will focus on messaging around the caucus, field, data, and digital. These calls will be open to anyone who is interested in participating. The goal of these initial calls will be to start the process of finding leaders to help with the build up and follow up from the caucus, as well as getting our counties field ready by June of 2018.
  2. The caucuses can be a great opportunity to party build, but it starts with getting a good turnout. We will be asking county to reach out to 2016 caucus attendees to invite them to attend in 2018. We will be having two Statewide Weekends of Action on January 13-14 and January 27-28 to reach out to past caucus attendees on the phones and doors. Each county will have their choice of reaching out by either phones, doors, or both, as well as their choice of which weekend to participate.


Party Building

  1. We want to make sure we give attendees at the caucus every opportunity to get plugged in. To ensure this we will be asking each county to sign-in all attendees (while asking them to write legibly), make sure that elections for the central committee occur, and have a list of upcoming event(s) visible at the caucuses.
  2. We also want to make sure that everyone who attends the caucus is followed up with. We will be asking each county to put together a goal date of when data will be entered into Votebuilder and when each attendee can expect to receive a thank you call and email.


Summer Wine Down Update

Governor Martin O’Malley and Secretary Hillary Clinton, presidential candidates are guest speakers at an Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) 3rd District “Summer Wine Down” reception. Please arrive by 3:15 pm in order for Secret Service to check attendees entering.

At 4:00 pm on Saturday, a “Summer Wine Down” reception will be held at the Madison County Historical Complex at 815 S. 2nd Ave, Winterset. Enjoy the music of Midwest Express as well as the food and drinks. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs. A donation of $20 is suggested to help defray the expenses.

The 3rd District IDP is hosting the “Summer Workshop” on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Winterset Senior High Auditorium, 625 Husky Dr., Winterset. Doors will open at 9:00 am with a $25 registration fee. A lunch will be available for $8. At 12:30 pm, U.S. Senate candidates-Tom Fiegen, Bob Krause, and Rob Hogg will speak. Other candidates and elected officials will be introduced. Workshops will continue until 3:00 pm.

Speaking will begin about 4:30 pm followed by a live auction. County parties are encouraged to bring a theme basket to be auctioned as well as food and wine. Other Democratic presidential candidates have also been invited to the reception.

All county and 3rd district central committee members are invited. Activists, candidates, and elected officials are encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide networking opportunities and training on a variety of topics that facilitates successful candidate recruitment and fundraising strategies across the district. Developing local processes to extend the democratic media messages will also be presented. Presenters will be a mix of local and IDP party officials and staff.

Summer Wine Down

Iowa Democratic Party, 3rd District
Cordially Invites You and Your Family to Our

“Summer Wine Down"

Presidential Candidate and Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will be the special guest

  • Suggested Donation $20.00
  • Auction and Lite Lunch
  • Presidential Candidates Invited
  • Music by Midwest Express
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Doors open and Music Begins at 4:00 PM

Bring a lawn chair, and enjoy a summer evening on Historical Complex. This event follows the 3rd District Summer Workshop

Madison County Historical Complex
815 S. 2nd Ave
Winterset Iowa

Electing Democrats 2016

Iowa Democratic Party (IDP), 3rd District
“Electing Democrats 2016”
Summer Workshop


The 3rd District IDP is hosting a “Summer Workshop” on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at Winterset Senior High Auditorium, 625 Husky Dr., Winterset Iowa 50273; Doors will open at 9:00 am 
The workshop will provide training and networking opportunities on a variety of topics that facilitates successful candidate recruitment and fundraising strategies across the district.   Presenters will be a mix of local and IDP party officials and staff.

Target Audience
County and State Central Committee members
Activists and Party Leadership
Elected officials and candidates

Cost: $25.00 Suggested Fee for the work shop
Food:   $ 8.00 Lunches will be available

  • Review successful volunteer engagement programs
  • Discuss successful fundraising strategies across the district
  • Developing  local processes to extend democratic media messages
  • Discuss candidate recruitment activities and working with constituency groups
  • Increase knowledge of Vote Builder Data Base to assist in local GOTV strategies

More information:  


Preliminary Workshop Agenda
9:00-10:00 AM            Coffee and rolls (Cafeteria)
10:00 -10:15 AM           Welcome (Auditorium)
10:15 -11:00 AM          Pathways to Success” (Auditorium)    
11:00-11:50 AM   Breakout sessions (Classrooms)
2.  Candidate Recruitment and Working with Constituency Groups
3. Fundraising Successes: Developing a Plan
4. “Vote Builder 101”
Note: IDP officials will be providing an overview. You must be an existing user of Vote Builder and bring your own laptop computer to attend this breakout session
12:15-1:30PM   Lunch

12:30-1:30 PM Candidate Presentations (Auditorium)

1:30-2:20 PM Breakout Sessions (Classrooms)
5. County Central Committee Best Practices
6. Social Media and Messaging
7. Vote Builder 102
Note: IDP officials will be providing an overview. You must be an existing user of Vote Builder and bring your own laptop computer to attend this breakout session
2:30 -3:15PM
8.  Putting it All Together (Cafeteria)
3:15-3:30 PM    Closing Remarks
3:30-4:30 PM Transition to 3rd District IDP Reception at the Historical Museum


3rd District Iowa Democratic Party Planning Committee Members:
Jerry Tormey                 Polk County                 515-360-1452
Marcia Fulton                  Union County              641-782-2490
Carol Smith                     Union County              641-202-6192
Pam Deichmann             Madison County            515-462-3277
Barb Pfeiffer                   Madison County            515-494-5112
Jennifer Lundsford            Polk County                641-919-2323
Julie Stewart                    Dallas County             515-689-6654

OP-ED – Minimum Wage – For Release 10/6/2014

OP-ED – For Release 10-6-14


by Mary Ann Ahrens, West Des Moines, Iowa

We hear much talk about growing Iowa and increasing our economic development base. We know that, in order to grow Iowa and recruit new business, one must have a trained workforce that earns living wages.

The reality is that we have thousands of workers in Iowa earning minimum wages that have not kept pace with inflation.

It is unconscionable that our 2014 Iowa Legislature and Congress could not find it possible to address/increase the minimum wage. Could it be that it is an election year?   The latest results from CNN’s Money American Dream Poll show 71% of the public supports raising the minimum wage. In Iowa 65% of the people support raising the minimum wage including 45% of Iowa Republicans (Center for American Progress Action Fund—Iowa Survey).

I wonder how many of our elected officials, business and institutional executives, etc. could live on $15,080 a year – the amount a full-time minimum wage earner makes before taxes and without any vacation. Perhaps elected officials/ executives need to switch places with minimum wage earners and walk in their shoes.

We hear a lot of rhetoric about religious values and morals, but see no action to adequately value/reward our working poor in this state. These are the people who produce the goods and services that make it possible for businesses to keep their doors open and earn profits.

We also hear much talk about employee performance issues. Consider that many employees living on minimum wages are hungry, do not have adequate housing, child care, transportation, or health insurance. Why might they be absent and not performing well? Could it be that they or their family members are ill or struggling with child care or transportation issues?

The current minimum wage, which has been at $7.25 per hour since 2009, leaves almost 50 million Americans in poverty. In Iowa an increase in minimum wage would benefit 306,000 workers. Fifty-eight percent are women working at low-wage, under-valued jobs. If Iowa would join the 23 states and the District of Columbia which have a minimum wage higher than the federal level, the increase potentially would lift more than 23,000 Iowans out of poverty.

The Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO policy recommendation is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in support of the 2013 Fair Minimum Wage Act introduced by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Representative George Miller of California. It would raise wages in three increments and index it to inflation. If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968 when it was $1.60 per hour, it would be $10.86 today.

A 2013 survey conducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business indicates that leading economists agree by a 4 to 1 margin that the benefits of raising and indexing the minimum wage far outweigh the costs. Other studies cite the following benefits: higher employee productivity, lower turnover, decreased absenteeism, increased worker morale, fewer disciplinary issues, and improved customer service. A brighter picture.

Shouldn’t a full time job be a bridge out of poverty and an opportunity to make a living wage through hard work?

Is Iowa the land of opportunity? If so, for whom? We must change this picture. We have an opportunity and responsibility in the November election to support candidates/elected officials who will help people achieve the American Dream. Use your vote. Vote Democratic! We can create a new picture.


Questions? Contact:

Mary Ann Ahrens
West Des Moines, IA
515-664-8933 (h)
319-240-5904 (cell)

Women’s Issues – Letter to the Editor – 10/16/2014

Letter to the Editor -10-6-14

This is a Call to Action for anyone passionate about women’s issues in the upcoming election!

Women make up the majority of our population. We do vote! We have the power to use our vote to elect candidates who respect and support women and want to help women gain educational and economic equity.

Inform yourself to determine who supports women’s issues. Don’t rely on hearsay and misinformation or be crippled by fear tactics. Would you vote for candidates who do not support the following issues?

-Raising the minimum wage
-Equal pay for equal work
-Choice in women’s reproductive rights
-Protecting not privatizing Social Security
-Strengthening Medicare
-Affordable health care for all
-Educational opportunities/funding as a pathway out of poverty
-Measures to end violence against women (globally, too)
-Concern for immigrants
-Support for disability issues
-Marriage equality

To be competitive as a state, we need both women and men working as partners to grow Iowa’s economy and help women achieve the American dream so they can live with dignity!

We live in a complex, rapidly changing world. We have made significant progress on women’s rights through hard work over the years. Let’s not let our progress be reversed by the Republican candidates. We can’t go back!! There is too much at stake!

Now is the time to speak up, speak out, and stand tall! Submit letters to area media outlets. Talk to friends, neighbors, relatives and work colleagues who have concerns about the women and girls in their lives. Remind them of what’s at stake! Urge them to vote for democratic candidates who will support economic and educational equity for women! Together, we can do this!

Mary Ann Ahrens
501 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50265
515-664-8933 (h)
319-240-5904 (cell)

District Convention – April 26, 2014

The Third District Convention was held on Saturday, April 26, 2014, and adopted the Third District Platform, as amended by the convention.

State Central Committee

Linda Nelson
Marcia Fulton
Julie Stewart
Jennifer Lunsford

Bill Brauch
John McCormally
Rick Smith
Carl McPherson

Affirmative Action Chair

Mary Madison

The Third District Central Committee convention call booklet.