Who am I?
My name is Martha Gamez. After becoming involved in Jerry McNerney's 2006 grassroots Congressional campaign, I took a position as a DNC 50-State-Strategy organizer for California starting in 2008. When that position came to an end, I continued the same work as a Grassroots Coordinator for the California Democratic Party, where I was ultimately responsible for serving as a liaison between the State Party and all 57 individual County Democratic Central Committees. Additionally, I oversaw the use of the CDP's state voter file among the statewide Democratic organizations, conducting trainings on both voter file use and voter outreach at the local level.
Why am I running?
I retired from my paid position with the California Democratic Party in January, but I feel strongly that the experience and knowledge I acquired during my tenure with the State Party should be put to use serving the 12 local (mostly) rural red counties within Region 4 where I reside. My goal is to enhance communication and cooperation between the State Party and the local party members and also to assist the various committees and clubs within the region so that they can build their organizational capacity and achieve more success in recruiting good Democratic candidates and then mounting effective campaigns to get them elected.
This is really a two-year process – to build infrastructure that is sufficient to identify, recruit, and support local candidates and to assist these rural counties in working collaboratively to get viable Democratic candidates elected/re-elected in Congressional Districts 4, 9, 10, 16; State Assembly Districts 5, 12, 13, 21; and State Senate Districts 1, 5, and 8. Two of the most pressing activities will be to register 15,000 new Democratic voters in Congressional District 10 (Jose Hernandez’ district) and to create a nine-county communications infrastructure for Congressional District 4.
My DFA Values
The rural red areas of Region 4 are full of Democrats who for many years have felt that they're under assault and outnumbered by conservatives. As a consequence, they've grown to believe that there's no real hope for Democrats to prevail in their elections. Many of them have given up. My goal in running for this position is to give local activists the training and the encouragement they need to become leaders in their own communities, to organize and develop robust and thriving local political groups that can effectively work toward unified and clearly defined goals.
My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign is a little unique, in that the universe of voters in my election is only a little under 200 Democratic State Central Committee members who will be voting in Region 4 at the State Convention in April. So I'm essentially running a "Martha-powered" grassroots campaign where I'm trying to personally reach out to each and every one of the voters in the race and talk to them individually about their vision for the Party in our region, establish shared goals for the future, and then discuss how we can work together to achieve those goals.