Mission update: general plans and solicitations

I just wanted to thank everyone who has already expressed interest here at ForVirginia.org. I was a bit surprised to see so many people already created user accounts, and I just wanted to take a few minutes to let people know what our plans are and solicit your feedback.

From a technical administration standpoint, the platform we're using is a bit new to me, so I'm taking my time to learn the ins and out of the tools that we have here. The main goal is to build a news publishing tool and solicit stories from around Virginia about local or state issues and the politicians and people behind them. If you're interested in writing something up, drop me a line or something you've written and we'll work something out to get your voice heard. We'll also figure out something for people to submit news stories.

One of the other major portions I envision is a constituent database. Right now, with regards to the Sanders campaign, the grassroots organizers don't really have a good list of the volunteers in the state. The campaign is holding onto that information, so the rest of us around the state are having to track things separately using our own means. We've already put in the back-end for a good CRM, and I'll be looking at ways to use it to our best advantage. I don't want to get into more detail in public at this time (events, mail campaigns, &c.), but any organizers in the state can contact me and I'll fill you in.

Someone asked me about getting together some bylaws for a new political party, but I think that's premature. I've said before that we need to work within the Democratic party for the time being, at least until we see what happens with the party nomination. We can talk about it, but I think there's more important things to focus on in the meantime. If anyone wants to pitch ideas about long term strategy regarding the 2017 elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Commonwealth Attorney, and the entire House of Delegates, I'd love to hear it.

And of course cybersecurity is one of my top priorities, so I need to make sure that the site is completely secure and that all of our user account information and volunteer info is secure from hackers, infiltrators and accidental release. I'll be testing and nailing everything down before we open it up in earnest and start importing the thousands of contacts we've collected through the various campaigns. We're not going to have any breaches here. It will likely take some money to do right, so I'm going to set aside some funds to do that until we can figure out the legal and technical ramifications of fundraising.

Once again, thanks for the interest. If you've got feedback or comments, please post them below. If you'd like to talk privately please say so and I will look up your email and contact you directly.

For Virginia,