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Published by Steele for Chairman

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Published by: Steele for Chairman on Jan 24, 2009
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Catching Coalition Fever
1. Emulating Activist Passion
Our Party is blessed with a vast constituency whose passion for Republicanideals must be a part of creating vigorous coalitions beyond our traditional base of support. Notable for the passion that fuels their organization, operations andmessaging, this constituency—small businesses, affiliated organizations, andothers — incubate the fiery spirit that motivates smart dialogue and vigorousactivism across the country.But as the 21st Century unfolds, we must recognize that there are otherconstituencies that are ready to receive a new message, a fresh perspective on theproblems we face and the solutions necessary to solve those problems. These arethe individuals and groups with whom we will build new coalitions. And it willbe through these relationships and coalitions that the Republican Party will be anadvocate on the important issues of the day, to represent local and regionalpriorities, and to give voice to those who have too long been without a voice. Ineach instance, we want the members of our communities to be connected toenthusiastic, self-starter Republican activists. Ultimately, the Republican Partymust reach into every community, touching minority populations and smallbusinesses, speaking daily not only to traditional members of the base, butidentifying new opportunities, new constituencies to translate conservativephilosophy into practical solutions.Unfortunately, outside of sporadic fundraising efforts, we have not harnessedthe full power of RNC-coalition collaboration. Coalition building and, moreimportantly, building the enduring and mutually beneficial relationships betweencoalitions and the RNC, has to be more than a slogan. We must focus everyfunctional group within the RNC on reaching out to and fostering coalitionpartnerships as a means to knowing and growing the grassroots. Their knowledgeand counsel will help to guide our activities to grow our Party.
2. Elevating the Effort
So often “coalition building” really means message harmonizing. It’s true, weneed to be sure to offer articulate and thoughtful messages across the spectrum of Republicans and the voting public, but coalition partnerships can be so muchmore for the RNC. What excites me about the power embedded in both storiedand emerging coalitions is the diversity of thought, the pluralistic expression of activism. Around sets of issues, many come together to define ideology and tochange the societies in which they live. In other words, coalitions have becomethe “first stop” for activists with a desire to get involved and with values alignedto our own.2
We Republicans must do a much better job of networking into ourcommunities. We spend far too much time talking to ourselves instead of spreading the gospel of 21st Century conservatism to potential believers. Activeparticipation in local Chambers of Commerce, the Jaycees, PTAs, Business andProfessional Women’s Clubs, Kiwanis, Rotaries and veteran organizations is animportant first step in reshaping our public image in the community.Therefore, we will make our coalition effort a part of the business of the RNCand state parties across the country. We will speak to and work with our coalitionpartners to identify and welcome into our circle of activism new voices and newideas. We will provide access to the technology and training that the RNC itself uses to connect its grassroots activists and campaign workers directly to thecommunity in which they live, work and play! By extension, party organizationssuch as College Republicans, Young Republicans and the Federation of Republican Women will each have a role to play in our coalition efforts. Theirefforts, technological savvy and proven skill sets will only compliment our overallgoals of broadening our dialogue and attracting new members to our Party.As Chairman, developing a relationship with our coalition partners and,ultimately, the grassroots activists they represent, will start with me. I will holdregular coalition meetings with established partners and will also travelthroughout the country to begin a constructive dialogue with groups who shareour values but have not traditionally aligned with the Republican Party. Aparticular focus of my energy will be minority communities where our Republicanmessage of traditional values and individual liberty will resonate strongly. It istime to open the bridges between us and shape a future that preserves opportunityfor all.While my responsibility as RNC Chairman will be to meet with and engagediverse communities in a national dialogue with our Party, it will also be theresponsibility of State leadership — Chairmen, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman — to establish communication with state and localorganizations as well. Working together, we can build a stronger and more lastingbridge to new coalitions. After all, the best way to know about the RepublicanParty is to know a Republican!
3. Professionalizing Collaboration
In view of the necessity to build coalition partnerships and to integrate theminto our Party’s future, I will establish a free standing Coalitions Department atthe RNC equal to the Political, Finance and Communications departments. TheCoalitions director will report directly to the Executive Director and willmaintain a working, dedicated staff and operations budget.The RNC Coalition department will serve as the nexus for efforts between theRNC, State and Local Parties, and coalition partners to strengthen Republicancapabilities and voices across the ideological, religious, economic and ethnic3

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