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We’re excited to share more of the California Democratic Party’s work under Chairman Burton from 2009-2017: The Burton Legacy: Empower the Grassroots, Build for the Future. You can view the full report here, and this third message will highlight the section on “Boosting Our Field Advantage.”

If there’s one thing I know about Chairman John Burton — the “crazy liberal” former Senate pro tem who moved our party to the left — it’s that he knows how to win.

Central to Chairman Burton’s legacy is his tireless work to build our field program across California. Throughout his tenure, we have boosted the party’s tools, trainings, and assistance for local grassroots activists, aiding the large gains California Democrats have made in the past few cycles.

Here are some of the key ways Chairman Burton led our party to boost our field advantage:

  • Fixing the LA Turnout Problem: Our 2011 project Operation GameChanger improved the turnout in Los Angeles by converting 50,000 Democrats to become permanent vote-by-mail voters. In 2012, during the fights to support Proposition 30 and oppose Proposition 32, those voters turned out 12% higher than others in the same voting pool.
  • It Gets Bluer: The CDP increased Democratic Latino voter turnout in Fresno, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, leading to pickup of state legislative and Congressional seats in 2012.
  • CDP Bounty Program: The Chartered Organization Voter Registration (Bounty) Program is a way to help solidify our Democratic majority statewide and push our registration advantage to traditionally “red” areas, available to volunteer efforts only.
  • County Voter File: We give every County Committee their county voter file through funding of MOE (Mobilize, Organize and Elect) — and it’s paid in full through the end of 2017.
  • Doorhangers, Doorhangers, Doorhangers: We donated doorhangers to every county based on what they deemed their need for each election cycle, made possible through Controller Hilary Crosby’s DEM program.
  • Mailed Slate Cards: In the general election, CDP financed and sent out statewide slate cards which featured all state, congress, and ballot measure positions — for every race we endorsed in — no matter if the measure or candidate could afford to contribute.
  • Electronic and Web Slate Cards: We created personalized digital slate cards generated by the voter’s address for both the primary and general elections which were emailed out and available at

For more highlights, click here.

In addition, throughout Chairman Burton’s tenure, we’ve held dozens of workshops and trainings to support the work of grassroots activists and organizers, including 30 county-based Strategic Planning Sessions, 13 “Learn to Win” Campaign Trainings, 12 County Chairs Workshops from 2010-2017, new delegate trainings at every convention, and many more.

For a full list of workshops and trainings, as well as more highlights from Chairman Burton’s legacy, click here.

As we get closer to convention, expect additional messages on Rebuilding and Amplifying Our Communications, Fiscal Stewardship: A Sustainable Future, and Proof is in the Pudding: Election & Policy Success.


Chris Masami Myers
Executive Director
California Democratic Party