DFA and grassroots movement propels Howard Dean to DNC Chair

DFA members and fellow grassroots activists led the charge for Howard Dean to become the first DNC chair elected by a grassroots campaign. This marked DFA’s first major campaign and would greatly shape the Democratic party for years to come. Under Howard Dean, the DNC rolled out its 50-State Strategy. The 50-State Strategy was an approach to elections that would focus on building grassroots support and infrastructure even in states and districts considered unwinnable by Democrats. Under this strategy the Democratic party saw:

  • A record-breaking (for an off year) $51 million raised in his first year as DNC chair
  • A Democratic sweep of the House and Senate in 2006
  • The infrastructure put in place for a people-powered presidential campaign and win in 2008, when we elected Barack Obama

While many people have been disappointed to see the DNC move away from the 50-State Strategy since Howard Dean’s departure, we here at DFA continue to live by its ethos. That’s why we launched programs like Purple to Blue, hold trainings in red states like Alabama, and endorse people-powered candidates in states deemed unwinnable by the Democratic establishment. The 50-State Strategy lives on today with DFA.

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