A team of Democratic operatives is launching an initiative to bolster progressive campaigns ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Blue State Campaigns, an offshoot of Blue State — the digital consulting and communications firm founded by Joe Rospars, who worked as a strategist for Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama — seeks to redefine traditional campaign techniques by providing general consulting, strategic communications and fundraising operatives all on one team, the group first told CNN.
With a goal of prioritizing digital storytelling and integrating digital techniques across all facets of a campaign, Blue State Campaigns will serve as a strategy hub for progressive campaigns, the group says.
“The entire agenda of the Democratic Party is on the line in 2022. There’s a 50-50 Senate, the House is close, there are key races up and down the ballot in states, and we want to make sure that great candidates have the team that they need to build the best kind of modern campaign organization that gets the most votes and the most activism and volunteerism and grassroots donation energy that they can find,” Rospars told CNN.
The initiative will be led by Tessa Simonds, who most recently served as a senior adviser for digital organizing on the Biden-Harris campaign after running grassroots mobilization for the Warren campaign, and Ben Page-Gil, a grassroots fundraiser who served as director of donor mobilization for Warren’s presidential bid.
The team will also include Christopher Huntley, Camonghne Felix, Rachel Kopilow, Matt Compton and Lauren Tsuboyama.
According to Felix and Simonds, traditional campaigning is outdated.
“Too many campaigns begin with the same structure that they had 30 years ago. Too many campaigns are having the same tired conversation about how to integrate digital, as if it’s a weird thing on the side instead of a central part of the campaign,” Felix told CNN.
Simonds said Blue State Campaigns will focus on running large digital organizing programs for its candidates and work to build community among campaign volunteers.
“You can build real digital community online everywhere,” Simonds said. “We need to do the work to meet voters where they are.”
While Blue State Campaigns says there won’t be a litmus test for how it chooses its candidates, the group says it will work with progressives eager to build people-powered campaigns.
“In the midterms, we can’t afford to cede any grounds,” Huntley said. “We are going to be focused on candidates that represent our values, that represent progressive values and we want to make sure that the candidates that we are connecting with and reaching out to want to have big solutions for the big problems that people are facing.”
For her part, Felix said she believes that recovering from the coronavirus pandemic will remain a primary concern in 2022.
“We need candidates who are focused on recovery, on community health — including racial justice, community justice. We want people who know that their communities are in pain and who are hungry for urgent solutions to fix that,” she said.