Grassroots Blue Reboot movement aims to bring new leadership to state

Published 5:10 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

A grassroots reform movement a year and various dynamics in the making wants to bring new leadership to the state Democrat Party. To that end, a diverse set of candidates have stepped up to run for the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC), the entity that has the ability to impact who leads the state party. Blue Reboot is the organization acting as a Political Action Committee (PAC) in support of these reform candidates, according to Lynda Woolard, Blue Reboot advisor.

Cynthia Joyce, a spokesperson for Blue Reboot, said the candidates are not career politicians, but people – farmers, preachers and military veterans as well as urban designers, activists and data analysts – who are “fed up with failed leadership.”

Woolard said this reform movement is not directed against elected Democratic officials.

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“On the contrary, we believe a more effective Louisiana Democratic Party would better support their efforts.”

Blue Reboot was activated after candidates qualified for the DSCC elections that will be held on March 23. The goal is a “functional” Democratic Party, Woodard said. She described that as a party that would raise the necessary funds to run the organization; act as the opposition party to the Republicans; recruit new candidates; register new voters and otherwise build the party from the ground up and elect more Democrats.

“This isn’t a power grab by these folks,” Woolard said. “People from across Louisiana worked over several months to find candidates to work toward an elected government that looks like Louisiana, shares the values of the majority of Louisianians and protects our most vulnerable communities.”

Woolard pointed out how party leadership failed to recruit candidates in 44 House and Senate races in 2023, leading to a Republican majority before the first vote was cast, and after all the votes were counted, a Republican supermajority.

“They failed to fund and support the candidates that did run, spending only $28,000 in the month leading up to the primary. The Republican Party spent $1.2 million for their candidates,” Woolard said.

A winning campaign is the first step to success, and Woolard said that’s been done before. The key is putting together a winning campaign. She noted that in 2015 John Bel Edwards’ first run for governor “saw a scrappy campaign team that got support for the Democrat Party. The 2019 campaign saw support from the party and from grassroots organizations who turn out voters in key areas that Democrats need to win.

“In 2018, we witnessed the nonpartisan Unanimous Jury Coalition mount an effective campaign to pass a constitutional amendment that ended the unconstitutional practice of unanimous juries. That’s an excellent model that the Democratic party and Democratic candidates should study and replicate,” she said. “Davante Lewis’ winning coalition in his Public Service Commissioner race is another model worth studying.”

Among Blue Reboot from Calcasieu Parish are Dr. Gisela McKinney Hakins, MD, District 35A; Sadi Summerlin, District 35A; Dustin Granger, District 35B; Eric Broussard-Bueno, District 36B; Dylan Dunlop, District 33B and Donald Fondel, District 34B.