Why I’m Running

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin needs new leadership. My name is Bryan Kennedy and I am the Mayor of Glendale. I am a grassroots organizer and union leader. My goal is to return the DPW to its grassroots and empower county parties.

I propose to move the party toward a model that is similar to how labor unions operate. Unions are, by their very nature, grassroots organizations. Bottom-up, not top-down.

For six years, I was State President of the American Federation of Teachers—Wisconsin. My union brothers and sisters were organized in many union locals across the state. Every local was autonomous. They had their own leadership, set their own objectives and goals, and charged their own dues.  They sent a portion of those dues to the state fed for training, lobbying and staffing assistance.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is organized by congressional districts and county parties. Everything has traditionally flowed from the state party out to the counties and CDs. That is a top-down approach. I believe that local DPW leaders know what works in their area. The state party should serve as a clearinghouse for best practices, by providing training sessions and election materials, guiding county parties and candidates in campaign finance laws and campaign stategies, and preparing a campaign plan that will allow us to win in 2018 and beyond. We need to reinvent what the state party does and how it works. To paraphrase Einstein, we cannot keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.

Most importantly, we need someone at the helm that listens and wins. I have been winning local elections and union elections for a decade. I’ve done it by listening to people.  Rather than tell them what they should do, I listen and find out what they need from me. That is what you can expect from Bryan Kennedy as your state Democratic Party chair.