Julie Stauch

Looking for leadership in West Des Moines: A case for change

Local elections are coming up this Tuesday, November 7. Julie Stauch shares her perspective on the candidates running in West Des Moines, the largest Des Moines suburb and eighth-largest city in Iowa. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Last winter, in response to the bill by Representative Jarad Klein that went after the Des Moines area water utilities, I became involved to stop that horrific piece of legislation. I went to my first Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement meeting and learned that West Des Moines was one of the suburbs where our leaders had not spoken out against the legislation. I volunteered to go to the next city council meeting and make what I thought was an easy ask – oppose this legislation.

And I learned firsthand of the dysfunction of our system of government and the deceit of our city leaders.

That led to a desperate need to find actual leaders – people who will represent the people of the city and not just themselves – which has taken me down the path of civic activist in a way that I haven’t traveled since the 1980s when we lived in Mason City. I’ve met and connected with a great group of West Des Moines residents seeking leaders who will be thoughtful, engaging and listen to all points of view.

Here are my thoughts and recommendations for West Des Moines residents. We need you to vote! Change begins here and now. Below are my assessments and recommendations on our candidates.

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Recruit, Engage and Empower

Many thanks to Julie Stauch for posting more details about her vision for rebuilding the party. All candidates for state party chair are welcome to share similar materials before next month’s election. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Saturday at the State Central Committee meeting, I presented my ideas on how to strengthen the Iowa Democratic Party. Because we had a short window of time to speak, on Sunday I sent the attached document to the members of the State Central Committee to expand upon the points I highlighted. Today I share this with Bleeding Heartland readers because the very best thing about so many candidates in this race is the exchange of ideas. Only one person will be chair, but the ideas are for all of us.

The fundamental goal of my recommendations is to shift to a greater focus on empowerment. Empowerment allows individuals to contribute based upon their strengths and talents. When a leader takes actions that empower others to step up, opportunities, answers to problems, and success increase. Rather than trying to control every little move, we allow for people to design and create a more intuitive Iowa Democratic Party that fits each and every corner of the state. We focus less on one right way and more on celebrating all the many different ways we can succeed.

A special word of thanks to Bleeding Heartland for figuring out how to share this document. You have created a space for the transformation Iowa needs. Thanks, BH!

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The First Step for Iowa Democrats

Julie Stauch is a candidate for Iowa Democratic Party chair with a lot of experience on Democratic campaigns. -promoted by desmoinesdem

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” JP Morgan

How do you begin to get an understanding of what is working and what is not working with an organization the size and scope of the Iowa Democratic Party? One way is to start with thematic analysis, an anecdotal way to gather information from within a group of people. How does it work? You ask the same questions of each person in a one-on-one conversation. Then you listen for common themes, new ideas, and where you have the kind of consensus that makes implementing change easier.

Since the election I’ve spoken with thirty-three individual Iowa Democratic activists from all across the state, asking each person the same four questions:
1. What are the problems facing the Iowa Democratic Party?
2. What are the opportunities?
3. What would a successful Iowa Democratic Party look like?
4. What are the obstacles between your vision of success and where we are right now?

The good news is that there’s a tremendous amount of consensus on the problems and opportunities.

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My first impressions of Tim Kaine

Julie Stauch, a veteran of many Democratic campaigns and five inaugurals, shares her memories from working with Tim Kaine. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In 2005, after the Virginia statewide elections, I was hired as a consultant to work with the Governor’s Inaugural staff team to help put on a successful Inaugural and launch of the administration of then Governor-elect Tim Kaine. It was my fifth inaugural consulting job, the fourth governor’s inaugural. My role was to help the staff team, largely campaign employees who had a great understanding of the new governor-elect, the state, constituents, supporters, and the candidate’s family and friends, but no idea about how to put this together, as well as no idea about how to deal with the pace of decisions and the planning process. While what I actually did as a consultant varied with each state and the Inaugural staff team, the nature of the events varied only slightly based on the personality and leadership style of the governor-elect and local custom.

Within twenty-four hours of my arrival I was to meet with Tim Kaine, his wife Anne Holton, the head of his transition team, the head of his inaugural team, the press secretary and a few other key staff, to give an overview of the types of decisions needed for the Inaugural, the work priorities, and what they most needed to know from us.

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Focus on Problem identification NOT Blame

Julie Stauch was a leader of the Hillary Clinton delegate group at the March 12 Polk County Democratic convention, which turned into a disaster. She responds to calls by Pat Rynard and others for longtime Polk County Democratic Party Chair Tom Henderson to resign. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I’ve seen posts this week blaming Tom Henderson for a variety of things, ranging from Caucus night to the Polk County Convention. This is wrong for two reasons.

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