Author Archive

Act Now To Save Our Cities

Republicans have released their plan for the ill-named HEALS Act, which is actually a conglomerate of several bills – none of which provide assistance to cities, or help Americans with essential water security. DMO has received word that many vulnerable members of Congress do not believe that cities are in dire need of assistance. They have recieved talking points from the White House that say everything is fine, but have not heard from their DMOs to tell the real story.

Unless you tell them otherwise, our Members of Congress will continue to believe that cities need no financial assistance from the federal government.

Every DMO needs to call their Senators and Representatives to demand sufficient funding to keep our cities working and our residents healthy. Our constituents support increased funding for our communities.

Cities are laying off essential staff and facing slashed budgets. Our residents are out of work, on the verge of eviction, and even lack access to running water when forced to make the difficult choice between rent and utilities. Without federal financial aid, our local governments and the people who depend on city services will needlessly suffer.

Please join me in calling each of your Senators and Representatives today to tell them the truth – that our cities need federal funding to carry us through this crisis. 

We especially need you to call

Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO
Sen. Martha McSally, R-AZ
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC
Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-GA
Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI
Sen. Steve Daines, R-MT
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-IA
Sen. Edward Markey, D-MA

Here is a digital toolkit from our partners at AFSCME and NEA if you need talking points or want to share information on social media.

Together, DMOs can combine our voices and bring much needed aid to our towns and cities.

Thank you,

Hon. Scott Benson
DMO President
City Councilman
Detroit, MI

Municipal Mondays – Your Role in the Convention Across America

Municipal Mondays

Your Role in the Convention Across America

Featuring DNC Chair Tom Perez!

Monday, July 13th | 3:00pm ET / 12pm PT

Register today and submit your question for Q&A

Join DMO for a Municipal Mondays call discussing how you can get involved in this summer’s Democratic Naitonal Convention. 

First, we will hear from Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez about why it is important for local officials to engage with the party as we form our platform and celebrate the nomination of Joe Biden as our candidate for president. 

Next, Jorge Neri will tell you how specifically you can get involved, from adding your ideas for platform consideration to telling your personal story about local Democrats making a difference in our country. 

Finally, we will hear from a few DMOs including National President Scott Benson, Treasurer Van Johnson, and Policy Council Vice Chair Lauren Kuby as they share their stories, and encourage you to record a video of your own for the DNC. 

Guest Speakers

Tom Perez Jorge Neri


Democratic National Committee


Senior Director of Public Engagement

Democratic National Convention

Register today for Your Role in the Convention Across America

Municipal Mondays – July 6th, 2020

Call on the Senate to Pass the Heroes Act

On July 2nd, the Senate headed home for vacation having done nothing to effectively address systemic racial injustice, respond to the public health and economic crises spurred by the Coronavirus pandemic or fund essential services to provide relief to communities and workers. Their refusal to act and decision to vacation in the midst of crisis is a clear failure of their leadership.

Join the American Federation of Teachers on Wednesday July 8th, when communities across the country will take action to hold their senators accountable.

Your voice is needed, especially if you live in one of the following states: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Maine or Iowa.

July 8th Action


Existing AFT Digital/Comms Collateral


The HEROES Act also includes funding for municipal water security programs that would keep water flowing to every home, even if they can’t pay the bill in a given month. This is essential not only for cleaning and drinking, but preventing the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about DMO’s efforts and how you can support this work, visit

Register for the OpenGov Webinar

How 2 Cities Are Re-Thinking Strategic Budgeting

July 15th | 9 AM – 10 AM PT / 12 PM – 1 PM ET

Two inspiring leaders have turned the current Coronavirus crisis into a catalyst for strategic and budgetary change in their communities.

Leaders have two tasks before them: to keep positive momentum around restarting their economy, while also communicating the ongoing financial and health risks. Learn how to balance transparency and optimism while getting your economy back on track with the Honorable Andreas D. Addison Councilmember (Richmond, VA) and Mayor Oliver Gilbert (Miami Gardens, FL).

Over the past year, they’ve leveraged strategic thinking with innovative technology for more accurate scenario planning and easier public communication to align fiscal priorities to community needs—two key elements in the Coronavirus recovery for governments nationwide.

Join us for this webinar to learn:

  • How Richmond, VA re-imagined their budget process in the wake of Covid-19
  • How Miami Gardens, FL is effectively using technology to support financial decision making and scenario planning as they navigate this crisis
  • Best practices for communicating key financial data to constituents to garner broad support for financial decision making

Oliver Gilbert, Mayor
Miami Gardens, FL

Andreas Addison,
First District City Council
Richmond, VA

Monica Bandy
Manager, Solution Engineering

Share Your Story With The DNC

Democratic National Convention Invites Americans to Add Voices to 2020 Party Platform Process, Democratic National Committee Releases Further Details on Platform Hearings

MILWAUKEE, WI—As part of efforts to make this year’s convention the most inclusive and engaging yet, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today launched a digital engagement campaign inviting voters to share what ideas, values, and beliefs they want to see reflected in the 2020 Party Platform. The campaign will allow anyone who has ideas about the party’s agenda to record, upload, and share their story in a brief video message. This project is the first in a series of engagement campaigns that convention organizers will roll out between now and August, allowing Americans across the country to add their voices to convention programming.

“While Republicans are cutting and pasting their platform from 2016, Democrats recognize the massive challenges and changes before our nation, and we are committed to a platform process that includes voices from across our party that will generate proposals reflecting the values of our country,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “Vice President Biden is committed to developing a robust, forward-looking agenda for the next four years, and to do so by listening to the diverse voices that make our party stronger.”

Every four years, Democratic National Committee members come together ahead of their convention to forge a diversity of values and beliefs into the Party Platform—a roadmap for how they plan to move America forward. The project announced today will allow anyone who has ideas about the party’s agenda to record, upload, and share their story in a brief video message. These videos will be hosted through Countable, an innovative and user-friendly video content hub, and may also be shown on the convention’s website, social media, or during the event in August. Countable is a civic technology company powering a new wave of political engagement through community and user-generated video content.

“Our convention across America will reach more people than ever before—so our programming should bring in more voices than ever before,” said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention. “This is a unique opportunity for anyone who is passionate about being a force for change during this watershed moment for our country to make themselves heard, and we can’t wait to share their stories with the rest of the nation in August.

To learn more, or to get started with your own video or idea, visit

Melissa Fox Named DMO Blue Star Rising

The National Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has endorsed Councilwoman Melissa Fox as a Blue Star Rising Candidate in her race to represent California’s 68th District in the California State Assembly. She runs against a Trump-supporting Republican incumbent who has fought to repeal affirmative action and weaken environmental protections in the state. Reflecting on Fox’s campaign, DMO President Scott Benson said that “The Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials is honored to name Councilmember Melissa Fox a Blue Star Rising Candidate as she seeks a position in the California State Assembly. We know her to be a fierce leader who embodies Democratic values and a motivation to improve the well being of every resident of her district.”

Councilwoman Fox caught our Board’s attention through her diligent service to bettering her community while serving on the Irvine City Council. An elected councilwoman since 2016, she has fought to keep families housed during the COVID-19 pandemic and introduced a vote to proclaim June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Irvine. She also extended public transportation routes in Irvine to reduce congestion and pollution, and worked to create Irvine’s first climate action plan.

The DMO Board is confident that Councilwoman Fox will continue to be a strong voice for her community in Sacramento. Previously, Fox served for four years on the Irvine Community Services Commission, where she fought to defend open parkspace and recreation facilities. The daughter of a Korean War combat veteran, Fox is also a fierce advocate for veterans and working families. As Chair, she has led the Irvine Community Land Trust to win multiple awards for providing affordable housing for veterans and other groups in need. DMO is confident that Fox will build upon this impressive record as a dedicated public servant in the State Assembly. She is committed to improving her community by investing in education, public transportation, and stronger environmental protections as representative of the 68th district.

The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats across the US. Democratic Municipal Officials initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO National Board.

If you would like to learn more about Melissa Fox’s campaign please visit

Dan Besse Named DMO Blue Star Rising

The National Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials is honored to endorse our own Dan Besse as a Blue Star Rising Candidate in his race to represent North Carolina’s 74th District in the State House of Representatives. Dan is a former DMO Board Member and currently serves part time as DMO’s Labor and Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor.

The DMO confidently attests to Dan’s capabilities as a leader committed to progressive policy change. Dan comes highly qualified as a lifelong public interest advocate, with demonstrated expertise as a champion for expanded healthcare, strong neighborhoods, good public schools,  public transportation, and affordable housing. As a lawyer, he has fought for clean energy and utilities, fair employment, housing, and health care access for working families. A true advocate for Democratic values, Dan has been improving his community throughout his entire career, having spent nearly a decade representing poor families as a legal aid attorney in coastal North Carolina.

As the Representative for North Carolina’s House District 74, Dan will fight to improve North Carolina’s education system as well as for better pay and respect for the state’s teachers. He will do all that he can to increase access to affordable healthcare, including expanding Medicaid. He will work to improve environmental quality and economic opportunity, and help North Carolina thrive amidst new challenges. DMO believes that Dan is the progressive leader that North Carolina’s District 74 needs. This belief is widely shared, as shown through Dan’s endorsements from the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood Votes of the South Atlantic, the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, and many more.

The Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats across the US. To better fulfill that mission we initiated our Blue Star Candidate program, strengthening our membership by drawing national attention to local Democratic candidates. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by their DMO State Chapter, and their election may swing a city council or mayor’s office from red to blue.

If you would like to learn more about how to support Dan Besse’s campaign, please visit

Moral Budgeting & Convention Across America

Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 6/29/2020


DMO Update

  • Thank you for everyone who joined us for “Good Jobs: A Road to Equity and Racial Justice”, the second webinar in our Municipal Mondays series.
  • Register now to join Sam Sinyangwe of Campaign Zero to discuss policing solutions on Wednesday’s Policy Council Call.

Quick Links

Ideas for Cities

Advisory Board Spotlight

News for Democrats 

Pic of the Week

Three Words. 70 Cases. The Tragic History of ‘I Can’t Breathe.’

Local Justice & City Art

Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 6/22/2020


DMO Update

  • Stay on the lookout for more Municipal Monday content!

Quick Links

Ideas for Cities

Advisory Board Updates

News for Democrats 


Junteenth & Combating Purges

Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 6/15/2020


DMO Update

  • We have upcoming state chapter calls for Maryland (1pm Wednesday) and Michigan (4pm Thursday). To join, or learn more about starting your own state chapter, email
  • Couldn’t attend the first Municipal Mondays with Rep. Maxine Waters and Mayor Van Johnson? Stay on the lookout this summer for more Monday webinars featuring top Democrats, policy experts, and DMOs.

Quick Links

Ideas for Cities

News for Democrats 


DMO Political Council Advice

Mark Schaur of Winning Connections

Telephone Town Halls: Safely Interacting with Constituents and Voters at Scale

As our country continues to adjust to life under Covid-19—coupled with nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and racism in America— telephone town halls are an ideal tool to help elected leaders and candidates at all levels safely and conveniently communicate with constituents and voters at scale. Telephone town halls, essentially, are your own “radio call-in show,” controlled and moderated by you and your team. In the era of video conferencing, we’ve added a video livestream option to our traditional town halls, which place out-bound calls to a landline universe.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Winning Connections-hosted telephone town halls are helping Democratic leaders engage in interactive conversations with constituents and voters at a time when in-person meetings are limited, if not impossible. The public is filled with uncertainty, and there is no better way to address their concerns and keep people informed than through live, interactive town halls.

During this period of social distancing and public wariness about “returning to normal,” we have seen an enormous surge in telephone town hall participation rates. And like the New York Times reported in April with the story “Surprising Poll Results: People Are Now Happy to Pick Up the Phone,” this isn’t a fluke. We are having longer conversations with more engaged voters who desire real conversations about the issues.

Winning Connections has facilitated telephone town halls this year for governors, mayors, U.S. senators, interest groups, and candidates.  At this year’s Campaigns & Elections Reed Awards, Winning Connections took home the award for “Best Telephone Town Hall” for a town hall we ran for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan which featured Governor Gretchen Whitmer. If you’d like to learn more, contact me at or (269) 209-3940.

Mark Schauer is a former Battle Creek (MI) City Commissioner, MI state Representative and Senate Minority Leader, Member of Congress (MI-07), and 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor.

Municipal Mondays – Leadership in Crisis with Maxine Waters & Van Johnson

Municipal Mondays

Leadership in Crisis

Monday, June 15th | 3:00pm ET / 12pm PT

Register Today

A time of great crisis calls for great leadership. Join Democratic Municipal Officials for our inaugural Municipal Mondays call as President Scott Benson moderates a discussion on leadership at the national and local levels. 

We will hear from the incredible Congresswoman Maxine Waters on federal efforts to provide coronavirus relief funding for state and local governments, as well as her legislative priorities as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.

DMO Blue Star Rising and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson will then discuss local leadership during civil unrest. As a black man, a former police officer, and now a mayor, Johnson will give his insight into what cities can do right now to fulfill their responsibility to all residents. 

Guest Speakers

Hon. Maxine Waters Hon. Van Johnson
United States Congress

California 43rd District


Savannah, GA


Register for Leadership in Crisis, with Rep. Maxine Waters and Mayor Van Johnson

Police Solutions & Obama’s Pledge

Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 6/8/2020


DMO Update

  • We have upcoming state chapter calls for Ohio, Maryland, and Florida. To join, or learn more about starting your own state chapter, email
  • Want to build the movement for water security? DMO now has a sample op-ed for you to publish in your local paper.

Quick Links

Ideas for Cities

News for Democrats