Rules of the Road
The Rules of the Road guided our campaign–and they will continue to be a part of the spirit that guides our work going forward. In the heat of an election, we must remember what brought us to this work in the first place and ourselves exhibit the values of the candidates and causes we are supporting every step of the way.
In our thoughts, words, and actions we cultivate a sense of respect. We respect one another on this team, we respect every public office, and we respect every individual we encounter on the campaign trail, including our competitors. The better we hold up this value among ourselves, the better it will reflect outside. It will represent a quiet antidote to the idea that this project is too audacious to be taken seriously.
We seek to serve and unify a diverse nation. Let us build a campaign team and a coalition of supporters that kindly embraces and reflects the increasingly diverse party and country to which we belong. We will honor this value not just in our makeup but in our practices, as we proactively work to include people of different backgrounds and viewpoints in every major decision, and cultivate a sense of welcome to all.
Honesty is in our nature, and it is one of our greatest means of restoring faith in our democracy among everyday Americans and building a national movement rooted in trust and faith in our country and our beliefs. Internally and externally, our effort will be characterized by fidelity to the truth.
We are all working in service of our country and to elect leaders who will represent our values and make American lives better. In moments of disagreement, the temptations of pride and ego will arise. Rooted in our mission, let our common purpose be a touchstone as we foster a climate of trust and mutual respect.
We will not hesitate to take bold stances and to accept risk in the defense of our values. Our respect is reserved for people, not for conventions. We accept no truisms without questioning. The spirit of originality will create the pressure and permission for us to do things not done before, to stand out from the crowd not by waving our arms for attention but by the fact of being different.
The conduct of an organization can be as influential as its outcome. Everyone on this team has a responsibility to live up to our values, and every participant, from a first-time volunteer to the candidate and top staff, must model this. When there is a mistake, we take ownership, learn, adjust, and move on. Missteps are inevitable, but they should never be repeated. We own our choices and our work.
There is no point mounting an unorthodox, underdog movement unless it is one of substance. We have the opportunity to bring meaningful ideas forward for debate. We will take questions seriously and answer them directly. We will lay aside the superficial in favor of the meaningful. We embrace complicated challenges, and will work to improve the overall dialogue in how campaigns talk about policy.
A project like ours will require enormous discipline. Through energy and determination, we will handle our resources with the stewardship they deserve, mindful that this campaign is fueled by the gift of other people’s time, money, relationships, and reputations.
A functioning organization is such a marvel that we may at times be amazed simply by the fact of what we are doing. But the standard we should hold ourselves to in every part of our work is not whether it is at the level of an organization, but whether it is at the level we would expect of the best organization of this time.
Amid the great challenge we have accepted, let us be joyful. We are privileged to be in the very center of the most important conversation in the world. We are assembling a team of wonderful human beings. Along the way we will all get many opportunities to lift one another up and lift up those we encounter. The American election is the world’s greatest civic and democratic ritual. It will shape us but we can shape it too. Let us shape it, partly, by spreading the joy of working for our beliefs.