NEW ORLEANS — Longtime Democratic grassroots activist and strategist Lynda Woolard today announced she is running for first vice chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, which will hold elections for a new leadership team on Aug. 29.
“We are at a moment of transition in our nation and in our state party, which will elect its new leaders on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood in New Orleans — which was the start of my political awakening, as it was for many Louisianans,” said Woolard. “For the past 15 years, I’ve been working with community leaders and Democrats day and night to bring change to our state, and together, we’ve helped to elect a Democratic governor — not once, but twice — seen three African-American women to lead our state’s biggest cities and ended a discriminatory relic of our criminal justice system. Those changes have had real impacts on people’s lives here in our state, and as first vice chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, I intend to keep fighting to elect great public servants up and down the ticket, starting with Joe Biden this fall.”
After recognizing a need for federal help in New Orleans during the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the flood, Lynda Woolard’s political life began with Barack Obama, in a campaign and advocacy relationship that lasted from his 2007 announcement through the re-election campaign for Obama-Biden in 2012. She worked as a field representative, a regional organizer and state communications and digital lead. She appeared on the presidential primary ballot with Barack Obama in 2012, winning a seat on the Orleans Parish Democratic Party Executive Committee, where she served as secretary.
She was then recruited by the Louisiana Democratic Party to create and run their grassroots mobilization effort, Team Blue Dat, until Gov. John Bel Edwards’ election in 2015. Team Blue Dat made calls to volunteers, voters, and legislators; advocated for issues and candidates; and used social media to share messaging and encourage engagement. The network of activists reached Democrats in every part of the state who expressed that it was the very first time they had ever been contacted by the party.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign selected her to serve as state director. During the last week of Get Out The Vote, Lynda’s volunteers made more calls to voters in battleground states than any other “export state” team in the campaign. She was also elected as an at-large delegate to the Democratic National Convention, for which the candidate asked her to serve as Whip Captain of the state’s Clinton delegation.
In 2017, she worked with local and national grassroots healthcare advocates to thwart Republican efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Congressional Democrats and President Obama’s organization had worked so hard to pass.
In 2018, Lynda led statewide organizing efforts for the Unanimous Jury Coalition to pass Constitutional Amendment 2, ending Louisiana’s discriminatory practice that allowed a defendant to be convicted of a felony with a non-unanimous jury. She also received the Organizer of the Decade award from the Louisiana Democratic Party.
Last year, she joined Victory For Louisiana, the coordinated campaign to reelect Governor Edwards, tasked with constituency outreach in the primary, and turning to increasing early voter turnout in the general election.
Just before Election Day, she was awarded with the New Orleans Coalition’s inaugural Felicia Kahn Citizenship Award, named after her mentor who had passed away the year before. Kahn had recruited Lynda to join the board of the state’s oldest and largest Democratic women’s group, the Independent Women’s Organization of New Orleans, where she has served for the last decade in various positions, including two terms as president.
This year, Lynda is serving as an at-large Biden delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was once again requested by the candidate to fill the role of Louisiana’s Whip Captain to the nominee’s delegation.
Watch Lynda’s announcement in a video posted on her Facebook Page.