Countering Conservative “Think Tanks.” Democratic Perspective welcomes Vice-Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, Damian Preciado, and long-time Democratic activist, Karen McClelland, to discuss party structure and the effect of the Goldwater Institute and other conservative organizations. For too long, these groups have played an out-sized role in state and national politics by crafting legislation and presenting one-sided research to bolster their political viewpoints. To counter them, Preciado helped create an alternative think tank to represent progressives. Called the White Hat Research and Policy Group, it’s nonpartisan and nonprofit.
Preciado also encourages ordinary people to get involved in the party by becoming a Precinct Committee person. “It’s the way to have your voice actually heard,” he says. “If you have a sense of civic responsibility and pride, it’s all there for you.” Preciado notes that, without the involvement of a large number of citizens, the parties become weak and their power and influence is diluted. That allows them to be compromised.