Interview With Jenn Foley

Q1. Name & role

A1. Jenn Foley, Chair

Q2. When & why did you become involved with the WCDP?

A2. In 2019 I attended the Reorganization Convention because I was still reeling from the outcome of the 2016 and 2018 elections and hoped to meet more like-minded people. I was one of 2 people who showed up from County Commission District 3 in Spring Hill and became a District Captain. I didn’t know what the role would entail but I enjoyed attending the monthly Executive Committee meetings and volunteered for the Communications Committee. I wrote the weekly e-newsletter for a while and helped with social media posts.

In 2020 I was asked to run for TN House of Representatives in District 65. I learned so much during that campaign and connected with Democrats and progressive organizations across the state. In 2021 I was asked to run for Chair of the WCDP and it has been an honor to serve.

Q3. What are the responsibilities of your role? If you were describing it for a volunteer so they know what to expect if they step up, what would you tell them?

A3. The Chair is responsible for the day-to-day operations and is the public face and spokesperson of the party. The Chair should set a vision and strategy for working toward the main goals of the party: electing Democrats at every level of government, building a Democratic voter base, and representing Democratic party values in the community.

The Chair forms volunteer committees and oversees the projects carried out by those committees. The Chair also communicates with the state and county Election Commissions, calling for primary elections when appropriate, nominating Democratic party representatives and inspecting ballot machines prior to elections. The Chair also represents the party at monthly meetings with the TNDP and quarterly meetings with the TN Democratic County Chairs Association. The Chair should also attend relevant community events as a representative of the party, write Op-Eds and support Democratic candidates and party events, for example, attending the annual TNDP Three Star Dinner and trainings offered by the TNDP, DNC and other organizations.

Q4. What is your day job/other volunteer work/family responsibilities, to give folks a sense of time management?

A4. I am a mother of 3 (2 in kids in Elementary School, 1 in Middle School) and work part time from home. I am also a volunteer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, the National Women’s Political Caucus of TN and co-leader of my daughter’s Girls Scout Brownie Troop.

Q5. How much time per week do you spend helping the WCDP? Are there any issues balancing responsibilities that we could work on as an organization?

A5. On an average week I spend about 5 hours working on WCDP issues & projects, but during an election season I sometimes spent 10 hours or more working for the party. Election season is very busy and the more candidates we have on our slate the more time the Chair will need to put in. The Candidate Recruitment and Support committee could help share these duties and needs to be revitalized.

Q6. What do you enjoy most about your role/involvement with the WCDP?

A6. I have met so many wonderful people in Williamson County and across the state and formed some life-long friendships. I know I’m not alone and feel more connected to my community.

Q7. What is your vision for the WCDP in the next 2 years?

A7. We need more people involved who are willing to learn about political organizing – including relational organizing, canvassing and registering voters. We won’t win elections on thoughts, prayer and social media posts, it takes people in the community doing the work. There are about 10-15 people who are consistently doing the work right now and we need more people involved to make the work lighter and build a base of voters and volunteers who can support candidates during their campaigns. I would love to see more young people involved in the party and for our leadership to be more diverse and inclusive.

Q8. Who is your favorite Democrat or political role model?

A8. I met Senator Heidi Campbell when we were both campaigning in 2020 and I admire her so much for constantly pushing back against the GOP supermajority but also working across the aisle when necessary.