WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are launching a new communications effort to mark the one year anniversary of their party taking control of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi and her top lieutenants circulated a letter to all Democratic offices on Friday telling them that "The 110th Congress has a great story to tell." And the Democratic leadership is calling on rank-and file Democrats to tout the majority party’s accomplishments over the upcoming holiday recess.
“We need your help telling this story,” the California Democrat and the other party leaders wrote. “At a time when many of us and many Americans feel our country has been moving in the wrong direction, it is critical that we help Americans learn where we stand and what we have accomplished."
On Monday, the Democratic leadership held a staff level briefing in the House Ways and Means Committee room. Democratic aides described it as “overflowing into the hallway” with chiefs of staff, communications directors and legislative aides from most House Democratic offices in attendance.
The Democratic staffers were told that the expectation is that their bosses would hold between three and five media events in their districts in November and December to discuss the party’s "new direction accomplishments." Among the themes the Democrats are expected to sound include "restoring accountability," "making America safer," and "restoring the American dream."
“We put in long hours over the last 9 months,” one senior Democratic aide said. “We need to communicate that. We can walk and chew gum at same time. Now is the time you take in the fall to communicate that. Members are our best messengers."
According to aides, the bulk of the meeting was a presentation by pollster Celinda Lake and former Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry discussing the current political environment and how lawmakers should talk about their accomplishments.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, is "whipping the effort" to ensure that all offices participate, aides said. A leadership aide added that "Everyone is working on this - from the Speaker on down."
- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh