On Columbus Day, DNC Chairman Governor Tim Kaine met with Democratic ethnic leaders in Cleveland to discuss ethnic outreach efforts in Ohio, a state that is home to a rich tradition of cultural diversity. Leaders from many backgrounds, including Albanian-Americans, Arab-Americans, Armenian-Americans, Assyrian-Americans, Croatian-Americans, Greek-Americans, Hungarian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Lithuanian-Americans, Macedonian-Americans, Polish-Americans, Serbian-Americans, Sikhs, Slovenian, and Ukrainian-Americans talked about the significance of ethnic communities within the Democratic Party and how Democrats could build upon their already strong relationship with these groups to increase their margins in key races in Ohio and around the country. Chairman Kaine expressed his appreciation for the work that the participants had done to bolster Democratic candidates in their communities and enjoyed having an opportunity to get better acquainted with local leaders.
The meeting, meant to celebrate the contribution of ethnic communities to our Democratic successes and discuss ways to empower ethnic leaders as they campaign for Democrats in 2010 and beyond, was the second in a series of three in IL, OH, and PA – all crucially important to the Democratic national outreach plan. Jim Zogby, the founder and current Secretary of the DNC’s National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council (NDECC), who attended the meeting, stated that:
"Our leadership came away from the meeting with Governor Kaine excited by the party's outreach plans. We know the important role our ethnic communities can play and are delighted with the efforts underway to engage, energize and turn out our voters.”