Restoring the democratic process in the Democratic Party
Inclusiveness, diversity and participation defined the status of our state party less than a month ago at Florida Democratic Party’s (FDP) 2017 Conference. The jam packed weekend was markedly different than FDP conferences and conventions of the past and was a clear reflection of the bottom up grassroots progress that has been in full effect over the past year both in local county parties as well as at the state level. Over 1200 Delegates from all parts of the state converged in Orlando to take part in several new components of our party structure emerging out of discussions being had locally and statewide. There was a Resolutions process where I had the honor of serving on the committee which heard over 45 resolutions submitted by Delegates in 8 important categories. This process defined a current statement of principles and related issues of our Florida Democratic Party in 15 final resolutions (view resolutions).
The Charter and Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee met several times that weekend continuing the framework for restructuring the entire state party that started early in 2017. They are on track to present a good basis for a new foundation early in 2018 which includes:
- eliminating the undemocratic weighted vote structure
(Weighted Vote explained at ExpandtheTable.org)
- outlining how more members are allocated proportionally to represent votes
- combining dual archaic documents into a cohesive contemporary one
- opening up the requirements of who is eligible to run for state party leadership and
- cleaning up a myriad of items that needed updating
There is much work that needs to be done to continue this restructuring effort which begins to outline how the new body functions. This already includes however the increased diversity potential and better chance of reflecting the actual demographics of our party, expanding the voices at the table.
Whether people attended the weekend or not, the momentum of positive energy spread across Florida like wildfire and we can start to see a renewed potential of our party emerging, an evolution reflecting a grassroots revolution. This was evident in the wide sweeping wins in elected offices in our state and across the nation in the 2017 General Election.
The progress must continue
Is the downward trend of losing over 1000 elected positions across the nation for a almost a decade that led to a catastrophic 2016 General Election over? Combined with the recent DNC upheaval and resignations of top FDP officials, there has never been a time in recent history where people were paying more attention to politics in general and to party politics and candidates in such detail.
There is no question that grassroots activism and elections work will continue from the ground up, and that is evident in the continued expansion of NPAs. The question is whether our party will survive, whether it will be a voice and a vehicle for the grassroots, or reach the breaking point of losing touch with the American public to be a non player in the direction of our future.
If we want to lead and be a voice of the people, we must continue the progress of our work this year as we embark on a new election for the leadership of our state party chair. We need to elect a leader who embodies this bottom up effort to show the American People and our Democrats that we are serious about our grassroots movement. There is simply no alternative. We have reached that point.
The Charter and Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee must develop their work further, as they formed the underlying basis for what needs to be built upon. The participatory environment that so many Delegates experienced cannot reverse course. With an upcoming year of non-stop elections, we need to bring back sanity to our government and must bring forth a body of elected officials that truly represents the People of this nation.
The People who will decide the elections will no longer respond to rhetoric, they will only accept someone who speaks truth from their heart, from their soul, from a place that no one questions when they hear it. The future of our planet is uncertain, we are in a battle to win back our country from a corporate controlled government and meanwhile the soul of Democratic Party is hanging in the balance.
We need a State Chair who lives and breathes the grassroots efforts currently underway. We need a State Chair who inspires the Power of the People. One who can rally people to knock doors, make calls and give the small change from their pockets. One who can help make our vision of the future a reality and something we can be proud to give back to our children.
We need a State Chair who will allow our party to critique itself. A State Chair who will restore our democratic soul so we can take back Congress and the White House for the People of this nation, giving us a chance to continue to have a future on this planet.
We cannot afford to be on the sidelines in 2018. This is the time for a State Chair who can convey a bold plan of action that we can all work together to enact.