As the newly elected chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Party, I fully understand the challenge facing our Democratic Party at the local, state and national levels. We must come together to hold on to the local offices we have won,to continue to elect progressive Democrats and, at all levels, to stop the reactionary movement represented by the election of Donald Trump.
While change within the party needs to occur, we must build on the excellent things we have accomplished through the hard work of many dedicated Democrats. At the same time, we must seek pathways to engage and involve the many new people who have recently joined us.
We need serious, honest, and respectful discussions about those things that have worked, those that require change, and those which need to be added. As we have already demonstrated, by working together we helped elect a new County Commission chair and a new county commissioner. These two commissioners will have a tremendously positive effect on how we conduct county business here.
With the same dedication and the willingness to work together, we can be even more effective in electing more representatives and officials. We can be part of replacing Donald Trump and his crew in 2020. We can re-focus our attention on the issues that matter to progressive Democrats, including:
income inequality, climate change, human rights, family wage jobs, universal health care, public school education, right to collective bargaining, minority rights, women’s health decisions, as well as other critical issues
Now is the time to stand strong to promote and defend our progressive values. We need to be ready to join in the effort to expect justice at all levels.
Over the next few months we will dedicate ourselves to the following key areas of activity:
- Uniting those who have been working in the party for years with those who are newly joined
- Building an organizational culture which is respectful, transparent and inclusive
- Adding, revising and reorganizing the standing committee structure to open pathways for increased involvement and effectiveness
- Building more engagement and involvement among all of our members
- Rewriting our bylaws to add clarity and consistency
- Creating electronic communication strategies to improve contact within the county party and among other related entities
This dynamic process does not succeed overnight. To be a truly grassroots organization, we must involve all of us in a visioning process to improve our mission, goals and strength. Too, with so many new members, we must take the time to honestly assess where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
I wish you all a merry holiday season and look forward to a rewarding new year!