That Was a Confusing, Eventful HCDCC Meeting

I am still making my way through Parliamentary procedure.  Also, I am not able to read minds, so I do not know what half of the controversy at our monthly HCDCC (Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee) a few weeks ago was all about.  Let’s start with what I did understand.

1)  Bob Service was elected Chair of the Humboldt Democrats by a healthy margin.  14 to 9.  Last month Linda Atkins spoke up on behalf Bob, and Supervisor Fennell spoke up on behalf of Jim Smith who is a good union Democrat. I don’t believe Bob’s Chairmanship is in any way a rebuke to unions.  Not from where I stand.  Like most of us Democrats, Bob is a staunch supporter of unions.  Unions are the life blood of Democrats.  It is more about our new conservative or alternative or modern or HumCPR or whatever Democrats vs what HumCPR might call the “radical agenda” Democrats but I would simply call mainstream, middle-of-the-road California Democrats.

2) There was a long and contentious debate that was mostly way over my head about what order we will address items in the agenda.  I think this was based on a fear that the Executive Board had stacked the deck in order to get their way on this or that.  I really don’t know or care, to be honest.

3) The bylaws were changed to allow for Associate Members to be non-voting members of the Executive Board – specifically – Treasurer.  Why?  Because we couldn’t find any Members to step up to the responsibility.  Being the sucker I am I volunteered and since I have not been elected by you all in a honest-to-goodness election, I am only an Associate Member of the HCDCC.  Therefore our rules had to be changed to allow for suckers, err Associate Members to be certain officers of the Executive Board too.

4) I think one of, if not THE reason the order of the agenda was so important was we were deciding whether or not the associate member-officers would get a vote on the Central Committee.  This is important of course because the Central Committee is where we decide, say, on our Chair, who we endorse in campaigns, etc.  Basically the whole Democratic Humboldt ball of wax.  Theoretically HumCPR, for example, (Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights) could stack the deck so heavily that we could one day pass a resolution that we Democrats feel that HumCPR is a valuable contributor to local democracy as it helps to honor landowners.  I don’t know, I’m sure we could find some bylaws that say we couldn’t do such a thing, but it’s just an example of the power of numbers on the Central Committee.

So, when the vote happened to decide whether or not associate members would be allowed a vote in the Central Committee itself, the vote was an overwhelming – “NO” (17 to something, 8 maybe).  Which is good.  Here’s why.  The Members of the Central Committee are directly voted by the electorate.  You may not know this, but they are.  It’s usually way down on the ballot and most people wouldn’t even notice (I didn’t until only recently).  So most often members are directly accountable to the electorate itself.  (Some members are appointed when there are vacancies, etc)  This is an important connection to maintain, especially for Democrats.

Interestingly there was some confusion, and because of my odd position of having a proxy vote, I was not in a position to clear it up.  At first I was in favor of an Associate Member having a vote on the Central Committee for obvious myopic selfish reasons.  But then Bob Service explained to me essentially the reasoning contained in the preceding paragraph, and I changed my mind.  I think most people in that room thought one camp was angling for a power play and an extra vote.  That wasn’t the case and that became clear in the final tally for the amendment to disallow associate members the Central Committee vote.

Sorry for the long post on mostly minutia.  I think it’s important to have as a reference if nothing else.  Also, apologize it took so long to post.  Here’s my theory on that though – I am not impressed with the 24/7/urgent nature of news.  I think real news lasts a long time and ultimately, WHAT’S THE RUSH?  right?

6 thoughts on “That Was a Confusing, Eventful HCDCC Meeting

  1. Oh yes, I almost forgot. The meeting was a star-studded affair. Guest speakers included …Jim Wood (candidate for Assembly), Chris Lehman (candidate for State Senate) and Lisa Ollivier (candidate for Eureka City School Board). I think all even made it through the entire meeting. See what you are missing when you don’t come? Common Humboldt, we can make room for another 50,000 of you. (I’m going to assume there are 30,000 Republican/Conservatives who aren’t interested and another 50.000 who just have too much to do or are not THAT interested in politics – they are ok, just listening to the audio online – I’m working on that)

  2. Oh yes, also we briefly discussed the alternate Democrat of the Year dinner that many of us had to attend because of personal or political issues with the Ingomar Club who is hosting this year’s HCDCC DOTY. Luckily there is a local reporter who wrote about this so I don’t have too. I haven’t seen it online yet, but here is a couple of pictures of the print version. Subscribe to the Mad River Union to make up for any copyright infringements that I may be making by linking/taking these photos of the print version.

    Page 1

    Page 2

  3. Jim White says:

    So….how is it that the chair left her position so soon??

    FROM: Redwood Times
    Posted: 09/25/2013 01:34:54 PM PDT
    Supervisor Fennell takes guided tour of Garberville’s homeless camps

    “I felt there was something I could do, and that was to at least become aware on a personal level,” Fennel says, “to educate myself, get out there, (take some pictures) and know what I’m talking about.”

    Fennel/HumCPR spent months altering the public’s General Plan Guiding Principles with vague wording guaranteeing another generation of chronic county deficits in affordable in-fill Single-Room Occupancy development.

    There’s an irrefutable connection between affordable housing availability and poverty, homelessness, and the crime, drug addiction, preventable illnesses, unemployment, and suicide that accompany destitution.

    Civilizations have known this for hundreds of years….so Fennell grabs her camera to photograph human feces? Her developer friends at HumCPR have been building big homes beyond sewer capacity for decades without a care about the illegal sewage discharges or the moratoriums.

  4. Jim, Linda left the HCDCC Chair a few months ago for her own reasons. Unfortunately she was allowed that right. 🙂 Whatever they were we were sad to see her go. She is still active in the HCDCC, now as Campaign Services Chair. These positions are thankless and contentious, I hate to see people move on, but it’s inevitable. Sometimes people actually have lives outside of politics. I’m not familiar with this though.

    Here’s the link to that article. I don’t have enough context/information to comment on it though.

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