I believe the Democratic Party is the individual left-of-center citizen’s best chance to enact change.
One belief that both the left and right believe is there has to be change. It’s getting desparate out here.
Turns out, the one force that likes the status quo is money, and right now money has a grasp of us all.
Here is how mundane this influence can be.
The Humboldt County Democrats have two events each year where we raise 90% plus of our annual revenues. Revenues that are used to, basically, pay the rent. Chicken by the Sea and Democrat of the Year. The Humboldt County Democrats just had what is supposed to be their more working class fundraising event – Chicken By The Sea. This Fall we’ll have DOTY. Tickets for CBTS are less (around $20) than DOTY (around $70) and both events serve as a chance for a) campaigns and organizations to get their name out there as supporters and b) a chance for supporters to meet those from (a). That and have fun.
I’m sure there are some important meetings that happen during these events, but the goal is to make money, that and have a party.
I really don’t have a problem with this. I think this is an important part of life. We need to be able to let our hair down and have a little fun and why not make a little money along the way. It’s the way of the world for NGOs so no harm, no foul.
The problem is this is all the Humboldt County Democrats do. We have been optimized for this function and we have forfeited all other responsibilities. One of my favorite anons (minus his/her anti-Mitch diatribes) goes on and on about how we don’t get out door to door generally and specifically in the 2012 Cheryl Seidner campaign against Supervisor Rex Bohn.
He is right, that should be, in my opinion, one of our primary functions. At the very least we should spend twice as much time and energy going door-to-door as we do celebrating what we do.
The truth is we don’t – AT ALL. We don’t spend any time going door to door and things are so bad we can’t even find any member to step up and Chair the Committee Outreach and Voter Registration as Milt Boyd has finally stepped down after years of dedicated service.
And being in the middle of this I understand the reason why we do what we do is simple. It’s what we like to do. It’s motivating to have fun, meet important people, put on a party and feel good about it because we are making money for our organization. That is why we have found 5 to 10 dedicated volunteers to help insure CBTS and DOTY continue, while all vestiges of Campaign Services, COVR, etc dwindle.
It’s not easy, nor necessarily safe, to go door-to-door.
We are making money, but we are not doing our job. Here is some evidence that we are not.
- The GPU took a far-right property-rights/realtor turn with a leadership of 3 Democrats and 2 Decline to States. There is no Party Affiliation that would have indicated the abrupt and radical change that happened to the GPU as evidenced by the language of the Guiding Principles changed by Democrat Supervisor Fennell and DTS Rex Bohn. (Both, btw, are up for re-election this June – if you in your community are looking for candidates to run, you won’t be getting help from the HCDCC).
- We “selected” Assemblyman Jim Wood and State Senator Mike McGuire, not elected (to use rhetoric I learned from the right). We will vote for Democrats in this county, that’s just a given. There is no legitimate primary process and we saw this in action as our “boy” Chris Leaman bowed out of the race. How this was explained to me at the time is it makes since because we want to save money.
The problems we have outside of politics are huge but we can address them. Problems like how to begin to incorporate cannabis into our society and community, how to make real change to address climate change and prevent further environmental degradation (read – it starts with public land use planning!), how to balance budgets when the goal has been to drown the baby (of government) in the bath water, how to deal with a justice system rigged to favor blue and disregard those in lower income brackets.
I am convinced we are smart enough and have a just system which can address these issues and more. We also have an established and proven agent of change – the Democratic Party. Right now, we are not stepping up to the challenge as the county and state’s de facto ruling party and it’s time we do better.
We can do both. We can do better and still have fun. Please consider, if you are left of center, coming out to our meetings and making us do the right thing. We are not going to make these changes without you.
Also, if you are right of center (ie Matthew, Virginia, John Fullerton, and friends) please see this or this. We need two parties in this left of center county and I believe in you and that you can find a way to begin to take the right of center party back from the no tax, no government fringe. Please do your job to bring back the Party of Lincoln or whatever the coalition will look like that will fight for minimal taxes, balanced budgets and individual property rights.
To solve our problems, we are going to need two parties, we are going to need less influence from money and we are going to need more actual public participation. The type of public participation where all people are involved in the process of democracy – not just property owning stakeholders.