I couldn’t help but think about our local Democratic Party when reading this call to action to Democrats by President Clinton Labor Secracretary Robert Reich. Here are a few bullet points. (emphasis and bullet points mine -ideas and text from Mr. Reich)
A New Democratic Party that will turn millions of people into an activist army to peacefully resist what is about to happen – providing them with daily explanations of what is occurring in Trump’s administration, along with tasks that individuals and groups can do to stop or mitigate their harmful effects.
- A party that will protect vulnerable populations from harassment and exclusion – including undocumented young people, recent immigrants, people of color, and women.
- A party that will recruit a new generation of progressive candidates to run at the local, state, and national levels in 2018 and beyond, including a leader to take on Trump in 2020.
- A party that will do everything possible to advance the progressive agenda at state and local levels – getting big money out of politics, reversing widening inequality, expanding health care, reversing climate change, ending the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people, and stopping interminable and open-ended warfare.
What happened in America on Election Day should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure, including the old Democratic Party.
Unlike our national election results, in 2016 the North Coast had the best of both worlds. It had the fundraising Democratic Central Committee which spend most of its time and money on it’s two signature dinners that are increasingly build to take in huge sponsorships with the income from tickets as a financial after-thought. For sport fans, think about it as a focus on the sky-boxes instead of the bleachers. When you customize your political activity around those that can donate the most, the political activity itself will be changed.
Luckily the North Coast had it’s own version of the old Democratic Party in 2016 – the North Coast People’s Alliance. (Click link for a great post of appreciation by Eric Kirk.) With the work of the NCPA volunteers and, let’s not forget, local unions, Eureka had something of a clean sweep for working people and those on limited incomes. Measures P and V and Eureka’s Austin Allison all were passed or elected. All we needed from the HCDCC is an endorsement. Maybe that’s their role now. They can enjoy the meals and meetings and let others do the heavy lifting of Democracy that people like Robert Reich understand has to happen.
I hope not. Democrats have to change nationally, state-wide and locally. This party exists for a reason, and it’s primary function should not be raising money. When it is the Democrats lose their raison d’être, not to mention elections.