After years of thinking about it, and now being told that I will be nominated anyway, I’ve decided to run for the State Committee Man position from King County.
I have been working within and around the Washington State Democratic Central Committee for 12 years. I have known three state party chairs, all three that I consider friends. I have seen four Presidential Cycles, and many off year elections. The new energy and incredible new activists that came into the process in 2016 thanks to Bernie Sanders AND Hillary Clinton inspired me from the very beginning of the caucus cycle last year, and while I supported Bernie Sanders 100%, I know that the only way we are going to accomplish any of our goals is by working together for the same agenda. Our platform, our values, our kids.
I want to see a revival of the Democratic Party in Washington State. I believe that there are aspects of the party that have atrophied over the last few decades, and I want the party rebuilding its full potential. Our country needs the FDR coalition to be rebuilt. We need our labor movement supported by our elected officials. We need our communities of color to know who to turn to. We need our immigrant populations to feel welcome and valued. We need our sovereign Native allies to feel the same security and respect within their borders that we desire to feel within ours.
Electorally, we need candidates in every election, from US Senator down to the most local special district. Our candidate recruitment efforts need to be boosted, and we need to recognize that the lowest level of the farm team is actually municipal boards and commissions. Working with our incumbent elected officials, I think we can build a list of those positions across the county and across the state and open doors of opportunity for our PCOs and activists to get involved with actual governance.
Legislatively, King County has an active committee that works hard to push our platform into law. But that type of engagement needs to be distributed, and it needs to be transparent in order to thrive and grow. There was a proposal for a Legislative Action Committee at the state level presented at the State Convention, one that would take significant resources to implement. We need to talk about our options, recognize our limitations, and do what we can with what we have. I believe that a distributed network of activists can be brought together through communications infrastructure. I’ve watched pieces and parts of this infrastructure rise and fade many times over the past decade, and I really believe that we now have the tools and teams that could really make something work.
Party building means a lot to me. I believe that the Democratic Party is THE Progressive Party in the United States, or at least it could be if people would get engaged and STAY engaged in the processes that make the infrastructure work. We need to understand the role of the party in the overall progressive movement, and we need to be an open door to progressives who actually want to work to improve our world. PCO recruitment begins on December 1st to fill every single precinct in the county, and eventually every single precinct in the state. I’ve been working to build this reorganization cycle into a transformation event.
And finally the most overlooked aspect of our party is our Community Outreach. I’ve seen outreach efforts bear fruit in North Seattle where we built lists of neighborhood groups, activist groups and non profit organizations that we can consider allies, then sent people to those groups to invite them to community outreach events. We did a District Profile dedicated to documenting this research work. That kind of profile should be a standard across the state.
If a citizen comes to us with an issue, we will know how to help them answer the three core questions of activism.
What decision is being made?
Who is making that decision?
How can I influence that decision?
In addition, we need to be the place where people with those answers go to take the biggest step, which is becoming the decision maker, running for office, becoming the decider. This is what I want to build for my State Democratic Party. And I can’t do it alone. I’m very serious when I say it’s time for a revival, a revolution, in our political spheres. Climate Change is the most important threat that we face. Inequality and injustice permeate our society from top to bottom. Our economy is struggling, being undermined by the Profit or Die Corporations at the top and the lack of funding for education and research at the base.
We are the Democratic Party. We must rebuild the FDR coalition. That’s what I want to do.