Why I am running for NCDP Chairman

Dear fellow SEC members and fellow Democrats, I am Marshall Adame, the President of the North Carolina Democratic Party Hispanic American Caucus.

I want to thank so many of you for your dedication, devotion and determination leading up to the November 2016 election where North Carolina elected a Democratic Governor, Roy Cooper, a Democratic Attorney General, Josh Stein, a Democratic Supreme Court Justice, Mike Morgan and re-elected our Democratic State Auditor, Beth Wood as well as our Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. The NC GOP was determined to prevent that outcome, but failed due to your work and dedication to democracy, our party, our principles and values.

NC Hispanics increased their 2016 voter turnout by up to 85% compared to 2012. This was no small achievement. It took a lot of hard work, determination and effort to make it happen. All of us, African American, White, Latino, Asian, Senior Citizens, Youth groups, College Students, Labor Union Halls and others – together .. We did this together. We canvased, we knocked on doors, and we phone banked for Hillary, Roy, Josh, Beth, Mike, Wayne Goodwin, Dan Blue, Christian Cano, Dan Whitten, Earnest Reeves and so many other Democratic candidates in North Carolina. We gave our hard earned money and sacrificed for the cause. We sacrificed for Democracy. We sacrificed for Justice and Equality. We sacrificed for freedom and we sacrificed to leave a better North Carolina to our children. We must press on. The battle is far from over. We must begin a strategy to reach rural voters and assure each and every working man and woman in North Carolina that we are fighting for them and pursuing a course which, over time, will return North Carolina to the Progressive Path it once traveled.

We are entering an historic period in American history and North Carolina seems to be the single targeted proving ground for America’s Right Wing Social Engineering agenda. Why us? Because the Republicans have been so very successful in achieving their Right Wing goals here. Only the Democratic Party can stop the Right Wing campaign which has shaken the very foundations of our Democracy in North Carolina and throughout America.

Can we prosecute that fight while remaining so fractured and divided within our own party? I say we cannot, but that we can first begin to mend our fences within the party. I am greatly troubled that we seem to have separated ourselves into “Bernie supporter” and “Hillary” supporters. That is simply self-defeating and we must find our way out of that trap. The Republicans in North Carolina are banking on the hope that we will not.

We must once again become “Democrats” first and put the party and its platform and vison above our political proclivities. Pretending this is not happening is not a good start. We must acknowledge it and then put it behind us. We must and we can stand in this epic struggle against what is now a very powerful Republican Party which seeks to roll back the many progressive advances America has achieved. This must be the foe, not each other.

There are many outside of our party and some in The North Carolina Democratic Party who believe we cannot recover and take back what has been stolen from every North Carolinian. One democrat told me we couldn’t handle the storm. I do not believe that. I believe that starting now we must send the message that WE ARE THE STORM.

That is why I am running for Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. There are no panaceas, or easy answers ahead for us, but I would be honored to be chosen by you to lead our Party to a better tomorrow in North Carolina.
Kindest regards
MARSHALL ADAME’

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Comments

Thank you, Marshall.

I'm glad to see your post. It's been awhile.

As far as I know, there's one other candidate for the chair, Wayne Goodwin. Are there others?

I'd like to ask readers to post whatever questions they might have for you on this thread. Perhaps, if you have time, you'll be able to stop by a few times to see if there are questions you want to answer.

Thank you for your willingness to step up at a time when all hands are needed on deck.

Janice Covington is also running

Janice Covington is also running last I heard. She was a fellow delegate back at the 2012 convention.

Your comments about separation

are spot on, Marshall. The Bernie vs. Hillary thing has become more than just frustrating, it's becoming a serious threat to the future of the Party. If we can't (or refuse to) trust each other, we are lost.

Thanks for sharing your vision!

Thanks for sharing your vision. Here are a few questions I have for all the candidates running for NCDP chair:

What ideas do you have for mending internal party fences?

How do we make progress in the face of gerrymandering?

Given that the LGBT community being targeted over and over year after year by the General Assembly (Amendment 1, SB2, HB2, and more), what can be done to stop these attacks, to end Democratic support for these measures since they often pick up one or two Dem votes even if it's otherwise a solidly GOP effort, to strengthen anti-discrimination measures by the state, and to support the NC LGBT Democratic Caucus?

What ideas do you have for mending internal party fences?

Hi Jake..
Thank you for asking.
This question goes to the root of human nature. You and I may be on the way to the same place but decide differently how to get there. Some of us thought Hillary was the path and some of us thought Bernie was our path to the same place. Neither succeeded and now we are blaming each other to the extent that in some circles enmity has come between us. Its sad and unfortunate that we seemingly cannot, or will not now reason with one another.

I believe this is a temporary state of affairs within our party, but for the time being it is playing well with the Republicans who see it as an advantage for their narrative about democrats in NC who cannot defend and propound their own principles and values for an inability to cease the hostility and division within their own party. The Republicans are banking on our continued division.

In order to calm the hostility and division we must first acknowledge it and agree that we must resolve the problem. Then we have to agree that our mission and our goal, as a Party, must rise above our personal and sometimes insignificant differences. We are more alike and have more in common than not. In fact, through a Republicans lens, we are all the foes and they do not differentiate us as Progressives , or Centrist Democrats.

As Democrats we want the same outcomes for our society, to a great degree, and hope to bring about the same results. We must agree to set aside the things which divide us, get out of the personality cults which only hurt us and move on in order to pursue the greater goal of Justice and equality for the citizens of North Carolina.

I will work to achieve that end. Exactly how is the quest Jake. We will find the way to bring us all back under the same tent. Unity is an ongoing effort we must all participate in.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

How do we make progress in the face of gerrymandering?

Hi Jake,
In 2012 and 2014 North Carolina Democrats received more votes but Republicans won more seats. Gerrymandering works and in North Carolina today it is working for the Republicans.

Let me first say that re-districting should be done by a non-partisan board. The extreme Republican gerrymandering in NC is a perfect example why partisan bodies should never be allowed authority over the process. North Carolina and Maryland are considered the two most Gerrymandered states. For now we cannot change the numbers spread associated with the gerrymandering.

The real question you are asking Jake is ; how do we persuade new voters and non-voters to register Democratic and for the latter to decide it is in their interest to begin to vote once again and to vote Democratic? The NCDP (that's all of us) must begin to focus our efforts on messaging and on electing democrats into the down ballot seats.

If we really want to win NC again and to retake the legislature, we must let every North Carolinian know that we are them and our interests are their interest and our fight their fight. We must begin to focus on electing Mayors, County Commissioners, City Council members, Clerks of Courts and Legislators.
In North Carolina we must stop obsessing over the national candidates and concentrate on our local North Carolina candidates. The NCDP has pretty much, with rare exceptions, left all the local elections to themselves. There has been almost no support from the party for these candidates. I know. I have assisted several and they all felt the same way. I have been one of them myself.

We also need to ask ourselves why we keep re-electing District Chairs and County Chairs who are ineffective or even absent most of the time. Many who have rarely lifted a finger for candidates in their own districts. Please don't shoot the messenger.. I am just saying. We are gerrymandered to the hilt for now.. We must mitigate what we cannot change for now. One way is through vast and interesting messaging and information campaigns. This will require real change in our Party's view of their role as it relates to the down ballot candidates.
You will hear many say; "Well we just need to raise more money", which is true, but also which is not the answer we need.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I appreciate these thoughtful answers

In someways how do you deal with gerrymandering is really a catch 22 kind of question. You can't end it fully without retaking the legislature, and retaking the legislature is challenging if you don't end gerrymandering first.

I agree that a non-partisan board is a much better solution. If we do retake the legislature somehow it's going to take strong Democratic leadership to avoid the temptation of just falling into our own schemes to gerrymander in our favor.

The part that stood out to me most was trying to mitigate what we cannot change, trying to grow the number of people voting for Democrats, and really trying to deepen our bench by putting more resources into electing Democrats especially at the municipal level.

This isn't going to be an easy hole to dig ourselves out of, even if the courts do end up helping the gerrymandering situation slightly, but I think you're answers are spot on. Until moving last summer, I worked at a nonpartisan voting rights organization for the last 5 years that strongly opposed gerrymandering, and even I don't know of any better answers than the ones you gave. Thank you!

We will have some powerful help

President Obama is making this issue his new mission

The new National Democratic Redistricting Committee will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps. According to Politico, the organization formally registered with the Internal Revenue Service on August 15, but saw initial plans to be active in this year’s upcoming elections fail to materialize in time

.

The NCGA Targeting of LGBT Comminites

NCGA Targeting of LGBT communities in NC
Hi Jake,
When the NCGA targets any group, or community of citizens in NC , and disparages them , or prevents them from enjoying the same life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as other citizens, or fails to recognize rights and liberties of certain groups of citizens in NC , it is not an assault on just those specific groups. It is an assault on the premise of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness and has the potential, if allowed to succeed, to reach every community and group in North Carolina and must be resisted.

The fact that Democratic elected Representatives in the NC legislature have assisted the Republicans in this pursuit (eleven Democrat Representatives voted for HB2), is very troubling to me. The narrow view, or perceived political advantage that may have prompted their vote is wrong and even damaging to the Democratic Party, to those democrat representatives, to the communities effected directly, to the entire Democratic Party structure, message , principles, values and to other minority communities. In essence these measures were an attack on our Democratic Institutions and the principles of equality and fair play, not just an attack on the LGBT communities in NC.

Support for the NC LGBT Caucus? Every caucus represents specific interests. I am currently the President of the NCDP Hispanic American Caucus. I have spent the past two years advocating and promoting the interest of that specific minority group, but I like to think in the process we were advocating for every minority group in NC. The Hispanic voter turnout in NC was 45% to 65% greater in 2016 over 2014 elections. A significant increase partly due to "Party Caucus" Activity in the state. My point is caucuses are good for the Party.

The NCDP, from my perspective, is not really all that thrilled about “Caucuses” . In fact it even discourages the formation of new caucuses. Although Caucuses do present a managerial challenge and as a matter of course increases the number of SEC members, active caucuses also increase interest, participation, and willingness for many to be involved. Caucuses bring more people under the tent that is the Democratic Party.

Caucuses do not diminish, or challenge the authority of the NCDP Leadership; in fact they complement the leadership and expand its reach. I welcome any legitimate caucus formation and order. For example, a NCDP Labor Caucus has been trying to form and have submitted by laws etc., but have been prevented from being approved for quite some time now.

For over 75 years labor Movements and Labor Unions have stood behind the Democratic Party and has lifted many Party leaders to the places they ascended to within the political structure. The Democratic Party has stood shoulder to shoulder with “Labor” for decades. North Carolina needs more Labor Movement activity among our work force. The NCDP should welcome a Labor Caucus.
As Chairman of the NCDP I will.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03