On behalf of the Progressive Democrats of North Carolina, Delmas Parker has expressed a clear vision for our party and our state. He knows we need a leader in Raleigh who understands why these points are crucial at this juncture in our time.
In early 2009, as we elect new officers for the North Carolina Democratic Party, we embark on our greatest challenge in living memory-both as a party and as a country.
I believe that we North Carolina Democrats can meet this challenge, in part, by building a party worthy of our faith and ideals: our Party must give Democrats something to believe in again. We must elect a chair with the vision and energy to lead us into the next decade with new ideas, a chair with the support of the grassroots activists who carry our Party's mantle in good times and bad.
In addition to this vision, energy, and grassroots support, our new chair must inspire Democrats to build a Party that serves all the people, not just the Raleigh lobbyists and special interests. With so many people opting out in the belief that their vote no longer matters, we need a leader who will cultivate a new sense that individual politics does count, and that the Democratic Party still best addresses the life concerns of ordinary people. We need to reconstitute a Democratic Party of real values and practical ideas that address the problems of working families, the young, the old, the weak and infirm.
We need, in my view, a chair independent of executive or legislative office holders, and answerable to the broadly based State Executive Committee, a chair who will advocate for the grassroots party and who will lobby for a legislative agenda that reflects the priorities of local parties.
In electing a chair for 2009-2011, I submit the following criteria for your consideration:
To build the party from the precinct up, allowing issues to percolate from the local precincts to the county, district, and State Executive Committees where decision and prioritization can be reached, and a legislative action agenda formed representing
the rank and file, the grassroots membership, of the Democratic Party.
To place greater emphasis on grassroots, small donor contributions, and use internet opportunities to augment fundraising, putting procedures and internal controls in place to insure an open and transparent audit of the budget including contributions and expenditures with a detailed analysis provided on-line for grassroots membership.
To tie the party together statewide through the interface between technology and grassroots activism, to employ sophisticated internet techniques to recruit volunteers and raise funds, and to poll activists and voters so that we may better respond to their ideas and needs.
To tap into the energy of issue groups, including peace, environmental, reform groups, as well as people of color, to form broad electoral coalitions.
To organize a task force in each of the three regions--an umbrella organization modeled on the Western Task Force--to bind together, under the direction of regional political directors, and the County parties in our western, central and eastern
regions with a common agenda and unified effort. Each region best understands local needs and can best design programs to address those local needs. Each region would be autonomous in designing a regional program for effective political action.
District directors will report to task force chairs, and will be funded through tax check off funds.
To revise and amend the Plan of Organization to better link our party's platform and resolutions to action by Democratic legislators.
To provide for virtual State Executive Committee meetings and conventions in each of the state's regions by using distance learning links at selected community college sites in the eastern, central, and western regions.
To share revenues with county parties through the tax check-off committee based on an accountability formula in each county such as voter turnout, performance or voter registration.
To develop more democratic institutions at every level of our election process-- starting with campaign finance reform.
The election of State Party officers will be the main item of business when the Winter meeting of the NCDP Executive Committee convenes January 31 in Raleigh.
If you can support these points or if you have questions or suggestions, please contact me. Thank you for all that you do for our Party.