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From The Vaults

Reorganization Meeting For Montgomery County Democrats Unlikely To Bring Any Improvement

The Reorganization Meeting for the Montgomery County Democratic Party will be June 2 at 7:30 PM at the Democratic Headquarters on Wilkinson Street in downtown Dayton. At this meeting officers will be selected and a constitution and by-laws approved.

I’m not counting on any improvements in local party policy or local leadership to emerge from this meeting, because attending the Reorganization Meeting for the most part will simply be the same crowd controlling that is already in charge.

At the Reorganization Meeting, voting delegates are those Democrats who were selected to the Central Committee in the May Democratic Primary. Every precinct may select a delegate, but of the 360 precincts in Montgomery County, only 186 precincts had any delegates seeking election. You may see a PDF of the 186 elected delegates here.

I attended my first Reorganization Meeting four years ago, in 2006, when I first became active in the county organization. At that meeting, I was actually shocked by the attitude and actions of those in control of the meeting — I observed a stifling of debate and a rush to push through a preestablished outcome. It was my first taste of the antidemocratic attitude of the leadership of the local party.

For this Reorganization Meeting, I personally recruited about seven people to run as a delegate and three of those individuals won, but most Democrats in the county had no idea that this opportunity for participation in their local Democratic Party, via the Democratic Primary, even exists. And so 184 of the 360 precincts in the county had no candidate. The party suppressed information about this delegate opportunity and even the DDN seemed in collusion to suppress information about the opportunity — refusing to print a letter to the editor I wrote in January urging county Democrats to become involved.

My effort to get Central Committee support for advertising the Primary delegate deadline got zero support. See Special Interests Controlling Montgomery County Democratic Party Suppress Expansion Of Participation

The 186 delegates, chosen in the May Democratic Primary, for the most part, are the same crowd already on the Central Committee, the same crowd that has established the current policies and who chose and still support the current leadership. Many of these delegates — who wouldn’t dream of challenging the status quo — are those who hold elected office, those who hold patronage jobs given to them via the influence of the local party or elected Democrats, and those who have influence in the current structure.

I intend on attempting to suggest changes to the By-Laws of the the MCDP to stop the antidemocratic practice of Primary endorsement used by the clique in charge of the Montgomery County Democratic Party to advance their buddies and keep themselves in power. But, I’m not expecting my effort to go anywhere. I’ll post the language of a motion I intend on making in a later post. See Mark Owens Says Most Montgomery Dems Approve The Party’s Suppression Of Primary Participation

The people in control of the local party like to be in control and, generally, like the way things are. I’ve heard several Central Committee members, over the last four years, declare that they were finished coming to any more monthly meetings because they had concluded that their voice had no chance of being heard, that they were sick of the “rubber stamp” mentality expected of them.

Working to reform and vitalize our local political parties, I feel, is the best opportunity for meaningful grassroots democracy to make meaningful advancement. The only hope is to get a lot more people actively involved. The next chance for Montgomery County Democrats is in 2014.

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