Here is the link to the youtube video of the March 28 MCDP meeting. (For some reason I’m unable to embed it.)
I appreciate David Esrati’s efforts to make transparent the Central Committee meetings of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. David was unable to attend and video this March 28 meeting but, thankfully, he found a substitute to attend the meeting and do the recording.
Prior to the start of the March 28 meeting, I spoke with Diane Walsh, the Vice-Chairperson of the MCDP. She was to chair the meeting because Mark Owens was unable to attend. I’ve never been to a meeting that Mark didn’t chair. Diane was sitting at the front table with Kurt Hatcher, the Executive Director for the MCDP. I told Diane that I was surprised that there was no provision on the agenda for “New Business” or “Remarks from Committee Members,” as I had expected. I told her that I wanted to alert her that at the end of the regular agenda, I would stand and ask to be recognized so that I could address the group. She, and Kurt, seemed noncommittal. I later discovered that after I indicated to Diane that I wanted to address the group, Diane spoke with Karl Keith and he advised her to recognize me and let me speak.
What transpired in the meeting was sort of a free-for-all. It would be an interesting example for discussion in a Roberts Rules class. I thought I had the floor, and the right to speak, but, as it turned out, I didn’t have the floor after all. There was a member waving her hand wanting to interrupt me and the chair allowed it.
The video is a revealing. For one thing, it reveals that my T-shirt was out of my pants as I approached the front of the room — grrr — and it reveals that the person who started harassing me is the Administrative Assistant for Karl Keith, our County Auditor. I thought I had the floor, but Kyle Tromley was allowed to interrupt.(17:54) Kyle wanted everyone to know that she’s worked her tail off for the party. She wanted to ask me what I’ve been doing for the party. Kyle, by the response of the group, is generously appreciated. In this freestyle meeting, I guess Kyle’s standing in the party made her feel entitled to interrupt my efforts to make a motion.
After Kyle warmed up the crowd, shortly afterwards — just as I finally as I was saying “I’d like to make a motion” — her boss, Karl Keith, stood and moved that we immediately adjourn. (18:58) When I asked Karl if he would please explain why he thought such an abrupt motion was appropropriate, Karl said that adjournment is a privileged motion and that there can be no debate. I guess we were following Roberts’ Rules after all.
As it turned out, when it came time for the vote, the whole Auditor office delegation voted that discussion in the Central Committee should be ended. The video shows that standing with Karl to seek an immediate adjournment was not only Kyle Tromley, his Administrative Assistant, but also Mike Brill, his Executive Assistant at the Auditors’ Office. Mike is also leader of the Young Democrats. The tape shows that Mike was the last to stand.
Another public servant voting for immediate adjournment was Russ Joseph, County Treasurer. Jamie Rippey, Dayton School Board candidate also voted with Karl. But wonder of wonder, miracles of miracles, the group voted down Karl’s motion to immediately adjourn — by a large margin. I appreciated the fact that most members wanted to give me a chance to speak, and only after another 9 minutes was there a motion to table the discussion until the next meeting. That’s encouraging.
A video can provide a good learning opportunity — Oh to see ourselves as others see us. Kurt Hatcher went on Facebook and said I had been “combative, rude and insulting.” I’d say “vague and meandering” would be more accurate. I should have done much better. Why hasn’t anyone ever warned me that I tend to ramble? Note to self: I should have made my motion immediately and after receiving a second, then the motion could have been debated. Instead, I sought to first address the group about the general idea of the importance of deliberation. Anyway, the discussion was tabled until the next meeting.
I will ask Mark Owens to print the language of motions concerning deliberation in the April agenda — will there be an April meeting? — and to email all members an agenda in advance of the meeting. Below is the front and back of the document that I provided to the Central Committee on March 28. (I’ve temporarily lost my capacity to store and share original PDF)
To: Mark Owens, Chairman of the MCDP
Re: Topics for Central Committee Deliberation
As voting members of the MCDP’s “controlling committee,” individuals on the Central Committee should engage in meaningful discussions and deliberations concerning the work of the MCDP and concerning the future of the MCDP. The goal of these efforts should be the
development of consensus decisions and well-planned actions.
Deliberation requires a lot of preparation and effort, and, I believe that, given the opportunity tostudy important issues, a lot of members would volunteer to participate in teams to preparethoughtful reports and recommendations for Central Committee consideration.
Here is my list of topics / issues I hope the Central Committee will deliberate:
- Plans for accomplishing the 2018 MCDP Constitution’s Statement of Purpose: “To connect Montgomery County Democrats within an extended MCD community where every member has a voice…”
- The MCDP finances and budgets over the last five years and the financial goals and
plans for the next several years.
- The 2018 Democratic campaign in Montgomery County. What was the ODP role? Why was turn-out in strong Democratic precincts so low and how can this turn-out be improved? What are the conclusions? What are the recommendations for improvement in 2020?
- Plans for generating the strongest possible candidates for the open seat in OHD-39
in 2020 in a way that honors the goal stated in the preamble to the MCDP
Constitution to “empower representative democracy within our party.”
- Plans for finding and encouraging Democrats to seek election to local city councils
and school boards.
I am distributing this email to other members of the Central Committee and I’m requesting that you will address its contents at the March 28 meeting. Thank you.
Mike Bock, KETTERING 4-J
The central battle in politics seems not so much about issues and logic as it does about identity. Voters are loyal to the political parties that they identify with. The huge opportunity for the Democratic Party is to become identified as pro-democracy party, the community building party, the unifying party. These three key changes to the MCDP Constitution provide the foundation for the organization to establish a pro-democracy identity that will attract unaffiliated voters.
Constitution: The Montgomery County Democratic Party
Expired Name: “Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.”New Name: “The Montgomery Democratic Party.”
Expired Preamble: (There was no preamble in the expired constitution, only a statement of beliefs.)
We the Representatives of the Democrats living in Montgomery County — in order to form a strong party organization that empowers representative democracy within our party and throughout the county — do establish the Montgomery County Democratic Party Constitution.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 3517 of the Ohio Revised Code,this organization shall be the “Controlling Committee” of the Democratic Party of Montgomery County.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 3517 of the Ohio Revised Code, this organization shall be the “Controlling Committee” of the Democratic Party of Montgomery County. The purpose of the Montgomery County Democratic Party is to represent and to serve Montgomery County Democrats. The MCDP advances this purpose by connecting Montgomery County Democrats with an extended MCDP community where every member has a voice, by advancing candidates of the people who are dedicated to public service, and align with the principles of the Democratic Party.