Deadline Nears For Montgomery County Democrats To Become Delegates For Meeting To Reorganize MCDP

This last fall, when I sought election to Kettering’s Board of Education, I started a new web-site called I’ve posted the following article on, and I am copying it here.

Any Democrat seeking to become meaningfully involved in the Montgomery County Democratic Party is invited to petition to become a member of the Central Committee — a delegate to the May Reorganization Meeting. This opportunity happens only once every four years. The last Reorganization Meeting was in 2006.

The deadline to file a petition to become a delegate is February 18, so time is running out. All that is required is that this form be filled out, signed, and returned to the Board of Elections.

Political parties by Ohio law are not allowed to operate as private clubs or cliques. Political parties are deemed so essential to our democracy that they are required by law to operate democratically and to periodically allow any citizen to seek election to the legislative body of the Party. Ohio Law requires that every political party be organized at the county level. In Ohio there are 88 separate Democratic Party county organizations and 88 separate Republican Party county organizations.

These county party political organizations should be the backbone of our democracy. But, the fact is, when one looks to understand why our democracy is weak and failing, why we are far from having a government for the people, it is plain that our political parties are much at fault. Our political parties should be models of democracy. They should be communities of civic minded individuals, dedicated to generating good ideas, good debate, and dedicated to nurturing and developing thoughtful and effective leaders. But, both of our political parties have failed us.

The Democratic Party has failed us. It seems incredible that we have a Democratic President, a Democratic House and Senate and yet, very little has been accomplished. This is not accidental. The problem is, our political parties, including the Democratic Party, themselves are controlled by special interests.

This control of political parties by special interests starts at the grassroots level. The special interest controlling our local Montgomery County Democratic Party organization is not big oil nor big pharma. It is simply the special interests of local Democrats now most involved in the local party. Most involved in the local party, it is sad to say, are motivated by patronage jobs, and by achieving elected office either for themselves or for their friends.

Ohio law requires the County Party to be organized according to open elections, but, in 2006 at the last Reorganization Meeting, less than 18% of the precincts in Montgomery County were represented. A big majority of Democrats in the county are not represented in the Party. The local Democratic Party has devolved into a small clique.

What is maddening is that this clique in control of the local Democratic Party county organization seems happy with the status quo. Rather than being alarmed at the 18% level of representation in 2006, the local Party, here in 2010, has failed to even advertise to county Democrats this important opportunity for meaningful participation in the Party. As of this writing, there is no mention of this important Reorganization Meeting on the local Party’s web-site, no mention in February’s calendar of events of the key February 18 deadline, no mention in the Chairmen’s letter.

What is maddening is that this clique in control of the local Democratic Party regularly works to discourage and defeat democratic participation. The clique regularly discourages Primary participation by qualified Democrats. Members of the clique endorse their insider chums and cronies for Democratic primaries and discourage any other qualified Democrat from participating. This antidemocratic practice, I believe, is contrary to the values and wishes of most Montgomery County Democrats. (See these posts here, here, here, and here — for more background.) It is a practice that needs to be changed.

The local Montgomery County Democratic Party is very out of date in its thinking and in its organizational structure. Here in 2010, the Party should be using the tools of social networking to create a meaningful on-line community. We should have a flattened organizational structure that involves and empowers many more Democrats and that uses the power of the internet to regularly hold on-line meetings. The idea that democracy should flower within the local Democratic Party, however, is inimical to the controlling boss and clique centered organizational structure that has long been part of the Party.

The local Party needs reform. It needs to be refreshed with a whole new group of Montgomery County Democrats who are determined to work together to vitalize both the Party and our democracy. It needs a new organizational structure. There is much discussion about how Dayton might be revitalized. It is clear to me that the revitalization of Dayton, along with the whole nation, must come from a revitalization of our democracy. It must start at the grassroots, at the local political party level. The new energy and community needed for new life in Dayton must come from reformed, open, and energized political parties.

I was first a delegate to the Montgomery County Democratic Party Reorganization Meeting, a new member of the Central Committee, in 2006. Only eventually did I learn how the local Party actually operates. I was surprised. In 2006, I was like most Democrats in Montgomery County — very unaware how badly the the local Party is in need of reform. Some Democrats who have attempted to be involved in the local Party are now on the verge of giving up. But rather than giving up, those of us who see the need for reform, I believe, must work to make democracy work. The Montgomery County Democratic Party can be quickly reformed — if more Democrats become involved. The Party can change to become a vital force for democracy and problem solving locally — if we can get democracy to work. And a reformed local Party could have a very positive influence in the whole state.

By law, at the May 4 Democratic Primary, every precinct in Montgomery County may elect one person to a four year term as a member of the Central Committee, the legislative and controlling body of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The most important meeting is the first — the Reorganization Meeting.

At the Reorganization Meeting only a majority vote is needed to establish a Constitution. I am seeking a change in the Constitution to prohibit the antidemocratic practice of the Montgomery County Democratic Party to endorse candidates in the Democratic Primary. Democrats from other states are shocked to learn that the local Democratic Party makes such endorsements. Clearly, the purpose of a Democratic Primary is to give all Democrats in a voting district a chance to choose the best Democratic candidate for their district. It makes no sense to give such authority to a small clique at Party Headquarters. The Party needs to work to make Primary candidates easily accessible to Democratic voters via public meetings and via the internet.

We need to become an authentic community of Democrats, dedicated to acting democratically and dedicated to empowering grassroots Democrats as part of an extended community. For the sake of our democracy and our Party, please consider becoming meaningfully involved in our local Democratic Party. The opportunity to become a voting member at the Reorganization Meeting happens only once every four years. Again, the deadline to submit your petition is February 18 at 4:00 PM at the Board of Elections. All that is required is your signature on this form. Please telephone me, Mike Bock, at 937-985-3737, if you would like to discuss anything I have written here.

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2 Responses to Deadline Nears For Montgomery County Democrats To Become Delegates For Meeting To Reorganize MCDP

  1. Dan says:


    There was a blog post the day before this article was posted on the Montgomery County Democratic Party website about the Central Committee Elections.


  2. Mike Bock says:

    Dan, I made this post after midnight last night and before I posted I double checked the MCDP web-site and there was nothing about the Central Committee Elections. It must have been posted very early this morning. But, regardless, I am glad it is there now.

    The point is, it is now about three weeks to the February 18 deadline, and this important information has been missing even from the low traffic web-site maintained by the Party. There has been no strategy — not even any press releases prior to this web posting — to inform the 130,000 Montgomery County Democrats who never visit the Party’s web-site.

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