Now Is The Time For Montgomery County Democrats To Get Involved To Vitalize and Reform Local Dem Party

Today, I sent a letter to the editor of the Dayton Daily News urging the newspaper to report the Montgomery County Democratic Party Reorganization Meeting. In the letter I accuse the local party of being antidemocratic and clique dominated and say that at the Reorganization Meeting delegates will have an opportunity to change the constitution to make the Party more democratic.  My letter connects to this previous post:  To Reform Our “Political Class” System, We Need A Grassroots Movement To Reform Our Political Parties

Dear Editor,

I am a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Central Committee. At the December meeting, I made a motion that the Party spend $500 on advertisements to inform county Democrats about the upcoming Reorganization Meeting. My motion had zero support. The Party’s chairperson, Mark Owens, at the January meeting reported that the DDN had failed to respond to a news release he had prepared.

The Reorganization Meeting will be held in late May and the deadline to register is February 18.  Registration requires one’s signature on a one page petition available through the Board of Elections. The name of a person filing a petition will be on the May 4 Democratic Primary ballot. Every precinct may elect one person.  An elected individual becomes a voting member of the Central Committee and a voting delegate at the Reorganization Meeting.

At the Reorganization Meeting, officers are chosen and a Constitution is approved. I am proposing a change in the Constitution to prohibit the Party from making endorsements during a Democratic Primary. The current endorsement policy disenfranchises regular Democrats and creates a clique dominated local party. The current policy, I believe, is antidemocratic and in opposition to the thinking and wishes of the vast majority of county Democrats.

At the 2006 Reorganization Meeting, less than 18% of precincts in the county were represented. The DDN in the past has rightfully criticized both the local Democratic Party and the local Republican Party for their antidemocratic actions. Political parties are essential to our democracy. Most county Democrats are uninformed about how to become meaningfully involved in their local Party. This opportunity comes only once every four years. It needs to be reported.

Mike Bock

Note: Yesterday, I phoned the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Headquarters and spoke with the office manager, Gen Murphy, about the press release Mark Owens told me about at the January meeting. Gen indicated that she had sent the press release but couldn’t find a copy of it. I asked Gen to e-mail me a copy of the release when she did find it.  Today — after I had already sent the above letter to the DDN — I spoke with Gen again and she changed her story.  She said that the press release had never been written nor sent, but that it would be written and sent today.  Gen also said that she would post the news release on the Party’s web-site. After speaking with Gen, I sent the DDN a revised letter in which I omitted the sentence in red above.

See April 2009 post that reports on Mark Owens’ comments at South Of Dayton Democratic Club: Mark Owens Says Most Montgomery Dems Approve The Party’s Suppression Of Primary Participation

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