Progressives Should Work To Build A Grassroots Democratic Party Movement

To vitalize representative democracy, progressives need to be working to bring two movements to reality: 1) a grassroots Democratic Party movement 2) a grassroots democracy movement. A grassroots Democratic Party movement would engage and empower grassroots Democrats to be positively engaged in the Party. A  grassroots democracy movement would engage and empower everyone of every political point of view in the grassroots to be positively engaged in our democracy. Both movements are of crucial importance, but of the two the grassroots Democratic Party movement is the one that right now seems more in reach.

According to the current Montgomery County Democratic Party constitution, at most, the Central Committee can have 360 members. But, why only 360 members?  Why not have a constitution that enlarges the Central Committee to allow every one of Montgomery County’s 36,000 registered Democrats who so chooses to have participation and voting rights?

MCDP actions that were appropriate for the horse and buggy age — greatly restricting the number of voting members and requiring members to be physically present to participate in meetings — needlessly encumber a 21st century MCDP organization. In the horse and buggy age, an MCDP organized as a direct democracy would have been impossible, but in the 21st century, everyone has a smart phone. Making a deliberative democracy work for groups of hundreds or even thousands of individuals is very doable.

A grassroots Democratic Party movement would be built on a new vision of the Democratic party.  The start of such a movement is when Democrats begin to brainstorm answers to these questions: What would a 21st century “party of the people” look like? How would such a party be organized? What would be its actions? What would its constitution contain?

The opportunity to engage in the local Democratic party organization is open to all Democrats — guaranteed by state law that empowers every Democrat in the county the opportunity to stand for election to the party’s governing Central Committee. Democrats in each precinct elect one person living in the precinct to represent them on the Committee. This opportunity comes every four years and the next opportunity to be elected to the Central Committee is 2018 — petitions are due on February 7, 2018.


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