The Dayton Daily News finally published my letter — on the editorial page (p. 9), under a large headline “On Your Mind”, and under an eye-catching cartoon by Mike Luckivich.

Fifty words, exactly, are cut from the article I sent to the DDN — 50 words from the center of the article and at the center of the message I wanted to deliver. Most of the third paragraph was cut — the very part that I worried most about, because it is the most accusatory and antagonistic sounding. The DDN kept the first sentence of this paragraph and merged it with the fourth paragraph. (The part omitted is in bold.)

 If you are a loyal and active Democrat, you may be scratching your head and wondering why  you’ve never heard about this important meeting. In fact, the lack of any effort of the MCDP to inform the grassroots is an indictment of the MCDP. The insiders want to maintain their right to make endorsements and to hand out patronage jobs, and the prospect of empowering grassroots Democrats to change the status quo is unacceptable. 

Before I finally decided on the 332 words I sent to the DDN, I almost settled on a version that omitted this “indictment” — wondering if a less harsh sounding argument might, in fact, be more effective in interesting Democrats to become involved. It was a close decision and after I sent the letter in, I kept wondering if I should have omitted the very part that the DDN eventually cut.  So, in one sense, maybe cutting these words improved the article, but, it bothers me that the DDN make the decision to omit those words, not me.  And, now the third paragraph seems haphazardly written. The article as it appears in the paper is seen below:

How Grassroots Democrats Can Transform Their Local Party

Every four years, Democrats have a rare opportunity to change the constitution and leadership of the Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) at a “reorganization meeting.” This important meeting is scheduled for June 2014, and the deadline to start the process to become a delegate is February 5.

A reorganization meeting is structured much like a political convention. At this meeting, decisions are made according to the majority of delegates voting. Every precinct can send one delegate, but in 2010 out of 360 possible precincts, only about half elected a delegate.

If you are a loyal and active Democrat, you may be scratching your head and wondering why  you’ve never heard about this important meeting. The big task for the reorganization meeting is rewriting the MCDP constitution. The current constitution harkens back to a time when political parties centered around “bosses.” Today, however, this boss system hinders the success of the party. Democrats now are looking for a 21st century organization that is democratic and inclusive, and that welcomes them into a meaningful and connected community.

The MCDP constitution will not be changed unless a majority of delegates vote for change. The reorganization meeting is a wonderful opportunity for grassroots Democrats to have real influence in setting the course of the local party for the next four years, and in creating a party structure that will encourage and inspire new commitment from Democrats.

Time is running out to meet the February 5 deadline. Any Democrat living in Montgomery County who is interested in being a delegate to this important meeting should contact me at mcbock@me.com.

 

Mike Bock

Democratic Party, Kettering Ward 4 Leader

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