Sunday, March 31, 2013

The importance of committee people

The local party committee is important in several ways.

1. Most importantly, the committeepeople are the backbone of our plan for rebuilding civic leadership. Committeepeople are local leaders who know their neighbors, and help identify issues and solve problems. This is simply what most people would do any way, but connected to a network of others who know how local government and other services work.

2. Committeepeople help get out the vote, increasing voter participation and letting their neighbors know about the issues and candidates.

3. And committeepeople vote for the leadership of city and county party organizations. These people then decide who gets the "party line" on the ballot, how party money gets spent, and fills vacancies in the state legislature. This normally requires about two meetings per year.

Politically, a leader wants to have their allies in this slots because it increases their influence in the local party. This is exactly how the current Hudson County Democratic Organization does it and their power is mobilized through this party organization. Anyone hoping to change the way we do business needs to contend for this power.

As we discussed, I think Steve Fulop is the best hope for shaking up and transforming the "less than optimal" local government we now have. He is moderately progressive, but just as importantly for me is effective and pragmatic. He's made change happen on the City Council, in the school board, and next step is the Mayors office and the increased influence that will bring. The committeeepeople will help him carry through his plans. 

The election is the primary on June 4, the filing deadline is this Monday. Somewhere around 20 votes should be enough to win - if you get 10 people out and your partner does the same, you'll be in. 8-10 voters signing your nominating petition will be plenty. But I should walk you through some of the fine points.

I hope you will consider this, but need to move Monday morning and have it done by noon.