Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's time to shed some blood

Talked to Cracker today and he encouraged me to post this. It is something that I have been calling for with him for four years and something that is near and dear to my heart.

The SCDP needs a major change. The SCDP has a decided lack of people in the target demographic of 25-39. Don't believe me. Go to a Exec. Com. meeting and also to a convention. You'll see my point.

The same people are there year after year after year. This is not good. Give it up to the Republicans, they actively recruit young and/or new people with every election. When was the last time that we actively tried to interest young people to get involved at the local level.

I know about Ford and what he did. That doesn't count because for the most part you don't see these same people working for City Council, County Commission, and school board races in a concentrated, coordinated effort.

This past election we had a candidate for office who was elected because he galvanized young people and bloggers to help out on his campaign both on line and on the street. When he won, he thanked them and helped them out, many of them went on to help out in other elections later in the year. Most of them went to help out on one race in particular.

The reaction from the staff was favorable, enjoying their help and crediting them with helping to win. The candidate's reaction was different, essentially acting as though the election was a predetermined win and that the staff both old and new did nothing spectacular. EVEN though this candidate's win is considered by many to be a turning point election in Memphis politics.

Memphis politics is at the crossroads. The old machines are starting to fall apart. The Ford machine is virtually dead. Herenton has no real coattails and never really has. With the City Council going through what can be calmly called upheaval, at least 3 new members will be elected this fall, we face a key turning point in the future of the SCDP.

WTL hypothesized on who might run for SCDP chair. I want Steffens. This is not because I consider him a close friend who is my son's godfather. I want him because we share a lot of beliefs in what the chair should be.

Keys should be fundraising ability, consensus building, connection with the youth, and the possession of a set of brass balls. One big complaint that I have and have heard expressed is a lack of faith in current chair Matt Kuhn. No one fears him. Witness what happened last year with the failed coup attempt.

I know part of that was the last gasp of the old power brokers, but it makes a point. We need a strong chair who can tell people to keep their mouth shut and stop backbiting and unify. On top of that this candidate needs to connect with the 15-39 year olds in Memphis.

The current group of activists in the local party are, with the exception of the bloggers, predominately in their late forties and up. There is almost no one my age or younger involved and we need to stop this. I hate to say this, but the older activists need to take a step back or at least a step over and try like hell to get good younger people involved.

This is not a black or white issue, or a young and old fight, this is an issue of fighting for the continued survival of the local party. Ask yourself, what was the biggest complaints about the 9th District primary? That a lot of these candidates were too young, too inexperienced, and had not paid their dues by working their way up. Has it been considered that this was the only real opportunity they had what with every other local and county election being full of the same old hacks year after year? Comments welcome.

6 Comments:

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must have been to see that movie "Children of Men." Alas! It seems no one else cares. The Senate District 30 race is a prime example of the fact that the local Democrats are more concerned with eating their young, than with cultivating them. And so goes life. And death.

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments about SCDP are good and it is obvious that you have given the subject a lot of thought.

You have a great opportunity available to you soon. If you are not currently serving on the executive committee, you need to be making plans to get elected.LWC can advise you.The election will be in March,so start planning,you are needed.

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger barb michelen said...

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At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, you want a man who goes by the name of LeftWingCracker as chair of the SCDP? You're joking, right?

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found this site and here it is January, 2008. Change the name of the SCDP Chair and this article you wrote is very current. Did you get elected to the Executive Committee?

Young people are needed.

 
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