Virginian election update – Virginia national commiteewoman Mame Reiley was re-elected as Chair of the Women’s Caucus and Alfonso Lopez was elected as the Southern Region Vice Chair of the Hispanic Caucus.
Yesterday, I attended part of the Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Ethnic Council meetings. This morning, there are meetings of other constituency organizations — the Women’s Caucus, Seniors Council, Youth Council, Rural Council, and Veterans and Military Families Council. A lot of the work of the DNC is done through these organizations– at their meetings, they elected officers, addressed issues of particular concern, discussed the organization’s relationship with the DNC, reviewed ways for members to communicate (listserves etc.), and ways of using their organization to reach out to voters, build the party, and elect Democrats.
Last night, I also attended the DNC Executive Committee meeting – the Committee includes officers and a number of representatives from regional caucuses and constituency groups. There were reports on DNC’s budget (doing well, need more $), staff activities including ad production, new media, and improved voter contact tools, and advancing President Obama’s objectives through OFA and otherwise.
I attended the Woman’s Caucus meeting this morning – -the group recognized outgoing secretary-treasurer Barbara Easterling of Virginia. Barbara had served as an at large DNC member and we hope that she will have that opportunity again. It was also good to see and hear from former At-Large member Joanna Reagan (VA) again (she is now retired in Texas). There were a number of inspiring speeches from Texas Woman leaders about the importance of participation in politics and continuing efforts to bring about change. The slate of officers headed by Mame was elected and then regional caucuses were held. Clyde Williams, the DNC political director, fielded questions about health care, immigration, and other issues. Then there was an “open mic” item where members were able to talk about women seeking offices – Mame made a strong push for Jody Wagner for Lt Gov. of Virginia and other candidates included my law school class mate Robin Carnahan, the Missouri Secy of State who is running for Senator.
Bottom line — DNC meetings are useful for getting up to date on DNC’s projects that involve the nuts and bolts of winning elections (voter lists, voter protection, etc.), learning about critical issues and how to present them (health care, big time), having the opportunity to meet and hear from national leaders (like our own Tim Kaine), participating in regional and constituency caucuses to make contacts and share information, and do the formal business we need to do (rules and the like). The meetings are also very useful for getting to know diverse people from all over the country, being exposed to different ideas about issues and ways of doing things, and sharing information about how we can better serve the community, build the Democratic Party, elect Democrats, and achieve our goals – starting with health insurance reform. At this meeting, I didn’t miss an opportunity to tell people how important it was to elect Virginia Democrats including Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner this November, and get volunteers and contributors. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Virginia Democrats at these meetings.