Virginia Democrats’ renewed commitment to strenthening the party and a new Chair offer an excellent opportunity to bring the Democratic Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee into the 21st Century. The Central Committee is the party’s governing body (in between state conventions) and consists of about 300 Virginia Democrats – 23 representatives per congressional district, plus party officers, plus caucus/constituency group leadership. The organization details are set out in the State Party Plan and don’t require any revisions at this time. What should change is how the Committee actually functions.
First, we need more openness and transparency. We should take advantage of the new party website and other communication methods to involve Committee members in party decisions. For example, this year the party adopted a new strategic plan (see summary memo below). This plan was drafted by a broadly constituted ad-hoc group, but with very limited notice to, and involvement of, Committee members in selection of the group, drafting of the plan, and adoption of its recommendations. We can do much better.
Second, we should use new technologies to improve communications among Committee members. For example, we can use a password protected Facebook-type network to encourage information-sharing and strategy among Committee members.
Third, we should make our quarterly meetings a lot more productive, worthwhile, and interesting. For example, the September 2010 meeting should have focused on what Democrats around the state could do to help our threatened Congressmen. Instead, we heard some general speeches, had an unlimited discussion about a (defeated) resolution re a US Constitutional amendment to abrogate Citizens United, adopted (without discussion) a Party Plan change establishing standards for caucus representatives on the Steering Committee , and got to the Warner Pig Roast before the beer trucks opened. We need to learn from OFA and make the meetings more useful and interactive – e.g., have officer reports and elected official addresses, but also workshops (voter lists, voter registration, election protection, fundraising, etc.) and informal discussions. We should plan such programs for the February 2011 meetings.
DM_Central-_SPC_Memo.pdf (89.9 KiB, 1,120 hits)
VA DNC Member
I was proud to represent Virginia on the Democratic National Committee for 12 years. I am in DC now, but still active in voter protection and Democratic Party rules. More about me, click here.
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