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Reforming the Central Committee

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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, 1,413 hits)

3 thoughts on “Reforming the Central Committee”

  1. 1. Constructive suggestions are always a good addition to the discourse.

    2. Starting MONDAY, how about everyone go to the website and use the online phone bank to start making calls for one of the democrats who are in the upcoming special elections!

    3. The time for the circular firing squads is over. Let’s make our New Year’s resolution to attract more good citizens to the Democratic Party of Virginia and to recruit great candidates who will support our Constitution and help enhance our LIBERTY.

  2. Agree – these are some suggestions for Central Committee, but that is just one small part of putting together the whole Democratic effort.

  3. Frank,
    I couldn’t agree more, but would add that while the Central comm. is important, they are by no means the backbone of the Party.

    When an organization such as DPVA so completely ignores its base as it has in the past, there is not much hope that we will be able to move Virginia forward.

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