Friday, February 23, 2007

DPO Chair Election

In other places and here I have set out my rationale for support. I'll do so again with a recommendation.

DPO is the activist arm of the Democratic Party, this is not the electorate except in a very narrow range, amounting to less than 1% of the registered Democrats in most places. This percentage is a reflection of who the membership is, these are the people who care deeply, deeply enough to attend monthly County meetings, work on candidates' behalf, donate money, and study issues. This is way outside the norm and places the membership outside the norm. We are a fractious lot, this is the expected outcome of dedicated, involved, and intelligent people. Agreement is achieved through hard work and an understanding of the players. This is in relation to County Parties, once you reach the level of State Central Committee Delegates you've gotten to the hardcore political junkies.

SCC Delegates must understand their Counties' positions, the functions of DPO Central Committee, and then be willing to make the financial commitment to travel and lodging. Along with this goes Committee memberships, Caucus memberships, informal caucuses, and general informal study groups. While the Executive Director takes care of day to day operations, the direction and functions of DPO are in the hands of the SCC headed by the Chair. The Chair's job is not just to set a tone, make public statements, and run a gavel at meetings, the Chair is the most influential voice inside DPO. It should never be assumed that all that goes on at DPO happens in meetings, there is a very great deal of personal interaction going on.

The Chair is responsible for keeping the Party unified and on a successful track, whatever momentary interests or passions come up. Due to the nature of the people who involve themselves in SCC things can get pretty sticky pretty quickly, or get stuck in a rut and get ignored. The Chair is the person who has to reach out to the right people at the right times in the right ways when these conditions occur. It requires some serious personal knowledge and real political skills to be able to do this. This is a real tough job with very real consequences, I may understand it but I sure wouldn't want it.

I believe we have a wonderful group of people interested in being Chair, the vision and personal quality of each is impeccable. There is that one thing that is of such importance that is held by one candidate, that is Meredith Wood-Smith's experience and DPO track record. Meredith knows the people, has worked to know the Counties, and has demonstrated her dedication and abilities within DPO. I have watched and listened closely at DPO and I know that Meredith listens - actually listens - and keeps an open mind, whether she is in agreement or not. Meredith has the capacity to bring together the elements that are in disagreement and achieve a consensus. She has visited the distant counties, talked to them, and listened to them. She has been to Baker County several times, and she is a welcome and popular visitor here.

The approaches Meredith has outlined on Blue Oregon are the things she's shown she cares about through the years. These are not new to this election, this is an ongoing commitment. There are people in this election who are my friends and I respect all of them so it is with more a little reticence that I endorse one over the others. I only make this endorsement because I believe that Meredith is clearly the best choice for Chair and that it matters that I do endorse. There is no wrong candidate for Chair, these are all able, intelligent, dedicated people; I just believe that Meredith Wood-Smith is an outstanding candidate and our best choice.

1 comment:

Meredith Wood said...

Thank you Chuck for your comments, support and willingness to take the time to articulate so clearly the job at the DPO--I look forward to working with you in the next couple of years.

I also appreciate your other writings and thoughts--keep up the good work