Our Local Democratic Party Should Stream Meetings On The Internet And Let Members Vote On-Line — DISCUSS

Thanks for stopping by. I’m hoping this website will be a platform for good discussion on topics of civic importance. To structure conversations, I’ve added some great features — forums from bbPress and surveys from POWr — that I can’t wait to try out.

This first Citizen Together edition focuses on how the local Montgomery County Democratic Party should be structured. At the May 28 MCDP “reorganization meeting,” only a simple majority of those delegates in attendance is needed to change the MCDP constitution, so this is a timely topic. I hope delegates to the meeting will consider making this big change to the MCDP Constitution: Allow participation / voting in the MCDP Central / Executive meetings via the internet.

I hope this website can get the ball rolling.

Here is some background: The MCDP Central Committee is an elected legislative body charged with representing Democrats residing throughout Montgomery County. Every four years, Democrats in each of the county’s 360 precincts are empowered by Ohio Revised Code to elect one representative to the MCDP Central Committee. It says something about the state of the MCDP that this year only 132 of Montgomery County’s 360 precincts elected a member to the MCDP Central Committee.

As it is now, in order to vote on Central / Executive Committee issues, a member must attend evening meetings at MCDP headquarters in downtown Dayton. These meetings, unsurprisingly, are poorly attended. Because most precincts fail to elect a member of the Central Committee and because those who are elected often fail to attend meetings, many Montgomery County Democrats are disenfranchised of the opportunity to be represented in their local party.

To me, it only make sense that the MCDP should use 2014 technology to become a stronger organization. Organizations larger and more complex than the MCDP have found a way to use the internet to empower their members to work productively together. The MCDP should do the same. Rank and file Democrats want their party to be successful. They want the younger generation to get interested in politics. They are looking to the MCDP for leadership.

If Central Committee members could fully participate in the decisions and governance of the MCDP from their own homes, the quality and amount of their participation would greatly increase. There would be more creative brainstorming. And, the MCDP has a big problem to brainstorm about. The local party needs to figure out how to engage and to motivate more Montgomery County Democrats. The consequences of our inaction are astounding. Consider this: In 2010, a big drop off in turn-out by Montgomery County Democratic voters sunk Fred Strahorn’s chance for reelection to the Ohio Senate and contributed to pushing Ted Strickland from the office of Ohio Governor. Plunderbund complained: “Whomever is in charge of the Montgomery County Democratic Party should resign.  11.1% drop off in turnout!  Seriously?!”

I’ve read the 25 constitutions of the Democratic Party organizations in Ohio’s 25 largest counties. If the Ohio Democratic Party has any hope of becoming modernized, all of these constitutions need to be changed to allow full  use of the internet. Wouldn’t it be great if the MCDP would lead the way? I’m posting a survey as a way of structuring discussion about this matter. In the survey, I outline seven suggested changes to the MCDP Constitution and ask for a yes / no and a comment. Responses will be anonymous when accumulated. All visitors to this site are welcome to participate in the survey.

I believe it would be valuable to have an in-depth conversation about the MCDP constitution just among MCDP stakeholders. I’m sealing off one part of this website — The MCDP Constitution Forum — and making it available exclusively for use by Montgomery and Greene County Democrats.  I’m sending an e-mail invitation to join the Forum to all local Democrats whose e-mails I can find. I’m telephoning MCDP Central / Executive members whose e-mails I don’t have. If I’ve not contacted you, please e-mail me with your name and address. I will check the Board of Elections’s database to confirm you have voted in Democratic Primaries and then I will send you a temporary password (which you may change after log-in).  Click here to send me an email.


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