In September I became one of the two new C0-Chairs of the Yates County Democratic Committee. After the election we decided to pause and take time to understand what we in the NY 23rd, and the rest of the country, had just experienced.
The holidays have come and gone; it was a nice break from the politics. I watched much less news and enjoyed it more. Now the new year has arrived and it is time to prepare for the next elections.
With help from national and local political leaders I feel that we an outline of a plan for the 2018 elections.
from President Obama’s Weekly Address: Working Together to Keep America Moving Forward
… And as I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams. And from the Obama family to yours – have a happy and blessed 2017. (12/31/2016)
- We need to start working NOW to return to middle of the the political spectrum.
In 2017 many New York State Villages, Cities, Towns and Counties will have elections. In Yates County the full Legislature is up for election and there will be a vote for a District Attorney and a Coroner.
In 2018 New York State will have elections for State Assembly, State Senate, and Governor. Will Governor Cuomo try for a 3rd Term? Don’t forget the Congressional Race. Will Tom Reed still a candidate, or will he be part of the Trump’s Administration by November, 2018?
- People are upset with the recent election results. Many want to become involved with the political process.
Former Bernie Sanders staffers have started Brand New Congress, an organization which is recruiting candidates of integrity for 2018 who pledge to rebuild the economy and fix our broken system. They are looking for 400+ candidates. Know of any who lives in the NY 23rd?
Believing that political change happens from local elected offices instead from the top down, Leslie Danks Burke is holding a workshop for anyone thinking of running for a local office, on January 14 from 1 to 6 in Corning. Follow the “workshop” link for contact information.
Southern-tier native Paolo Cremidis, chair of the New York State Young Democrats Rural Conference, is working to recruit 18-30 year olds to become more involved with the political system. “My role is to organize (Young Democrat) chapters in the 38 counties in Upstate New York with populations less than 200,000 like Chemung, Tompkins and Steuben counties, and we’re seeing an upsurge. We can gain more as Democrats if we build the party locally, having people run for local offices like village trustee and having a whole slate of candidates,” Cremidis said.
- We need to focus on issues and not political parties or personalities.
The Hornell Evening Tribune recently had an article, “Democrats Regroup, reflect.” It is well worth reading. It quotes Hornell Mayor, and Steuben County Committee Chair Shawn Hogan reminding us that “It’s the same issues that are always out there, fairness and equal opportunity for everyone, and the creation of living-wage jobs. You don’t abandon Democratic principles just because of a loss. You just continue to move forward.”
Issues such as Medicare, Health Care (Obamacare), Medicare, Social Security, Overtime pay, a living wage, fair tax reform, green energy are only a few topics that crosses party lines. Congress, especially the House of Representatives with Paul Ryan’s Budget proposals, will try to reform those issues to meet their financial model which favors the wealthy and corporate leaders.
We need to explain how each of the GOP’s proposals will affect our residents.
- We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.
Finger Lakes Times’ Michael Fitzgerald, in his Friday December 30 column “New non-partisan coalition“, urges us to:
“shout less, think more critically, ask more questions and demand answers.
In the Finger Lakes that would mean putting elected and appointed officials on the spot as the new administration and Congress roll out legislation to implement promises — and threats — made during the campaign.
In town hall meetings across his district this year, recently re-elected GOP Congressman Tom Reed promised to dismantle Obamacare at the first possible moment.
Reed should be held accountable for the second half of his promise — that any GOP health care legislation to replace Obamacare would be a vast improvement.
Ditto for when the GOP makes promised moves that could result in lower Social Security benefits and cripple Medicare.”
Follow this link to read Fitzgerald’s full column.kj
- We need to combat the “fake news” (Why don’t we call it what it really is– propaganda) by presenting the facts.
How do we combat the propaganda being propelled around social media? Letters to the Editors might help a bit, but we need to get more social-media savvy. We need to hold events and meet people in small discussion groups. Building communication takes time. We need to start soon.
I realize that I have mentioned a lot of things we need to be doing. The members of Yates County Democratic Committee are developing practical actions that we will be starting later this month. I will share them when we have the bugs worked out. Here is a hint: Call or Visit Rep. Reed’s offices and ask questions and give then your opinions.
Rep. Reed’s Offices Phone numbers
- Washington (202) 225-3161
- Corning–(607) 654-7566
- Olean—(716) 379-8434
- Jamestown (607) 654-7566
- Geneva (315) 759-5229
- Ithaca (607) 222-2027
One thing you can do is to contact your County Chair to see how you can help them.