Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PDA: Envisioning a more progressive Arizona Democratic Party

Are you one of those Democrats who grumbles about the Arizona Democratic Party’s (ADP) slide into Republican-lite territory?

Are you tired of Blue Dog Democratic candidates?
Are you tired of the party’s weak stances on hot-button issues?

Did you ever wonder why the ADP’s Progressive Caucus has so little power—despite being the state party’s largest caucus? (Maybe you didn’t even know that the ADP had a progressive caucus?)

Are you ready for change?

If you said, “Hell, yeah!” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to stop muttering and start acting.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Tucson Chapters of Drinking Liberally/Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) are holding a special meeting  at The Shanty—beginning at 6 p.m. with FREE pizza. The focus of the meeting will be on envisioning and brainstorming a more progressive Democratic Party in Arizona. Former Arizona Legislator and PDA Tucson coordinator Phil Lopes will lead the discussion.

Pima County has 339 elected precinct committee persons (PCs). PCs are the grassroots foot soldiers of the Democratic Party—the people who walk door to door with campaign literature, the people who make phone calls and remind you it’s election day, the people who donate, the people who go to meetings and volunteer for committees, the people with more than one candidate sign in their yards and more than one bumper sticker on their cars, the people the Democratic Party depends on—the people who built the party.

In Pima County, 80 of the 339 elected PCs (24%) are on PDA Tucson’s membership mailing list, and PDA Tucson is only one of six PDA chapters in Arizona. This is an opportunity for change.

PDA and Drinking Liberally are extending a special invitation to all local PCs—and anyone else who wants to work for progressive change in Arizona—to attend the Nov. 14 meeting to hear about how we—together—can encourage the Arizona Democratic Party to step back from the Republican-lite cliff and become more progressive. (Did I mention FREE pizza?)

Every two years—following the November election—the Democratic and Republican Parties reorganize. Between now and the end of 2012, each Legislative District (LD) will reorganize. This means that new LD leaders will be chosen—district chair, vice chair(s), secretary, treasurer, county executive committee representatives, statewide committee representatives.

Following the districts’ reorganization, the county parties will reorganize, and lastly the statewide party will reorganize in early 2013. The ADP’s Statewide Committee and officers—plus the counties’ executive committee—make policy and set the tone and direction of the party.

So, if you’re one of those grumblers, now is the time to stop complaining and start acting. The first step is the Nov. 14 meeting. Bring your ideas and come on down. (Check out Drinking Liberally's event on Facebook, or PDA Tucson's Facebook page.)
The next step is to attend your LD’s reorganizational meeting and volunteer for change. According to the Pima County Democratic Party website, the LD3 reorganization meeting will be Nov. 26; LD9, Nov. 27; LD10, Nov. 28; LD 2, Dec. 1. Watch their calendar for future scheduled meetings.

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