1/21/21 update on Winter 2021 DNC Meeting

1/21/21 update on the Winter 2021 DNC meeting:

For me, the new year didn't truly begin until the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We can all breathe a sigh of relief and take pride in the work we all did to help make this moment possible. But more challenges lie ahead--including at the DNC.

At the Winter meeting of the DNC today we elected a slate of fantastic representatives to lead us, including our new DNC Chair Jaime Harrison. I am excited to work with them toward keeping the White House and expanding our majorities in Congress.

As one of your DNC members, I had the opportunity to cast two votes: 1) to approve the rules governing the election; and 2) on the slate of candidates themselves.

I voted "yes" on the slate of candidates, but "no" on the rules. 

When I ran for DNC, I pledged to do whatever I could to reform an institution that all too often does not live up to our expectations of transparency and effectiveness. Unfortunately, DNC members have few opportunities to create policy changes and implement reforms, as most power is held singularly in the hands of the Chair.

As such, the election of new officers and a new Chair presents one of the very few chances for DNC members to make their concerns known and lobby for changes. Sadly, there was little opportunity to do so this year.

In the end, 407 voted for the slate with 4 against. I was one of 15 DNC members to vote against the rules, with 318 voting yes and 11 abstaining. But a movement for reform must start somewhere and I'm proud of the reformers who also voted no on the rules.

It is understandable that everyone on the Biden transition team has had bigger matters on their minds. Even so, the rules that governed the DNC election process were even more restrictive than in the previous cycle: requirements for signatures to appear on the ballot were increased, while the window for campaigning was shortened to a mere three days. Indeed, only one candidate for each leadership position even qualified on the ballot. So there was essentially no contest and no exchange of ideas or proposals.

We all know that DNC elections function more as appointments than actual elections during an incumbent Democratic presidency, out of deference to the White House. Still, if the DNC is to become the organization we all hope it can be, I believe we deserve a more robust and democratic process going forward.

Now, with the DNC election behind us and a great new leadership team, I'm looking forward to mobilizing for Democratic victories in the months and years ahead.


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  • David Atkins
    published this page 2022-03-17 16:16:36 -0700