Below is my letter to the members of the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses. If you would like to send a letter, you may do so by clicking here.
Senate and House Democratic Caucus Members:
My name is Steve Ross. I’m a resident of Shelby Co., a former Democratic candidate for Shelby Co. Commission, a member of the Shelby Co. Democratic Party Executive Committee, and a Democratic activist/blogger.
I’m writing to voice my opposition to the amendments proposed that would make the bills HB898/SB297sponsored by Rep. Powell and Sen. Finney.
The past six years have been hard for Democrats. The losses of the 2008 election are one of the reasons I made a personal decision to get more involved in state and local politics. In that time I’ve worked to highlight the importance of focusing on the fundamentals to build a strong state party, and local parties in support of our candidates and ideals. I’ve made it my personal mission to bring insight to important issues, often ignored by traditional media, through my blogs – vibinc.com and the now defunct speaktopower.org, as well as other activities.
While there’s no question that we have some fundamental problems within our party, it is my heartfelt belief that seeking a unilateral change to the structure of the Executive Committee is both short sighted, and will only further weaken the party by ripping the scab off deep wounds that exist. Re-opening this wound will make it more difficult for our party to heal and will diminish any hopes of holding the ground we currently have, not to mention making gaining ground.
While I was disappointed that my preferred candidates for Chair did not win over the past two cycles, I understand my opportunity to have a voice in who becomes chair in the future is through lobbying current Executive Committee members, and if they are unresponsive, through my work to elect someone more responsive in August 2014. Further, as a Democrat, and someone who values the democratic process, I understand we must work together to show our strength. This effort does not affirm that value.
While I oppose this current effort, know that I am not completely opposed to a potential change in structure. In fact, change is something I have openly advocated for in the past, and will likely advocate for in the future.
That said, any proposed change cannot be imposed on our party. It must be made with the cooperation of the State Executive Committee and Democrats throughout the state. If we are to be the party “of the people”, we must include them in decisions that impact them.
Thank you for your time and service.