The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
Daraka for Vice Chair
|Our Party has to change. As a local Party activist and Statewide officer, my focus has always been on building a stronger link between the CDP and the battles on the ground to elect more progressive Democrats to local office and fight for working families and the environment in local policy. Under the leadership of John Burton, the Party has radically improved its support for local activism, but we need to make big shifts in our structure and priorities to take this work to the next level.
As your Vice Chair, I will continue to focus on local organizing. Here are a few ideas that will be my priorities in office:
As Secretary, I conducted the Party’s first ever analysis of Democratic representation at the local level and presented my findings to the Executive Board. The bottom line is that we are underperforming in local elections and many Democratic communities are represented by Republicans.
Our next step should be to develop a program for targeting important local races at the city and county level with statewide resources and attention. With thousands of local offices around the State, we can’t work on every race. But we also can’t afford to stay out of County Supervisor, City Council and School Board races that will build for progressive victories down the line.
MORE THAN ELECTIONS
Winning elections is only part of our Party’s mission. Achieving our goals takes advocacy and organizing to hold our elected officials accountable. Let’s start backing our platform and legislative positions up with coalition-building, grassroots lobbying and protest. As a gigantic, statewide network of activists with direct access to legislators and other leaders, we need to be an active part of movements pushing for Single Payer Healthcare, criminal justice reform, banning fracking and supporting unions. This is all in our Platform, and we need to do more than work on elections to make it happen.
CREATE A CDP OWNER’S MANUAL
While the CDP is more open and accessible than most State parties, our rules and structure are complex and information on how to navigate them hard to come by. Let’s remove this barrier to participation by creating an online tool that allows any Californian to easily find their local clubs, County committee information and information on how the Party works. More than a website, an Online Owner’s Manual would allow ordinary folks to enter their address and get information on where to go to plug in, and how their local organizations fit into the State and National Party structure.
Of course, I’m not the only one with ideas about how to move the Party forward. Statewide, thousands of new activists are engaging in and around the Party, and the bring with them a wealth of new organizing tactics and projects for building progressive power. Our Party must listen.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight two ideas proposed by the main candidates for CDP chair that I think are crucial for moving us forward. Kimberly Ellis’ proposal to hire grassroots organizers to service, train and energize the CDP’s base is a great idea. Likewise, Eric Bauman’s suggestion that we need a Party-affiliated think tank to create model ordinances and legislation and provide progressive alternatives to right-wing ideas in the public sphere is sorely needed. Unfortunately, like so much in this hotly contested election, these ideas are being pitted against one another. That’s a mistake.
Let’s keep discussing, sharing ideas and trying new programs and organizing strategies. The age of Trump means that we can’t be complacent, divided or afraid of new voices.