“Let me know if there are more ways to be involved. Not directly with the Democratic Party, per se, but with local movement. I want to support!”
Recently, a queer friend of mine befriended a young activist I know. In talking about our common beliefs, they expressed a desire to be more involved with local activism, but were hesitant to be involved with the Democratic Party. You and I know the Democratic Party welcomes a broad range of people and beliefs. We are a big tent party. In theory, we say, “Come as you are”, but in practice, our spaces and interactions subliminally say, “Become as we are.” Evolving our practice to reflect our values and rhetoric will take deliberate effort and that evolution will reap lasting rewards.
At the October 19 Fall SCC meeting, the State Platform and Resolutions Committee (SPARC) introduced a resolution for semi-open primaries and a beautifully messy democratic discussion ensued. Ultimately, the resolution was tabled but the discussion brought out some interesting concerns. The argument in favor of semi-open primaries revolved around enfranchising members of the electorate who, in large numbers, are registering either as declined to state (DTS) or as members of other minor parties. Supporters believe that giving those voters the option to vote for Democrats in the primary will help increase their engagement in the electoral process and will broaden our party’s base. The argument against semi-open primaries included the belief that people should join our Party just like we did in order to participate. I appreciate both sides of the argument and I am grateful that SPARC is working on practical ways to enfranchise voters and expand our base. For those wanting DTS and other minor party voters to join the Democratic Party, let’s make sure we aren’t just saying “Welcome.” Let’s create a welcoming culture that values diversity and practices inclusivity.
On Wednesday, November 6, the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County is sponsoring a Transgender 101 training. My democratic allies want to be welcoming in word and deed, but more often than not, we unintentionally expect others to conform to a certain mold in order to participate in our Party. Let’s try a different tact. Let’s be deliberate about our invitation to all. Adrien Lawyer, Co-Director and Co-Founder, Transgender Resource Center of NM and presenter of the Transgender 101 training, will help us understand how to begin to be a good ally to transgender and gender nonconforming people. This awareness will not change our Party’s culture overnight but it will help us to align our actions with our values. To register for the Transgender 101 training, click here. Step by step, we can make a difference at the local level. We are building the bridge to an inclusive democracy while crossing it.
On a final but VERY important note, Election Day is near! Early voting for the November 5 election has begun. It ends on November 2, 2019. On Election Day, November 5, polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. For complete election information visit https://www.bernco.gov/clerk/elections.aspx.
Early Voting: Click here for locations
Election Day: Click here for locations
View your sample ballot: Click here to access your sample ballot.
I am glad to be working alongside you.
Yours in democracy,
Chair, Democratic Party of Bernalillo County