Message from the WCDP Vice Chair & Chair on the Election of DNC Chair Tom Perez and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison
Saturday’s very close Democratic National Committee (DNC) election was disappointing for many Michigan Democrats. Given that all but one of the Michigan DNC electors voted for Keith Ellison in the first round of voting and all voted for him on the second ballot, it’s clear that our DNC representatives saw him as the top choice. However, we can see from their support that Democrats in Michigan have a state party, elected officials, and Labor leaders who are listening and open to moving in a more progressive direction. In other words, the goal of making the Michigan Democratic Party a more progressive, grassroots-oriented organization is succeeding.
We are encouraged and thankful that in his first act as DNC Chair Tom Perez appointed Keith Ellison as Deputy Chair, ensuring that he will have a strong, ongoing influence on the direction of our Party. This also means that our Chair and Deputy Chair are both from minority communities. Both are strong progressives with track records of successful organizing and actions on behalf of issues we as progressives care deeply about. And, perhaps most importantly, both are good friends. These are signs of important progress.
But this does not mean that we, as progressive Democrats, will not hold both of them accountable to us. They may be our leaders, but we are the Party they lead and our voices and our values matter every day.
One final thought: what happens at the national level is, without question, important in terms of the direction of our Party. However, what we are accomplishing here at the local level in Washtenaw County, is being done despite the DNC, not because of it. We are making transformative, progressive change by “just doing it”. We are leading from the grassroots and it’s making a difference. That won’t change with changing leadership at the national level and it’s a tribute to the passion, energy, and talents of Washtenaw Democrats.
Hedieh Briggs, WCDP Vice Chair
Chris Savage, WCDP Chair