Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ward 3 Dems to receive new leadership

Dear Ward 3 Democrat-

I a’m writing to let you know that I will not be standing for reelection as Chair of the Ward 3 Democratic Committee. I want to send this note out now to give others who might be interested in the job enough time to decide and to mount a campaign for the December 12th elections.

When I ran two years ago, I had several goals: I wanted to re-invigorate the Committee with new people; I wanted to utilize our standing committees to participate in the work of the Ward Committee and I wanted to make our meetings more interesting and relevant for our members and the community.

While the 2004 committee election was drawn out due to challenges, I look back on the last two years as largely accomplishing those goals; although as with any organization more could be done.

The committee added new delegates during a mid-term caucus. We also attracted new people to attend our meetings, many of whom attended last week’s caucus. We adopted a By-laws change that expanded the number of delegates to run the committee in order to create more opportunities for people to get involved in the committee.

We re-invigorated our standing committees that had been largely inactive. The Issues/program committee developed positions on consumer protections from electricity deregulation, the comprehensive plan, the Iraq war and the Alito Supreme Court nomination. The By-laws Committee undertook a major rewrite of our By-laws. The Voter Registration Committee undertook a voter registration drive this year aimed at new residents to Ward 3 and others not registered.

During our meetings, we heard from the vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, nationally recognized pollsters on the 2004 election, national experts in foreign policy on Iraq policy, local experts on the citys health care system, on the DC schools and the DC education compact and on the process around the Comprehensive Plan.

We also held successful Candidate Forums for Mayor, Council Chair and Council At-large, the Board of Education President and two for the Ward 3 Council candidates.

While I ha’ve enjoyed working with everyone on the Committee and my fellow Ward Chairs, I have found the time commitment that the position requires has had an impact on my other commitments including my professional work. With the Democrats taking over Congress, I have been asked to increase the important work of the Campaign for College Affordability that I started during the last Congress. I have also been active in Mayor-elect Fentys transition and, in particular, want to continue helping to develop Adrian Fentys health policies. I have also organized, the Fair Elections Legal Network, a new organization of election lawyers that will play an increasingly important role in protecting the right to vote for many traditionally under-participating constituencies that have been targeted by conservative initiatives aimed at suppressing the vote.

It was good to see so many new faces at last weeks caucus. I hope that means many more hands being willing to shoulder the work of the Committee. I also hope the new delegates see the benefit of working with existing members, including electing them as at-large members in order to create an inclusive committee that represents both new energy and experience.

As a delegate, I will continue to participate and look forward to working with the leadership that is chosen to move the Committee forward.

Thanks for the privilege to serve as Chair.


Bob Brandon
Ward Three Democratic Committee

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