“Back to Basics” – NJ State Dems Conference in AC Thurs-Sat

I am on record saying that the NJ state Democrats should shift away from the big insidery shmooze-fest that the (mostly) annual Conference in Atlantic City is, to a less formal, discussion-oriented gathering somewhere in central Jersey; low-cost or free, one-day and not requiring an expensive trip to AC. I’d like to see something at a college campus, with at least some open-source component, and with work groups emerging at the end to take the party wherever that day’s participants suggest it go.  

I think this party is deeply in-need of connecting with its everyday adherents, in need of giving itself a good hard look, and determining anew and together what its bedrock values are. We’ve come through a period of deep disconnect with a lot of Dem voters, following the years of enabling Gov. Christie to remake the state’s policy priorities.

That said, I want to flag for you the schedule of this year’s Conference, which does start tomorrow night and in AC. Maybe it can serve as a bridge to doing things differently down the line, because there’s some good stuff in it. Note the start-up of a Progressive Caucus, and an LGBT caucus. And there’s a celebration of women in labor. If you ask me, a lot of the rock stars who help drive wins like Ras Baraka’s last night, are some of those badass women in labor.

On the jump page, the Dems’ schedule. Register here. Who’s going?  

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

7:00-9:00PM

Welcome Reception

8:30-10:30PM

NJDSC Latino Caucus Dessert and Dancing Reception honoring Democratic Latino trailblazers in New Jersey Government and Politics

Friday, May 16, 2014

8:30-10:00AM

Step Up Labor Breakfast honoring Women of Labor

10:15-11:15AM

State Committee Meeting (For Voting Members Only)

10:30-11:30AM

Training Breakouts: New Media, Grassroots Organizing, or Fundraising/ELEC Compliance

10:45-12:00

Jewish Caucus

12:00-1:30PM

Democratic Mayors Lunch-Honoring Newly Elected Mayors

1:45-3:00

Caucus Breakouts: African American, Latino, Asian, or South Asian

3:15-4:30PM

Women’s Caucus

4:45-6:00PM

Caucuses: LGBT, Progressive, Youth, Labor

6:00-7:00PM

Cocktail Reception Sponsored by County Elected Officials

7:00-9:00PM

Congressional Dinner Honoring Congressman Rob Andrews and Congressman Rush Holt

9:30-11:00PM

Private Receptions

11:00PM-?

Democrats 2000 After Hours Reception

Saturday, May 17, 2014

9:00-10:30AM

Call to Action Breakfast

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