The New Jersey Dems 2017 state conference is tomorrow at the Borgata, with the organized networking-cocktail-schmooze events tonight from 5 pm to midnight (with off-calendar after-parties, suite events and additional hijinks after that). Some folks arrive tonight and stay over. This year the registration fee is only $30, which if I remember right is lower – maybe way lower – than previous years when there’s been a conference.
Conference agenda? The only agenda I’ve seen is pretty bare-bones, without much detail on what will be covered in various sessions or breakouts, or who will be speaking and/or honored at two plenary events; Strengthening the Economy Through Labor Rally (Friday morning 8:30-10am) or Honoring Those Committed to Social Justice Lunch (Friday’s midday meal). There are also caucus meetings Friday afternoon, and the state committee itself (those elected by Democratic voters to rep their counties to the state party) will be meeting.
Phil Murphy, everywhere: Expect to see Phil Murphy’s big smile everywhere; the real subtext of this conference is electing the next governor and winning especially the targeted races. Some of the more interesting candidates are running in districts that won’t be getting priority support. I hope you will seek out and meet as many senate and assembly candidates as you can. And ditto Phil Murphy. If you haven’t already met him, I hope you introduce yourself. He’s a nice man. And I hope if you see him you’ll ask him whatever burning state questions are on your mind.
Progressive Caucus: For those attending, the Progressive Caucus will meet 3pm (room TBA), and they have announced a more specific meeting agenda, with guests Jason Kander (Missouri Secretary of State; Founder of Let America Vote), Analilia Mejia (Director, NJ Working Families), Marcia Marley (Director, BlueWaveNJ), Winn Khuong (Action Together), Suzy Zanders (Indivisible CD3) and Elizabeth Juviler (NJ 11th for Change). On Saturday, after the conference, is Progressive Caucus’ regular meeting. Info here.
Danley: Blue Jersey’s newest front-pager Stephen Danley will be there, and I hope we’ll have some reporting from him. Almost everyone else here is too busy on a campaign, or already booked up by the time this conference was announced. It didn’t feel like a long lead-up (and last year’s conference is still on NJDSC’s website). It will be Danley’s first Democratic state conference