2017 NJ Democratic Conference: September 14th &15th in Atlantic City at the Borgata

I’m on record asking why New Jersey’s state Democratic party doesn’t have a convention – where elected local reps decide party direction, platform, and leadership. Like California. Like Massachusetts. A democratic process of setting policy, instead of what we’ve had in Jersey for years; a convention pitched to careerists, turf holders, state candidates and electeds – and the corporate interests and power brokers interested in cozying up to same. Been talking about this for 8 years. This year, I can make the case the NJDSC is important to the Murphy/Oliver campaign. OK. But the truth is, aside from the fact Guadagno’s hardly putting up a fight, most of the people Murphy (but especially the party) really need never hear about this conference, and wouldn’t spend the money to get to AC and stay over. And I’m not sure how connected to the Democrats they’d feel even if they did.

This year the conference theme is A Strong & Fair Economy for All of Us, which sounds like it echoes the direction Bernie Sanders was pulling in last year, which most of the infrastructural party seemed to reject as it pulled hard towards Hillary Clinton whose priorities were different.  And there’s a clear tilt toward Resistance, though the Resistance isn’t being led by the party, it’s being led mostly by Bernie folks and social justice leaders, working side-by-side with Hillary folks. Not to say NJ’s party isn’t about anything. It surely is. But a lot of what this party could be about gets lost in the undemocratic maneuvers, concentration of power, turf crap and (till recently) enabling a bellicose Republican governor. Seems to me another insidery Atlantic City shindig won’t help right that. Haven’t decided if I’m going (usually do, hoping to feel better about it). Here’s the preliminary conference schedule, obviously still being worked on less than 2 weeks before its start.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
5:00pm – Midnight
Open Networking and Cocktail Events

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
8:30am – 10:00am
Strengthening the Economy Through Labor Rally

10:00am – 10:45pm
BREAKOUT SESSION 1
Speaking Truth to Power, Resistance and Worker Organizing
Staying on Message & Social Media
How to Organize and Campaign
“FUN” in Fundraising
Building Your Vote, Keeping Your Data Clean
Youth Caucus

11:00am – 11:45am
BREAKOUT SESSION 2
Speaking Truth to Power, Resistance and Worker Organizing
Staying on Message & Social Media
How to Organize and Campaign
“FUN” in Fundraising
Building Your Vote, Keeping Your Data Clean

12:00pm – 1:30pm
Honoring Those Committed to Social Justice Lunch

2:00pm – 3:00pm
Economic Panel

3:00pm – 4:00pm
State Committee Meeting

CAUCUS MEETINGS:
African American Caucus
Latino Caucus
South Asian Caucus
LGBT Caucus
Women’s Caucus
Jewish Caucus
Disability Caucus
Progressive Caucus

4:00pm – 5:00pm
CAUCUS MEETINGS:
Lawyers Caucus
Veterans Caucus

4:00pm – 6:00pm
Open Networking and Cocktails

RSVP here.
Borgata Hotel Reservations: Call 609-317-1000 or online at www.theborgata.com
More info: Laury-Ann Diaz at 609-392-3367 or email lad@njdems.org

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