Blue Jersey, what do you think about these strategies? Who should progressives support? And should progressives let “bad democrats” lose?
A morning panel at the New Jersey Democrat State Committee Conference elicited some oohs and ahhs from the crowd. The panel was titled Speaking Truth to Power, Resistance and Worker Organizing, and it lived up to the billing, wrestling head-on with the issue of organizing by holding Democrats accountable to progressive values.
NJ Working Families director Analilia Mejia stole the show when she stated “not all Democrats are created equal,” highlighting that efforts for a $15 minimum wage have faced headwinds within the party as well as outside.
It was enough to spur Newark Mayor Ras Baraka out of his seat in the back row, to talk about what it’s like for Democrats who take risks for progressive values then see progressive organizations throw their support behind politicians without that same courage. Here’s his comment (stick it out to the end, where the mayor gets quite the chuckle from the audience for calling himself “a democrat with a big D”):
The panel pushed boundaries, even suggesting that progressives need to be unafraid to let some go, to let bad Democrats lose to learn a lesson (that was Analilia Mejia, she was on fire).
That issue, of how best to improve the Democratic party, has been at the forefront of the news nationally — especially as we do another cycle revisiting the primary and relitigating the strategies of both Sen. Bernie Sanders (pushing the party from the outside) and Secretary Clinton (building loyalty to party from the inside) — but it’s a critical issue here in New Jersey as well.