Here’s first notice of the (usually) annual NJ Democratic State Committee (NJDSC) Conference in AC next month, which came in an email under Cory Booker’s name. Details & signup, below. I’ve noticed this year NJDSC is calling this a convention instead of conference. Unclear if that means participants will be making actual decisions on party direction there. Not usually the case.
I’m on record asking why New Jersey’s state Democratic party doesn’t have an actual 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 conference 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 9 years. 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). I hope it’s better this year.
This year we have a Governor who is showing great promise. That may be a reason to go. If Murphy’s gang and Sweeney’s gang finally have it out in a rumble in Harrah’s parking lot, that’s a big reason to go. Another is the growing list of caucuses; they may be encouraging members go. Changes in the Landscape: Will the Dems’ event interest the groundswell of independent-but-Dem-friendly groups that sprang up after Trump? To most Dems, whether party-loyal or not, the Trump midterm is critical. Keeps them up at night. In some counties, this translates to increased activity in the local party (as it should), but it’s unclear yet if new recruits (many of whom are women) feel bound to party structure as much as they’re driven to flip districts. New leadership, in many cases better leadership, is emerging in outside groups. No doubt leaders may be sought out to attend, but I don’t know if their (amazing) ground troops will be. I’m not sure there’s a reason for them to be there, if the party continues to be machine-driven, top-down, (often) hostile to progressives. But. But: This is a good year to be a Democrat; I like our chances. And here comes the state party’s big event:
NJ Democratic State Committee 2018
When: Sept. 20-22
Where: Harrah’s, Atlantic City
Sign up for future announcements: Here
NJDSC: Website Twitter Facebook NJDSC Progressive Caucus: Twitter Facebook [note: Twitter account inactive]
Agenda: Not yet available. We’ll post it when it is.
Headliners (as announced): Cory Booker, Bob Menendez, Phil Murphy, Sheila Oliver, Tammy Murphy, NJDSC Chair & Vice-Chair John Currie & Lizette Delgado-Polanco