Tag Archive: conference

The state party’s grassroots commitment is REAL

First of the NJDSC’s new Deputy vide chairs to weigh in. The other 3 are welcome to do so, too. Promoted by Rosi.

Hi, everyone.  I’m honored to serve as one of the party’s new deputy vice chairs along with trailblazing Speaker Sheila Oliver, red-hot rising star Atlantic Freeholder Colin Bell, and the talented operative among operatives Vin Gopal.  They’re three of the truest progressives and best all-around people in politics with whom many of us have ever worked.  

Friends, over the years we have all lived through joy and the pain in dealing with the state party, the best of times and the worst of times, to an extent worthy of Dickens.  Oh, how I lived it all in our fight for marriage equality, particularly during the 2009 campaign for marriage equality when a number of  Democrats we’d long supported didn’t support us back.  You probably remember how pointed I was in response.  No sellout, not then, not now, not ever.

“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?  

UPDATED Schedule: 16th Democratic State Conference, May 12-14 at Bally’s Casino, Atlantic City

As noted a few minutes ago in this diary, there has been a major change in the NJDSC Democratic State Conference. Because of a labor dispute at the Tropicana, the conference is being moved to Bally’s Casino. Click here for Info about the labor dispute, statement of solidarity from NJDSC Chair Wisniewski, your room reservations, and other details.

Here is the updated schedule:

Thursday May 12, 2011

8:00 pm-10:00 pm

Ocean B

Welcome Reception

Hosted by Senators Jim Whelan, Nick Sacco, Donald Norcross, James Beach & Jeff Van Drew, Assemblymen Peter Barnes, John Burzichelli, Upendra Chivukula, Herb Conaway, Craig Coughlin, Patrick Diegnan, Tom Giblin, Jerry Green, Gordon Johnson, Vincent Prieto & Gary Schaer

9:30 pm-11:30 pm

Hudson Hospitality Reception

Hosted by Mayor Mark Smith, Hudson County Democratic Organization Chairman

Friday May 13, 2011

8:00 am-9:30 am

Ocean Ballroom

Kick off Breakfast hosted by Senate President Stephen Sweeney

10:00 am-12:00 pm

Blenheim Room

General Session: Understanding Your Message with Brad Lawrence, Message and Media

12:00 pm-1:30 pm

Ocean Ballroom

Women’s Step Up Luncheon hosted by Speaker Sheila Oliver With Special Guests:

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg

Mayor Dana Redd

NJDSC Secretary Janice Kovach

Co-hosted by Senators Loretta Weinberg & Linda Greenstein, Assemblywomen Nellie Pou, Celeste Riley, Grace Spencer, Linda Stender, Valerie Vainieri Huttle & Bonnie Watson Coleman

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Breakout Sessions:

  • Track 1: New Media and Communications

    Marlborough Salon A

  • Track 2: Winning as a Local Candidate

    Dennis Salon A/B

  • Track 3: Field Tactics, Targeting and Technology

    Marlborough Salon B/C

    4:30 pm-5:30 pm

    Dennis Salon C

    Democratic State Committee Meeting/Voting Session

    6:00 pm-7:00 pm


    Cocktail Reception hosted by Mayor Cory Booker

    7:00 pm-9:00 pm

    Ocean Ballroom

    Congressional Dinner hosted by:

    U.S. Congressman Rob Andrews

    U.S. Congressman Rush Holt

    U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone

    U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman

    U.S. Congressman Albio Sires

    9:30 pm-11:30 pm


    Democrats 2000 After Hours Reception

    Saturday May 14th, 2011

    8:30am-10:30 am

    Ocean B

    Breakfast with U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell


  • BREAKING: Democratic State Conference MOVING as labor dispute brews at the Tropicana Casino


  • Labor dispute at the Tropicana Casino involves International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Local 255 and Painters & Allied Trades District Council 711.

  • NJDSC Chair John Wisniewski’s statement of solidarity with labor is after the jump, in this diary.

  • Book your Bally’s reservation here. (Room rate details, and info re: your Tropicana reservation, after the jump)

  • Updated conference schedule.

    The NJ Democratic State Committee is yanking tomorrow’s NJ State Democratic Conference across Atlantic City, from the Tropicana to Bally’s. Yes, it’s last minute.


    Because they’re standing with labor
    , and word is that there is a dispute between the Tropicana and its union workers, with negotiation between the two sides. And if there is a picket line, the Democrats will not cross it.

    As far as I am concerned this is wonderful chaos. Yes, it’s a headache. And it will be a logistical all-nighter for the NJDSC staff, which is now hosting several hundred Democrats at a location nobody expected to be anywhere near. Some people will not hear about it until they arrive tomorrow to the wrong casino, and there will be some confusion.

    But, this can also be a fine foxhole situation. We’ll all be thrown together, figuring out which room in a brand new (mocked up in pencil?) tangle of conference rooms we’re supposed to be in next. More importantly, this decision is an opportunity for New Jersey Democrats to the Democratic Party will not be crossing a picket line, and in a state where unionized workers are routinely belittled and undervalued by a chief executive building his national GOP rep by scoring points off working people, I relish the chance to let it be known I don’t truck with that.

    Details are still in flux, at least some details. Labor update to come. Hotel room details to come. And I will post the conference schedule, which focuses on Training, as soon as I get the changes. Use this diary as an Open Thread for your thoughts and feedback, questions and logistical concerns.  

  • May 12-14: 16th Annual New Jersey Democratic State Conference

    If you’re planning to get your Democrat on at the Democratic State Conference in AC, you’ve got about 24 hours to register at the discounted rate of $111. This year’s conference focuses on training and new media. And with Christie’s favorables crumbling under the weight of his own aggression, and a well-financed NJGOP gearing up to give Christie the Republican legislature he’s asked for, it seems to me it’s a good time for 3 days of putting our heads together and muscling up. I’m a huge proponent of skills training. It’s a good time for the DSC to focus on that right now, and good that this conference comes in May, not September.

    Registration info for 16th Annual Democratic State Conference May 12-14

    So, if you weren’t planning on going, there may be a few reasons to rethink. In the post-Christie universe, there could be a lot of value in rank-and-file progressive activists showing up. If there’s a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, it is between those leaders whose sense of mission is unshakable in the face of a headline-grabbing cocksure governor and those for whom forward movement is challenged by that cocksure governor whose own party marches in lockstep behind him. This is the struggle that plays out here at Blue Jersey every day.