Like many SEC members, I got an e-mail from Nina Szlosberg-Landis yesterday, announcing her intention to run for 1st Vice Chair of the NCDP.
Dear Members of the State Executive Committee:
I have met many of you over the last several years as we have worked together to move North Carolina forward. For those I have not met, my name is Nina Szlosberg-Landis. Over the past few weeks I have spoken to many of you regarding the 2012 election and the lessons that we learned together.
We have suffered through two very tough election cycles with devastating outcomes. We have experienced bitter defeats together and now we face an executive branch and legislature in Republican hands. Nine of our thirteen members of Congress are Republicans. Thankfully, we held on to many of the Council of State positions, but had to fight tough, well financed opponents. Republicans made historic gains on N.C. County Commissions and now hold the majority of commission seats and control most N.C. counties.
I know I don't have to tell you all of that — you lived it. Every one of you worked tirelessly to win races in your county, and the surrounding areas, because you believe, as I do, in a North Carolina that looks forward, instead of back. I know that we share the values that allowed Terry Sanford to stand up for equality, the same values that gave Jim Hunt the desire to stand up for our children and their education, and the same values that made all of us Democrats — a belief in equality, a belief that we're all in this together, and a belief that we must stand up for the voiceless.
I am announcing in the next few days that I plan to run for First Vice Chair of the NC Democratic Party. I believe that it is time to rebuild our Democratic Party from the ground up and I hope to work with all of you, and our next Chair, to do just that.
I have been involved in party politics for a long time now; working at the grassroots and grass tops levels. Organizing and raising money. Developing strategy and helping implement tactics. And now, I hope to dedicate the next two years supporting our party, supporting you and working to organize, organize, organize. We must be successful in 2014. Too many children run the risk of losing out if we do not elect more Democrats to stand up for public education. Too much of our state's natural beauty is at risk as they prepare to chop away at environmental protections.
I have dedicated my life to public service. I serve on the Board of Lillian's List and the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. I have worked to revitalize my own community. I have knocked on doors for Democratic candidates and rolled up my sleeves to do all that was necessary.
I know that we share a common commitment to action and to building our Party, and state, from the ground up.
I will be calling on you in the days ahead to seek your input on how we move forward. Our next Vice Chair must be able to work with the Chair to raise money, communicate our agenda, and create an environment of trust, transparency and accountability at the Goodwin House. And, perhaps most importantly, our next Vice Chair must be willing to roll up their sleeves and dedicate themselves to working with all 100 counties, and all of you, to win elections and build a strong foundation for the future.
Please email me, text or call (919.XXX.XXXX) Now is the time to engage in a conversation about the future of our Party. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Thank you all for your help and support. Working together, we can win back NC. We must.
Of course there are many folks who think that Nina would be a great Chair - and not just by virtue of her being a woman. She's been involved in the leadership of many organization other than the Democratic Party.
There was one part of her e-mail that really attracted my attention:
I have been involved in party politics for a long time now; working at the grassroots and grass tops levels. Organizing and raising money. Developing strategy and helping implement tactics.
But that's just it - I've been very involved in the Wake County Democratic Party since 2004, and the NCDP since 2005/2006, and I believe I have run across Nina exactly one time.
So I sent her a response to her e-mail -
re your e-mail and the comments I copied above - exactly how have you been involved in Party politics?
Have you ever been a precinct officer or delegate from your precinct?
Have you ever been an officer of your county or district Party?
What about being on the State Executive Committee?
Have you ever attended any precinct meetings, county convention or CEC meeting, district convention, state convention or SEC meeting?
If you are interested in running for 1st Vice Chair and you want my vote - I want to know exactly what your qualifications are for running for that office. You will be one seat away from being Chair. What will you do to return the power of the Democratic Party back to the elected party officers and not let elected public officials, candidates, consultants, and big money donors run the Party into the ground - like they have done since 2009?
We can't win elections if we aren't organized from the grassroots up. And it does no good to elect Democrats to office when they act like Republicans and don't work to turn our Party Platform into public policy.
SEC member from Wake County
Now I realize that we can't turn our party platform into public policy - or even protect our state and natural resources when we are in the minority. We have to regain the majority in both sides of the General Assembly, and take back the Governor's Mansion. So talking about protecting the environment and all we have worked for so far is meaningless unless you have a concrete plan for building the Party to win back those offices. Thinking that you as a party officer will be responsible for writing ad copy for legislative campaigns is foolish.
I want to know what you will do to build the NC Democratic Party from the precinct on up? Knowing what you have done for the Party so far - how you have worked for the Party - is a big part of that.