I want to express my hearfelt gratitude to everyone who supported me from the bottom of my heart. I was humbled by my 100 votes. But I especially want to thank everyone who attended the District 8 Congressional DNC Obama Delegate Caucus, regardless who you supported, especially those who attended a caucus for the first time. That was alot of you. Don’t let it be your last.
I want to also congratulate the four delegates who will be going to Denver: Mike Ross, Sean Riley, Gloria Fox and Giovanna Negretti. They ran good campaigns. District 8 will be well represented in the Massachusetts delegation and among Obama delegates as a whole.
I was among those first time caucus goers also. Several attendees with a longer caucus going history told me this one was different in two ways: 1. While others have been as large, none have been as diverse. 2.This was the first time in a long time that delegates were allowed to speak. Usually a perfunctory vote was taken to dispense with the niceties of candidate statements and immediately start voting, since slates of candidates were often agreed upon in advance.
This almost happened again.
The chair took a voice vote to eliminate candidate statements and ruled that the ayes had it and that voting would start forthwith. But a floor rebellion developed, led by first time caucus goers, including those who knew that the rules stated it took a 2/3 vote to eliminate the right of candidates to speak. A physical vote was demanded and taken, and the right of the voters to hear what the candidates had to say was restored.
“Words matter,” Barack Obama has stated repeatedly. Here was an attempt to suppress words during an election. If speech is not allowed during the election process, it undermines the right of voters to make an informed decison, and therefore undermines the right to vote.
The only ones who would have benefited from this attempt to marginalize new faces among the candidates, were those candidates with name recognition and slates behind them. But as we all know, we had a real election in District 8 and no one had a cakewalk. I think we all benefitted from that.
For many, this was the first time they saw how sausage gets made, and may have gotten discouraged. However, because you were there you made a difference and opened up the democratic process. That’s how things change and we avoid complacency.It’s important you stay involved on both a local and national level after this election regardless of the outcome.
So again a big thank you for a wonderful experience, whether you supported me or not. The important thing is you took the time to come to the caucus and vote. For several years, I have been the election warden of my precinct. I am often saddened by the dearth of voter participation in some elections. If my precinct had the enthusiasm and turnout as we did on Saturday, I would be one happy warden.
Warmest wishes, Jim Brinning