Last week, Alabama did something remarkable. Last month, Melrose did.
My family moved to Melrose two years ago around the time of the last city election. I was excited to get involved with our new city, and was appointed to the Melrose Commission on Women and became a member of the Melrose Democratic City Committee. I was elated to be a part of a community of like-minded neighbors as we worked and prepared to elect our nation’s next Democrat and first woman President. And then, everything changed.
In April 2017, I became the Chair of the Melrose Democrats. The Melrose Dems had to take a strong turn, focus our members, and provide opportunities for the dozens of newly impassioned Melrosians to get more deeply involved with our local democracy. While we watched our national government unravel daily, we fought to keep our members focused on the immediate impact we could make at our local level and citywide debates about the need for a women’s commission and Sanctuary City status kept us grounded locally. Within months, the Melrose Dems had drafted a strategic plan, created and organized around initiatives to foster our growth, and prepared for November’s election in Melrose.
The Committee had never endorsed municipal candidates before because, historically, local elections are nonpartisan. Recently, national issues around equality, the environment, healthcare, and immigration (just to name a few) have seeped into cities and towns across America. As Washington seeks to roll back recent progress, our local governments are now faced with decisions about how to fill in the gaps. And as Democrats, we had suddenly found ourselves taking a critical look into the values of local officials and candidates because they make decisions on our behalf that impact us all. The Melrose Dems decided at a monthly meeting early on in 2017 to support candidates who had the same values as we did. More importantly, we knew we needed to act differently if we wanted different results.
Once papers were pulled and signatures gathered, the ballot looked like this: Read More…