Earlier this morning, I met with the Ward 9 Democrats of South End/Lower Roxbury to hear their complaints about the $75 delegate fee for this year’s convention in Amherst. Their complaints have been echoed by others in my State Comm. district (Second Suffolk) and I took the issue to the recent Convention hearing at Roxbury Community College. This issue shouldn’t go away. Others are annoyed about the scheduling of a convention in Amherst the weekend of UMass’ graduation, thus eliminating the opportunity for many of us to stay out in that great part of the state on Friday or Saturday night. (granted, there are bigger issues in the world, but if we’re going to do one of these, do it right, and encourage people to participate).
I tried to raise some discussion of this today in the context of the 2008 selection of Lowell (again!) as the site for the convention. The decision however, was quick gaveled through, and when I tried to ask for details on the comparitive costs of Amherst this year vs Lowell next year (important to the fees we will be paying then), I got some murmurings from the dais about hotel rooms, but no real answers about costs. (having a microphone in the audience for those members who wished to speak today would have been a nice idea too — civic engagement begins at home …)
John W. has a great opportunity to take the DSC’s work up a notch — to engage more rank and file DSC members, rotate the committee assignments around a bit more (Platform, Credentials, etc), and find a way to recruit more young people into party activism (not just the college kids, but the ones in high school in Boston, Lynn, Lowell, New Bedford, etc.)
And lets find a creative way to lower delegate fees so that more inner-city folks, more seniors, more working people can partcipate. Chairman Johnston found a way for our party to be financially competitive, Chairman Walsh should now finds ways for the party to be financially inclusive.
Good luck, John from Abington!
PS — John’s tenure started off with a resolution introduced from the floor to have a straw poll taken at the 2007 Convention. While I sympathize with the idea as a way to bring the 2008 candidates into the state and raise the profile of Massachusetts in 2008, the idea probably should have been floated at the end of 2006 and not at the last meeting before the convention. As such, it was defeated.