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When MyDD's Chris Bowers writes a post on Daily Kos, you recommend it. Look back over his diary history, when he posts, it is worth recommending.

Now, blogger Chris Bowers has become candidate Chris Bowers. And again it is time to recommend him (for Committeeperson, Ward 27, Division 23 in Philly). When the best and brightest run, we need to support them. From MyDD:

It is one thing to say you want to reform the Dmeocratic Party. It is quite another thing to realize that you can just take it over because you realize very few people are participating within it. This is, indeed, something that we need to do, because a lack of a vibrant party structure has very real consequences at the ballot box.

...more...

Although I have no desire to hold public office, a realization that has become more obvious to me the more I have become involved in politics, ever since Seth Williams lost the Democratic primary for District Attorny here in Philadelphia, I have been thiking about running for party office. To be more specific, I had committeeperson in mind, which in Philadelphia is the equivalent of precinct captain. This is actually an elected position held on primary day every mid-term election year.

My desire to run for local party office stems from several factors. For starters, the Philadelphia Democratic Party is one of the most extreme examples of Unreformed Democrats I have ever encountered. Secondly, I think being a local precinct captain, if it is done well, is perhaps the best example of pure democracy anywhere in the world. Talking to your neighbors about politics, helping them register to vote, and doing GOTV work in your own 'hood is really about as good as representative government can get. Third, I just straight up love that sort of work, which is one of the reasons why I liked being a union organizer. Fourth, I really don't think any party should be in the business of bossing primaries by having the central committee structure endorse a candidate without letting the party members decide for themselves. This sort of stuff happens all the time here in Philadelphia nad Pennsylvania, and I would like to help put an end to it.

All of these reasons aside, the number one reason why I have been thinking about running for commiteeperson is that even though I have lived and been registered to vote in Philadelphia's 27th ward for five consecutive years now (and a sixth year from 1997-1998), never once has a local commiteeperson come to talk with me. ACORN has stopped by. MoveOn contacted me several times during the 2004 campaign, twice coming to my door. I have voted in this ward six times now, and not a single time was someone from the Democratic PArty standing outside my precinct distributing information. I did meet a Republican doing it once.

In other words, I wanted to run for committeperson because I have grown convinced that the local Democratic Party simply isn't doing its job. It is endorsing candidates in primaries, but it never seems to contact voters and explain why it is doing so. Enough was enough, I figured. If someone was going to stop me from becoming one of the local precinct captains (two people are elected in each division, aka precinct), then they were going to have to do so by actually contacting more voters than me. Quite frankly, that seemed perfectly fair.

Yup, that is why we love Chris Bowers. So here are the action items:

  1. Recommend this diary (I don't normally make such an ask, but this is for Bowers).

  2. Recommend Chris and get him on the DFA A-List.

  3. Go over to the thread on MyDD and post your ideas.

  4. Follow Bowers' example.
Update for spelling

Originally posted to Bob Brigham on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 05:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  T-Shirts, T-Shirts... (4.00)
    Get you T-Shirts.

    Go Bowers Go!

  •  This is the greatest news ever... (none)
    I cannot wait to contribute to the campaign, take a few weekends to block-walk (my g/f lives in philly, so I'll certainly be down there), and just do whatever I can to help Chris.

    Starting with recommending this diary and recommnding Chris Bowers to DFAs A-List.

    Tim

    Join Sherrod Brown and "Grow Ohio" from the grassroots.

    by ttagaris on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 05:31:21 PM PDT

  •  Chris has a dairy history? (4.00)
    Hmm..that may not play well in the city though I hear a little history with the "dairy" is not necessarily unheard of in the rural areas....

    The only life that matters to a conservative is that which can't talk back.

    by cls180 on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 06:04:54 PM PDT

  •  Question (none)
    Is he a Pennachio supporter? That's my key question.
    •  I won't be endorsing (4.00)
      either Casey or Pennachio in the primary. I will, however, tell everyone in my division (precinct) about both, since that primary will take place on the same day. My goal is for my division to be the highest turnout division in the entire city.
  •  Cool (4.00)
    I'm gonna run the most thorough campaign for committee person this city has seen for decades. Full voter database, multiple contacts for each ovter, multiple types of contact of reach voter. And its all going to be personal contacts.

    My only regret is that without a word processing program, this was, without a doubt, the ugliest story I have written at MyDD, Dailykos or Swing State Porject in at least a year.

    This isn't a joke--this is going to be a well run campaign. I am going to document the entire thing as it progresses. I urge everyone reading this to run where they live.

    Thank you for your support. Peace.

    •  tell the story (4.00)
      A lot of other first time candidates who are running for Party positions will be experiencing many of the things you have in front of you.

      Learning together means learning quick. Figure it out, re-deploy the tactics, and refine -- grassroots reform.

    •  Ok Chris (none)
      A Few questions.

      Here in Ohio you get elected to central committee for the county party. yuo run in a precinct so not that many folks to go grab votes from to get elected, and half the time the seat is vacant anyhow.

      Reading your post, it appears the nomenclature is different but the general situation the same.

      How many voters you got to target and how many usually vote for "princint captain" ?

      ps, You and Billmon are top "o" the reading list each day....and you are wayyy prolific.

      I dont know how you do it to be honest. I have done about 510 blog entries since Feb, and most arent in depth analysis and i know i feel burned out at least 2 or 3 days a week after getting home from work.

      So, i know you would work hard as a precint captain and make an impact. Good Luck !

      Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

      by Pounder on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blogging (4.00)
        Thanks for the kind words. 510 entries since Frubary ain't nothing to sneeze at, so I wouldn't worry. For me, I think its just that I have been writing forever, and writing a lot forever, so its natural. Structuring my life around blogging doesn't hurt either.

        I figure the voter target is around 50--that should be good enough for at least second place. That doesn't amtter though. The point isn't just to become a committee person, the point is to do the office well. My target will actually be over 250. If I am not turning people out to vote in my district, then why the hell am I a precinct capatain in the first place?

    •  Chris, (4.00)
      In case you haven't already invested in a new word processor, check out OpenOffice.  It's open source, it's free, and it easily rivals MS and Wordperfect.

      Ignorance is never random. - Gunnar Myrdal

      by ThomasAllen on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 06:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bowers writes amazing stuff (none)
    that involves a lot of research and work.  I'm always impressed by his postings.

    Also, what's with the blogging strength in Philly?  Him, Atrios...seriously, they've got an all-star team.  

    •  There was an article recently (4.00)
      In the Philadelphia Weekly, a free local paper, that discussed the dearht of non-profit jobs for us young do-godder types here in Philly, which has led to something of an exodus among our young do-godder types. I think blogging might be an outlet for people like me who had a difficult time finding the sort of activist work I liked around here, but didn't want to leave.
  •  We call them Precinct Chairpersons (4.00)
    here in Cleveland, and our local chapter of DFA (theNortheast Ohio Democracy For America) is urging progressives in Cuyahoga Cpounty to run for the position. Our belief is that if we could get at least 100 people elected throughout the county, and get 15 - 20 otf them elected ward leader, we could make serious changes to the Cuyahoga Co. Democratic Party -- a lackluster organization high on cronyism and low on action and clout.

    There are currently at least 50 open seats, and many many seats thhat could be won with about five hours worth of effort knocking on just a few doors.

    If you live in Cuyahoga County, please contact me to learn more about what it takes to run for precinct Chairperson.

    Support our terrific open source media project! Donate to ePluribus Media today!

    by Timroff on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:55:49 PM PDT

  •  Let's try that again (preview is yor friend)... (4.00)
    We call them Precinct Chairpersons here in Cleveland, and our local chapter of DFA (the Northeast Ohio Democracy For America) is urging progressives in Cuyahoga Cpounty to run for the position. Our belief is that if we could get at least 100 people elected throughout the county, and get 15 - 20 otf them elected ward leader, we could make serious changes to the Cuyahoga Co. Democratic Party -- a lackluster organization high on cronyism and low on action and clout.

    There are currently at least 50 open seats, and many many seats thhat could be won with about five hours worth of effort knocking on just a few doors.

    If you live in Cuyahoga County, please contact me to learn more about what it takes to run for precinct Chairperson.

    Support our terrific open source media project! Donate to ePluribus Media today!

    by Timroff on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:57:30 PM PDT

  •  In Minnesota (none)
    The precinct chair is elected by the caucus every 2 years.

    Our precinct has never had a contest.  I was chair from 1994-1996 and my sister was in office from 2002-2004.

    Unfortunately, our state party never gave us a good knock list to go and GOTV.

  •  Precinct organizing (none)
    Can someone please explain in detail what the duties of these offices are and how the election process works? It sounds like each state does it differently. Here is SC we have NO precinct level organzation but we're moving that way soon, hopefully.

    Also, good luck Chris! I am a big fan.

  •  Go for it! (none)
    As a precinct chair/treasurer for the Gregg County Democratic Party in Northeast Texas, I can definitely say that we need Democrats involved in all levels.

    This is about more than just Chris.
    To all of you out who haven't gotten involved in your local party, please do.  Local parties are about ordinary people such as you, striving to make a difference

  •  I'm a committeeguy...no competition (none)
    When I moved from South Philly to Montgomery County, PA, after I unpacked most of my boxes, I called the Montco Dems office and asked who my committeeperson is.  Response:  "You wanna be?"  They hadn't had one in my precinct in some time.  Thus, by virtue of having a pulse, I became a committeeperson.

    So if you live somewhere in Pennsylvania that's not Philadelphia, call your county Dem Party office.  You, like me, may discover the committee slot in your precinct is empty, and the glamour of being a committeeperson await!  (Actually during the primary I had a little too much glamour; I stood outside in blinding sun all day, and got a hellish sunburn.)

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