My last entry gave a brief history of how the Kansas Progressive Caucus came to be. I promised to look at volunteering this time, and so I shall. First, some background of why this is important to me.
Vol·un·teer·ism: the practice of using volunteer workers, especially in community service or educational organizations and programs. courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
When writing the By-Laws in the fall of 2004, the fact that no other caucus in Kansas, at least for the Democratic Party, had many roles for people came to mind. I looked over all of the existing by-laws and rules for all of the caucuses and even the KSDP, and found that there was no mechanism to involve people in the process of electing Democrats at any level. We needed people who have a vision of where they want our county, state, or country to go. The only way to do that I still feel today, is to get as many people involved locally as possible. Only by volunteering to be a precinct committeeman or woman, getting involved with local government and learning what the opposition already knows, can we begin to take our government back from a handful of people who believe that Dinosaurs walked with man 6000 years ago.
I wrote the original draft of the By-Laws of the caucus to maximize the input from every corner of the state, and ensure that no portion of the state could monopolize the caucus executive committee. Positions for US Congressional District chairs, By-Laws chair, a Treasurer, and a Caucus Secretary to lead the communications committee were included. I also included a Finance chair to operate the 501(c)3 I envisioned because I wanted the caucus to have its own PAC, the Kansas Progressive Political Action Committee (KProPAC). Now with recession, I don’t know if the caucus can pull it off. But I digress.
The committees of the caucus were primarily to be local; one in each county of the state, and those counties were combined into their respective US Congressional districts for representation at the state level. Having our local members become Precinct Committee persons was to be the beginning. From that lowly position of serving in your neighborhood, we could begin the caucus’s job of training and electing progressives to school boards, city commissions, county governments, and even to state office.
One thing I firmly believe in is training, and we train best by doing. Volunteering to serve on a committee of the caucus, your county’s central committee, and maybe even getting involved in community service events furthers our progressive goal for Kansas and the nation, one person at a time. What could be more personal and beneficial to our neighbors than that?
Next time, I’ll look at the committees in local politics and committees that are not supposed to be political, unless you believe certain things.
Tip O’Neil once said, "All politics is local." Let’s prove him right.
Crossposted at Forward Kansas.