A high honor and a distinct privilege

Yesterday, for the third consecutive presidential election cycle, I participated in the 1st Congressional District Democratic caucus, where I was chosen as one of five delegates for Bernie Sanders to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

I consider this a great honor and as well as an important responsibility, and I am very grateful to my fellow Bernie supporters for their confidence in me. As I pledged during my speech, it is my intention to provide continuous live coverage of all the goings-on at the Convention, offering the local perspective that big media won’t. I am prepared to put more than twelve years of blogging/ liveblogging experience to work to deliver high quality coverage that includes images and audio/video clips as well as text.

As a Democratic activist focused on effective activism, I look at the Democratic National Convention as an unparalleled organizing opportunity. Since I became involved in the Party over a decade ago, I have consistently sought to make it more accountable, responsive, and governed from the bottom-up, not the top-down. I am looking forward to working with other supporters of Bernie Sanders, as well as supporters of Hillary Clinton, to push for a bold progressive platform and for rules reforms that will strengthen our Party and make it less susceptible to the corrupting influence of big money.

Among my priorities for reform of the party at the federal level are:

  • Doing away with so-called superdelegates (I have no objection to including Democratic governors, members of Congress, and other distinguished leaders in our quadrennial conventions, but they should be honorary participants as opposed to unpledged delegates);
  • Making the national party’s charter more inclusive of LGBT individuals (specifically, replacing gender-binary language in Article III, Section 16 requiring state central committees to be balanced between men and women);
  • Ending the absurd “tradition” that the Chair of the Democratic Party be handpicked by the President when the White House is held by a Democrat. The Chair of the Democratic Party should be democratically chosen in an open setting — not selected behind closed doors by fiat.

The Democratic Party cannot continue to operate the way it has been doing business going forward. To win public trust and bolster its brand, it must implement reforms that make it a more open, welcoming, and well-governed party that is truly of the people.

I applaud Senator Bernie Sanders for his resolve to see that the 2016 DNC is used as a launching pad to begin implementing the changes we need.

I am thrilled to be headed to Philadelphia with six other outstanding activists from the 1st CD: Richard May, Varisha Khan, Cat Williams, and Hillary Moralez (also for Bernie), and Olivia Burley and Shahzad Bhatti (for Hillary). We will be on our way to the City of Brotherly (& Sisterly) Love in just two months.

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