Democrats in counties across the state are holding reorganization meetings this month. It’s a process that occurs every two years shortly after each even-year election. On Saturday, February 4, Boulder County Democrats in the 20th Judicial District met at Centennial Middle School in Boulder to elect Mark Williams as the new party chair.
“What we’re going to be doing equals the acronym OOMF – we’re going to organize, outreach, mobilize and fundraise,” said Williams. “We want to bring new energy into the party. It’s about inclusivity, outreach and taking all that energy and passion that people in the Democratic Party have now and making a difference. Going forward we need to do things with a message that includes the progressive values and voices of the people.”
Also on Saturday, Geoff Cahoon, was elected new vice chair of the Boulder County Democratic party for internal planning. He says Boulder County’s overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton was significant in Colorado voting Democratic for the third presidential election in a row.
“When you get a turnout of 91.5 percent, that’s going to generally yield Democratic victories. We’re a core party and you might say Boulder is the counterbalance to Colorado Springs. We need to stay organized and unlike other elections where we elect someone great like Barrack Obama and then go back to eating our Cornflakes – no – we have to lace up our boots and and resist Donald Trump.”
Cahoon says he has been organizing demonstrations at Republican Senator Cory Gardner’s office on Tuesdays each week and supporting Indivisible groups. The grassroots “Indivisible Movement” was launched in December of last year and now has chapters in nearly every major city in the U.S. The goal of the activists is to resist the Trump agenda much in the way the Tea Party mobilized against President Obama.
Candace Bowie helps Democrats host their annual fundraiser, the Truman Dinner each year. She says it’s important that Democrats stay energized.
“It’s important to understand what happened in the 2016 election and that more work needs to be done.”
Many like Bowie have been active in the Democratic Party for decades, but it was the first time to get involved for 15-year old Elise Gooding-Lord of Monarch High School.
“I am starting a new group at my high school called Young Democrats. I think just because we can’t vote yet doesn’t mean we can’t have a political voice,” said Gooding-Lord.
It was also the first time 24-year old Samuel Hotaling had attended a meeting with the Democrats. He felt in the last election his age group and people of color were underrepresented in the party and a lot of momentum was squandered.
Boulder Democrats chose Meghan Vallejo as the new Secretary of the party. She also says getting involved is critical to make the party more inclusive.
Finally, former Boulder County Commissioner and longtime Democratic activist Josie Health was heartened by the turnout and new faces at the meeting.
“There’s a reason to be fired up because the Democratic Party has brought Americans so many things that are treasured including health care, social security and working people’s rights, immigrant rights and women’s rights and now everyone of those is being threatened,” said Heath. “The Democratic Party needs dreamers and do-ers to set things right during this very frightening time.”
In three weeks the Democratic National Committee will hold a meeting in Atlanta to elect a new chair that the party hopes will ease lingering tensions amid allegations that the national leadership appeared to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary.