Saturday April 29 will mark 100 days of the Trump presidency – three months that have seen significant, passionate resistance to his agenda. That passion is something Boulder County Democrats also hope to harness as the party works to reverse a decade-long string of electoral defeats at nearly every level of government. KGNU’s Roz Brown spoke to the new chairman of the local party, Mark Williams.
“My message is that there’s a new wind blowing in the Democratic Party and there are some exciting things happening,” said Williams.
Elected to the post in February 2017, Williams is a brand new face within the local Democratic Party with the ambitious goal of bringing Democracy with a small “d” back to the local organization with the theme, ‘Go Engage.’
“What we’re seeing is that people want to get their hands dirty,” said Williams. “They want to channel it in some way so people actually feel they’re making a difference in whatever way they want to make a difference and help them run the marathon between now and 2020 and keep folks engaged and reach out and engage more people and give them a sense of a vibrant political community where they can make an impact – that’s the goal of the Go Engage campaign.”
Professionally Williams comes from a background in start-ups. He was also an Air Force pilot in the military and has worked in the mindfulness community. He says consensus and dialogue come first because the Democratic Party needs to rebuild trust and then build an agile organization that is responsive.
At a meeting of the Democratic Women of Boulder County last week Joyce McDaniel said she’s encouraged by the uptick in local activism.
“I feel somewhat optimistic and that started with the Women’s March in January,” said McDaniel. Another member, Phyllis Rheiner creates the monthly programs attended by Democratic Women and worried after the election that people would give up and stay home. She was pleasantly surprised the first program after the November election had more attendees that all previous programs for the entire year.
But what will it take to Democrats energized? Party chair Williams says if Democrats are going to rebuild it will need to start at the local and state level.
“Frankly we haven’t seen much leadership at the national level,” said Williams. “We’re starting to see leadership at the state level with Morgan Carroll as the Chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party because she has some great ideas. But my goal is that Boulder is running as fast as it can so we develop solutions and then share those solutions. We can’t sit in our own little blue bubble in Boulder and just vote Democratic – we need to support people in neighboring counties too because if we isolate then we’re not representing the greater good of the state or the country. To me, we have to make sure we’re doing this for 2018 and 2020 because this is the political battle of a lifetime – it’s the battle for our Republic.”
For more information on the Boulder County Democratic Party go to bocodems.org.