As 2013 winds down and we look forward to the new year, we can say one thing for sure: WE survived. Now we face the most important elections in a generation.
Why would I say that? There is a good chance that there won’t be a single local office that is contested on the November 4th ballot, the Republican officeholders either having failed to attract an opponent at all or just having failed to attract a Democratic opponent.
But even if we don’t have locally contested races, the Democratic Party will field a full slate of candidates for statewide office, many of whom would make great public servants. And in counties and districts throughout the state, Democrats will be fighting to bring back a slight hint of sanity to a state government that is working to transfer public assets to private interests and robbing our future through cuts in education and underfunding essential services for the old, the poor, and the hard working.
In Payne County, we need people willing to stand up and say, “Enough!”
Our county is the largest rural county in our state, seventh overall in population. We have a strong base of people — young, old and in between — willing to work for issues they believe in. And we are one of just a handful of counties and cities with a local headquarters.
It was understandable that in 2013 we had difficulty keeping a regular schedule at our headquarters because it wasn’t an election year and there just wasn’t much going on. We treaded water.
In 2014, we want people to come to us register to vote, to work on issues important to them, and to help them navigate their options when obstacles are all they get at most other places. WE want them to know that we exist so that maybe come November they’ll think about casting a few votes for Democrats. We can’t do that if our doors are closed or we have irregular or imperfect hours. And I can’t do this alone.
If you can possibly help, please sign up to volunteer here. On January 18, 2014, we will have a volunteer orientation meeting. We be forming committees of people to work on Diamond Donkey, our fundraiser in late April and issues the legislature will start haggling over in February. I hope that you’ll get this meeting on your calendar, figure out what you want to do and plan to attend.
I recently shared a quote on our Facebook page from Jon Stewart: “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.” Politics is a combat sport, not a hobby.
Dennis Whiteman, Chair
Payne County Democrats