“Infiltrating the Democratic City Committee”

Judith Durant, a Lowell resident who was a top grass roots campaigner for the recent U.S. Senate campaigns of Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, decided to get involved in the Lowell Democratic City Committee and attended last night’s “reorganization meeting.” Here’s her report:

I’ve been a registered Democrat living in Lowell’s Highlands for 13 years. During this time I’ve been an active volunteer in presidential and senatorial elections. As a Warren Warrior in 2012, I decided to attend the Lowell Democratic Caucus for the first time.

The caucus process was a mystery to me. I found my ward table and asked how this thing works. I learned that we would be electing a number of delegates, an equal number of men and women, and that any registered Democrat from our ward could run. I asked those who were running if they supported Warren so I could vote for them. As we had fewer participants than slots in our ward, none of the nominations was contested.

I attended the caucus again in 2013. Being that this was not an election year, turnout was even lower than in 2012 and we did not fill the slots. I wondered how these positions would get filled, but didn’t really give it too much thought.

This year I attended once again; there were a lot of people, and many candidates for statewide offices spoke. I put my name in to be a delegate, and as there were more candidates than positions, I feel lucky that I got in. Dick Howe commented that I looked awfully happy for someone who was going to be stuck in a hotel ballroom for hours on end.

Lately I’ve been wondering how that whole caucus thing comes together. I learned that city and town committees, functioning under rules set up by the State Committee, organize and run the caucuses. What surprised me was how difficult it was to learn who comprises the Lowell Committee and how one gets involved. I did a Google search for Lowell Democratic City Committee and found a link for Lowell Republican City Committee, but not a trace of the Dems. This, thought I, is wrong. So when I found out through other activists that the LDCC was planning a reorganization meeting for April 3, I decided to attend.

The agenda for the 7:00 meeting was to reorganize the ward and city committees. By 7:10 I was the only person besides the Chair of my ward at our table, so by agreeing to I became secretary of the ward committee. Eventually two others showed up so we now have a treasurer and an associate member.

All ward chairs remain chairs. All city committee officers in attendance remain officers. Raymond Russell is now Affirmative Action Outreach Adviser (way to go Raymond!). The floor opened for discussion and I mentioned that it may be a good idea to create a web page or a Facebook page for the committee. Lynne Lupien, who was also in attendance, volunteered to create the page. I will try to help in creating and collecting content. Paul Sweeney suggested that we create an ad hoc committee to travel to other towns that have active committees and collect ideas for invigorating the Lowell Committee—we now have such a committee who will report back at a to-be-scheduled meeting in May.

I would love to see a large and active Democratic Committee in Lowell, and to that end I will work with others to communicate and reach out to other Lowell Democrats. There’s a long row to hoe, but I believe we can progress. Each ward can have up to 35 members, with various associate members added as needed. Like the Lowell Democratic City Committee on Facebook–the page was created as I typed this up. We’d love to see you at the next meeting.

5 Responses to “Infiltrating the Democratic City Committee”

  1. Marie says:

    As I noted on the Facebook page ~ Re-invigorating Democratic town/ward and city committees is important and one of the reasons for re-organizing every 2-4 years. I can report that Tewksbury DTC has new members filling some open seats, new associates and some new officers and plans for some new activities. What’s happening elsewhere in Greater Lowell?

  2. Linda Copp says:

    Judith Durant, as a Warren Warrior myself, I am honored to have worked with such a dedicated and committed group of volunteers with one purpose in mind to see this deeply intelligent and committed woman fighting to protect the sanctity of the middle class become a voice in the Senate! What a voice and what leader she has become for not only MA but for our nation. We, Carol Carbonell and myself have been learning the aspects of our democratic process ever since her campaign from the Caucus to Ward reorganization. It has been our, extreme honor to meet and subsequently come to know so, many hard working Democrats working in all capacities throughout the city. I thank them all for keeping our democracy going all these years. Now, it is time to reach out and encourage others to join us in our fight for both equality and quality of life issues which is central to everyone’s life. We must help bring more voices and their energy to the democratic table, too many wards are under represented. We must change this going forth..

  3. Frances McDougall says:

    I believe you mean to speak with towns with active committees. Maybe you need to find out which towns actually have committees who are fully involved as opposed to those who claim to be active but leave the most of the actual Democratic Party involvement to non-comittee members. Just saying.

  4. Raymond F. Russell says:

    As Ms Durant has stated, I too find this whole process to be hard to maneuver. As I have been appointed affirmative action committee person, I am here for the long haul, I take this position seriously. I am Raymond, and I am still trying to figure out how all of this works. Good luck to we Democrats in Lowell.