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.