What a great time to be a Democrat in Orange County! It is easy to lose sight of that when we read or watch what the President is saying. However, that is also exactly why it is a great time to be a Democrat here. The moment is ours.
Democrats turned out in record numbers to vote last November. For the first time in 80 years the Democratic candidate for President won in Orange County. Frustrated Democrats are now turning out in record numbers to Democratic club meetings, State Party delegate elections and to meetings/events in our communities. We must capture this energy and enthusiasm, and focus on protecting the values and principles of the Democratic Party as we prepare for the 2018 elections.
I am honored to have been chosen by unanimous consent to serve as Chair of the Democrat Party of Orange County. I am so grateful to have widespread support as I begin this term. I have been warned, and totally get the joke, that the chair’s job is that of herding cats.
Challenging as that sounds, that is what is best about the Democratic Party. We are a widely diverse and inclusive Party that represents the changing demographics of Orange County. We are deeply passionate activists committed to making our communities better places for all children, families, and neighbors. We organize and campaign to elect candidates who will advance our platform and promote the values and programs that generations of Democrats have worked to achieve.
We may not always be heading down the road on the same path, but we are guided by the same goals: quality child care, preschool and K-12 public education, access to higher education, good jobs with living wages, decent affordable housing, accessible quality health care, equal rights, clean air and water, and care for our veterans and seniors.
During the next several weeks, we will develop our strategic plans that will take us to the 2018 elections. These plans will be created around three key areas: communication, collaboration and candidates.
There are now more than 525,000 registered Democrats in Orange County. We need to communicate with them and actively engage them in the 2018 elections. Democrats are busy people doing great things everyday in our communities and we need to spread that word. I hope to engage our Party leaders and members through discussion groups, forums, workshops and events. We have a loud voice, let’s use it.
We can accomplish so much more by working together. We have partners with whom we must build and strengthen relationships to better focus on common goals. By collaborating with each other within the Party structure, as well as with our partners, good public policy and successful elections will be possible.
Lastly, we must focus on developing our future leaders. This past election has motivated an impassioned group of bright young people with progressive ideals to get involved in their communities and in our Party. We must embrace them as we look to develop and support candidates for seats on school boards, city councils, state offices and Congress. I encourage all Orange County Democrats to seek appointments and positions within their communities. Build your experience and knowledge. Get prepared for leadership.
As President Obama said,” If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere”.
Let’s get the Party started.
Fran Sdao, Chair, Democratic Party of Orange County
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