The chair of the Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission rejected a request for just five minutes to present the conclusions of the new report “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.” But the task force that wrote the Autopsy got the message across anyway.
With the support of RootsAction, three members of the Autopsy task force traveled across the country to the recent final meeting of the commission. Uninvited, they spoke up -- and were heard not only by commission members but also by a nationwide audience via C-SPAN.
Our bright-colored signs and prominent six-foot banner also reached viewers with a crucial question: “Democratic Party or Undemocratic Party?”
The commission took a few steps toward democratizing the party. But the recommendations will soon go to the Rules and Bylaws Committee -- which DNC Chair Tom Perez has purged so badly that it now includes virtually no Bernie Sanders supporters.
We have a crucial fight on our hands!
As the sponsor of the Autopsy report that continues to reverberate in grassroots discourse about the Democratic Party’s future, RootsAction is gearing up for a new phase in the quest to democratize the party.
You can help move this vital campaign forward in two ways right now:
* Click here to go to the section of the Autopsy titled “Democracy and the Party” -- and use the icons on that webpage to share it far and wide via social media as well as via email.
* Help RootsAction and the Democratic Autopsy Task Force to keep on pushing. Support this vital effort by clicking here. RootsAction will pour the donations into our ongoing nationwide campaign to insist that the Democratic Party live up to its first name.
Yes, we want a strong united front to remove Republicans from power. At the same time, facile Democratic Party unity behind a failed approach -- internally undemocratic and politically hitched to corporate wagons -- would hardly be auspicious.
“Emerging sectors of the electorate are compelling the Democratic Party to come to terms with adamant grassroots rejection of economic injustice, institutionalized racism, gender inequality, environmental destruction and corporate domination,” the Autopsy points out. And it adds: “Siding with the people who constitute the base isn’t truly possible when party leaders seem to be afraid of them.”
Although the Democratic National Committee proclaimed anew at the start of this month that the Unity Reform Commission meeting would be “open to the public,” the DNC delayed and obscured information about the meeting. And it never replied to the people who filled out an online RSVP form -- thus leaving them in the dark about the times and exact location of the meeting. In short, the DNC went out of its way to suppress public turnout.
One member of the Autopsy task force, Karen Bernal, is the chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party. She took the liberty of speaking up as the second day of the commission meeting got underway. Karen provided a firm rebuke of the DNC’s efforts to suppress public attendance.
“For all of the talk about wanting to improve and reform and make this party more transparent, the exact opposite has happened,” Karen told the commission. (Her intervention aired in full on C-SPAN.)
Please share information about the Autopsy via email and social media. Also, the Democratic Autopsy Task Force can only sustain and widen our efforts if people like you contribute what you can afford. Whatever you do will be much appreciated!
Overall, the commission approved some recommendations that were improvements. One of the most notable: It called for reducing the number of notoriously undemocratic superdelegates to the national convention from 712 to about 300, while the only democratic number would be zero.
In a section written by civil rights attorney Pia Gallegos, the Autopsy declared: “The superdelegate system, by its very nature, undermines the vital precept of one person, one vote. The voting power of all superdelegates must end."
Here at RootsAction, we’re organizing to insist that the party live up to its first name. That’s why we’re putting a huge amount of energy and lots of our scant resources into supporting the Autopsy work.
In his cover story for The Nation about the Autopsy report, William Greider calls it “a text for rebellion and a rough suggestion of what a born-again Democratic Party might look like.” We think that organizing resistance with vision is necessary if the Democratic Party is to fulfill the twin imperatives spelled out in the Autopsy: “The goal is clarity for the challenges ahead to end Republican rule and gain lasting momentum for progressive change.”
-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> Sophia McClennen, Salon: “The DNC’s Day of Reckoning Is Here”
>> Norman Solomon, Common Dreams: “Battle for Democratic Party: After the Unity Reform Commission”
>> The Real News: “Nina Turner on Transforming the Democratic Party From the Inside”
>> Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post syndicated column: “Democrats Have a Chance to Revive the Party. Will They Seize It?”
>> Daniel Marans, HuffPost: “DNC Unity Commission Agrees on Slate of Historic Reforms”
>> The Real News: Video interview with Norman Solomon
>> Richard Eskow, Our Future: “Democrats Need More Democracy, Not Less”
>> William Greider, The Nation: "What Killed the Democratic Party?"
>> “AUTOPSY: The Democratic Party in Crisis”