November 8, 2017
Well, the votes from Virginia and New Jersey are in and Democrats have soundly defeated every statewide Republican opponent in those elections. I guess we should, at least briefly, celebrate this victory. Fact is, the winning margins were a bit larger than expected - nearly 8% in Virginia, over 13% in New Jersey.
There are probably several reasons for this. It could be that pollsters and pundits underestimated how disliked Donald Trump is becoming among a growing number of Americans. Also, the TV commercials run by Republicans in Virginia followed the Trump playbook and disgusted or frightened some voters who normally might have ignored the election and stayed home from the polls.
But I'm sure that at least in Virginia, some of the victory margin was the result of the mobilization of volunteer Democrats from across the USA, who did their part phoning to get out the vote. This is encouraging as we near the 2018 Election year. - For those of you who participated in that phone effort, congratulations!
But here's another aspect of this story. In Virginia, only 47% of the eligible voters did vote (although that was the highest for their state elections in 20 years), and in New Jersey, the turnout was less than 37%. This voter apathy or purposeful disengagement needs to be addressed by Democratic Party strategists.
Voters across the United States are cynical and disillusioned. Today we're in a world where things are changing so rapidly, the public is desperate for reassurance that someone in their government recognizes their concerns. I won't get into how we got where we are, it's a pretty messy trail. But I don't feel that either political party is offering a clear path to better days.
Democrats need to start sparking the imagination and hopes of voters in positive ways. (We saw what that old guy Bernie Sanders did with scant help from his adopted party.) It seems to me that Democratic candidates could naturally be campaigning with much more substantial ideas and programs than their Republican opponents. Unfortunately, what we've been seeing since the 2016 Election is little more than the message, "We're not Donald Trump." Simply reacting to a dangerously ignorant
narcissist in the White House is not a long-term strategy for creating a political movement.
Our party is still letting Trump's actions lead our conversation with the public. As far as I can tell, most recent Democratic Party victories have had little to do with clearly stated Democratic programs or goals. In saying this I do realize that running on specific positions is a lot easier said than done. Any promising ideas presented by our candidates will immediately be attacked by Republicans and their money to distort and undermine the message. Even so, more of this type of campaigning has to start happening.
So, what are the messages with substance that Democrats should be delivering? You don't need to look any further than the platform page on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) website to find them. The Platform presents a list of dozens of issues that Democrats believe are important. They have all been declared Democratic Party planks. Each issue listed is linked to a more detailed position statement. Most represent common goals for Americans no matter what their race, religion, gender, age or sexual orientation. It's pretty impressive stuff.
When you scroll down the Platform, you quickly realize that you're reading a list of positions we've long associated with being a Democrat. They are worthy, unselfish goals that clearly value the humanity of every American and the irreplaceable miracle that is our environment. (Out of curiosity, I also looked up the Republican National Committee's 2016 Platform. There is a noticeable, and kinda nasty, difference.)
So, why isn't the Democratic Party leadership playing a bigger role in shaping consistent messaging for Democrats in races at every level of American politics? -- Beats me. We have smart, experienced members of the House and Senate capable of hammering away at programs Democrats support. We have impressive state-level office holders who could do that too. And just like the Republicans, we have wealthy supporters who could help fund think tanks to shape more consistent messaging. We also have many party members who could be groomed to run on those issues - at village, state and national levels.
Yes, Donald Trump is definitely still an issue that should be addressed. But our Democratic leaders should not allow the President's behavior, and the incompetence and corruption surrounding him, to drown out the discussion of seriously beneficial legislation.
Right now in Washington, there is a perfect opportunity to position Democrats as clearly standing for positive legislation. The Republicans are pushing their version of "tax reform." And there certainly are tax reforms that could mean a better life for millions of Americans. Those are the reforms congressional Democrats should be strongly advocating using clear specific language. And as for other aspects of the tax reforms being pushed by the GOP, our party's voices should be speaking out on the damage Republicans are trying to inflict on our future. - Maybe next week I can address some of that damage in more detail.
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Other events of interest:
Next Sunday, November 12 in Chicago -
A Reception for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
When: Sunday, November 12, from 5:00 - 7:00pm
Where: The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
You're invited to a
n evening with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin benefitting the Durbin Victory Fund.
Next Monday, November 13 at Northwestern University - State Senator Daniel Biss Town Hall
When: Monday, November 13, at 6:00pm
The Wildcat Room, 1st floor of Norris University Center,
Northwestern University, 633 Clark St., Evanston
Northwestern University College Democrats and Northwestern University Political Union sponsor a Town Hall with State Senator Daniel Biss (D-9), a Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois.
The event is open to the general public and all Northwestern students, faculty and alumni.
Next Tuesday, November 14 in Evanston -- Rep. Robyn Gabel's Annual Fall Recption.
When: Tuesday, November 14, from 5:30 - 7:00pm
Where: Curt's Café, 1813 Dempster St., Evanston
What: A fundraiser supporting State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-18).
Here is a list of the local and statewide Democratic candidates seeking your vote in the 2018 Primary Election. You have several months to get acquainted with the positions and qualifications before the Democratic Primary this spring and the NTDO Endorsement Meeting in January.
Because some web browsers will not accept e-mailings with a large number of Internet links, they have been erased from this candidate list.
To see all the available links, visit our NTDO website at ntdo.org. (If it isn't posted tonight, it should be soon.)
JB Pritzger representative-Andrew Pryzbylo, Mayor of Niles
Daniel Biss, State Senator 9th District
Illinois Attorney General:
Jesse Ruiz, Board of Commisioners, Park District
Kwame Raoul, IL State Senator13th District
Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park
Aaron Goldstein, 33rd Ward Committeeman
Scott Drury, IL State Rep, 58th District
Illinois State Representative -
Mary Rita Luecke
Cook County Assessor:
Frederick (Fritz) Kaegi
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the year follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
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When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.