Thursday, August 08, 2013

So where are the YOUNG Democrats coming from?

First, y'all need to go and read JR Lind's Weekly Obsession from the soon-to-be-defunct Nashville City Paper.  Go ahead, I can wait.  Ok, got it?  Good.

He makes a helluva point that the TNDP and its enablers are living in a past where 1994 never happened and we are in perpetual 1992 and people WANT to vote for Blue Dogs and EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE IF YOU JUST LISTEN TO US!!!!

Well, no.  The part that froze me but did not surprise me was this quote about the departure of Lowe Finney from the State Senate:

Not to disparage the Senate Democratic Caucus, many of whom have given years — and in some cases, nearly a century — of service to the state of Tennessee. But that’s just the problem. 
With Finney, the average age of a Senate Democrat is 64. 
Without him, it’s 69.
Whoa.  Now, I remember that Ross had noted something similar at VIBINC, but I can't find it right now.

Where is our future coming from, people?  I am not disparaging the state YDs; Sean Braisted is busting his butt to build that organization.  Where, though, are our Young Democrats?  We need more people like Braisted, Spencer Bowers (UT-Martin), Charles Uffelman (U Memphis) and more young WOMEN to be involved and to RUN for office.

Speaking of that, what happened to George Monger?  Remember the young tech whiz that Democrats named to the County Election Commission but inexplicably refused to re-appoint him, naming Anthony Tate in his stead?  (By the way, I hear good things about Tate's work so far.)  I have heard disturbing reports that there were other legislators afraid of this rising star and wanted to short-circuit his career.  PEOPLE, THIS IS THE TYPE OF YOUNG DEMOCRAT WE NEED!!!  HERE AND THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

So, I will tell you what I think should happen.  With the passing of Lois DeBerry, we now have an open seat in the General Assembly.  George Monger is the type of young, aggressive leader that we need in Nashville who will not be afraid to call shenanigans on the GOP.  We need to encourage him to run for District 91, and if the County Commission appoints someone to fill that position in the interim before the necessary special election, we need to encourage them to appoint George to that seat.

We don't need to stop with George; we need younger, stronger voices representing Democratic policies in our General Assembly, our County Commission , our City Council and our Unified School Board whenever and wherever possible.  We need to build a BENCH, which is what the state GOP is doing, and they are smart to do so.  We need these younger people because without them, the Democratic Party has no future here.

We need to make sure that they have good jobs, we need to encourage College Democrats clubs at ALL of our local colleges, not just U of M (I know CBU will be a tough nut to crack, but still....).  We need to encourage the building of Young Democrats clubs in every county here.  Terry Spicer was doing a terrific job, then he moved, but now he's back, so maybe he could get involved!

And Shelby County elected Bryan Carson as County Chair, who got elected for far more than his mother's good name, he got it because he WORKED for it.  We need younger people involved because old farts like me won't be around forever.  We need to ENCOURAGE our Young Democrats, not run them off.

So, what should we do about this?  I want to hear from you in the comments.  And, George Monger, PLEASE run for District 91!


Dave said...

I think money and lack of encouragement from older party leaders are big barriers keeping younger Dems from running, and more so the money part. There aren't many people who can finance their own campaigns. And younger people have fewer connections with people who donate. That's where the party leaders come in. We need them to help with fundraising and building a base of supporters.

Some would say we need more young people to get involved and make it known they want to run. That's certainly true. We need as many as we can get. But there are some out there right now who want to run and aren't getting the help they need for various reasons. If more leaders put aside their own reelection fears and make it known that qualified young people will get their help I think we'll see more of them step up and run.

Steve Steffens said...

Preach it, Dave!!! Fear=RETREAT and that is the last thing we can afford right now.