A Democratic Party Renaissance Is Brewing

During this election, the campaign of Bernie Sanders had a lot of people excited. You can see this by the way he kept setting records for the number of small, individual donations.123 He raised $134,684,156 in small, individual contributions, coming out to 59.03% of his total funds.4 Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton raised only $91,522,689 in small, individual contributions, coming out to 18.39%.5 That's a much smaller percentage of small donors, but also a smaller absolute amount, even though she had more time to raise that money. So, when Bernie Sanders failed to win the Democratic primary, that left a lot of people disappointed, which you can see in the small number of Democratic voters that turned out for the general election.67

This has the Young Democrats of Michigan saying "We need new leadership!"8

Yousef Rabhi points out, though, that changing the leadership is not the first step. Rabhi has been a Washtenaw County commissioner since 2011, but will be inaugurated on January 10 as the State Representative in the 53rd district. "You have to be in it for the long haul, start from the grass roots, and work your way up. It will probably take years," he says.

The process of changing the Democratic party from the grass roots has begun, at least in Michigan. "At the last meeting of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, there were more people than I've ever seen there. There was no place to park. It was standing-room only. There were lots of young people," Rabhi said.

And this is not just happening in Washtenaw County. Here are some explicitly progressive Democratic Party events happening soon:

Tomorrow morning, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at 11:30am, there will be a rally outside the Michigan Democratic Party State Central Committeee (MDSCC) meeting, in support of Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair. This meeting is taking place in Westland. A group in Lansing is organizing a carpool to get there.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, there is a meeting called Progressive Revolution in Ann Arbor! aimed at changing the Democratic Party.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, there is a Progressive Women of Michigan Summit which has sold out the Royal Oak Music Theater. A second Progressive Women of Michigan Summit will take place in Lansing on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 (presidential inauguration day).

There are other opportunities to get involved in the party, even if they don't use the keyword "progressive". These meetings may be progressive nonetheless, and could be ensured to be progressive if they were overrun by a bunch of progressive people.

Tomorrow morning, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, 9am-noon is the meeting of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party. Note that it would be hard to attend this meeting as well as the rally at the MDSCC meeting.

On Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, there will be a meeting aimed at bringing new people into the Democratic Party.

The Michigan Organizer intends to report on at least some of these events! Stay tuned.