Democratic Party "is like having a giant megaphone. Whose voice will it amplify?"

The Democratic Party renaissance continues. Last night in Ann Arbor, approximately 40 people attended a meeting called "Progressive Revolution in Ann Arbor," focused on bringing new people into the Democratic Party.

The meeting was organized by Sam Pernick and Kelly Collison, of the Young Democrats of Michigan, who recently organized a large group of people to make new voices heard at the Michigan Democratic Party State Central Committee (MDSCC). The meeting was attended mostly by people from Ann Arbor, but other cities were represented as well: Jackson, Dexter, Lansing, Wayne, Wixom, Ypsilanti. And many of those people were representing similar organizations in their home cities.

During a brainstorming session, people expressed their dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party: "It's all about corporations, money, and lobbyists," said one frustrated meeting-goer. Another said "When the Tea Party started raising their voices, the Republicans rushed over to them and said 'how can we bring you in?' Meanwhile, the Democrats have been giving the finger to the Green Party, and think all the Dems need is a new marketing strategy."

Also during the brainstorming, the quesiton came up: Why the Democratic Party? Why not form our own party? Sujit Das provided one answer, saying "As dysfunctional as the Democratic Party is, it's like having a giant megaphone. Whose voice will it amplify?" Kelly Collison added, "starting a third party is just what they want us to do. They have the power. They don't want us to take it."

The main purpose of this meeting was to sign new people up for the party, so that they can vote at the state convention on Feb 11th. In order to vote there, a person must be a member for at least 30 days, so everyone who wishes to vote must be signed up by Jan 11th. Sam Pernick intends to continue to have meetings each week until the convention. Kelly Collison circulated forms to sign up for the party. These forms are also available on the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP)'s website, to print and mail or to fill out online. There is no cost to join the party, if you print and mail the form. It asks how much you'd like to contribute, and you can write $0. If you use the online form, you must contribute at least $1. Sujit Das warns that you should follow up with the party after sending in your form, because their database is in a state of disarray.

At the state convention, each congressional district will vote on members to send to the MDSCC. Sam Pernick recommended to people at last night's meeting that they run for these seats.

In the meantime, there's plenty of ways to get involved and stay involved.

The organizations that were represented at this meeting were:

There are other opportunities to get involved: