Young Democrats of Michigan statement on Michigan Democratic State Central Committee (MDSCC), 2016-12-02


We, the Young Democrats of Michigan, are the emerging voice of our country and of the Democratic Party. As such, we believe the the next DNC Chairman should reflect not only our values, but have the leadership and integrity to rebuild and bridge the divide in our party. We believe the next Chair should be a fighter for the working class - not special interests, lobbyists, and the party elite. We also believe this person must have a voting record that shows true commitment to the core values of the Democratic party. We believe the next Chair must bring an outsider’s perspective which reflects the changing times and be able to grow our party. We don’t need a Chair that reflects the values of the party 12 years ago, but someone who will champion the progressive values of Democrats today.

For this reason, the Young Democrats of Michigan has endorsed Michigan native and current Congressman representing the 5th district of Minnesota, Keith Ellison in the race for DNC Chair. Congressman Ellison’s voting record reflects the policy ideas and the social progress that our party stands for. He supports a living wage, and has sponsored legislation in Minnesota to increase the minimum wage. He has also supported legislation that would regulate and keep a watchful eye on Wall Street. Keith supports increased investment in infrastructure which will employ the men and women of the working class and repair highways, bridges and public schools across our country. He supports the taxation of offshore corporate accounts to maintain a fair tax code, and has sponsored federal loan forgiveness programs to support our students. He also strongly supports our labor unions and the right of collective bargaining, which forms the backbone of the American middle class. Keith Ellison has the integrity and vision to lead our party. He is beyond reproach in his support for open, fair, and inclusive policy-making in the Democratic National Committee. We believe he is the best candidate to represent all democrats and progressives moving forward.

This Saturday, the Michigan Democratic Party State Central Committee will elect 3 men and 3 women to new four-year terms to represent Michigan Democrats at the DNC. The election will be held on December 3rd at Westland City Hall at 12:30 pm at a meeting of the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee (MDSCC). At this meeting, the only people allowed to speak will be members of the MDSCC. The only people allowed to make motions are members of the MDSCC, and the only people allowed to vote are members of the MDSCC. Nominations for DNC members can only be made by MDSCC members. A list of declared candidates has not released before the meeting, nor do we know of more than two candidates who are running (both of whom have publicly declared). For the remaining candidates, we do not know who they support for DNC Chair or what their qualifications are. It is also worth noting that the MDP did not broadcast the fact that any member in good standing who has been with party for 30 days or more is eligible to run in this election.

Given these facts, we ask the following: How can we as members-at-large of the Democratic Party vet DNC candidates whose names are unknown? How can DNC candidates be our voice as Michigan Democrats if we are not permitted to ask them questions at the meeting where they will announce their candidacy and be elected? How can we claim to be a progressive party if elections are conducted in such a non-transparent manner?

We urge all progressive activists, Democrats, and MDP members to join the Young Democrats of Michigan at Westland City Hall at 11:30 am on Saturday, December 3rd. We are rallying to support Keith Ellison for DNC Chair and demanding that the MDSCC members nominate and elect individuals who will support him. We also urge all MDSCC members to strongly consider these recommendations to make our party more transparent and fair for all who wish to participate. By welcoming all to participate and become involved, we will grow the Michigan Democratic Party and strengthen our ability to win elections at the local, state, and national level.