Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New chairman meets party members informally

It was a pleasure to meet our new Miami-Dade County chairman, Richard Lydecker, and hear his aims for moving ahead. We are a group that needs moving ahead, if only from the unfortunate reputation of being dysfunctional. I’ll grant that meetings of our Democratic Executive Committee can be tiresome, but we are the people who made a big contribution last year to electing Barack Obama president and this year we have helped Democrats gain local office. This is a lot more than dysfunctional, and before Richard Lydecker was named to chair the DEC, there was considerable agitation to fire up the nucleus of the highly effective campaign arms of 2008.

Your blogger is not going to retell the individual stories that led to the decision by state party Chair Karen Thurman to replace BJ Chiszar as county chairman. It happened. By the luck of my surgeon’s schedule, I was under anesthesia when BJ was ousted and for most of the next week I was on my back with icepacks on the incision where my hernia was repaired, and so the temptation to mix it up, blogwise, was lost on me and my pain pills. Just as well. I have not wanted this blog to dwell on personal matters but rather on issues. On local matters, especially, I try to avoid gossip. The blog is open to Democratic candidates at any level, but I hope those who take up the offer will not attack Democratic primary opponents on these electrons. For the general election, all gloves may be taken off.

That said, it was a pretty happy group that got together Monday evening in the ground-floor restaurants where Lydecker has his law offices on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami. The Steering Committee was the vehicle for the meeting but close to 40 people attended, as many activists had also been invited. No formal meeting ever happened; instead, people talked in groups, ate, drank, acted like Democrats and introduced themselves and their hobbyhorse issues to Lydecker individually. Finally, someone convinced him to talk to the group.

His main job, he said, was to develop a plan to go forward. He wants to help Democratic candidates gain office, to elect Florida’s first woman governor (Alex Sink), to elect the state’s first African-American US senator (Kendrick Meek), to elect a Democratic attorney general and thus control the state cabinet. And he wants to have good DEC meetings to draw out the membership and let them see leading Democratic candidates. His official message can be found on the DEC Website.

On the topic of more functional, Lydecker said the DEC office would be moved to Miami Beach to be a neighbor of the national Democratic campaign arm, Organizing for America, and the party should be able to provide tools like buses and polls to make things happen.

First up is the mid-December gala, Florida Blue Celebration, in a little more than two weeks. Let’s get up a big turnout for this event and launch ourselves to the election year of 2010. As first vice chair Daisy Black said, “I want to go into 2010 on a united front.”

One place for this to start is at the gala: Firefighters Memorial Building, 800 NW 21st Street, Doral FL 33122, 7 pm Friday Dec. 18. Sign up here.

UPDATE: From the content of this little blog post, it seems as if the elusive Blue in Miami blogger was at the same event I attended with Lydecker.

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