"We Are Not the People We Have Been Waiting For": Prominent Progressive Resigns from State Central Committee

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13 Responses

  1. The 1st campaign I ever worked on was in 2014 for Rick gill. he was running in my state house district against a corrupt incumbent. Put up signs, talked to people, and he lost 70/30. So I decided I’m going to get more involved in politics.
    I find out that Indiana has the lowest voter turnout in the country and my county Dearborn has the lowest voter turnout in the state in 2014. So I decide I’m going to get involved heavily the next time around and then Bernie came into it. So I started organizing in my congressional district. I created a network across 19 counties and in the reddest district in the state Bernie won the primary. Mike pences old district. In fact Bernie won our state primary.
    So as I decide to get more involved in politics I became the secretary of my local party. I grew our party over the course of a year from 6 members that came to meetings to 30 members that came to meetings and I had every intention of running for chair at reorganization this past March. My county chair, knowing this, recruited someone that did not attend meetings to run for chair and then a woman, Tricia, who is very manipulative, decided that she was gonna run against me for vice chair when she realized I was running for vice chair. Then she hassled me at 9:30 on a Tuesday night to bring me her letter of intent because as secretary it was my duty to collect those. I told her That there was no need for me to get it at 9:30 on a school night when my kids were in bed, that I can pick it up from her a couple of days later. I was very busy that week, keeping in mind she had a solid 3 weeks to turn it In . She hassled me to pick it up from her husband repeatedly and so I agreed.The next day and between taking my daughter for kindergarten round up and taking my son to a therapy appointment I stopped and picked up this letter from him at a gas station. In this letter she States that she is not running for vice chair she is running for chair completely circumnavigating my run considering the male female component that is required to run a party. She literally wanted to come to my house at 9:45 would been 10 o’clock on a school night just to see my face when she said she was running for chair .
    So I decided not to run for chair against her because I didn’t wanna seem petty because I’m not a petty person. I decided not to run for re election in my county in any position as I did not want to be involved in her kind of politics. Instead I ran for state secretary of our party.
    Our state secretary was retiring going on to a different position in a company somewhere and it was open they hadn’t listed anyone so I thought it was a good chance for me to get my name out there. During this time I was a member of the Indiana Democratic Party emerging leaders project which is an exclusive group that you have to apply to get in and they only take 40 people a year and it is a 4 to 5 session program where the party gives you lots of information about fundraising and about reporting, about making sure you follow fec rules and marketing advertising budgets. it’s a great amount of information so I thought I had a good chance.
    The state party tapped someone that was already on the committee to run against me and make a lateral move. Because that’s what they do in Indiana to keep power from leaving the corporate hands. In the course of our election I went and I met with constituency caucus groups I met with all kinds of people made calls talk to people. and then we get to the election and March and we have questions that we have to answer. so one of the questions Im asked is what you do when there’s an incumbent in office and there’s primary challenge. For me the answer was easy I told them as a younger progressive Democrat I feel it is the party’s duty to use all its resources to advocate for all primary candidates to truly let the voters make an informed decision and then whoever wins that primary the party should use every resource at their disposal to help them win in November. Their Candidate chose to answer very simply “you keep your d*** mouth shut.” I lost 28 to 3.
    This is contentious because senator Donnelly is the most at risk democratic senator in the nation however he consistently votes against the democratic platform . This is also contentious because as I was a state delegate. I went to our convention for 2016 in Indianapolis and even though Bernie won the primary they acted like he did not and they opened for dinner with a video from Hillary Clinton addressing the Indiana delegation. as a matter of fact, the only time Bernie was ever mentioned was in the opening of the dinner when the state chair said if you’re here for hillary’s stand up, if you’re here for teachers stand up, if you’re here for police officers stand up, etc., and at the very end, almost as an after thought, he said if you’re here for Bernie stand up .
    They changed the rules so state delegates only voted for national delegates that supported their primary choice, thus limiting the amount of delegates for wither candidate. We went on and fought for resolutions there and were told that it was just sour grapes. we were treated like 2nd class citizens that they just didn’t want.
    At the beginning of this year I formed an LGBT non profit group here locally with 2 other women. The new chair of the county party, we will call X, whom I’ve already mentioned, decided she was going to tell one of the other co-founders that if I was involved at all they could expect no help from the local Democratic Party. She had my cofounder stalking me online with other people and reporting back to her. I left my LGBT group due to the discord she had sewn from telling them I was banned from the party for ethics violations, which is a flat out lie.
    During this time I’ve also started a political action committee called 92 county strategy that is dedicated to spreading civic information and helping normal everyday people run for office and teaching them how to do it while showing them that elected officials are just normal people that felt the call to serve .
    With 92, I have hosted a series of webinars over the last several months teaching people about offices like township trustee and county council because people know what a senator does but they don’t necessarily know what a trustee does and that’s a really important position for people to be involved in especially if they care a lot. Now in this series I have interviewed multiple democratic elected officials including our former lieutenant governor candidate Christina hale as well as a current sitting member of the state central committee who has been on the state central committee for probably 20 years . That same chair of the county Tricia told everyone in the county that was on her mailing list, That 92 was a disparaging group and that if anyone had anything to do with it they would find their position in jeopardy. I’m still doing my webinars.
    So before I left the pride group I was approached by a Woman I met through the Bernie campaign in regards to opening a free clinic in our area. So I started another nonprofit, the volunteers in medicine of Dearborn Ohio in Switzerland Counties incorporated, and we’re working on opening a free clinic in our county that will serve 6 to 8k people without insurance across 3 counties. In the beginning of this process, I reached out to local news media and got us an interview on Fox 19 news station here for Cincinnati to advertise a town hall about the clinic and X called My Bernie friend because my Bernie friend is a democratic member of the park board here in our county one, of the maybe 5 elected democrats we have in our entire county, and told her that if I have anything to do with the clinic they should expect no help from the Democratic Party . And as soon as she seen us on the news she picked up her phone and called my Bernie friend furious that I was still involved. I am now the executive secretary of the board of directors .
    I also received a personal letter from the state chair saying that I was no longer allowed to come to the Hoosier hospitality dinner with my free ticket that was awarded to me through the emerging leaders project because I was honest and said that our state chair has created so many appointed positions on our state central committee that it is ran more by people he has appointed than by people that were ultimately elected by voters. (considering voters to precinct people to county chairs to district chairs to state chairs to state party order of things ).
    I have worked with volunteers from across the state to create a series of resolutions to pass, hopefully at the next state convention- if we can get enough progressive delegates elected, that would return some of that power back to the voters and back to the party volunteers. our county chair X, even after our county voted to pass 9 of 10 of them by vote, went to the district meeting and told them she changed her mind that her counry wouldn’t be voting for them . He husband is now running for state rep.
    I had Republicans ready to work my democratic booths when I was the secretary of my county party And I worked every day for 2 solid years. I took time away from my family, my friends, my life, to dedicate everything to that party and that’s what they did to me .
    I have since been courted by the American progressive party they would like me to be the chair of the Indiana state progressive party and do you know why I haven’t really done it yet? because they don’t address civil rights and systemic racism in their platform .
    I am FIRMLY #DemExit. I do not tell this story to many people. I prefer to let my efforts speak for themselves. But with 2018 coming and so many progressives with rose colored glasses try to reform a party that is disgusting to its core, I think they need to know what they are up against.
    Thank you for this article.

  2. chaarlottescot says:

    Thank you.

  3. Eva McBride says:

    Bravo! How many of us tried to get involved and do the right thing and were met with these kind of vicious high school games and manipulation. how many people were brave enough to stick it out at meeting after meeting after meeting until we couldn’t take it anymore.

  4. ocarver says:

    I was born and raised in Iowa, went to college in Oregon and moved to San Francisco and then Las Vegas Nevada. I’ve been a Nevada resident since 2004 now but think of Iowa often. In Nevada I got more involved politically in 2008 with Obama’s campaign and even more in 2015 thanks to Bernie Sanders and some great friends of mine. I am heavily involved in the Progressive movement in Nevada and even ran for State Assembly last year. This year I ran for NV State Dem Party Chair and would have probably won if 20+ more Progressive supporters were in the room, in fact we had perhaps 60 more in the room but they were not granted votung rights due to a drawn out vetting process relating to an MOU the NV Dems made with local Progressive activists and Keith Ellison. We have been working since 2016 to reach parity in our state central committee which we should have had after the State Convention, but processes were not followed and the State Central Committee had only about 13% Sanders delegates instead of 46% that would have reflected the representation at our 2016 State Convention. Every state is different, and how individuals, personalities, and preferences are used to dictate actions and decisions within the Dem Party in each state differ. But it’s true that in most cases, probably in every state, we are all seeing a similar dynamic happening of a divergence of opinion or philosphies. One side generally wanting to keep the Dem Party working the way it always has, with the same power structure and general approaches to campaigning and elections, and the other side primarily consisting of new faces but also of party veterans who believe we must change our approach to internal systems – political organizing – fundraising – and also political issues. In some states change might not seem possible, in every state change is never easy. In Nevada things are evolving in positive ways progressives are making lots of in-roads and have a seat at almost every table, often the minority of seats, but sometimes the majority. Change takes time, and not everyone is expected to be patient forever, but what big positive changes in the history of our society were easy, or took place over 2 or 3 years? I can’t think of any that took less than 10, and I can think of more that took 20 or 30 years to happen, but everyone of them were on the right side of history and every one involved hard working people, often fighting against great pressure and great odds just to make moves that seemed to not have any impact, and yet they still won, and I believe that everything every progressive does makes an impact. So we keep working, in whatever form that takes in your state. Just be the change, and don’t stop. Thanks for reading. Owen Carver

  5. Mark Hirshfeld says:

    Thank you for your article and effort to self-examin. JFK’s campaign got me started, though I was too young to really have a clue. Worked on RFK’s campaign, but after the assassinations, when the Party chose to run Hubert Humphrey against Nixon, I knew there was a real problem with trying to work “within the system.” Power not only corrupts, it co-opts any attempts to change it. So we have “incrementalists” (apologists for the system) telling us to think small while at the same time calling themselves “progressive.” and telling us to “resist” the very institutions they perpetuate. Working outside the system, it is, though, very difficult to gain any traction. So we do both, one hand scraping it off the other, and trying to lend encouragement to those who have not yet quite crawled back on to their couches. It may be one thing to be “radicalized.” President Obama’s pushing for “Hope,” for me, missed the mark. I act not so much out of hope as out of a statement of who I am. It still takes courage to keep moving foreward, and choose to in fact BE the one’s for whom we have waited.
    Mark A. Hirshfeld
    Ventura County Activists for Bernie Sanders 2020

  6. Great letter. Thank you for speaking your mind. Hope you can find a way to stay involved in politics outside the establishment. Somehow, someway, we have to change things for the sake of our future.

  7. Linda Moore says:

    The issues that are being rAised here are issues that I have encountered here in Dallas. Eventuly, I just quit trying to participate. I got the feeling that everyone was trying to protect there power and position.
    Maybe these attitudes have contributed to the rise of Bernie and his supporters.
    Bernie has the highest level of integrity.
    Bernie is open and honest.
    No matter what, the only way that I can see us getting our democracy back is by electing Bernie as our next President.

  8. You should check out @OurVoiceUSA and see if it aligns better with your interest in making a difference in Iowa and the nation… fb, twitter, Medium, and a website ourvoiceusa.org
    Its a non-profit start-up I volunteer for and I can tell you that although each of us have similarly progressive views, your particular experience is both understood and sometimes mirrored by some of us in the org.

  9. saijanai says:

    I remember watching old friends pre-facebook unfriend me over my attitude towards Clinton (whom I voted for) compared to Bernie.
    The pragmatic, middle-aged, center of the Democratic Party is too comfortable with their own pragmatism to see where it has led them over the past 30 years.
    Meanwhile, even with the most unpopular presidential candidate in history holding them back, the conservatives won the entire country at every conceivable level. Democrats brag about being more honest, but where it counts the most — to *thine own self* be true — today’s Democrats are by far the least honest, most untrustworthy group of politicians *and voters* in our Nation’s history. And everyone knows it, deep down.
    Which is why Democrats lost everything this time around.

  10. M T Murphy says:

    Thank You for giving a shit , that’s more then many of the Talking Heads !
    I’m in OHIO, and these Congressmen and Senators here are going to feel our Anger at the Pols for years to come Democrats and Republicans !
    Nows a good time to Blow the Election Process up, and do away with both Parties !!!
    They suck EQUALLY !!!

  11. I have read Hubka’s resignation letter several times now, and to be honest, I see no greater meaning in it. Hubka glosses over the real issues – like money in politics, and Corporate Influence (which she flippantly dismisses as “the ‘Bernie v. Hillary’ thing) – and focuses, instead, on how small, and petty, Iowa Democratic politics is.
    Hubka offers no insights and solutions. She simply says “This is frustrating. We are getting nowhere. I quit.” To which I say – “So what?”

  1. October 10, 2017

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