Tag Archives: caucus

Passive:my precinct people prefer their couches

Passive: receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return; not participating, acting or operating; inert.

Precinct: a subdivision or district of a city; an election district.

Clark County WA has 175 precincts. I’m the precinct officer (Democratic) for my neighborhood of a couple thousand homes.

At the caucuses in February we had an enormous turnout across the county and about 100 from my precinct alone.  Everyone was jazzed. I took names and phone numbers.

Now the rubber is meeting the road and we need all hands on deck to get out the word about Obama and the other Democratic candidates.  So I decided to host a wine/cheese thing at my house next weekend to round up some of that energy and see if I couldn’t get some help covering the neighborhood (it’s big).

I made 31 calls Sunday afternoon and sent out a bunch of chirpy emails to these most motivated folks.  What is the sound of one voice talking???   I felt like I was talking into a big hole. I left 20 messages, five were unreachable, and I talked to six people. Three said they’d come and two said they might be able to help (sort of…) but couldn’t make it next weekend.   One said she was a Hillary person and did not want to participate at all.

Two days have passed since I left those messages and sent out my very personal emails.  Only one person has called me back – a young mother of three pre-schoolers who can only do something from home.

I feel pretty deflated right now.  I suppose it could be worse: I could live in Alabama.

It’s easy to pontificate from a couch; we need feet on the pavement.

Political Process

This morning I joined 1500 other Clark County Democrats at the County convention as an alternate for Obama. (This not me in the photo…) Although I’m a precinct officer, I missed out on being an official delegate because I was too busy running the caucus in February to volunteer. Today all my precinct delegates must have showed up, so no alternates were needed.

It was an exuberant crowd and there are some fine candidates running for state and local offices. We heard from them, then went into an interminable certification process – I left since I had no further role, but I got reports from friends that it didn’t break up till ours later than it was supposed to.

Democracy is cumbersome and untidy. Our caucus process is under attack by some who think it’s way too unwieldy. But after watching how it works to bring people out and energize them, I don’t want to go to a primary only. The trouble is, primary voters are much less committed to the party’s principles (all they have to do is mark some Xs on a ballot and drop it in the mail).

In the Feb. caucuses the county went 2 to 1 for Obama – with the most enormous turnout ever! Folks who come out for a caucus are hard-core, and tend to be more liberal. They get energized by being with other like-minded folks and become the foundation of the worker-bee army that is required in an election year.

I saw that again today, although I don’t know how folks felt if the convention wasn’t done till 4.