Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Dear Chairman Dean...

Our new Chairman of the DNC, Howard Dean, has recently sent a mass email asking for people's help in formulating a strategy based on the core values of the Democratic party.

I responded by sending him my list of top concerns, and so should you.

Here's the email from Governor Dean in its entirety:

You run this party.

On Saturday, I was honored when your representatives on the Democratic National Committee elected me Chairman. And I can't wait to get started. But when they voted, it wasn't about me -- they were voting for a plan for the future of our party.

That plan came from people like you -- from conversations I had with ordinary Democrats across the country. When those 447 people voted in Washington this weekend, they united around that plan.

Now I'm asking you to do the same. Those 447 people were a good start, but make no mistake -- I know that this is also your party. And our plan to reform the party can only become a reality with your endorsement.

Please read our plan -- and commit to making it a reality:


Your representatives in the DNC mandated bottom-up reform -- growing the Democratic Party in your neighborhood and every other community in America. They voted to compete in every state for every level of office. And they demanded a Democratic Party that stands up for itself and for an agenda that reflects our values.

They didn't elect me because they think I can accomplish these things. They elected me because I believe that only you can.

Every single one of us must take responsibility for building our party. It's not enough to simply vote for Democrats -- in order to win, every one of us must deliver our message and values into our own community.

That means changing the way we do business, and that's what this plan is about:


The Republicans' biggest victory has been to convince many Democrats that we can only win by abandoning our values and doing what they say.

It's one of their favorite tactics -- just watch how right-wing pundits talk endlessly about the internal politics of our party. They try to divide Democrats by ideology just as they divide all Americans by race or gender or faith.

But there is no crisis of ideology in the Democratic Party, only a crisis of confidence. Bill Clinton once described the Democratic Party's problems in the era of George W. Bush, saying that in uncertain times people would rather have a leader who is strong and wrong than weak and right.

He's exactly right. And we become both weak and wrong when we abandon our core values for short-term political gain. But when we Democrats talk straight and stand up for ourselves, we have a huge advantage: We are both strong and right.

We will only turn that advantage into victory if we make a concrete plan and work hard to execute it. Declare your support and offer feedback now on the plan to build an organization that will help us win everywhere, and win with pride:


Millions of Americans became Democrats last year. They sensed that they live in a society where ordinary people's problems and interests don't matter to our government. They chose the Democratic Party because we represent commonsense reform.

And millions more will become Democrats this year as we protect the Democratic Party's greatest achievement. We will not allow George Bush to phase out Social Security -- a Democratic policy that cured an epidemic of poverty among seniors and provides the guarantee of retirement with dignity.

Most importantly, millions of Democrats have become true stakeholders in our party. With grassroots action and small-dollar donations, you have taken our party's future into your own hands.

The stakes are too high to wait for others to lead. Every one of us has a personal responsibility for the future of our party -- and the future of our country.

This isn't my chairmanship -- it is ours. So let's get to work together.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Chairman, Democratic National Committee

Well, that was just toooooo much of an invitation for a blogger to communicate with the Good Doctor, and I just had to respond. Of course after doing so I was so psyched about this new approach of the DNC listening to those of use who spend far too many hours in darkened rooms in front of illuminated screens that I just had to share my response with y'all here at faithforward:

Dear Governor Dean:

As you've asked for suggestions on where to take the Democratic Party, I think THE main core value of Democrats is caring for "the least of us" in our society: children; the poor; the sick and those parents and elderly people who are in need in our society.

I've been very concerned with the direction the Republican Party, under the leadership of George Bush, is taking our country. I don't believe that policies which remove healthcare and heating assistance from poor people in order to give rich people deeper tax cuts can be morally justified, either in the secular or religious world.

Here are a handful of legislative initiatives that I would fully support the Democratic Party taking the lead on:

1. Protecting Social Security by raising the salary cap so the program can continue fully funded. "Personal accounts", as proposed by Bill Clinton, should be pursued in addition to the regular benefit and only when the government is in a budgetary surplus.

2. Universal healthcare for all children under 16 years old and strengthening the WIC program through further funding and by encouraging women to breastfeed their children when possible.

3. Decreasing the amount of mercury in the environment through stricter pollution controls, and removing mercury from all flu vaccines. As mercury is a leading cause of brain development problems in fetuses and young children, this should be a vitally important issue to Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

4. Tighter oversight of funds spent on the "war on terror" and the war in Iraq. The Executive Branch should not be given a "blank check" from Congress for waging these wars, especially in light of recent scandals involving billions of dollars going missing under the Bremer administration.

Thank you for leading the charge and re-invigorating the grassroots of the Democratic Party.

We've got your back!

Contact Howard Dean and let him know that you have his back as well!

At 6:39 PM, Blogger grannyhelen said...

From grannyhelen - just thought I'd let y'all know!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger pastordan said...

Excellent, granny. Thanks for letting us know!


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