On February 25, the Democratic National Convention elected Obama Secretary of Labor Tom Perez as DNC Chairman, the culmination of a tight race between Perez and Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American elected to Congress, and the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Ellison gained an initial lead in the race through the endorsement of Bernie Sanders and other prominent progressives in the party, but faced major opposition from major DNC donors and several Clinton and Obama surrogates within the DNC. The race between Perez and Ellison was perceived by many as a second iteration of the DNC primary contention between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and the race’s results may have confirmed this perception, leaving many progressives in the party defeated and distressed once again. To make things worse, while major news focused on the chair race, not a single DNC officer election was won by a progressive candidate or anyone who could be in any way seen to represent the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, a constituent the DNC must hope to build bridges with over the coming years.
While the Democratic Party might be home for a lot of people in the Trump resistance, it doesn’t take too much digging to find out it isn’t so perfect. While the DNC’s claims to stand up for the most marginalized populations of our society, their actions often seem to speak differently. Where was the DNC’s loyalty to the working class when they chose donor interests over worker interests through the passage of NAFTA and the TPP? Where was the DNC’s commitment to the rights of people of color when they pushed forward the prison industrial complex and mass deportation in record numbers?
The recent DNC election was an opportunity for the DNC to make a stride towards addressing these issues through the inclusion of members of the progressive wing of the party who have, for a long time, challenged the party’s commitment to corporate donors and inconsistency on key issues. The results leave us with one inevitable conclusion: it’s time for us, the people, to get involved in the workings of the Democratic Party even if we are living outside the USA. With all of this in mind, us over at Americans Resisting Overseas have created a short list of resources to help you push the DNC towards a progressive ethos and a true commitment for justice from overseas….
Opportunities to give feedback to the DNC:
- Share Your Thoughts with Tom Perez on this new DNC internet form! While internet forms sometimes feel useless or irrelevant, very few people actually interact with the DNC. This means your words will carry more value and weight. Give it a shot and tell Tom Perez what you think!
- RSVP to Keith Ellison’s Democrats Abroad Town Hall! In the wake of his victory, Perez named runner up Keith Ellison deputy chair of the party. While the move was an overt show of party unity, the Deputy position actually does not exist as an official position, and has no official power whatsoever. With all of that being said, a Town Hall is a great way to stay informed on the working of the DNC
- Contact your local Democratic Party! Real change always starts at the local level. Track down the information of your local DNC representatives, and contact them directly to let me know how you feel!
- Get involved with Democrats Abroad! Democrats Abroad is a real thing with voting power, representatives, events and people to contact! Check out the website for more information!
Don’t know that much about the key issues facing the DNC and what you should be speaking up about? Do not worry! We’ve compiled a few articles that speak to different issues in the part that you might want to address..