Stymied by signature threshold, reformers vow to press Mass Dems for change
- Qualifying signatures for full Mass Dems 2022 Convention vote on eliminating lifetime DSC members falls short
- Party leaders set unreasonable threshold for collecting signatures virtually, blocking convention vote on reducing unelected positions on the Party’s ruling body
Reform-minded delegates attempted to pass a resolution calling for the elimination of unelected, life-time positions on the Democratic State Committee (DSC), the Party’s leadership committee. These members comprise about one-third of the committee’s 418 members.
After the DSC’s Resolutions Committee rejected the proposed resolution, proponents sought to gather 500 qualifying signatures for a convention-wide delegate vote. Under normal circumstances — at an in-person convention — gathering 500 signatures from the thousands of delegates streaming into the convention hall is easily obtainable. However this year, proponents were required to gather delegate signatures remotely, weeks before the scheduled June 3–4 convention. Making the reformers’ task even more challenging, Party leadership made only 885 delegate email addresses available out of the 5,743 elected delegates, alternates, add-ons, and ex-officio eligible convention participants.
Proponents of the resolution appealed to the party Rules Committee to reduce the signature threshold. A similar appeal to reduce the signature threshold for the 2021 state convention held virtually was successful. However, this year, the Rules Committee refused.
With only 377 qualifying signatures by the May 21 deadline, the resolution fell short of the requirements for a full convention vote.
“We learned a lot from this first effort,’’ said Martha Karchere, a delegate from Jamaica Plain and co-chair of Our Revolution Massachusetts. “We found that many DSC members and delegates believe we need a party that can hold Democrats — both those elected and our candidates — more accountable to our platform. We also heard from multiple lifetime DSC members that they want to contribute and mentor younger Dems and be a part of much needed change. Many are more than willing to consider other roles such as joining an Advisory Board, or being paired with new DSC members.”
“After the Convention, we look forward to meeting with supporters and allies to debrief and plan next steps to make our state party more democratic and more genuinely oriented to its grassroots base,” said Rand Wilson, an elected convention delegate from Somerville. “At a time when far too many former Democrats are embracing Trump-endorsed politicians as credible agents for change, reform is critical to rebuilding our historic base in the working class.”
On June 4, MassDems for Reform will have representatives at the Our Revolution Massachusetts and Progressive Democrats of America tables at the DCU main convention hall in Worcester. For more information about the movement to reform the state party, email: MassDemsForReform@gmail.com or call (857) 242–6045.