The duty of the Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This is in re­sponse to a re­cent let­ter to the ed­i­tor ti­tled “Dem cen­tral com­mit­tee over­stepped its bounds,” in the Feb. 24 edi­tion of the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent, con­cern­ing the Water­shed Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict and the Charles County Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee’s vote on the mat­ter.

First, I want to thank Mr. Wil­liam Johnson for his per­spec­tive and en­cour­age him to con­tinue his in­ter­est in the Demo­cratic Party by way of con­tin­ued par­tic­i­pa­tion. I re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress Mr. Johnson and sev­eral fel­low democrats at a re­cent meet­ing in Cobb Is­land on this very is­sue. Mr. Johnson is cor­rect that we do rep­re­sent the Mary­land Demo­cratic Party in Charles County and that we are elected to our of­fice by the very peo­ple that elect our county com­mis­sion­ers. I would like to, how­ever, point out the in­ac­cu­racy in Mr. Johnson’s let­ter that we, the CCDCC, “ex­ceeded our man­date.” The very pur­pose of a lo­cal cen­tral com­mit­tee is to rep­re­sent its re­spec­tive party’s af­fil­i­ated vot­ers, fundraise, per­form com­mu­nity out­reach, co­or­di­nate vol­un­teers, and, most im­por­tantly, find­ing can­di­dates to run for elected of­fices. In ad­di­tion, it is also the duty of the CCDCC to be in touch with lo­cal Democrats and their views.

Prior to the Fe­bru­ary CCDCC meet­ing, many mem­bers of the com­mit­tee had at­tended dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity events within Charles County. At these com­mu­nity events, cit­i­zens ex­pressed their con­cerns about the cur­rent WCD. Many mem­bers of our com­mu­nity ad­vised the WCD in its cur­rent form dis­en­fran­chised many peo­ple and busi­nesses in the western por­tion of Charles County and, fur­ther, that only one po­lit­i­cal party was in­volved and in touch with the com­mu­nity on this is­sue. Mem­bers of the CCDCC felt that the com­mit­tee should give the com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to speak on the is­sues and vote to A) rec­om­mend sup­port for the cur­rent WCD, or B) sup­port com­mu­nity mem­bers con­cerns with WCD.

In re­sponse to the com­mu­nity’s con­cerns, I con­tacted the Mary­land State Demo­cratic Party to en­sure we were within our “man­date” to have a dis­cus­sion and vote on the WCD. The Mary­land State Demo­cratic Party did, in fact, state that we were fully within our “man­date” to pro­ceed with tak­ing a po­si­tion on this im­por­tant is­sue within our com­mu­nity. Fur­ther­more, as Democrats, we are com­mit­ted to be­ing in­volved in our com­mu­ni­ties. As a re­sult, the CCDCC voted 11-2 to op­pose the cur­rent WCD. This was an open, trans­par­ent and demo­cratic process. Each mem­ber’s voice was heard and each mem­ber had a vote in the process.

As to Mr. Johnson’s ref­er­ence to my per­sonal mo­tives dur­ing this process, I again will re­spect­fully dis­agree. My duty as chair of the party is not to tell any mem­ber how they feel or how they should vote, but to fa­cil­i­tate a fair, trans­par­ent and law-abid­ing process. As stated by one of our cur­rent county com­mis­sion­ers, we must en­sure that the process is trans­par­ent and le­gal no mat­ter how each elected of­fi­cial votes. My mo­tives are sim­ple and heart­felt. We as elected lead­ers must be in­volved, in­vested, in touch and in­formed within our com­mu­nity. We must place the peo­ple of this com­mu­nity above the pol­i­tics.

Gil­bert “BJ” Bowl­ing, La Plata The writer is the chair­man of the Charles County Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

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