There could be no better word for the present state of the Shelby County Democratic Party – ADRIFT.
Though there are some doing their very best to navigate this Party to a friendly port, the truth is it is not enough.
I can say this because, first it is the truth and most of the SCDP members know it; second the Republican Party of Shelby County isn't fairing much better, and third you can't fix a problem if you are not willing to acknowledge it exist.
Over a year ago I stated that I wanted to work with SCDP and help the Party get back on its feet, but this was far easier said than done. The Party is sinking in a quagmire of self doubt, petty squabbling, and disorganization. Soon SCDP will be looking for a new chair. Who they select will be the key to their survival.
Before I go any further let me state we bloggers are people willing to tell you publicly what we think and not in whispers behind your back. You may not always like what we have to say but give us credit for being willing to step forward and express it openly.
What is holding the Party back is a leader that can devote the time and energy to the job; a leader that can inspire; a leader that is there first and foremost to build the Party.
The challenge facing Memphis politically is that too often those that get involved in our political system are not there to promote policies and progress the Party, but to play politics and pad their pockets.
I see several key issues that need to be addressed over time by the Party. They must build:
1. a reliable and well managed base of funders; starting with the members.
2. a defined presence in the City as THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY for Shelby County.
3. a committee that is dedicated to engaging and educating the public on how local government operates.
4. an agency of actions, not reactions, and
5. a clear process by which they can support candidates for office with money, man-power and campaign strategies.
Several names have been bounced around as showing interest in being the new SCDP chair: Attorney Lee Harris, Attorney Van D. Turner, Jr. and Attorney Jay Bailey to name a few. Only time will tell, but who ever takes on this responsibility will need a great deal of support.