Chair’s Corner: Why does the ADP matter to me?

In my recent posts, I explained the nuts and bolts of the Alaska Democratic Party (ADP), how we are organized, and how we operate. Here I will try my best to explain why I believe all of those details matter to you.

Toward a government that serves everyone
At our Statewide Central Committee (SCC) meeting in Juneau last month, we adopted a new Party Platform. This is the foundation upon which the ADP is built. Although we’re still crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on our newly adopted Platform, I want to share with you the first three paragraphs, a vision which I believe encompasses what the ADP stands for:

The Alaska Democratic Party moves our state forward by working for the best interests of all Alaskans. We are committed to diversity, fairness, hard work, integrity, transparency, and personal responsibility. We strive for healthy families and communities, economic opportunity, prosperity, and environmental protection. We honor good citizenship and patriotism. We believe the essence of Alaska’s democracy is active participation in fair elections, and we encourage every eligible Alaskan to vote. We nominate, elect and support Alaskans who are committed to serve the public interest. Valuing diversity and individualism, we stand united as Alaska Democrats.

We believe that good government is essential to the achievement of our joint and individual goals. We strive to make Alaska’s government a worthy beacon to all: a compassionate efficiently-run institution that serves the health and wellbeing of all its citizens. We are committed to social justice and equal rights for all people and future generations.

Our Alaska spirit and cultural identity makes us uniquely suited to be leaders in innovation in technology, energy, education, health care delivery, climate change mitigation, addiction treatment, responsive government, and the protection of human rights. We call on all Alaskans to work together on a strategy for a sustainable, prosperous future for all.

If this vision speaks to you, you’ll appreciate why the ADP exists—it’s the infrastructure working to move Alaska forward toward this vision.

SCC members at work

Statewide Central Council members at work. Photo courtesy Nancy Courtney.

Regular people run the show
The ADP’s governing body, the Statewide Central Committee (SCC) is made up of 170 Alaskans. Most of these people are elected to 2-year terms (just a few serve for 4 years). Members serve on a volunteer basis, and most are elected at the local level in all 40 House districts throughout Alaska.

Our leadership is built of 170 individual minds with a wide range of positions on a multitude of issues, but who all believe in the ADP’s mission to work toward the Party Platform vision. It makes for a somewhat complicated (often messy) working of coalitions and competition of ideas.

Yes, we’re Democrats! It’s always messy!

Our all-volunteer SCC serves to recruit, mentor, elect, and support progressive candidates, as well as support Democratic ideals. Whether you live in Barrow, Ketchikan, Dillingham, or Arctic Village, there are SCC members who volunteer their time to move the ADP’s vision forward.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people these days have a really bad opinion toward political parties. They see parties as unnecessary hierarchical bureaucracies that don’t listen to people.

But in the ADP, 170 locally elected representatives in every district in the State run the Party! And although such a large organization does require some bureaucracy, and we do have rules we operate under (the Party Plan), we are not a hierarchical organization of elites–any Democrat in the State can run to serve on the SCC and volunteer to move Alaska forward toward the Party’s guiding vision.

So to wrap up this “Why does the ADP matter to me?” piece, here are two primary reasons:

  1. It is an organized group of volunteer Alaskans from all over the state whose primary mission it is to make Alaska a progressive state; and
  2. It is an organized group that works 24/7/365 to have progressive Alaskans serve at all levels of government—local boards and commissions, school boards, city councils, the state legislature, and Congress, so Alaska will become a progressive state.

If you too want to live in a progressive Alaska, where we respect the rights of every individual and our environment, then the ADP should matter to you.

Whether you volunteer to help with a local party fundraiser or event, knock doors to elect a progressive candidate, donate your hard-earned money to the party or candidates, or you run to serve on the SCC—we welcome you!

I continue to say…. Be engaged! Get involved! Make a difference!

Until next week….

Nancy Courtney
Chair, Tongass Democrats
(907) 321-2285

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