Kate Franch writes a letter to Democrats every month for distribution in The Bray. If you’d like to get the The Bray, subscribe here. If you’d like to read or share Kate’s message in Spanish, click here.
By Kate Franch
Chair, Greenville County Democratic Party
Somehow, but thankfully, we are at the midpoint of the current administration in Washington. What a difference an election can make though! While our frustration, anger, and alarm have not dissipated (in fact they are probably stronger than ever), hope is on the horizon. With the swearing in of the 116th Congress on January 3, we again have a US House of Representatives with a Democratic majority that will not only be the voice of the people but also a roadblock to the never-ending presidential chaos that threatens and undermines the values that have made America great.
We expect this to be the “anti-corruption Congress.” House leaders have declared that some of their first legislative efforts will focus on changes to campaign finance, ethics, and voting rules. If enacted, those efforts should help to make the playing field more level again and begin to restore faith in our democracy and the very institutions that were created to implement and protect it. Ethics legislation, in particular, would be an important step in making the electoral process more accessible, more accountable, and more representative of the people.
Closer to home, the first regular session of the 123rd South Carolina General Assembly has begun in Columbia and the new Greenville County Council has been sworn in. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” Toward that end, the GCDP communications and volunteer coordination teams are continually expanding and improving how we keep you connected with and informed about the work of our elected officials.
The GCDP is also continuing the focus on building and empowering our precincts in order to have true grassroots reach and connection. The goal is to continue to increase voter turnout by more effectively mobilizing and engaging voters. We know that a majority of Americans are aligned with Democratic platform ideals – we just have to help translate that alignment into policy through the ballot box. You can support this important work by responding to precinct officers in your neighborhood when they reach out or by becoming a precinct officer yourself.
In terms of upcoming elections, Tina Belge is running for the SC Senate District 6 seat in the March 26 special election and municipal elections will be held in November. The races for three Greenville City Council members and mayor will be partisan. In addition, 2020 presidential contenders will visit the state throughout the year in the run-up to the Democratic primary. The shift in political demographics that is taking place here is being recognized, so you can expect many of them to come to the Upstate.
Can you tell that we will have a place for you? Use our resources and let us know what else we can do to keep all of us engaged, become a volunteer, help us strengthen our resources by donating (make it recurring for extra impact). With your involvement and support, the change that brought mid-term wins in November will continue driving transformation locally and nationally. 2019 could be our best year yet.