As democrats, we believe that the government is an expression of the will of the people. In order to make this expression more effective, agile, and democratic, we seek to break down barriers between the people and the government. Below are some of our strategies for doing so.
Party Committee Structure
Rensselaer County is divided into 121 election districts, which can each elect 2 people to the County Committee for their party. These 242 people decide who the party should endorse for political office.
We believe, however, that this group can and should do more. If we were to design a structure for effective grassroots organizing, it would be much like this. Divide each town or city into manageable, neighborhood sized areas and have them elect representatives to act as a bridge between the people and their elected officials. By bringing this direct organizing down to the grassroots level, we hope to solve two problems: Citizens often don’t know how to get in touch with their elected officials, and elected officials often don’t have enough time in the day to deal with all of their constituent’s concerns.
We would like to see a party committee structure that not only works to get officials elected, but helps them be as effective as possible in improving their communities and their government service while in office.
Citizen Working Groups
Another structure which we support in bringing government back to the people, and helping it be more agile and responsive in our modern world is that of the Citizen Working Group. This helps bring the collective expertise of the people we have living right here in Rensselaer County to bear on solving tough problems. It has been very successful in Troy, with Working Groups directly addressing vacant properties, composting, transportation, and other important issues.
We believe that this model of pulling citizens directly into roles of advising government action, while actively organizing grassroots action in coordination will help our cities and towns adapt and grow stronger in an ever changing, 21st Century world.