In April the Nye County Democratic Party will elect new members to the Central Committee. Iâd like to address this to the eight-thousand+ members of the Nye County Democratic Party and solicit their support for a suggestion I have for the new Central Committee to pursue.
Iâve lived in Nye County for about eight years now and have been sporadically active with the Democratic Party since.
When my wife and I moved to Pahrump from California in 2003 I had just retired. I decided I wanted to get actively involved in the Democratic Party. But, I couldnât find the party anywhere. I looked in the phone book, some community registers, and kept an eye out reading the local newspapers seeking a clue as to where they were. No success. I began to wonder if there were any Democrats in Nye County at all.
I stumbled onto them by sheer accident. I was driving to Ace Hardware in Pahrump when I saw the word Democrat out the corner of my eye. I slowed and looked more closely. I had found their office! They had it neatly tucked away on the side street running up to Ace Hardware. I finished my business at Ace and stopped at the Democratâs office on my way back home.
Fortunately the office was open and I entered, introduced myself, and spent a few minutes with the two or three people inside the office. Thus began my immersion into the Nye County political scene.
In the years following that first office visit it became apparent to me that there was no means meaning utilized for Nye Democrats to communicate with each other. Nye Democratic Party activity was limited to the town of Pahrump for the most part, except for a handful located in Tonopah.
Communication consisted of telephoning one another to remind them of the next monthly meetings of the Central Committee, or perhaps a hamburger fry, and such, all of which would take place in Pahrump.
To make a long story short it was evident that Democrats living in the other communities of Nye County were basically ignored. The geographical distance of those communities from Pahrump discouraged anyone living in Amargosa, Beatty, Tonopah, Round Mountain or Duckwater from attending a monthly meeting in Pahrump.
As a result the known universe of Democrats could only be found in Pahrump. The other communities remained isolated and basically ignored.
Not until the Democratic presidential caucus in 2008 did I realize just how many Democrats existed, not only in Pahrump, but in those other Nye County communities. There were thousands of them that participated in that caucus.
The campaign offices of the Clinton and Obama camps, located in Pahrump, drew hordes of Democrats to vote in that caucus. Why? Because it was a Presidential election and because the Obama and Clinton campaigns exerted great effort to contact and communicate with all those Democrats, seeking their support for their respective candidates.
It doesnât take a rocket scientist to conclude that it was the efforts of the Obama-Clinton campaigns that brought all those Democrats out into the sunlight.
How did those campaigns manage that? They used every communication tool available to contact those Democrats—the Web, e-mails, telephone, mailers and meetings.
But when the Presidential election was over those campaigns closed up shop and went home. That left a huge void. Democrats that had been awakened and were actively politically involved rather rapidly disappeared from view. Communications with them had ended.
All those e-mail addresses used by the Obama-Clinton campaigns disappeared with them. That database of information was lostâforeverâfor use by Nye County Democrats to continue in touch with all those Democrats.
That is where we are currently in 2011. Weâre back where we were in 2008.
So how can all that interest of Democrats be rekindled? In a word, I submit, communications. Why a communications system for Nye County Democrats?
There has to be a better way for all 8,000+ Nye County Democrats to be able to know what is going on within the Nye County Democratic Party. There has to be a way, I believe, for all those Democrats to be able to communicate with each other about Democratic Party political affairs. Interactive communications engender interest and, over time, fosters a closer adhesiveness of us all as a group.
For example, a Democrat living in Duckwater doesnât have a clue what weâre doing here in Pahrump, nor do we have a clue about what they do in Duckwater.
The Central Committee is essentially the official focal point for Nye Democrats to cluster about. But, I daresay, no one in Duckwater could name a soul on the Central Committee. Theyâre isolated. Each community in Nye County is basically an island.
I think it is one of the duties of the Central Committee is to reach out to all those 8000+ Nye Democrats by communicating with themâand them communicating with the Central Committee and other Democrats in the rank and file.
If we want to establish a communications link to each other, how can we do it?
A start is to come up with every means one can think of to set up an interactive communications system than can reach Democrats county wide. So here are my suggestions:
Website: The Central Committee needs to inform the 8,000 Nye Democrats of its existence and how they can contact it. The Nye County Republican Party uses a website. Why doesnât the Nye County Democrats?
One of the best Democratic websites in the state, I think, is that of the Washoe County Democratic Party . Washoe even has a page where their rank and file members can make monetary donations via cash or credit card to the Party.
That beats the Nye County system of a donation jar. Thatâs fine, except I think a message board within their website would be a good addition so that rank and file Democrats can read what other Democrats are saying.
Additionally it would be beneficial if individual rank and file Democrats could communicate enmass with other Democrats, like we do on Facebook.
Newsletter: Another way to communicate with large groups of people is e-mailed newsletters. Sent out periodically to the 8000+ democrats from the Central Committee is a good way to inform them of party business and events, etc, and induce participation of volunteers in the activities. Of course one has to have an e-mail address for each of them. The only way to reach those without an e-mail is snail mail, which costs money.
Twitter: Twitter is an internationally means of communicating instantly with anyoneâtotally free. Almost all major corporations use Twitter. I use it daily as a news feed to help me keep up with events.
Blog: A blog (like what you are reading now) is sort of a specialized website. Iâve run this one now for going on four years. A blog is free. If the Central Committee would use a blog in connection with a website and a newsletter it would provide a means for the Central Committee to communicate with the rank and file and the rank and file to communicate back via the comments section of the blog.
E-Mail: Weâre all familiar with e-mail as a means of communication. Best thing about e-mail is that itâs free and virtually instantaneous.
Facebook: Another communications tool that is free. See Nye County Nevada Democrats for an example.
So, what do you think?