This Sunday I attended my first Democratic Party of Oregon State Central Committee Meeting as a delegate from Washington County. It was a fun meeting. While much of it focused on party business there were several agenda items that are worth sharing. I was very proud to see Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan address the delegation about the need to reconnect with the Oregon that has seen double digit unemployment since before the 'Great Recession' as it is being called.
This is the Oregon that those of us in the Willamette Valley, and Portland Metro area spend our spring and summer vacations in, communities that have not been able to rebound over the last two decades. Our party must begin to address the unemployment of rural Oregon. Co-Speaker Roblan made point to remind us that we all share common values even though we come from different places. How we accomplish the task of resurrecting rural Oregon will not be an easy one and there are no quick fixes.
The other item I thought worthy to note was that Oregon Democrats may be getting the largest number of delegates to a Democratic National Convention they have ever had. The draft plan that delegates saw this weekend would give Oregon 74 delegates and five alternates. This is the basic plan. There are potential for even more delegates. The DNC will grant a 20% bonus if Oregon keeps its primary in May. That would be ten more delegates bringing the total to 84.
There is even another opportunity to get Oregon Democrats more delegates. The DNC could allocate another ten delegates if we hold our primary with two other states in our region. 94 delegates to the Democratic National Convention would be pretty cool. This scenario is much harder to visualize than the first scenario. Getting other states to move a presidential primary is not an easy task. The front loading of our presidential primary process has caused some state parties to move up their primaries even earlier. It seems our political parties have learned the lesson and have started to give incentives to state parties like the bonus delegates being offered to Oregon. Besides who would be opposed to wanting to have more people at the party in Charlotte, North Carolina? It isn't by set in stone, but it is the first draft. More news to come in the next few months.
All in all, it was a good meeting. I am looking forward to meeting and learning more about my fellow delegates in the coming months.