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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fixing the Political Farm System

I've been talking about the need for progressives to run for low level offices at county, city, state as well as at Federal level. It's a great idea, but it turns out we need to fix our "farm system" as Chris Hayes just referred to it to make it more of a reality. He interviewed Brenda Carter and Jelanni Cobb today and referred to fixing our "broken farm system" for politicians. They went all the way down to the County level, cataloguing 42000 elected office holders from County to National. They found that "people of color are actually less represented at the county level".

Jelanni Cobb of the New Yorker pointed out that our use of "at large districts" allows majorities to dominate districts where there are minorities by diluting their votes.

The website "Who Leads us" notes:

71% of elected officials are men, 90% are white, and 65% are white men.
White men are 31% of the U.S. population but hold 65% of all elected office.
White men have 8 times as much political power as women of color.

They essentially are describing what used to be described as "Old Boy Networks."

And that is what we have to challenge in the Party System. They really don't tell us how to challenge this, but I have some suggestions -- Get involved in the Chambers of Commerce, in the Democratic Party, and don't be afraid to challenge the "old boys network" by creating new networks. This is why I've been talking about creating a "green democrats" or a "progressive democrats movement" to challenge insider domination of the Democratic party (and eventually use parallel orgs to do same with Republicans. But she notes that local political donors (rich people) dominate local politics along with the parties -- so this has to be a battle!! Have to break the gates open!

References and further reading:

Womens Donor Network
opensecrets.org
Sources:
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/10/men_hold_71_percent_of_elected.html
http://wholeads.us/
More from Brenda Carter:
http://wamu.org/news/14/10/08/congress_too_white_male_and_wealthy_to_truly_represent_us_study_says
http://www.womendonors.org/brenda-choresi-carter-reflective-democracy-campaign-director/
http://www.womendonors.org/tag/reflective-democracy/
Jelani Cobb:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/bullets-ballots
We can't fix "The Deep State" til we fix this farm system of Democracy:
The Deep State:http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state

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