The new Democratic National Party’s chair will bear a great responsibility in rebuilding a broken Party that suffered massive defeats statewide and nationally. The aftermath of the presidential loss gave way to creating various factions vying for power. It will require a dedicated strategist to bridge the widening gap between various in party factions and formulate a united message that resonates among all in moving forward.

Currently, five candidates have declared a run for the race: Sally Boynton Brown (Executive Director – Idaho Democratic Party and President of the Association of Democratic Executive Directors), Keith Ellison (5th District Congressman, Minnesota), Jamie Harrison (Chair, South Carolina Democratic Party), Ray Buckley (Chair, New Hampshire Democratic Party) and Tom Perez (Secretary of Labor). The position is vital to engendering a progressive agenda nationwide and requires experience and grit in solving complex issues to fruition.

The voter dissatisfaction with the party is at an all-time high among various groups including the millennials and the growing age gap between current party leadership. The growing number of millennials feel at odd with the current party leadership and their outdated ideas and policies. Couple this with low voter turnout among minorities, rural residents, and the middle class, who ‘shifted their allegiance’ from Obama in 2012 to trump in 20162, the party has its work cut out. The base majority of these middle-class communities are spread over the Northeast and the Midwest, where job security is tied to economic prosperity and politics. Additionally, democrats also suffered huge defeats among manufacturing and lower income communities. This is a growing feeling of disconnect from the party.

The resonating theme voiced among these various groups highlighted the lack of a unified message and the inability of party leadership to effectively communicate their message across communities. A new era of leaders needs to be ushered in following the aftermath of a Clinton defeat and an aging lineup of current democratic leadership. The new leadership will be a representative of the changing demographics of the United States and will need to work towards engendering an entirely new generation of political activists that are energized to bring change.

The potential for this type of a movement within the party is possible with the large young voting block, the need for economic stability among groups, and an emergence of a new brand of leaders, who have the foresight and dedication in leading the next generation of democrats.

Aisha Shah
Deputy Outreach Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party