The new Missouri Democratic Party Chair, Susan Montee, spoke to members of the Progressive Democrats-STL (ProgDems-STL) Saturday afternoon. If you were feeling extravagant, you could say that she dropped some manna from heaven on those of us wandering the Missouri’s progressive desert – or at least she promised to do so.
What Montee seems to be poised to deliver to Missouri Democrats that is different from past is a party apparatus that exists independently of candidates and specific campaigns and that offers an effective organizational structure, some continuity, and a well-articulated Democratic identify. The most promising thing is that she seems to take the position seriously, have a vision of what the party could offer, and to understand the organizational challenges that stand in her way.
And those challenges seem to be considerable – Montee described an ad hoc party infrastructure that is assembled and reassembled anew each time the chairmanship changes hands. Montee hopes to secure resources as basic as server that will permit allow vital party information to be maintained persistently in a commonly accessible manner. Currently, when there is a change of staff, data files, such as the vitlly important fund-raising databases, and mailing lists, have to be reassembled from scratch.
It was reassuring that Montee seems to have a firm grasp not on what in needed to revive Missouri’s Democratic party as a vital institution, but, as she outlined her actions, one was reassured