HI Dem Party - leadership change. My thoughts on the current transition
Dear Friends, August 7, 2019
There have been rumors swirling around what is happening in the Democratic Party. I am writing this to share my thinking and to help answer your questions.
Keali’i Lopez, the current Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) has announced her resignation and an election to select a new Chair has been scheduled. READ Civil Beat - Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Leaves To Run AARP
As Vice-Chair, I am deeply appreciative of the many hours of work Chair Lopez has put into the day to day running of the Party, and the personal sacrifices she has made in her service to the Party and the State of Hawaii.
Under the Bylaws of the DPH, as Vice-Chair, I will be the Acting Chair of the Party, until a new chair is elected by members of the State Central Committee (SCC).
That election will be held on Saturday, August 10th.
I will not be putting my name forward for election to be the new “Interim Party Chair” (through May 2020), and prefer to remain in my Vice-Chair position.
The DPH needs a “full time” Chair that can drop everything they are doing and hit the ground running - immediately. As President of the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), I am already a full-time volunteer with numerous projects underway and many people counting on me. It would be personally, financially and logistically impossible for me to attempt to do it all, and irresponsible to walk away from my existing commitments. I believe I can be more effective in advancing progressive causes through these activities at this time.
While there is never a good time, the resignation and transition to a new Chair comes at a particularly inopportune time. The Party is in the middle of discussions with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as we develop our plans for a very ambitious and creative way to offer mass mail-in voting, as well as "ranked-choice voting" - as part of our Presidential Preference Poll process. Simultaneously, we are working with an election systems vendor to provide us with the necessary support services. And we are soliciting donations to help fund this approach. All these discussions are at a critical point this month.
Thus it is essential we quickly settle upon a new Chair capable of finalizing these agreements on behalf of the Party.
I am confident our Party’s talent bench is deep, and there are others in the Party well-suited to help deal with the immediate challenges we are facing. It goes without saying that whoever is elected to be the new Party Chair, will have my strong support.
Please rest assured also that I will continue to seek ways, both within the Democratic Party and outside of it, to promote progressive policies, legislation, and candidates to serve the needs of the people and environment of Hawaii. I welcome hearing your thoughts as I continue on that path.