Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Clark County JJ is just huge

Clark County Democrats welcomed Air America host Thom Hartmann and Congressman Brian Baird to their annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the Vancouver Hilton Saturday night.

Announced attendance was over 600 people, which is quite an increase from the dinners I used to help put on in the last century at the Clark County Square Dance Center. We used to be thrilled with 250 attendees.

In those days, we had to set everything up ourselves, including the tables, place settings and the PA, so these are pretty plush digs for the CCDCC. Obviously the Clark County Democrats are no longer the sad orphan party, but may in fact be poised to make even greater gains in the future.

Hartmann opened for Baird with some remarks about how we're all "part of the parade" of democracy:
If enough of us get together and speak out, if enough of us are out there participating, if enough of us are at events like this, if enough of us are giving money or if enough of us are writing letters to the editor, if enough of us are calling talk radio, if enough of us create the parade, then inevitably what's happened in the history of the United States is that a group of politicians, or in some cases an entire movement of politicians, will get in front of that parade.
I guess folks in King County or folks who have attended recent Clark County JJ dinners will find this comment silly, but I was somewhat flabbergasted at the fact the event took up two full ballrooms, one for the dinner and one for the silent auction. One had difficulty at times making a path through the crowd.

On a personal note, I'm someone who walked away from regular party activism some eight years ago, so I must report with humility that not only did many people take time to say howdy, but they embraced me with open arms. For what it's worth, I found it to be a fairly moving experience, seeing so many old friends who were welcoming. I'm most grateful for that.

I did find opportunities to mention NPI, and without exception people were interested and wanted to know more. I didn't get any negative reception about blogging, although it's apparent that many folks still find it a novelty. But luckily, two people did see my name tag that read "stilwell" and called out to me. It's hard to be that famous, but someone has to bear the burden of having two people out of 600 recognize you. Maybe if I shave my head...

Brian Baird's comments were incredibly thoughtful, especially about the Iraq war, and I intend to post about them soon.

Suffice it to say that the Democratic Party is alive and kicking in Clark County, in a way I never dreamed possible in the dark days of 1995. Nothing is perfect, of course, and the local GOP will make its best effort, but for once I'm convinced that we stand better than even odds. We may have a healthy contingent of wingnuts down here, but the party is ready to take them on in 2008.

<< Home