“We’re Independent Locals”

Statement from Yoseph Tedros, Chair of the Lee County Democratic Executive Committee

                  Regardless of political affiliation or ideology, the majority of Americans are not content with the current political discourse or the amount of influence money has in our electoral process. Here in Lee County where Democrats are the minority we strive to hold ourselves to the highest standards. We don’t believe in one sided conversations; we believe in open dialogue. Lee County Democrats support and promote issues that benefit all citizens, and most importantly, we support a fair democratic electoral process.

DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile’s recent book excerpt raises political questions that I want to address, regarding our local Democratic Party.

As Chair of the Lee County Democratic Executive Committee, I oversee all twelve local clubs, caucuses and committees in Lee County. Our organization isn’t solely focused on electing Democrats. We believe that as members in the community we must invest in community programs and initiatives. Recently we hosted our Gala at the Imaginarium and other events at the Calusa Nature Center and the Dunbar Community School.  After Hurricane Irma we partnered with the Florida AFL-CIO in recovery efforts and getting emergency supplies to the most affected areas. Currently we are working with residents in Lee County to register or re-enroll for healthcare by December 15.

All of our efforts are made possible by local volunteers and their generous donations. Our organization does not have paid staff and we do not receive a stipend from the DNC or the Florida Democratic Party. With limited funds we do what we can to support the local community, educate citizens about the electoral process and encourage more residents to become engaged in the democratic process. During election cycles we do not fund candidates or campaigns. Instead we work in parallel, encouraging voter participation and education, while candidates focus on their specific messages.

In 2018 there will be a Democratic Primary for Congressional District 19, which covers most of Lee County. Our organization will not endorse a candidate before the primary, as we believe local Democrats should make that decision at the voting booths next year. While we are just one organization among thousands of counties in this country, we believe that we should continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard.

If all Democratic organizations would do the same, we would not have to question our national political institutions.