Earlier this week I announced that I will be stepping down as the Chair of the Wayne County Democratic Party. This comes more than a year after stepping in to the role, and though I don’t like leaving before my original term is complete, this change is necessary for a variety of reasons.
A primary one is that carrying out the volunteer work of Chair has required far more time and availability than I expected or than I have to offer, given my other personal and professional commitments. I have explored several ways to address that challenge without ending my time as Chair but none of them were successful.
I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in those roughly 16 months, largely behind-the-scenes stuff that I’ve inventoried elsewhere, but given the moment we are in as a country and the challenges ahead, it’s hard to feel like it was close to enough. The reality is that it will probably almost always fall short of the expectations and high standards people have for their political parties and leadership.
I will need some distance from this experience before I can reflect more on state of local politics in Wayne County and in Indiana more broadly. I’ve been exposed more than ever before to the machinations and complexities behind a given party’s, candidate’s or campaign’s effectiveness and I certainly have thoughts about opportunities and areas for improvement. I’ve also encountered amazing and talented people working passionately at all levels of the Democratic party to make the world a better place, and they have my admiration.
I hope that I’ve left things in good shape and that whomever is in the Chair role next finds new and creative ways to energize people in this community who want to use politics to pursue a better life for all residents. We absolutely need robust political debate, contested elections, bold candidates and engaged voters now more than ever. Ultimately the person serving as Chair or in any leadership role will only be as effective as their ability to channel the energy, time and interests of other volunteers and leaders into meaningful and sustained action. Again, given the moment we’re in, it can be hard to know what that looks like or how to get there, but we must.
There’s a core group of volunteers who keep the party going and without whom any successes would not be possible. There are also many people who offered me various forms of support, encouragement, insights and feedback throughout this experience, and while I won’t list you all here for the sake of your privacy, please know you have my gratitude. This is especially true of my wife and daughter who contributed much to making this work possible.
Thank you all.