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Young Democrats urge all members to attend Saturday’s SDEC meeting

Young State Democratic Executive Committee members, who were there last week at the member-called meeting, are urging SDEC members to also attend a meeting Saturday called by Chairwoman Nancy Worley.

On Oct. 5, the SDEC met without the Alabama Democratic Party leadership and passed new bylaws, demanded by the Democratic National Committee. Worley was not present at that event and instead called her own meeting for October 12.

“As some of the youngest members of the SDEC, we are writing to encourage all SDEC members, and everyone committed to the future of the Alabama Democratic Party, to attend the SDEC meeting Chair Worley has called for this Saturday, October 12th at 11am at the Alcazar Shriner’s Auditorium in Montgomery (555 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36117).”

The reform-minded SDEC faction met last week and adopted new bylaws as ordered by the Democratic National Committee. They also set the election date for chair and vice-chair on November 2.

“SDEC members did what many thought impossible,” the young SDEC members wrote. “More that 50%+1 of us claimed the power we were given in the bylaws and called for a meeting. There was a quorum at that meeting and we unanimously passed new DNC-approved bylaws that encourage full participation (if you are interested in joining the new Diversity Caucuses, sign up here). We set November 2nd as the date for the long-delayed elections for Chair and Vice-Chair. Harold Ickes of the Rules & Bylaws Committee of the DNC was present and approved this date. For the first time in a long time, the Alabama Democratic Party moved forward.”

Ickes also approved the November 2 date for the elections for Chair and Vice-Chair.

“Chair Worley chose to boycott the meeting last Saturday and asked members to as well, claiming it wasn’t valid,” the young SDEC members wrote in their letter. “Don’t believe the lies. She knows the bylaws allowed for a member-called meeting. She knows the DNC supervised that meeting. And she knows new bylaws were adopted. We hope Chair Worley will acknowledge these truths, yet we worry she will continue to mislead SDEC members. As young Democrats whose futures depend on having a strong Democratic Party, we are sick and tired of the games.”

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“Chair Worley has the power to call a meeting, which she has done,” the letter continued. “But the members of the SDEC have the power to determine the future of the party. If enough change-minded members of the SDEC do not show up on Saturday, Chair Worley may try to undo the progress that was made last weekend.”

They warned that if that happened there could be lawsuits which would further weaken the party and cost money and resources. The DNC could also retaliate for Worley’s defiance by denying Alabama a delegation to the Democratic National Convention next summer meaning Alabama Democratic voters would have no say in who the Democrats choose as their presidential nominee.

They warn that there is the potential for a schism that could lead to, “Two parties on parallel paths both claiming to be the “real” one. We cannot risk these outcomes. We need ONE Democratic Party. We believe in ONE Democratic party. A unified. Diverse. Transparent. And effective party. As SDEC members, we were elected to represent the best interests of Democrats. All Democrats.”

The letter was signed by SDEC members: Matthew Brown (HD-21), Kayla Sloan (HD-1), Caroline Self (HD-2), and Lisa Handback (HD-10).

At the SDEC summer meeting in 2018, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D) backed a challenge against Worley for Alabama Democratic Party Chair by Montgomery attorney and Democratic strategist Peck Fox. That failed and Worley was re-elected. Critics of the Alabama Democratic Party leadership claimed that there were irregularities in how that vote was held and have accused Alabama Democratic Conference head Joe Reed of stacking the SDEC with his loyalists in the name of “diversity.”

The critics took their cause to the DNC which invalidated the elections of Worley and Randy Kelley for Vice Chair. The DNC ordered new elections and new bylaws by April 16. That never happened. A new deadline of July 16 similarly was ignored by ADP leaders. In August at the DNC meeting, the DNC retaliated by stripping Worley and Kelley of their credentials. Worley told the DNC that they can “go to Hell.”

The last two Democrats to win any statewide race in Alabama are Doug Jones in 2017 and the late Lucy Baxley who was narrowly elected Public Service Commission President in 2008. In 2018, Republicans won every majority White district in both houses of the Alabama state legislature growing their commanding supermajorities in both.

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The last time a Democratic candidate was elected Governor of Alabama was 1998. A Democratic nominee for President of the United States has not carried the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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