The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee’s Failed Mission

The Author, former Annapolis Mayor, Ellen Moyer

Central Committees of political parties were created to manage the affairs of the party. Their mission is to enhance the party base and develop strategies for growing party participation.

Years ago, after a national party loss to a Bush, the DNC urged local party members to assess their effectiveness in political action. As a community activist, I helped to organize interviews with elected officials to measure the support they received. Well, the finding was dismal. At that time, no elected person had ever encountered a single bit of support from the party’s local central committee, the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee. Later, I was elected to the AACDCC, and with Maureen Lamb, worked hard and had some limited success in meeting the party’s charter mission.

In the interviews with the 19 candidates for the vacant 30A spot, there was no indication that the committee members used any measure of critical thinking to evaluate each applicant with respect to their ability to strengthen the party base and advocate for Democratic Party values. What was the Thea Boykin-Wilson committee thinking? If it was anything other than the defined mission and purpose of the DCC, then these representatives are guilty of negligence of duty.

We are again at the point where the AACDCC has failed in primary mission to enhance and grow the party’s base. Selecting an unknown candidate to fill a vacant Delegate seat has resulted in confusion, anger and distrust among active Democrats. This has, rightly or wrongly, a negative impact on party action at a time when enthusiasm for participation in the 2020 election needs to be at an all-time high.

Additionally, at eight months out from a major national election, what strategy has the Central Committee developed for getting out the vote? This is a critical function of managing and contributing to the success of the party.

No longer can Democratic candidates tout transparency or honesty as a measure of the party. The actions of the AACDCC have been destructive to the perceived ethics of the Party, which will lead to eye rolls or “oh yeah” (i.e., unbelievable) responses from opponents. Unfortunately, the defensive comments from the Party Chair extolling correctness in their deliberations has only furthered the divide.

The damage to the party image has been done.

I hope that election turnout for a 2020 Democratic victory will be high, and that election 2022 will not be a blood bath in 30A. I hope we can move on. However, as a longtime advocate of participatory representative and transparent government, I am skeptical for the future. Based on the action of the Anne Arundel Democratic Central Committee to blatantly ignore Democratic Party values, and to thwart their own committee’s mission to enhance the party’s interests, we’ve lost the opportunities that many of the other, better qualified, applicants could have provided. This all makes me wonder if the AACDCC has caught the Trump disease for undermining good government.

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Ellen Moyer has over 60 years of experience in public service, administration and government. She is a distinguished executive and was selected three times by The Daily Record as one of 100 women leaders in the state of Maryland. Elected in 2001 as the first woman chief executive officer and mayor of Annapolis in 300 years, she has received numerous awards for her actions to enhance the quality of life in her community. Ms. Moyer remains active in numerous community affairs, and serves on a committee overseeing the Annapolis City Dock Implementation Plan and the Anne Arundel County Citizens Advisory Committee for a new 20-year General Development Plan. Ms. Moyer has also found success as an author, writing for local magazines while penning and editing several small commemorative books.

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