Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Should Have Deaf Delegates!

Everyday at work, we have discussions with our co-workers. These discussions range from anything from wildly speculative “What-if-Hillary-Clinton-stole-the-nomination?” to more serious subjects such as Bobby Kennedy’s legacy. Today, we talked about delegates.

During the primaries, the super-delegates got an enormous amount of attention from the press because of their possible role as the tiebreaker in voting for either Obama or Clinton in the case that both of them were unable to get the number of necessary delegates to win the nomination. This put the super-delegates into a powerful position within the Democratic Party and everybody realized just how important it was to be a delegate.

Now, we’re at the convention and it’s only getting more and more obvious that the delegates are the true VIPs of this convention, aside from Obama and Clinton and the Kennedys. Increasingly, as I worked away, I began to notice that many of the delegates were really just normal people from their home states. They reminded me of my NAD experience at New Orleans 2008. Everybody who was delegates was just normal people representing their home locations and regions. Here’s a thought for you – how easy was it for you to become a delegate to NAD convention? Well, guess what… it’s only slightly more difficult than that to become a delegate to the Democratic Party.

I discussed with my coworkers and we all agreed that at the Democratic National Convention four years later, we absolutely WANT TO SEE DEAF DELEGATES!!!

If you are deaf, truly care about your community, and want to give the most top-quality exposure on your people… you can become a delegate! The Democratic National Convention’s official website has a section on how to become a delegate and it’s actually pretty simple. Each states has its more specific rules on how to become a delegate but here’s an excerpt:

If you want to be a delegate, your first step should be to call or write to your state party. The state party will provide you with the information and materials you’ll need to begin the process of running for a delegate position. These will include a copy of the state party’s delegate selection plan (or summary) and delegate candidate filing forms. All states require delegate candidates to file a “declaration of candidacy" in order to run. The deadline for this declaration varies from state to state but is specified in each state's plan. In some cases, the declaration must be accompanied by signatures of registered Democratic voters from that area. All filing requirements must be precisely followed.

Finally, whether or not you are successful in becoming a delegate to the 2008 National Convention -- stay informed and involved. Be sure to: (1) stay informed about the presidential campaign; (2) follow the 2008 Convention; (3) support the Party's presidential and vice presidential nominees; and (4) most importantly, Vote on Election Day!

Considering the amount of passion the deaf/cochlear-implanted/hard-of-hearing community has for representing itself, I expect to see at least TEN deaf delegates at the next Democratic National Convention, four years later!!

Here are some suggestions for regions that should have deaf delegates, since they are well known for having a high deaf population (not in any order):

  • Bay Area, California
  • Rochester, New York
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Frederick, Maryland
  • Austin, Texas
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New York City, New York
  • Washington, DC

If you are motivated to become a delegate for your home location or want to suggest a region that would do well with a deaf delegate, post a comment… We’d love to hear your input!

1 comment:

Pepe C. said...

California already has an Deaf people active within the state party. There are two state delegates for the CA State Party (not for the national party convention). I am a county and state delegate myself but I did not run for national delegate since it is way too expensive to attend a convention as a delegate. It is cheaper to go as a visitor if you can get your hands on a floor pass.