Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


It’s my party

I haven’t written about it here before, but given that I’m sure it’s going to start creeping in, it’s time to come clean:

Yes, I am a registered Democrat.

I know — you had your suspicions. Maybe it’s the way I walk, or talk, or something. But there it is.

Sometimes when people listen to me on various issues they momentarily think I’m a Libertarian, or a Republican, but no — I just happen to hold whatever common-sense provisions are so common-sense that even parties that have chased out all reason (that would be the GOP) hold them. Like: I think the government shouldn’t waste money. We may disagree on what “waste” is, but the concept is shared. I think the government shouldn’t be snooping into people’s medicine chests or bedrooms or mailboxes or email in-bins; that doesn’t make me a Libertarian, that makes me an American. Conceptually.

In January I was elected as a delegate to the California State Democratic Party, one of 12 elected delegates representing the registered Democrats in Assembly District 43. So: If you are a Democrat in Burbank, Glendale, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Valley Glen, or North Hollywood, I hope to do you proud. I ran on a “Progressive” slate that ran against another “Progressive” slate; that’s progress for you. Some members of our slate vigorously want things like redistricting, an end of term limits, and clean money campaigns — in other words, those things that help guarantee Constitutional free and fair elections, and true representation. That we have to define this as “progressive” is somewhat embarrassing; you would think these are core values.

As a delegate, I will be attending the California State Democratic Party Convention the last weekend of April in — you saw this coming, right? — San Diego. (No, I haven’t already booked my hotel room — and I bet I’ll be sorry.) Today was our orientation, and also my first introduction into people wanting my vote for resolutions to the party platform. I signed one to help it on its way (this particular one seeks to de-credential elected Democrats who endorse non-Democrats, such as Greens in particular), and I offered to take another one to the Burbank Democratic Club for endorsement (this one seeks to bring Clean Money elections to California).

If you’re wondering why I would put so much time into this (and into the Burbank Democratic Club, where only just this month I stepped down as president), you haven’t been reading the newspaper. Or this blog. And my tiny role in last November’s election results felt very rewarded indeed.

One more thing. Here’s just one indication of how much the Democratic party, which was founded in 1792 by slave owners with some otherwise rather attractive values, has changed: Today one of the resolutions introduced asked the Party as a whole to recognize the importance of white voters, who make up 72% of the Democratic vote. I’m a white guy, but it never occurred to me that one day I’d be in a room in the United States where someone was reminding us of the importance of the white people.

Who says nothing ever changes?

5 Responses to “It’s my party”

  1. Isabel Storey Says:


    It’s exciting to see that you will be a delegate to the State Democratic Party. We definitely need more people with vision and energy to take part in the political scene.

    I have been thrilled to see some of the budding changes in Washington since the last election. Our very own representative Henry Waxman (from my district, I’m proud to say) has really been shaking it up as had of the House Committee on Oversight and Goverment Reform.

    Our family is planning a trip to DC over the spring break and I’ve been in touch with Waxman’s office regularly over the last few weeks – trying to arrange for a White House tour, etc. This has led me to focus even more than usual on what he’s doing – and I’m very pleased with what I see.

    I’ve been planning on this trip with my kids for years, but grew dispirited about the prospect last year. I was so disheartened about our government’s policies and actions overseas that I was almost embarrassed to take my kids to see the center of our government!

    Now, with people like Representative Waxman on the move, I’m feeling like there’s more to be excited about. We’re going to visit his office in DC and give him – or his staff – a hearty congratulations!

    Best to you too, as you journey forward on this path.

  2. Rich Roesberg Says:

    I was interested by the resolution to de-credential elected Democrats who endorse non-Democrats. Have you encountered the cross-endorsing yourself? I’m wondering because I can see someone wanting very much to support the Green Party to defend the environment, but I can also see how doing that would weaken the Democratic Party. It raises some interesting issues. Personally I’d rather focus on getting Democrats elected and trusting them to make the right decisions.

  3. Lee Wochner Says:

    I think of this as “the Lieberman resolution.” Locally, people are talking about Dems who endorse Greens; on the national level a whole bunch of us were unhappy with major elected Democrats who (at the time) endorsed or supported Lieberman over the Democratic nominee for Senate, Ned Lamont. That the Democratic majority hangs on the tepid fealty of Joe Lieberman is troubling indeed.

  4. leewochner.com » Blog Archive » More bad reporting Says:

    […] I previously covered some of this ground here. […]

  5. leewochner.com » Blog Archive » It’s my party, Part 2 Says:

    […] I recounted here, in January I was elected as member of the California State Democratic Central Committee. […]

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