Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2013, 2:47 pm
What's state of Rock Island County Democratic Party?
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By Doug House
When I wrote to introduce myself to the voters of Rock Island County as your Democratic Party chairman, I shared with you the importance of public service and what it means to me to be a Democrat.
I learned what I know today about government when I volunteered and later worked for Lane Evans. He was a good example of a public servant: He was humble, he was quiet, and he worked hard to earn the public's trust. Lane was never distracted from doing what he believed in his heart to be the right thing. He never did the politically expedient, self-serving thing -- and neither will this Democratic Party.
A year ago I vowed that we would not be distracted from talking about what was right and what was important. We would do something unconventional: we would talk about the issues and we would run our own race. We decided, that together as a team we would talk about what we stood for and not talk about what things our opponents did or didn't do in poor judgment.
We ran our campaigns with the needs of the voter in mind and talked about what is important to our communities: creating jobs, ensuring seniors get the assistance they need, ensuring equal rights and pay for women and people of color, ensuring our students have access to the education the future requires, and by looking out for our shrinking middle class and those out of work.
We didn't use tricks and we didn't try to fool anyone about what we are or what we stand for. We stood with the president of the United States who spoke about an America of limitless dreams and possibilities. We organized and worked hard registering voters, canvassing neighborhoods, raising money, encouraging voting by mail and early voting. And an amazing thing happened. We grew our party!
As a result, Rock Island County grew to become the second highest Democratic performing county in the state out of 102 counties.
We won offices back that had been lost and we elected the most diverse group of public officials Rock Island County has ever seen. And we did it by talking about the need for good paying jobs with benefits, expanding access to an affordable education and health care.
We won standing up for a safe community that respects its law enforcement, firefighters, and public servants; and by talking about securing quality care for our seniors by fighting to protect Hope Creek Nursing Home.
Moving forward the Democrats of Rock Island County stand for reform. Our government's role continues to change, ethics are being restored, waste is being cut and efficiencies are and must continue to be gained.
Last year the county board voted to significantly cut their salaries and to freeze the salaries of countywide officials for the next four years. There are many more difficult challenges ahead but we will not be distracted and we will continue to do the right thing.
Democrats will continue to grow our economy locally partnering with labor and business to prepare our workforce for tomorrow's challenges. We will work to expand manufacturing incubators and apprenticeship programs that partner with our local community colleges and universities. We will grow our economy by supporting improved access to small business loans.
As we continue to succeed in these endeavors, we will continue to see our unemployment level drop and our median wage increase.
Democrats will continue to move Rock Island County forward. United and prepared to lead, we are focused on the future, our party is growing, financially sound, and will not be distracted from doing the right thing.
I am proud to report; the state of the Rock Island County Democratic Party is excellent.
Doug House is Rock Island County Democrat Party chair.