DPVA convention recap

Sanders DNC Delegate Nic McCarthy addresses the DPVA Sanders caucus[editor's note: The 2016 DPVA convention was a resounding success for the minority delegation, which achieveved all of their primary aims coming into Saturday, including the defeat of incumbent DNC member Lionell Spruill, who had been accused of continuously frustrating the efforts of Sanders organizers in CD5 during the delegation allocation process. The statewide delegation had been also been reeling from a purge of active at-large Sanders candidates to the DNC convention just days previous, a move by the campaign that the delegation condemned as undemocratic and untransparent. We asked Tom to repost a message that he posted to the Delegation on Facebook. -- MBWade]

The Sanders delegation came into the day with an expected 2 to 1 handicap in delegates and many of us were outraged by the at-large delegate situation that had unfolded just days prior to the convention. The media had already anointed Clinton as the nominee and the Democratic Party of Virginia was doing nothing to dispel that false narrative. We all knew the deck had been stacked against us in a game that had been rigged.

Our organization and our camaraderie combined with our commitment to this progressive movement was what carried the day. Through the stalwart efforts of many wonderful and dedicated activists we were able to even the delegate count to an almost even split. While some of this was due to complacent Clinton delegates not showing up it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the Herculean effort and results of all of the delegate wranglers for Bernie. GREAT JOB, folks. This major accomplishment facilitated the great victories that would come later in the day.

In terms of business for the Democratic Party of Virginia to be handled at the convention the Bernie delegation's agenda won on all fronts. We passed the most progressive package of platform resolutions that has ever been presented in the history of the Democratic party in Virginia. Many of us put a great deal of time and effort into writing, editing, and reviewing these resolutions. Every one of them was presented by members of the Sanders delegation and they pass with almost no resistance from the Clinton delegation. This was a victory for not only the Sanders delegation but for the entire progressive movement in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I would like to give a special thank to Sandra J Klassen on her astute presentation of the platform package.

The most astounding and telling victory of the day came with the vote for DNC candidates. The top levels of party leadership had been promoting the DNC Victory slate to the combined convention the entire day. We had already formulated a plan to propel Yasmine Taeb to victory through a "one-shot" strategy and a vast majority of the delegation had signed on to it. Little did we know that Yasmine would bring the house down with her presentation and not only win a seat but collect 1070 votes. The next closest candidate had 740 votes. Yasmine won in a landslide. We also accomplished one of our secondary goals. The slate was not only split but it was demolished. The combined convention denied 2 incumbents another term on the DNC. This DNC election is a clear sign to the party establishment that business as usual is no longer an option.

The at-large delegate selection turned out as expected. I would like to make a personal note on events leading up to the at-large vote. I did not, nor did I have any intention of leading any type of coup regarding the at-large selection process. My intentions regarding that process were stated publicly and while I was generally aware of discussions about possible actions I resigned myself to only taking a passive role in any such actions. One of the greatest successes of the convention was the ability for all of us to actually meet and have some time to be with each other. On one Saturday in June 2016 all of us were able to come together and shake hands or hug. We were able to share ideas and rejoice in our unwavering support for progressive ides and for Bernie Sanders. I will forever remember this as a turning point in Virginia Democratic politics. A point where the minority, through perseverance, hard work, and fellowship made real progressive change a reality. I can say with no hesitation that I truly love you all.


Michael Brandon Wade's picture

I forgot to credit the photo of Nic McCarthy. If someone can identify who took it I will attribute accordingly.

Tom Brock's picture

Spruill messed up CD 4 he is running for state senate in state district 5. Anyone who lives in State district 5 (chesapeake and part of Norfolk) Please go Vote on July 9. It's going to be one of those sketchy firehouse caucus affairs. We need to send Spruill and the establidshment a clear message ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! please cast your vote for Joe Lindsey.