Author Archive

Democratic Municipal Officials Names Dan Besse First Blue Star Rising Recipient

The Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats across the US. To better fulfill that mission we initiated our Blue Star Candidate program, strengthening our membership by drawing national attention to local Democratic candidates. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by their DMO State Chapter, and their election may swing a city council or mayor’s office from red to blue.

To further share the story of municipal Democrats, we are announcing the Blue Star Rising program for local officials who have demonstrated a commitment to the organization and are now running to make a difference at the state or federal level. DMO connects Blue Star Rising candidates with a network of mentorship and fundraising resources, strengthening their campaigns and giving them a leg up after inauguration day. DMO will also use the Blue Star programs to inform our members how to support a rising peer.

Our first Blue Star Rising recipient is DMO’s own Dan Besse. Dan is a former DMO Board Member and currently serves part time as DMO’s Labor and Intergovernmental Affairs Adviser. He has also served as Council Member to Winston-Salem’s Southwest Ward since 2001, and is now running for North Carolina House District 75.

Dan comes highly qualified as a public interest advocate and a champion for affordable healthcare, strong neighborhoods, good public schools, first-rate police and fire protection, public transportation options, equal opportunity for all, affordable housing, and building a welcoming community for everyone.

House District 75 presents a real opportunity to flip a red district blue, and give constituents the responsive representation provided by Dan Besse.

Election Day is just around the corner, so every effort matters in the race to elect Dan Besse the next State Representative of North Carolina House District 75.

You can learn more about Dan, make a contribution, and keep up with news from the campaign trail on his website.

Democratic Municipal Officials Names Frederick Alderman Michael O’Connor A Blue Star Candidate

The National Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has endorsed Frederick Alderman Michael O’Connor in his bid for Mayor against a Republican incumbent.

O’Connor’s nearly 30 years of civic, business, media, and non-profit leadership, including 8 years as Alderman, uniquely qualifies him to serve as Mayor of Frederick, Maryland.

DMO Executive Director Barbara Moore echoed the Board’s support of O’Connor. “Alderman O’Connor exhibits the innovative, hardworking leadership that our cities need and Democrats provide. We need more committed local officials like Michael to replace conservatives who are not responding to the changing needs of our cities in the 21st Century.”

O’Connor was first elected to the Board of Alderman in 2009. He has been the chair of the Streets and Sanitation Committee, and the aldermanic liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission. Michael is a member of the Community Action Agency, Celebrate Frederick, and Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center Boards. He also represented the Aldermen on the Blight and Vacant Property Task Force.

The DMO serves to connect, engage and empower elected officials across the US who identify as Democrats. In support of that mission, DMO initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO National Board.

***

To learn more about Michael, visit https://www.oconnorforfrederick.com/

Democratic Municipal Officials Names Morrisville Council Member TJ Cawley A Blue Star Candidate

The National Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has endorsed Morrisville Council Member TJ Cawley in his bid for Mayor against a Republican incumbent.

Cawley’s vision for Morrisville includes high quality neighborhood schools for all students, multi-modal transportation options, free municipal Wi-Fi, and a dedication to green energy and environmental stewardship.

DMO President and Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino joined DMO in supporting Cawley. “Council Member Cawley is the kind of inclusive and forward thinking official who represents the next generation of Democratic leadership. We need more committed council members like him running to replace out of touch and unresponsive Republican incumbents.”

Councilman Cawley was recently part of the team of National League of Cities members who educated Congress about the importance of protecting state and local tax deductions in upcoming tax reform discussions. Cawley also shared examples of how Community Development Block Grants and other federal programs are essential for providing critical services to citizens in communities of all sizes, including Morrisville.

“I am proud to be part of the team of strong local leaders tackling the tough issues that our nation faces every day, and meeting with federal decision makers to make the case that we’re ready to partner with Congress to continue strengthening our communities. North Carolina now has a seat at the table, and the National League of Cities is a well respected advocate for towns like Morrisville,” Cawley said. “I will continue to partner with other municipal leaders from across the nation on behalf of the citizens of Morrisville and the entire state of North Carolina.”

TJ Cawley currently serves on several local, regional and national organizations, including:

North Carolina League of Municipalities Planning and Environment Legislative Action Committee
National League of Cities’ Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Federal Advocacy Committee
Local Government Federal Credit Union Wake Advisory Council
WakeUP Wake County Transportation Land Use & Housing Committee
Triangle J Council of Governments Water Resources Collaborative Co-Chair
Triangle J Council of Governments Smart Growth Committee
Board of Directors of Youth Thrive, a Wake County collaborative for people and organizations who serve youth

The DMO serves to connect, engage and empower elected officials across the US who identify as Democrats. In support of that mission, DMO initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO national board.

***

To learn more about TJ, visit http://www.tjformorrisville.org/

Democratic Municipal Officials Names Yonkers Councilwoman Corazon Pineda A Blue Star Candidate

Councilwoman Corazon Pineda has focused her term on education, and was successful in getting her colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike, to increase funds for the Yonkers Public Schools over and above what had been proposed by the Mayor. She brought back over $20 Million in funding for Yonkers schools, parks, infrastructure & public space; co-sponsored a law establishing a living wage for city contractors and subcontractors, required companies that do business in Yonkers and receive city funding to hire Yonkers residents; introduced legislation urging Mayor Spano to equip the Yonkers Police Department with body cameras; co-sponsored a bill that increases the income eligibility for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Rent Increase Exemptions (SCRIE & DRIE) and enables more of our seniors and disabled to age in place; and introduced a resolution urging the Mayor to designate Yonkers a Sanctuary City.

Councilwoman Pineda believes that when you call yourself a Democrat, you should actually stand up for progressive, Democratic values. That’s why she was endorsed by the following Yonkers Democratic leaders: Congressman Eliot Engel, NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, County Legislator Ken Jenkins, City Council Minority Leader Michael Sabatino, and Councilman Christopher Johnson, as well as the endorsement of the Working Families Party, Independence Party, SWAC-PAC, Community Voices Heard, and many unions including the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, Westchester-Putnam AFL-CIO, SEIU’s 1199, 32BJ and Local 704, Teamsters 456, TWU Local 100, and CSEA.

The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats across the US. To further that mission, they initiated the highly selective Blue Star Candidate program to strengthen DMO membership by drawing national attention to local Democratic candidates, in particular when such an election would shift a mayor’s seat or council majority from red to blue. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO national board. According to DMO President Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles Councilman, Corazon Pineda is a “National example of a grass roots progressive whom the national party should recognize and help enable to serve the residents of her up and coming community.”

DMO Statement In Response To The Events In Charlottesville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Besse
Tel: 336-760-4678
Email: Dan.Besse@nationaldmo.org

DMO STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE EVENTS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND CONTINUING SUBSEQUENT REPERCUSSIONS

Chicago, IL, August 18, 2017 –

It is time for all Americans, regardless of party or region, to come together in support of unity and equality for all.

The killing and violence in Charlottesville were the acts and responsibility of adherents of the old, ugly plague of white supremacy.  We cannot accept or tolerate false moral equivalencies that blame victims of white supremacy for the violence perpetrated against them.

Our hearts go out to the families of those who were killed and injured last Saturday, including both the peaceful counter-protester who was slain in a criminal act of domestic terrorism, and the two state troopers who lost their lives in a tragic air accident.

It is also time for us all to understand that the acts of violence and intimidation in Charlottesville were far from isolated incidents.  They reflect a deeply rooted and currently growing strain of the shameful ideologies of racist hatred.  That doctrine of hate must never again be treated as just another brand of ordinary political thought.  It is unacceptable, illegitimate, and anathema to the true ideals of our American nation.  We stand today in unity with the people of Charlottesville and all the communities around our nation who are facing down that fear and hatred.

Local leaders across our nation are rightfully calling out those white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis as the parties responsible for the terror in Charlottesville.  Along with national leaders in both parties, these local Democrats are taking the clear moral stand our current president refuses to take.

From Baltimore to Birmingham, Democrats are taking action to finally remove the long-standing symbols of slavery and oppression.  Often, they are doing so despite the efforts of backward-looking legislators in their states who want to repress this overdue community self-examination. When the descendants of slaves look upon our modern cities, they should not see a monument celebrating the history of their subjugation.

As elected leaders of our cities and towns across our nation, the members of DMO are committed to supporting our colleagues in discussing, examining, and remedying the problems that stem from our national history of racial violence.  We recognize that in many southern and border-state communities, the solutions must include an honest examination of what were used in Charlottesville as rallying points for the hate-filled ideologues of white supremacy: the Confederate monuments erected during the eras of Jim Crow and civil rights struggle.

In recent years, the Republican-dominated legislatures of four states have passed laws preempting local communities from acting to address this issue.  We support our colleagues in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee who are calling upon their state legislatures to stop standing in the way of their local community-based efforts to represent all of their constituents, no matter their color.

It is time for all of us to be about the honest, hard work of building a truly inclusive society.

###

For more information, please contact DMO President Joe Buscaino at 202-759-3041

Tom Perez Elected DNC Chair

TOM PEREZ ELECTED DNC CHAIR

Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez elected Chair of the Democratic National Committee at the DNC Winter Meeting

Atlanta, GA, February 25, 2017 –

The Democratic National Committee elected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as the next Chair of the DNC this Saturday in Atlanta. Perez committed to increasing DNC support for local elected Democrats prior to the DNC Winter Meeting in a letter to the Democratic Municipal Officials. Local elected Democrats were represented at the DNC meeting by their three ex officio voting members, along with two additional voting members from DMO’s national Board of Directors.

Receiving the majority of votes after two rounds of voting, Tom Perez won the election for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. In his speech to the gathered DNC membership that morning, Perez stressed the importance of electing Democrats “…from the school board to the Senate”. He ended the first round one vote short of a majority, and was followed closely in the vote tally by Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota. In his first act as Chair, Perez passed a motion to name Ellison Deputy Chair of the DNC.

Perez spoke with the Democratic Municipal Officials Board of Directors last December as part of a series of interviews DMO conducted with every candidate for DNC Chair. On the call he advocated for an “every zip code” strategy reminiscent of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. Prior to the DNC, Perez responded to a joint letter from Democratic Municipal Officials and the National Democratic County Officials with his commitments to local Democrats. In addition to his existing platform, Perez committed to hire a DNC Director of State and Local Elected Affairs, create a Local Elected Caucus within the DNC, provide monetary support to the DMO and NDCO, better prepare Democratic candidates for local office, and convene the DNC associations to coordinate on issues such as voter suppression.

Local elected Democrats from across the United States were represented by their DNC voting members from DMO; Los Angeles Council Member Joe Buscaino (President), Northfield Council Member Suzie Nakasian (Vice President), and Cathedral City Mayor Pro tem Greg Pettis (Representative to the DNC). The three official voting members were joined by DMO Board Members Anita Bonds (DC Council Member) and Wendy Davis (Rome Commissioner) in casting ballots for the new DNC officers.

Democratic Municipal Officials is the Democratic National Committee association for municipal elected officials who personally identify as members of the Democratic Party. They hold three seats on the DNC, and advocate for the thousands of local elected Democrats across the United States.

###

Friedrichs v CTA Statement

Democratic Municipal Officials joins in celebrating today’s major win for working families.  By a 4-4 tie vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has left standing a long-settled right of public sector employees to negotiate together for good salaries, benefits, and working conditions.  By upholding nearly four decades of Constitutional precedent and sound law, the decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association benefits responsible public employers and employees alike.

DMO is proud to have educated both our members and national opinion-shapers about the issues involved in this case.  We will continue to work together with local elected officials, our partner labor organizations, employers, and public interest groups around the country in support of the interests of working families.

Under this decision, millions of firefighters, teachers, nurses, and other public sector employees will continue to have access to effective union representation working on their behalf.  The ruling turns back another concerted attack by right-wing organizations seeking to use the court system to undermine workers who stand up for their rights.  Today’s decision is also a victory for women and people of color, whose salary levels and advancement opportunities can depend on fair union representation.  Another success story are the states and communities whose economies grow thanks to the higher pay and benefit levels promoted by a strong union presence.

However, the tie vote on this key case also underscores the critical importance of filling the open seat (and any future openings) on the Supreme Court with responsible jurists who will uphold the law, not serve extremist attacks that undermine the rights of workers to organize.  The hyper-partisan Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate must cease its obstructionism against President Obama’s highly qualified nominee to the Court, and do its job to consider and act upon Merrick Garland’s nomination.

For more information on DMO’s ongoing project to help prepare elected municipal officials to understand and lead on workplace issues, economic initiatives, and the state of labor, reach out at dan.besse@nationaldmo.org

Dan Besse
Labor Fellow

Democratic Municipal Officials Honors Contributions Of The Labor Movement On Labor Day

DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS HONORS CONTRIBUTIONS
OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT ON LABOR DAY

This Labor Day, Democratic Municipal Officials (DMOs) across our nation salute the city and town workers who keep our communities running every day

Chicago, IL – September 6th, 2015 – “During this Labor Day, whether enjoying our family picnics in a city park or at the beach, please recognize the hard work our municipal (and state) workers do who staff, maintain, and clean our parks,” said Tampa City Council Member Mike Suarez.  “And as we travel this holiday, please appreciate the hard work of our road crews, and the police who help keep the traffic moving safely, even on a holiday.”

DMO leaders noted that this is also a time to recognize the contributions of the organized labor movement.  Without the rights won by workers’ reform campaigns, led by them through their unions, we wouldn’t have work holidays like Labor Day in the first place.

DMO leaders noted that this is also a time to recognize the contributions of the organized labor movement.  Without the rights won by workers’ reform campaigns, led by them through their unions, we wouldn’t have work holidays like Labor Day in the first place.

“We should credit the labor movement for the 40-hour week, overtime pay, minimum wage laws, child labor protections, safety and health safeguards, bars against employment discrimination, and in general all the basic work-related rights that men and women of all colors and creeds take for granted in America today,” said Santa Monica, California, Council Member Pam O’Connor.

“Labor unions today are the keepers of the tradition of American craftsmanship,” added Northfield, Minnesota, Council Member Suzie Nakasian.

DMO leaders point out that many basic workplace rights, including the right to be represented by a union in collective bargaining with an employer, are under escalating political attack today.  “In North Carolina, our state legislature has again cut back the unemployment benefits earned by workers who are laid off,” observed Charlotte City Council Member LaWana Mayfield.  “Our state legislature has run roughshod over the interests of average working people recently.  They believe that they can get away with it in part because state laws have kept unions weak in our state.  It’s an object lesson for voters in all states to remember.”

DMO leaders around the nation are committed to defending labor rights and keeping our communities working for all of us.

###

Democratic Municipal Officials Passes Resolution Supporting Paid Sick And Spousal Leave

DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING PAID SICK AND SPOUSAL LEAVE

Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials passes resolution supporting local action to ensure paid sick and spousal leave

Washington, DC – March 18th, 2015 – Democratic Municipal Officials’ (DMO) President Mayor Cindy Lerner (Pinecrest, FL) and the Board of Democratic Municipal Officials passed a resolution last Tuesday encouraging municipal action in support of paid sick and spousal leave. The resolution was introduced to the Board on the recommendation of the DMO Policy Council, chaired by Mayor Debbie Goettel (Richfield, MN).

The DMO Board of Directors gathered in Washington, DC at the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference. Following the conclusion of the biannual DMO National Breakfast Meeting, the Board convened to discuss the association’s strategic goals and policy issues. The Board of Directors approved a resolution in support of action to guarantee paid sick and spousal leave, distinct from other paid time off such as vacation days, in the event of illness and to enable post-natal infant care. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not guarantee sick leave, and one of only two countries that does not offer some form of paid maternity leave.

The DMO resolution encourages local action on paid leave, and cites as a model federal legislation being introduced this afternoon by Senator Gillibrand (D-NY). Senator Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act would establish a national, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave insurance program.

“Our workforce should not have to choose between earning a paycheck and caring for a sick family member or new baby,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Right now, just 13 percent of employed Americans have access to paid leave – we must do better. The FAMILY Act will establish a national, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave insurance program available to every worker in our country. We know this policy is smart for businesses, it is good for our economy and it is what’s right for families. I applaud the DMO for their leadership in championing this critical legislation to their 40,000 local officials across the country.”

“The assurance paid leave provides helps us achieve sustainable local economies and secures the health and well-being of families in our communities. We applaud Senator Gillibrand for introducing the FAMILY Act as a way to ensure paid leave nationwide,” said Mayor Lerner in regards to the national legislation that inspired the resolution.

DMO’s own resolution recognizes the importance of national and state legislation that improves on the current system. In addition, it stresses the importance of municipalities taking immediate action on paid leave; instituting payroll-supported leave funds for city employees, discussing the economic benefits with local business owners, and working with their state legislators to craft wider reform.

Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) is the Democratic National Committee constituency association for local elected officials who personally identify as members of the Democratic Party. DMO represents over 40,000 mayors, city council members, and other municipal elected officials across the United States, and acts to move their priorities nationwide.

###

Triplett Named Democratic Municipal Official Of The Year

TRIPLETT NAMED DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett named the Democratic Municipal Official of the Year 2014 at Democratic Municipal Officials’ National Breakfast Meeting

Austin, TX, November 21, 2014 –

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett received the 2014 Democratic Municipal Official of the Year award at Democratic Municipal Officials’ (DMO) National Breakfast Meeting this Friday. Having been featured in the organization’s DMO of the Month series for the month of March, Triplett was nominated for the award alongside ten other municipal Democratic mayors and council members. He received the highest number of votes from the general membership, winning the title of DMO of the Year 2014.

Held during the National League of Cities (NLC) Congress of Cities and Exposition conference in Austin, Texas, the DMO National Breakfast is a semiannual meeting of Democratic Municipal Officials, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) constituency Association for Democratic mayors, council members, and other local elected officials. Triplett is chair of the organization’s Michigan State Chapter. Triplett was joined on stage by DMO Chair of the Council of State Chapters, Cathedral City, CA Council Member Greg Pettis, and DMO Chair of the Policy Council, Winston-Salem, NC Council Member Dan Besse. Pettis was previously named DMO of the Year 2012.

Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) is the DNC Association for locally elected officials who personally identify as members of the Democratic Party. DMO has over 6000 members across the United States, and advocates for local Democratic officeholders and acts to move their priorities nationwide.

This November’s National Breakfast also featured the Honorable Julián Castro, who delivered the keynote Democratic Address. Newark City Council President Mildred Crump received the Susan Burgess Award, and Mayors William Peduto (Pittsburgh) and AC Wharton (Memphis) joined a panel discussion about governing Democratic cities in states with Republican State Legislatures, hosted by MSNBC Political Analyst Robert Traynham. David Kolbe of the Iron Workers presented the ‘Helmets to Hardhats’ program, and Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen received an Outstanding Contribution

###