By Kimi Cole
From the recent State Democratic Convention, I’ll give a quick overview based on observations, while keeping a brisk pace between meetings, presentations, state party business and enjoying delightful camaraderie.
How it all began
Friday night started with with a standing room only welcome reception, led by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D). All candidates for statewide constitutional offices spoke, including Steve Sisolak for Governor, Kate Marshall for Lt. Governor, Nelson Araujo for Secretary of State, Zach Conine for State Treasurer, Catherine Byrne for State Controller, and Aaron Ford for Attorney General.
Clint Koble for Congressional District 2 also spoke. Several Assembly and Senate candidates were in attendance, including Patricia Ackerman for Assembly District 39 and Curtis Cannon for Senate District 17. Numerous current and retired legislators also joined in for the high energy kickoff event.
The big event
Saturday morning started on a high energy note, with Chair William McCurdy II opening the speaking agenda. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen (D) kept the pace up, leading into stirring speeches by Cortez Masto and Sisolak, followed by a moving talk by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
Senator Warren shared some of her story, building an inspiring message of hope that, even when the future may look bleak, with a goal, determination and steady persistence—yes, the word “persistence” came up multiple times—that the future can get better. Energy was high in the room, and Warren brought the audience to their feet multiple times, accompanied by resounding applause.
One thing becomes very clear, listening to Senator Warren speak—she does not simply talk about persistence, she LIVES it!
Getting down to business
Continuing on a steady pace, Nevada Democratic Party business moved right along with party business, including adoption of convention rules, considering committee reports, and hearing from additional candidates who were not on stage earlier in the day.
As activities hummed right along in the main convention room, there was also much activity behind the scenes. Senators Warren and Cortez Masto, Rep. Jacky Rosen, and Kate Marshall circulated throughout the building engaging various education sessions and organization meetings.
Emerge Nevada had their monthly training, and who should stop in for some additional teaching and sharing of insights, but Cortez Masto, Warren, Rosen and Nevada Rural Democratic Caucus Chair Kimi Cole! All have come from different backgrounds and faced challenges in their lives, but all determined to move on through the obstacles and get to work putting their marks on the future. An enthusiastic group of Emerge students took everything in and added to their knowledge and determination to run for offices.
Grand times at the Grand Sierra
After the morning session, attendees and candidates scattered among various eateries located in Grand Sierra Resort, in order to take in some sustenance prior to the Saturday afternoon activities.
New at-large members were elected to the Nevada State Democratic Party (NSDP) Executive Board (E-Board), to serve two-year terms until 2020. Breakout rooms were at standing room capacity, as Washoe, Clark and Rural Nevada counties conducted their elections. Congratulations to the new and returning members of the NSDP Executive Board!
State Central Committee members were elected as positions allowed. Some counties had additional openings after the election was held, and county Chairs read in the names of members to be added at the next meeting on Saturday, September 15, in Clark County.
Sunday was more than just a fun day
Sunday morning dawned bright and (way too) early as the Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus kicked off the day’s activities. Attendees from all Nevada counties attended and were welcomed. The common, singular driving focus of the Rural Dems is to help get Democrats elected up and down the ticket in this year’s elections. #AllCountiesMatter
Democrats’ slate for 2018 is formidable, and, with everyone’s help, have high hopes of doing very well in November. It’s more than a wave, it’s a blue movement!
The body approved the 2018 NSDP platform, with some limited discussion on two items, leading to final agreement. I can’t continue without a big shoutout to Matthew DeFalco for all his and his committee’s hard work on the platform, and for conducting an efficient, conscientious discussion and approval process.
Seven pre-submitted motions were considered, as well as two additional motions submitted by way of collecting enough signatures on petitions. Platform topics included discussion of whether to insert a statewide position on ICE into the platform. The room was divided on the issue, and it was determined there was not enough agreement to put it into the platform.
Additional motions included discussions about when the E-Board should meet, providing volunteer training at State Central Committee meetings, discussions about bylaw change requirements, and adding language to the NSDP bylaws to affect changes in delegate determination in presidential years. The body did not approve these suggested changes.
Discussions were passionate, considering viewpoints from alternate perspectives, yet the tone of the session remained respectful and productive.
One last dance
After an incredibly upbeat and productive convention, there was a brief break while E-Board votes were counted. Democrats were in a festive mood, and many spontaneously broke into dance!
We have a lot of hard work in front of us to get Democrats elected in 2018, and what better fuel for our efforts than to be fired up and ready to go!
Cover photo by Kimi Cole. She currently serves as Chair of the Douglas County Democratic Party, and as Chair of the Nevada Rural Democratic Caucus. She currently lives in Minden.