All politics are local, as Tip O'Neill observed in his 1993 book of that title and many others have noted before him.
While we Dems love to sit around and decry the buffoonery that Washington presents us with each day, the Knox County Maine Democratic Committee (KCDC) and local Democratic volunteers are primarily focused upon the local political process, working to identify strong local candidates for all state and county positions, and to provide services that help smooth the path in their local campaigns.
Typical services include
Notice that campaign funding is not on the list. While we work to find great candidates who can best represent the interests of their constituents, and we do work on tasks that help our slate of candidates, the county committees are constrained to avoid activities that benefit individual candidates unless they are specifically designated as cash or in-kind contributions. Most state senator and state representative races are publicly funded under Maine's Clean Election Act that strictly limits help from outside organizations or individuals. County, Federal and most gubernatorial races are financed conventionally and are dependent upon third party contributions to cover campaign costs.
Knox County Democrats' activities do cost money, however. Our biennial campaign budgets exceed $25,000. Many of the county committee's efforts are focused on accumulating these funds. In addition to direct solicitations and donations, we also raise money by operating food booths at local fairs; by making campaign buttons and lawn signs that we sell at a profit; and through local KCDC activities such as our Haskell-Mayo Club, our annual lobster bake, concerts, auctions, etc. All of these activities are made possible through the efforts of many enthusiastic Democrats, volunteering their time and skills to make them happen and having fun doing it.
The goals of the Knox County Maine Democratic Committee (KCDC) are:
We hope that by providing information on town committees, candidates, issues and events, we can encourage more people to join us in working for the common good of all Maine citizens.
The Knox County Democratic Committee's operations are specified in its bylaws, which conform to the rules and bylaws of the Maine Democratic Party. The Knox County Democratic Committee (KCDC) is a representative body consisting of a minimum of three (3) members from each municipality in Knox County, one of whom is the Municipal Chair. Additionally, each municipality is entitled to one additional member on the County Committee for each one hundred (100) enrolled Democrats.
The Knox County Committee members from each municipality are nominated and elected at biennial caucuses called and held in each municipality in Knox County.
All enrolled Democrats are welcome at the KCDC monthly meetings, though of course only committee members may vote.
If an enrolled Democrat who is a resident of Knox County wishes to become an at-large member of the KCDC, said person may, after attending three (3) KCDC meetings in the most recent six-month period, make a formal request to the Recording Secretary at least ten (10) days before a KCDC meeting, asking to become a voting member-at-large. The KCDC shall, by majority vote of the members present at a duly called meeting, either accept or reject the request.
A third route to voting membership is for a person to ask his or her Town Chair for an appointment to fill a vacancy within that town's delegation.
In January of odd-number years, the Chair calls the biennial meeting for the election of officers, when nominations are accepted for the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary for the ensuing two years. A person seeking an office on the County Committee must be an enrolled Democrat in Knox County, but doesn't necessarily need to be a member of the County Committee to run for office. Once elected, all officers become at-large voting members of the County Committee.
Knox County Democrats normally meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month. We have a pot luck supper that begins at 6:00 p.m. to provide a fellowship opportunity before the 7 to 9 p.m. meeting. All are welcome to attend. Come for the pot luck or just come for the meeting.
Our usual meeting venue is the Stella Maris House, 148 Broadway St. in Rockland, ME. The Stella Maris House is the large brick building at the northwest corner of Broadway and Park Street (Route 1). It is diagonally across the street from the Rockland fire station. The meeting room is on the first floor just off the lobby.
During campaign seasons our meeting venue may temporarily change to our campaign headquarters.
The meetings are open to all enrolled Democrats, though as mentioned above, only KCDC committee members may vote.
Meeting notices are emailed monthly to all members. Additionally, they are usually published in the local newspapers.
From time to time we have guest speakers who are often candidates for political office. These gatherings provide an excellent opportunity for local Democrats to meet area legislators face to face and discuss the issues directly with them.
Additional activities and projects ramp up as the campaigns progress and the election draws near. Please check our calendar for upcoming events.