September 12, 2008

I am now an elected official. Two days ago, I was one of 294 people elected to serve as a member of the Ramapo Democratic Committee. For the next two years, I shall be part of the body that nominates candidates and establishes policy for the Democratic Party for the town in which I live, Ramapo, New York.

I campaigned for this office. I didn’t have to kiss any babies or give any stump speeches, but I did knock on doors, shake some hands and make a lot of phone calls. On two occasions, one of my running mates and I (there were four of us) went door-to-door, asking our neighbors for their votes. You meet all kinds doing this.

Some people are deeply engaged. They know the issues, and the players. They pulled out the postcards sent by both the organization I am affiliated with (Ramapo Democrats For Change) and our opposition. Once I was invited into a home, asked to sit on the sofa and explain how my running mates and I were going to bring about change if two of the four were married to each other. Some people were vaguely aware of the election and issues, and others were clueless, and looked at me as if I was speaking Hungarian.

When the polls closed at 9:00 on Tuesday night, it was all worth it. The hours of going door-to-door, and calling potential supporters had bourn juicy fruit. My running mates and I defeated our opponents by a 6 to 1 margin. I had been appointed poll watcher for our district, and got the final tallies straight off the machines within minutes of the polls closing. I was the first to know. As I drove to our election night party at a local Italian restaurant, I was elated. I couldn’t get there fast enough to share the good news. I had a big, dopey smile on my face, and pumped my fist the entire trip.

I had run for office twice before, both times for Fire Commissioner, and both times I had been defeated by someone I believed to be a lesser (i.e., not as qualified) candidate. This night I had won, and it felt great.

I get to work next week, attending a meeting of the county Democratic Committee, which I’ve been forewarned could be contentious. Not to sound like the Governor of Alaska, but I’m ready. (And I really am.)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: