-by Dorothy Reik
President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Sadism was the order of the day. The party caucuses had banded together to try to get the party to agree not to take fossil fuel and police union money. They got enough signatures to call an Executive Board meeting for 10AM on Sunday morning. They wanted to have it outdoors in Oakland, but thankfully it was made a Zoom meeting instead. But Rusty Hicks, CADEM chair, had a plan to quash the vote. Two days before the meeting he announced a finance subcommittee to whitewash the party finances-- made up of people he chose "in consultation with the other officers," one of whom joined him in blowing off an offer green money funding. There were no bios, nothing-- just a list of names. The party bylaws allow the chair to appoint all committees which is why almost all progressive lost their committee assignments this year. After an hour of wasting time with credentialing, instructions on how to use the poll to vote, and other stuff, there was a vote to confirm the finance sub-committee. There was, of course, debate so more time was wasted as the outcome was pre-ordained thanks to the proxies recruited by Rusty's henchmen. I wanted to move that the committee also include nominations from the caucus chairs, but I was not called on. More on that later. We were now about 90 minutes into the meeting. Saying they wanted to be fair Rusty & Co. decided to have SIX speakers on each side of the two motions-- one not to take money from fossil fuel and one not to take money from police unions. That took a lot of time since many of the speakers were left cooling their heels in the waiting room and couldn't be easily found but when they were they were powerful-- from Alica Garza, BLM founder to members of Sunrise begging for their futures. In each case the final speaker in opposition made a motion to refer the matter to Rusty's handpicked committee! Then there were three speakers on each of those motions. The fix was in-- everyone had cover. They didn't have to vote against the motions-- they could vote to refer them to committee! Nice. At the last minute, after it was all over and the champagne corks were popping, I was called on. I moved that the finance committee have members added who were appointed by the caucus chairs-- the same number as appointed by Rusty Hicks. I was, of course, ruled out of order because the bylaws give the chair the power to appoint all of the committee members giving him total control of the party. Democracy was ruled out of order! Three hours and fifty-one minutes after it started the meeting was adjourned. PDSMM member Ros Wolf was watching the livestream and she asked if I was going to write this up and so I did.