Friday, February 10, 2017

Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus working steadily to change political equation

Amidst the chaos being created daily by the nation's Narcissist in Chief, the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus [CCPC] continues its on the ground quest to shake up Cleveland and northeast Ohio's calcified two party system.

Combining modern strategies with new technologies and old fashioned political organizing techniques, the Caucus now claims a roster of 2100 members,  nearly half of them enrolled in the past month. Those kind of numbers will no doubt gain the attention of elected officials, something that has already begun to happen.

CCPC steering committee member Ken Frisof recounted how Ohio Senator Rob Portman initially disdained to meet with group members but changed his tune last week and personally met with nine caucus members who went to Washington DC last week for the purpose of meeting with this area’s elected officials.

Last night’s meeting was a give and take session with many of the fifty plus attendees offering views on what the Caucus should focus on in 2017. In general, members seemed to favor a focus on state and local officeholders, and prioritizing growing the progressive base over outreach to Trump voters.

Suggestions from Caucus leaders included running candidates for Democratic precinct committees. These are the lowest rungs of elected public officials and offer a direct way into the governing party infrastructure, which one attended described as “broken”.

Other ideas included setting up watch committees for each of the four members of Congress whose districts comprise some portion of the Cuyahoga electorate: Democrats Marcia Fudge [11th District] and Marcy Kaptur [9th] and Republicans Dave Joyce [14th] and Jim Renacci [16th].

A common thread among many attendees was the influence of the Indivisible Guide, an online document written by a pair of former Congressional staffers. The guide — introduced to much of America on the January 4th edition of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show — offers grassroots activists an array of tactics proven to influence members of Congress and organize effective resistance to President Trump’s agenda. “Indivisible” groups have sprung up in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Shaker Heights, according to those present. Maryann Posch told The Real Deal that about 250 people had attended the first group meeting in Cleveland Heights. Her group will hold its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, at 7:00PM at the Heights Library, 2345 Lee Road.

CCPC is organizing its membership by region and Congressional district for both impact and convenience. Thursday’s meeting was held at the Harvard Community Services Center in Cleveland’s Ward 1.  More information about the Caucus can be found here.