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LETTERS: Local Democratic Party fails to listen to voters

You can't on one hand claim to be open and inclusive, and then on the other hand work expeditiously to remove board members who disagree. Clearly the misunderstood/misguided leadership of our Rockdale Democratic Party is clueless. The moment you have leadership that behaves in a narcissistic manner is the same moment in which the vision of the local Democratic Party dies.

Under the current leadership, and the preceding leadership for at least the last several years, the RDP has won absolutely nothing politically. It was Barack Obama's campaign that ushered in the necessary votes that enabled Ruth Wilson, Oz Nesbitt and Richard Oden to become victorious two years ago. In fact, had it not been for the Democratic vote in the county, JaNice Van Ness, who is extremely worthy, would not have become victorious on Nov. 2. Therefore, is Stan Williams, chairman of the Democratic Party, claiming credit for her victory?

Rep. Hank Johnson and state Sen. Ron Ramsey have shown the local Democratic Party and the voters of Rockdale whom they represent -- regardless of party -- total disdain by not attending any political forums. I can certainly understand the political strategy behind not coming here, especially when they don't have to because their base and bulk of voters reside in South DeKalb. This political strategy may have been agreed upon by Stan Williams, Garvin Haynes, Richard Oden, Donald Ferguson and Oz Nesbitt, but it doesn't sit well with the voters.

It started me to thinking about the label with which I have allowed myself to be branded, a Democrat. What does it mean to be an African-American Democrat in Rockdale County? What I've concluded is that in Rockdale it means that I should be OK with being ignored by Johnson and Ramsey. It means that as a demographic that robotically votes for the Democrat, you will be ignored because, well, who else are you going to vote for? I don't know about you, but I refuse to be politically pimped.

The answer to the question that many have asked me, as to why I decided to vote for Republican JaNice Van Ness is simple. It was many years ago I learned how to think for myself and not allow labels to define who I am or how I should think. Yes, I registered as a Democrat at the tender age of 18, and yes, I generally vote for the Democratic candidate, but not in this past election. I no longer mindlessly vote for the label in elections, but instead for the person I believe will best serve the community, the county, the state and the country on issues that are germane to me. This is called exercising your intelligence. Coincidentally, President Obama refused to endorse the Democratic nominee for governor of Rhode Island who was running against an independent and a Republican. He gets it!

As a result of the RDP's ineptness, inability to respect varying opinions, lack of transparency, divisiveness and refusal to hold local elected Democratic officials accountable, it's no wonder why this aforementioned group is being treated like "the skunk at the family cookout" by the black community and the sensible Democratic voters. It is my goal to educate the voters of Rockdale and not allow them to be hoodwinked by any political party, Republican or Democrat.

-- Brian L. Jenkins

Conyers