To the editor:
The Jan. 29 annual meeting of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club was inspiring. Courage was manifest in an alternate leadership slate headed by Morgan Evers, a self-described “speaker who listens.”
Evers ran for club president vowing to “create a community among us, holding a group together without stifling dissenting opinion.” Others touted the wisdom of dispensing with an “Us vs. Them” mentality, and Trumpian tactics.
For the time being, a deeply rooted hostility to change and inclusion will continue to govern the club, and the handful of candidates it supports will earn the club’s local work. Amassing scores of members who pay dues but haven’t presented at a club meeting in years seemed to tip the scales toward stasis.
Perhaps meeting attendance should be a voting prerequisite for the bylaws committee to consider? Perhaps, in accordance with the club’s own signage prohibiting electioneering beyond the front door of the meeting, club leadership shouldn’t be permitted to work the rows, flashing instructional ballots to long-time members, to confirm that they are following the voting plan for which they were presumably recruited?
Narrow-minded roots will not nourish a community. While only a few new seeds sprouted at this vast club on that Wednesday night, such well-considered, optimistic efforts should continue.
The Northwest Bronx will be better for it.
The author is a campaign manager for Dan Padernacht’s city council campaign.