Blount County Democrats on March 28 chose party vice chair Tony Webb to be the new chair of the Blount County Democratic Party.
Party members held an organizational convention at the Blount County Public Library. The purpose of the convention was to enable all Democrats in Blount County to have an opportunity to be involved in the ongoing and upcoming operations of the Blount County Democratic Party. During the convention, representatives from each of the 10 voting districts elected a member to the Executive Committee, which is the governing body of the Blount County Democratic Party.
After Webb was named the new chair, members of each of the 10 voting districts cheered their new leader. In his acceptance speech, Webb said that people should reach out to their communities in order to make themselves and their party stronger. “Today is about you. Today is about making your party stronger,” he said.
Webb explained to the 10 voting district representatives and everyone present at the convention his plans for the next two years. Webb said he wanted to establish a Community Outreach Committee, which will develop a two-year working calendar that would provide information about the operations of the Democratic Party. Webb said he also planned to reach out to the community by attending community events. In addition, Webb said he planned to establish an event and fundraising committee, which will operate in planning events for the party.
Also in the works are a committee for informational technology, Webb said. This committee will help the party have a informative and well-equipped website to allow the community to know the plans and operations of the party.
Webb said he is interested in strengthening communications with a communications committee to produce newsletters that will be shared with the community, a marketing committee to design promotions and publications for the use of the party and a bylaw committee to reviews current bylaws and recommend revisions to be made for the party. The new chair said he will listen to the people of the community and be of help to anyone possible.
David Finch, outgoing chair of Blount County Democratic Party said Republicans have a long history of “being in power” and having more financial support while Democrats tend to be in the minority.
Finch said that locally people have to get past the tradition of voting for a specific party because their parents did so and reexamine how their vote can make a significant change. Finch said the Democratic Party of Blount County is in a good position not only because of their current leadership in Blount County but with the election of President Barack Obama. Finch said that if the Obama administration does well, so will the Blount County Democratic Party. Good work done in Washington will reflect on the smaller communities, he said.
When asked what people should know about the Democratic Party in Blount County, Finch said they should know the party has an open door policy and welcomes everyone to come and share individual ideas and beliefs.
Former party chair Brandon Cooks said Democratic Party on the national level is progressing. “Locally, the Democratic Party has been very inclusive by welcoming everyone,” he said. “A direct impact of the party is that it is giving people the freedom of choice.”
Cook shared his thoughts on the difference between Democrats and Republicans in Blount County. “Republicans have lost their way of fiscal responsibility but Democrats pay close attention to fiscal responsibilities,” he said.
The convention ended with members of the 10 districts applauding Webb, the Blount County Democratic Party’s new standard-bearer.