DECEMBER 10, 2004
12:59 PM
Trevor Fitzgibbon, Jessica Smith or Steve Smith, 202-822-5200
MoveOn PAC Calls for New DNC Chair Connected to Grassroots; Petition from Tens of Thousands of MoveOn Members Calls for Open Selection Process, New Party Direction

WASHINGTON -- December 10 -- Calling on the Democratic Party to choose a chair who will "reconnect the party with the grassroots," MoveOn PAC is planning to deliver a petition from tens of thousands of its members to the Democratic Party State Chairs meeting in Orlando Saturday.

In an email to its 2.8 million members, PAC Director Eli Pariser wrote, "We have an opportunity to birth a new Democratic Party -- a Party of the people that's funded by the people and that fights for the people."

Elaborating on the petition, Pariser said, "The road to success for the Democratic Party starts at the grassroots. Reliance on Washington insiders and high-dollar fundraisers for leadership has inevitably led the Party to lose touch with its members and other voters outside the Beltway.

"In 2004, we saw the first signs of a real revolution in American politics. Union members, ACT canvassers, MoveOn volunteers, and other rank and file Democrats not only mobilized millions of our neighbors -- we proved we're a financial engine strong enough to power the Party's success."

In 2004, individual grassroots donors gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kerry campaign, the Democratic National Committee and independent pro-Kerry groups mostly through the Internet.

"The new Chair is going to be one of the most visible and important spokespeople for the Party," Pariser continued. "It needs to be someone who can express a compelling vision that mobilizes not only the Democratic base but the majority of voters who believe the country is going in the wrong direction under George Bush and the the radical Republicans who control the Congress.

"The new Chair needs to be able to speak to the concerns of the grassroots on issues that really matter to them: health care, decent jobs, equal pay, and a clean environment to name a few. The Party needs to engage in a selection process that takes the issues and concerns of the grassroots into account and is not simply responsive to the insiders and fundraisers who have controlled the Party in the past."