What was it like being DCC chair?
It's was a very stressful two and a half years. As Chair, you are constantly playing umpire to disparate views from people who are very passionate about their country, state, county and cities. Then throw in the competing solutions to the challenges we face and, well, it's never a dull moment.
What were your responsibilities as DCC chair?
I would kid myself and say that the only responsibility I had was conducting a monthly meeting but being chair is so much more than that. From meeting with potential candidates to being an ambassador for the local party throughout our state and nation. I've headlined fundraisers for our State Party. I met with labor and community leaders. In addition, I was responsible for overseeing committees that included fundraising, community outreach, issue advocacy and candidate endorsements.
Do you feel you made a positive impact on the San Joaquin County Democratic Party?
I definitely know I made a difference. Just look at the quality democrat candidates that ran for office this past cycle. From a US hero, Jose Hernandez, (who I am certain will have his name on a ballot again soon) to the phenom that was Michael Tubbs; without a respected and knowledgeable chair, it becomes that much harder to recruit solid candidates. From Moses Zapien to Paul Akinjo and Rhodesia Ransom, we had talent, diversity and over qualified democrats running for office who were not ashamed of their party affiliation. That's progress and I can't help but feel like I played a part in that.
Why is it important to get involved with the DCC?
It's important for our LGBT community to get involved with the DCC because it's the major machine for endorsing and supporting local Democrat candidates. If a candidate is endorsed by the DCC, they can put on their campaign literature, "Endorsed by the California Democratic Party". That's a huge advantage but what happens if the DCC endorses an anti-LGBT candidate? If we aren't involved we don't have a say in the endorsement process. Nor would we have a say when it comes to policies and positions on a local level that affect us.
What advice do you have for incoming chair AJ Hurford?
I think AJ is going to do a great job and I doubt she needs my advice. She's solid! However, I will offer advice to the Stonewall Club and other DCC chartered clubs. Being DCC chair is a lot of long hours, a lot of people yelling at you and a lot of stress for what is pretty much a volunteer position. Take a second and acknowledge your chair at campaign events. Sure, we aren't LA or SF where chairs get interviewed by the press and are huge influencers politically but we can be and will be. The demographic shifts point to that. So thank AJ for taking on this huge responsibility by calling out her name and title at your next event. I'll join you at Carnivale and wait to hear it.
The Central Valley Stonewall Democrats are proud of Nicholas and his service to the DCC. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours!