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For Democrats, Diversity Rules

by Don Kohn.

As I begin my tenure as HCDP Chair, I want one factor to be abundantly clear. Our Party is committed to diversity in everything we do, and I pledge to fight every day to strengthen that commitment.

I am proud to succeed Bennie Swans as chair. Bennie worked hard to address what he called “the elephant in the room,” racism, and to bring into the fold as many members of the minority community as he could. We need to continue that work and to make certain that Democrats from all walks of life are actively involved in our Party’s efforts, that they are informed, that they register and that they vote on November 6.

Just as important, we need to field effective and committed candidates. Our Party welcomes individuals who would like to serve in public office and we want to encourage that involvement. Today, across the nation, increasing numbers of women and young people are becoming candidates, and we would like to see Horry County become part of that new blue wave.

Our candidates need to represent these values and the diversity of their communities. Therefore, I will work with our leadership team to recruit the best possible candidates and to field a group of candidates who support the value of equality and who represent our communities in the areas of race, gender, sexual orientation and youth.

We need to always remember that diversity is what unites us. It does not divide us. Diversity creates synergy that allows us to gain more as a group than any single individual can achieve on his or her own. That is why I am so committed to this value, which is a basic premise of the Democratic Party.

I am proud and thrilled that our leadership team represents that diversity, of race, age and gender. We are a team of dedicated Democrats who are determined to foster the principles of inclusion, of equality, of cooperation, of fairness, of teamwork.

At HCDP, we do more than simply talk about the importance of diversity, however. That very principle is embedded in the rules that we have adopted, rules that are designed to make certain that every voice is heard.

Going forward, I intend to work with our officers and our Executive Committee members to jointly develop a series of forums where we can have serious discussions about race, sexual orientation and other differences. As Bennie has said many times, “we need to address the elephant in the room,” and I intend to do that. Once these sessions are scheduled, I vow to encourage all of our members to attend and participate. Let’s not shy away from any concerns that might exist. Let’s address them head-on.

It is essential that we lead with our values within our party, with candidates, with voters and with every other interaction that we have. I intend to set that example through my own actions as Chair.

One final thought: It’s not enough to talk about the importance of and the need for diversity because it’s the right thing to do. We need to live those values, and I pledge to do that to the very best of my ability.

We are one people. All of us. And together, we can succeed like never before. I truly believe that we have a historic opportunity, but we must seize it together.

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