Guest column/Coalition believes in Democratic values

After watching the Democratic Party of Jefferson County fade from predominately blue in 2000, to light blue in 2008, pink in 2012 and red in 2016, a number of us who believe in the Democratic values of FDR, HST and JFK started a discussion of what we feel went wrong. We asked ourselves the tough questions. Did we lose our core believers through complacency or voter apathy? Have our office holders and seekers been diligent enough to everyone’s needs? Did we just let the opposition have the loudest voice and spread fear instead of hope? This column is and will be dedicated to the dialog we are committed to share with those seeking local, regional, state and national offices in the name of the Democratic Party.

Our dialog with others in the area will be open and honest and will promote inclusiveness. We recognize this unity and inclusiveness as strengths and the cornerstone in promoting democratic ideals, like the ones that promoted historical changes to our basic civil rights, our retirement safety net with Social Security, and values that built our infrastructure and the middle class.

This article is merely a blueprint for others that will follow. The contributors will be members of a new coalition, the Jefferson County Progressive Democratic Coalition. Our first objective is to shout out the word “progressive” without being ashamed of it. We want to be inclusive to millennials as well as seniors. We want to work with existing electors who are active in the Democratic Party in an assisting way, but also appeal to those who label themselves as independents. And, if you are a Republican who liked Ike, we can also find common ground.

Our first duty will be to bring about a few history lessons on why you once supported Democrats and for those who are “younger voters,” a bit of a history lesson on life improvements the Democratic Party made to our society.

You, whether you are a millennial who feels you have been cast aside as if you don’t matter, or you are a senior who is worried about what will happen to your Social Security and Medicare, or parents who are worried about educating their kids, you all matter.

We are an organization of believers in Democratic values and ideals.

Hopefully, this column will help be a reminder of these virtues as we work for positive change in government through election of Democrats to offices on local, state and national levels.

(Antinone is a member of the Jefferson County Progressive Democratic Coalition.)