Kesha Rogers Addresses State Democrat Executive Committee Meeting and Populist Progressive Caucus of Texas Democratic Party
April 23, 2006 • 8:00PM

Kesha Rogers addresses the Texas Democratic Party
Progressive Populist Caucus in Austin.Kesha Rogers Addresses State Democrat Executive Committee Meeting and Populist Progressive Caucus of Texas Democratic Party

Kesha Rogers, a LaRouche Youth Movement leader from Houston, provided the following report about her organizing at Texas Democratic Party meetings held in Austin on April 22, 2006.

Kesha Rogers, candidate for Texas Democratic Party Chair, was able to address the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) meeting in Austin on April 22. She spoke before 50 people. At first they were not going to allow her to speak because the agenda of the meeting was only to elect an interim state chair until the election of a permanent state chair on June 9 at the state convention in Fort Worth. There were 10 people on the nominating committee and they said she could not address this meeting unless she was one of the candidates nominated for interim chair, that she needed a nomination first and the only ones who could nominate her were the members of the committee. However, the committee chair backed down and decided that she could get three minutes to speak if it was unanimously agreed.

When Kesha spoke, she immediately made the point that we have to move the dicussion out of the inner sanctums of the Democratic Party; we have to move from behind the closed doors and orchestrated private parliamentary procedures to recruiting the base of the Democratic Party. These types of policies have lost us the elections. She hit hard on this point, and said that for far too long, we have seen the capitulation of the Democratic Party to the poison of free trade and globalization, that the party and its policies have been hijacked by the Felix Rohatyn crowd. "What I represent is a return to recruitment of the base of the Dem Party centered around the young people and around ideas, to make sure that we have a real Democratic Platform based on the FDR legacy," she told the committee members.

To counteract this, the interim chair elected said that Dems are about winning the election. "As your your candidiate for state chair, I'm here to make sure the Dem Party stays united and focused on raising money for the Dem Party," he said. He made the point six times that we have to raise money.

The response from people to Kesha was excellent. Many were coming up to her, and saying "We appreciate your tenacity, and vitality, and youthfulness! Keep up the fight, your time will come." Kesha was very blunt with people who put forth such platitudes, saying "My time is NOW. If we don't take up this discussion now around a real solution for these economic crises, and have an emphasis on ideas that youth can bring, there will not be a party."

One person who took her contact information was a member of the nominating committee. Although it was clear that the nomination for interim chair was already orchestrated, people said they appreciated her enthusiasm to stand up and speak out. She hit them again with the fact that the time is up for capitulation and parliamentary procedures and we have to develop the necessary policies now.

At the end of the SDEC meeting, the current chair resigned his post and the new interim chair, Boyd Richie, one of Kesha's three opponents for permanent state chair, was put in place. Next came the speech by Charlie Urbina-Jones, another of Kesha's opponents for permanent chair. When he got up to speak, he emphasized that the Democratic Party has become an aristocracy. He's been traveling throughout the state of Texas talking to Democrats, and they are displeased with the present face of the party. They have been taken out of the process of decision-making, and want to know what the party is doing to address their needs. He hit on the need for the Democratic Party to take up the water crisis and lack of good jobs, and called for an open door discusssion in the Democratic Party.

Many people spoke to Kesha after the meeting and left their contact information with her. They took stacks of bumper stickers, Rohatyn pamphlets, and FDR Legacy pamphlets and invited her to speak at meetings at their universities or county party events.

A motion was put on the floor by one of the SDEC members, who said he has a sense that a lot of LaRouche literature was around, and he wanted to make sure that at the state convention, LaRouche was not allowed to have a table. The current chair said it would be up to the new chair, and suggested that Kesha speak to the executive director to make sure this discrimination was nipped in the bud.At the Progressive Populist Caucus Meeting

Later in the day, Kesha addressed the Progressive Populist Coalition of the Texas Democratic Party at the state headquarters of the AFL-CIO. They allowed all the candidates for state chair to speak for 5 minutes. Kesha started by referring to a poster hanging on the wall advertising a book about how the hostile takeover by big money and corporations had subjugated our government. She pointed to the DeLay bumper sticker, "Save Congress, without delay," and said that "many of you know that for many years, we here in Texas have been tortured by the poster child of big money and corrupt corporations —Tom DeLay. What DeLay represents is free trade and globalization — the very policies that have been destroying our economy. What people may not know is that 'poster child' is also in the Democratic Party, that the Democrats are going along capitulating to the policies of free trade and globalization. I am here to run for state chair and to lead the Texas Democratic Party 'out of the bushes and into the future.'"

She told the audience, "We will no longer capitulate to the Rohatyn crowd of private financiers and we will return to the legacy of Roosevelt, remembering that we were once the party of the people, addressing the needs of the people looking for real solutions to economic development based on the FDR legacy. We must address the question of the recruitment of the lower 80 percent of the population, and go back to the base of the party, recruiting young people to positions of leadership around real solutions to address the crisis in our water situation and energy. We must move the Dem Party back toward real solutions and a landslide victory for the Dem Party in November."

Kesha got thunderous applause as people stood up and gave her a standing ovation.