By Mary Ellen Early.
What do high schools, retirement homes and Democratic clubs have in common? They have all requested speakers from the LA County Democratic Party Community Outreach Committee. Formerly known as the Speaker’s Bureau, this committee provides speakers as part of its mission of spreading the word about our positions, values and candidates.
As Chair of this committee for several years, I have spoken or provided speakers to groups within and occasionally outside the County of Los Angeles. The organization making the request usually asks for a speaker on a given topic, and we try to find the best individual to meet their needs.
Groups often ask for speakers from the Democratic National Committee, and since LA County has more DNC members than any other, we have been known to go as far as Orange County (Leisure World), the Inland Empire or San Diego (before they elected their chair, Jess Durfee, to the DNC).
Sometimes I represent the Democratic Party, while speakers from other political parties present their own point of view. The Republicans usually present no problem, but once I had to speak to a group of high school students after a Libertarian speaker got them all charged up by telling them that his party thought that all government services should be free of charge, but they shouldn’t have to pay taxes for any of it. And all drugs should be legalized!
I’ve also had to convince seniors that Barack Obama is not a Muslim, and that gay couples should have the right to marry. After that presentation, an elderly woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and thanked me because she has a gay son, and supports his lifestyle and desire to marry his partner of many years.
The most bittersweet experience I had was when a very persistent woman at a retirement home kept telling me that she knew that I was famous, because she was sure she had heard my name before. When I asked for her name, I realized that we had worked on a campaign together over 20 years ago. When I mentioned the candidate, and that we had worked together, she remembered how devoted she was to that candidate. She had many friends at that time and had raised thousands of dollars in the campaign, but it was a foggy memory to her now.
The members of Community Outreach are proud to be evangelists for the Democratic Party, and we look forward to your involvement in our mission. Please contact the LACDP office at 213-382-0063 or email@example.com if you would like to have someone from the Democratic Party speak at your event or meeting.