Our Mission Statement
The Medina County Democratic Party strengthens all of our communities byconnecting people to the political process, developing community leaders and electing officials who listen, respond and represent the needs of the community.
We, the Democrats of Medina County, united in common purpose, hereby dedicate ourselves to the principles that have historically guided and sustained the Democratic Party. Thomas Jefferson said that we "are naturally divided into two parties: Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes [and] Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe ...." As Democrats, we exemplify the basic tenets of freedom, equality, and civil rights expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. We are the Party that identifes with the people and seeks to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to participate in the political process. We work to provide a government that is responsive, honest, and open to every citizen regardless of race, gender, religion, or economic status, a government "of the people, by the people and for the people"
We acknowledge that a political party that wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead; a party that asks for the people's trust must prove that it trusts the people; and a party that hopes to call forth the best our nation can achieve must embody the best of the nation's heritage and traditions. In accordance with the Constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio and the Constitution of the Bylaws of the National and Ohio Democratic Parties, we pledge to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of a society of free people.
"What is a Democrat?" by Pam Miller
All this year , the Medina County Democratic Party has been engaged in a Strategic Initiative to get more Democrats involved. One of the things we’ve asked people is to tell us in 20 words or less why they are Democrats….
Here are some of those responses:
“I am a Democrat because all individuals have the right and the opportunity to be responsible and productive members of society.”
“I believe people are more important than corporations. We must reorient government to what’s important to all of us…health care, quality education, preserving the environment, quality jobs.”
“The Democratic Party helps the working people obtain a good living.”
“While respecting the rights of the individual, Democrats understand that collective action is necessary to protect and preserve the interests of the individual.”
“I am a Democrat because the Democratic Party represents: the working class, those without adequate representation, a fair and balanced approach to issues & problems…Everyone…we are inclusive.”
“Because this is and always has been the party of social justice…the party that makes me proud to be an American.”
“I am a Democrat because Democrats strive to make the world a better place….”
“I am a Democrat because I believe it is the responsibility of government to do the best for the greatest number of people…”
I asked my son recently why he is a Democrat…I meant aside from the fact that he was brought up by Democratic parents and that his extended family, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, are all Democrats. He told me that he is Democrat because so many issues are very complex, they can’t be looked at in black and white terms, and the Democratic party is more open to all the complexities….we don’t walk in lock-step. As I think about that, I see that as the Democratic Party’s greatest strength, but at the same time its greatest weakness. We are a big, embracing, encouraging, sometimes amorphous Party…we welcome everyone. It’s sometimes hard to synthesize that into a single sound bite.
This summer at the Medina County Fair, I was struck by what I saw as a fundamental difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Walking down the aisle, I approached the Party booths…one on each side of the aisle as we’ve been for years. I looked up and noticed the banner on the right…Medina County Republican Organization…Then I looked to the left and saw our banner Medina County Democrats. That said it all….”corporate organization” vs. “the people.”
Thomas Jefferson said that we “are naturally divided into two parties: Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes [and] Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe…” As Democrats, we exemplify the basic tenets of freedom, equality, and civil rights expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. We see ourselves as the party that identifies with the people and seeks to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to participate in the political process. We work to provide a government that is responsive, honest, and open to everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, or economic status….a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Let’s go back in history to look at how the Democratic Party began. Its origins lie in the original Republican Party, founded in 1794 by Thomas Jefferson. Historians refer to that party as the “Democratic-Republican Party” in order to avoid confusion. This was the only major party in American politics, following the disintegration of the Federalist Party. Party unity began to falter after the election of 1824….Andrew Jackson’s loss to John Quincy Adams, leader of the National Republicans, despite Jackson’s having a plurality of the vote, led to a new coalition that became the foundation of today’s Democratic Party. The Jacksonian “Democatic-Republicans” became known simply as Democrats. From 1833 to 1856, the Whig Party was the chief opposition party to the Democrats.
Today, in honor of these early party leaders, Democrats have an annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner or event…just as the Republicans have a Lincoln Day dinner.
As the 19th century proceeded, many different regional, social, and economic groups maneuvered to define the Democratic Party’s stance and candidates. The Party became increasingly divided, with southerners strongly supporting slavery. The newly founded Republican Party sought to prohibit the expansion of slavery. With the split in the Democratic Party, Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
After the Civil War, southern resentment of reconstruction created hostility to the Republican Party and spawned the Solid South for the Democratic Party. After 1896, the Republicans controlled the White House for 28 of the next 36 years. It was Teddy Roosevelt’s independent Bull Moose Party that split the Republican vote and got Woodrow Wilson elected.
It wasn’t until the 1920’s and 30’s that the basic character of the Democratic Party began to change. The Stock Market Crash in 1929 and the Great Depression allowed the Democrats to emerge as the party of vigorous government intervention in the economy as well as the social realm. Franklin D. Roosevelt won a landslide victory in 1932, with a platform of “relief, recovery, and reform.” With his re-election in 1936, Roosevelt claimed a mandate and put forth the ambitious program he called “The New Deal.” Republicans and conservative Democrats fought him at every turn. But Roosevelt pulled together the New Deal Coalition, a diverse collection of Democrats and was able to implement his New Deal programs that dealt with job-creation through public works projects as well as social welfare programs such as Social Security. This coalition kept Democrats in control for much of the next 30 years.
Civil Rights took away much of the Party’s southern base starting in about 1948, but African-Americans shifted their allegiance to the Democrats because of the economic opportunities provided by the New Deal and the Democratic support for Civil Rights. 1960 became a great year for Democrats with the election of the charismatic John F. Kennedy and the country seemed energized for change. In many ways, the United States has never recovered from Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 or from the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. It was Lyndon B. Johnson who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Johnson’s presidency, though, was marred by the increasing unpopularity of the Vietnam War.
Following the turmoil of the 70’s, Ronald Reagan attracted many Democrats who supported his conservative policies….much to the detriment of our nation today, because the insidious message of the Reagan years was that government is bad, taxes are bad…a message that resonates with voters when they vote against school levies and local taxes.
The Democratic Party shifted more to the middle in the 1990’s electing Bill Clinton who implemented a balanced Federal budget, welfare reform, and the NAFTA Free Trade Agreement. Labor unions and those on the left of the party were not happy, and still are not happy, with NAFTA.
Today, with the White House, the Senate, and the House controlled by the opposition, the Democratic Party has not been able to make much headway. Increasingly, the political atmosphere in our nation is overly partisan, divisive, and downright nasty. The Republican Party demonizes their opponents making it difficult for coalitions to be built. As the minority party, I believe Democrats must stand up and ask the hard questions…take on the role of Socrates that Plato describes in his Apology with these words “ [I am] if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech…a sort of gadfly….I am that gadfly…attached to the State, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.”
Democrats believe that we have a moral responsibility to ensure social and economic justice for all. We believe in the mission of government, that it must be there for those who need help…the poor, the elderly, children…that there are some things that only government can do…that you should not turn government over to those who hate its very premise, that you must appoint competent and qualified people to provide the services that can only come from a Federal government. At the same time, we believe that there are areas in which the Federal government should not insert itself with regard to individual rights.
As Democrats we are committed to working for a strong economy, a safe and secure country…we advocate for education, affordable healthcare, election reform, protection of the environment, retirement security, and a strong presence in the world.
Medina County Democrats are actively working to influence our congressional leaders and Senators to oppose any privatization of social security. We believe that the proposed changes to Social Security will ultimately result in cut benefits, affecting primarily women and children, and that privatization will increase the national debt substantially, forcing even more borrowing from countries such as China and India. Social Security is without a doubt one of the greatest programs ever begun. For over 70 years its provided guaranteed benefits to all Americans.
In the words of a former President, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor law and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are….Texas millionaires and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” Would you be surprised to hear that those words were spoken in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower?
Let’s talk a bit about Democratic officeholders in Medina County. Fiscal prudence and “law and order” stand out as the hallmarks of Democratic leadership
in our County. Former commissioners John Happ and Ferris Brown drew the line at increased taxes and stood firm on making sure voters had the opportunity to make the decisions regarding additional taxes. County Auditor Mike Kovack has run one of the tightest ships in the county….top-notch service without increasing his budget.
County Prosecutor Dean Holman provides strong leadership in making the cases and successfully prosecuting those who break the law. Judge Kimbler in the Common Pleas Court, Judge Mary Kovack in Domestic Relations, Judge Dale Chase in the Medina Municipal Court….all preside over busy courts, moving cases along efficiently and effectively…and establishing innovative programs that help defendants turn their lives around and help victims overcome the trauma of their experiences.
Locally, the only City in Medina County that has a partisan government is Wadsworth. Brunswick and Medina are Charter cities and all of our officials run nonpartisan. Of course, everyone usually knows what party everyone else is. In my experience on Medina City Council, we’ve always been fairly evenly divided, and we’ve always worked well together. For the most part, partisan politics just doesn’t have a lot to do with paving streets, maintaining parks, providing police and fire service.
The two party system should guarantee a check and balance. In the State of Ohio, we’ve had sixteen years of one party control…and, frankly, it’s out of control. In Medina County, we’ve had a long run of one-party control in the Commissioners office. Politics runs in cycles. It seems to me the tide is changing and the time is ripe for Democrats to bring their ideas forward, for voters to make some changes. Democrats have the message: we need jobs, we need adequate funding for education, we need tax fairness, we need fiscal responsibility. Democrats are ready to work for these things, ready and eager to engage in public service in our nation, our State, and all our communities.
I’m a Democrat, and I’m proud to be a Democrat!