I just received an email reminding me to pay my unit dues to the Fairfax GOP. Perhaps coincidentally, this feels like insult added to injury.
The new FCRC leadership won last year’s election in an upset over the “establishment” with promises to take action, involve the grassroots, and win elections. And yet, we are no closer to achieving these goals largely because the new, ‘grassroots’ leadership has failed to live up to its primary promises – of involving the grassroots, listening to the base, and taking action to turn Fairfax red.
Instead, monthly FCRC meetings are arguably worse than they’ve ever been:
- the podium-talking heads are now more empowered and more distanced from the rank and file by the hypnotic yet deadening ever-present PowerPoints that add little value and suck any humanity from the room
- the executive committee is ignoring the very input they are seeking, which is souring eager and talented volunteers
- the monthly speaker series is turning working meetings into lecture series, where audiences come for a show instead of unit members attending to participate and get to work. In fact, any actual “business” is rushed through as a tedious after-thought to give maximum time to honored guests
- Auditorium venues are chosen for their AV equipment to facilitate presentations and presentations instead of peer interactions and collaborations.
- Candidates for local office don’t have a venue where they can address a likely base of supporters, volunteers, and donors
- NOTHING gets done. The meetings continue to be a disappointing waste of opportunity.
Last Spring, amid much displeasure that the meetings were a useless waste of time, I was one of Tim Hannigan’s biggest supporters. Last week, I stood up to raise a motion to change the agenda to discuss business before the speaker took the stage – and was ignored.
We as a committee don’t have any time to waste; need to prepare candidates, pull together our get-out-the-vote strategies, organize fundraisers and meet-n-greets. We need to create messages that resonate with voters, we need to identify groups of likely allies and turn them into supporters. We need to win elections. I don’t see FCRC doing any of that. In fact, when an auxiliary group (a VFRW club) had a successful candidate outreach event, instead of replicating it, FCRC had the audacity to tell the club that they should do more around the county, abdicating its own responsibility – in favor of what?! As if there is anything more important than vetting and supporting candidates in an upcoming election.
Unless there’s a drastic change in how FCRC leadership treats its membership of active volunteers, I am going to spend my time and money elsewhere where I am valued and can make an impact.