This past December, I formally proposed a couple of changes to the rules of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party's charter and asked the leadership of the party to join me. I believe these changes are essential to the revitalization of Cuyahoga County and will help us return to the core values of inclusion and economic opportunity for the county's residents. Today, I'm asking you to join me as well by asking you to ask the party leadership to voluntarily and officially present these changes to the central committee for a vote.

The reforms will also help end the politics of divide and conquer that exist within the County Democratic Party while helping to ensure elected officials remain accountable and responsive to their constituents rather than a small population of insiders and power brokers. In short, it's a step toward good government.

I am hopeful that you will join me in getting the party's leadership to recognize it is time to modernize the way we do business and join me at the table to end the divide within the party caused by a handful of insiders bent on protecting and monetizing their interests. We can't get down to the business of transforming Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio into the powerhouse of opportunity it should be, until we get our own house in order.

Here is how we do that, here is how we make our elected officials accountable to Democratic values:

1. Eliminate city/ward leader endorsement recommendations. - this is the ultimate in insider baseball and strong-arm tactics. The deck is stacked before the vote even comes to the floor!

2. Eliminate appointed membership to the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Executive Committee and even consider elimination of the Executive Committee altogether. - the central committee (precinct committee) is elected directly by democratic voters, why don't we trust them to represent the party's interests? Creating another voting body not accountable to the voters, is not very democratic. Add on top of that, almost 1/2 of this additional body is appointed and not even elected by the central committee and we double the damage, creating our very own version of the undemocratic superdelegates.

3. Prohibit endorsements for elected offices prior to the filing deadline. - this is the lowest of the low hanging fruit, it's a no brainer.

4. Eliminate Primary Election endorsements. - by endorsing democrats over each other, we stifle debate, create intra-party feuds, factions, rivalries, and power struggles that diminish what we should be focused on, defeating those that don't believe in our core values. The ultimate endorsement should be from the Democratic Primary Voters and it should be done without the party picking favorites.

By supporting these changes, your actions will demonstrate your commitment to the core values and principles of our democracy such as inclusion, diversity and active engagement through eliminating an outdated, byzantine party insider system better suited for 1919 than 2019.

I'm looking forward to your support in this effort and response to the proposed modernization of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. If you’re ready to help, email me at elkinscommittee@gmail.com