S6: Bonus - Bridge to the Future with Davante Lewis
4:12PM Oct 24, 2023
state central committee
Welcome to Louisiana Lefty, a podcast about politics and community in Louisiana, where we make the case that the health of the state requires a strong progressive movement fueled by the critical work of organizing on the ground. Our goal is to democratize information, demystify party politics, and empower you to join the mission because victory for Louisiana requires you.
I'm your host, Lynda Woolard. Louisiana Lefty is dropping a quick bonus episode this week as a bridge to our next full episode. On October 14, 2023, the catastrophic news broke that there would be no runoff in the governor's race in Louisiana, and that Jeff Landry would win outright. In the following days, I set about to do two things. First, I wrote a post-mortem for MSNBC, which, in case you missed it, I'll link to in the Episode Notes. Secondly, I scheduled a couple of Zooms, inviting Democrats in our state who are not already involved with the party to live conversations with for experienced members of the Democratic State Central Committee, the governing body of the Louisiana Democratic Party, and Public Service Commissioner Davante Lewis. We answered questions and went over information that we've actually been covering here over the course of this year in our Demystifying the Democratic Party series. I'll also include a link to those archives in our Episode Notes. But what we wanted to do in that moment, was engage some of the people who were energized to do something after our dismal showing in the primary elections, and to let them know how, moving forward, they can impact how our party is led, how it is run, and how it is structured. We're going to distill content from those Zooms and package it for another full length bonus episode. Then, as you'll hear next week, the timing of the statewide elections hitting just before the upcoming party elections gives us a unique chance to work for change. In the meantime, there are runoff elections on November 18, 2023, with some Democrats on your ballot who still need your votes, your donations, and your volunteerism. Again, check our Episode Notes for website links for the statewide candidates. And in preparation for our next episode, I want to leave you with how Davante Lewis kicked off our opening Zoom with words of uplift and encouragement about the importance of this moment and this opportunity for us to step up and make change for the future of our state.
As Lynda said, I think this is a very important moment for us. I know, last Saturday and probably last week, at this very time, we all kind of woke up just trying to figure out exactly what the hell's going on. I know we probably felt distraught, disengaged, disgusted. I mean, there's so many different adjectives I can use to how we probably all felt Sunday morning looking at our bleak future. But I'm one of those strong people who believe in that we don't just look at what is wrong, we look what we can do better. And that is exactly what we have in this moment. A moment for us to recharge, rejuvenate, revive, and get ourselves back into the fight for what we are fighting for. I think it is fair to say for a while a lot of us and some of us, not necessarily everybody on this call, forgot the reasons for why we were doing the work that we were doing. What it is is that you build a stronger, more prosperous Louisiania that centers every single person. And so what we can do now is we can say if we do not like the party that we have seen, let's build it. Let's make it what it should be. And it deserves to be for the Louisiana people. And getting involved is the easiest way for us to do that because when we are not at the table, when we're not in the room, then the decisions do not include us, and they don't think about us. And so we have to change that. That is why I'm so excited about this moment giving all of the bleakness that centers us is that this is a time where we can take recharge. We can start that process of building a new, brighter future and it starts with in so many ways. Here, today we're talking about our DPACs in our DSCC, but there's those on this call who have stepped up and been candidates before, there are those who have been phone bankers and canvassers. We can be it. And so I am overly ecstatic about our future because for the first time in a while I have seen people who are on this call, people who've texted me, greeted me, asking, "What can I do? How can I step up? How can I take it back?" So we must channel that energy. We cannot let this moment go to waste. As bleak as it may look in our near future, we have the brightest past to build a stronger, more prosperous Louisiana, but most importantly, rebuild this party. To fight and organize in every corner of the state. I believe this party needs to be 64 parishes, touching every community rural, village, township, city, unincorporated area, because we know when we talk about those issues, people listen. We have to give people a reason to hope again, a reason to believe, a reason that someone, somewhere is uplifting their struggles and fighting for the very things that they care about. And that is why I am ecstatic about this moment. I can't wait to see how we get involved. I for one, will be there at every step of the way. I'm going to get involved. I'm going to come back to the DSCC. But in this moment, let's fire up our engines, let's think about our future, let's build back this party and then we will be victorious.
Thank you to Ben Collinsworth for producing Louisiana Lefty, Jen Pack of Black Cat Studios for our Super Lefty artwork, and Thousand $ Car for allowing us to use their swamp pop classic "Security Guard" as our Louisiana Lefty theme song.