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Dems seek new blood at party convention

Staff Report

DETROIT — The state democratic party is in flux and in need of new blood. This is the rumbling coming from local democrats. The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Convention will be held Feb. 23 at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. Many are looking to replace Party Chair Mark Brewer, while others are more focused on their local districts.

Rev. D. Alexander Bullock, president of the Highland Park NAACP and Michigan Rainbow PUSH Coalition, says he’s seen a lot of apathy within the party and feels its time to get involved in the political process.

Bullock is campaigning for chair of the new 13th Congressional District, represented by Congressman John Conyers.

“I jut really feel passionate about bringing energy and youthfulness as well as a grassroots

activism to the MDP, more specifically the 13th Congressional District because of the work (we’ve done) with Rainbow Push,” says Bullock. “Social justice activism is great but we have to take it to the next level.”

Bullock says the first thing he’s looking to do if elected chair is fill the great number of empty precinct delegate positions.

“We want to fill the positions with concerned citizens,” he told the Michigan Citizen.

Bullock added that the next 24-48 months are critical for the party, locally and nationally.

“The next two years are going to be key as it relates to local politics. With Gov. Snyder running for re-election, the next 24 months will be a pivotal point in our political process. Also, with the mayor’s race, country executive and other local elections throughout the district.”

Bullock says he looks forward to setting an agenda people can be excited and motivated about.

“To fight back with issues like emergency management, taxing of pensions, neighborhood stabilization (and) get grassroots to the party so that it can become representative to the people instead of small groups of leaders (within the party),” he said. “A lot of people vote Democrat but aren’t members. A lot don’t understand how the local party connects to the national party. It’s our charge to inform people and invite them to be engaged.”

The new district includes the east side of Detroit, portions of the city’s near west side, the inner suburbs of River Rouge, Harper Woods, Ecorse, the downriver communities of Lincoln Park, Wyandotte and the Grosse Pointe suburbs.

Frazier Kimpson, who’s running against Bullock, did not respond to phone calls.

Rick Blocker

Rick Blocker

State Democratic Chair of the 14th Congressional District Rick Blocker, represented by Congressman Gary Peters, is looking to retain his seat, with no opposition. Blocker has been met with challenges, however, identifying leadership within the new district that now goes across Eight Mile Road into Oakland County.

“You’re trying to put four districts together, so there’s been a lot of obstacles,” Blocker said. “We’re trying to work through to identify leadership.”

Blocker says the redistricting has forced Oakland and Wayne counties to come together and work together. “We have not crossed Eight Mile in the 30 years I’ve been in the political movement.”

Known as the Mighty 14th District, Blocker says the new leadership plans to “make the new 14th the strongest, most viable district in Michigan and take what Republicans meant for negative into a positive.”

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