Monday, February 05, 2007
Roger Dana Fox
Municipality and County
Montclair, Essex County; I have recently signed up with these locals: Mercer, Middlesex,Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Union DFA.
How long have you been associated with New Jersey for Democracy (or DFA)?
Essex DFA member since March 23, 2005
What roles have you held within New Jersey for Democracy (or DFA)?
2005 I founded a working group that lobbied the Essex Freeholders against the purchase of the Sequoia Advantage computerized voting machines.
2006: I worked in Essex DFA to establish an endorsement process for political candidates. Currently I help organize monthly agenda items for Essex DFA.
What should we know about your professional, educational and political background?
I spent 13 years in the Golf Course business, rising to the position of Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. I attended the Rutgers 2 year Turfgrass program "88-'89, served as acting class president in '89 & was elected to the Rutger Turfgrass Alumni Association Board of Directors 4 consecutive years '89, '90, '91 & '92.
At age 14, I volunteered for George McGovern in '72. I canvassed about 8,000 houses in Stratford Ct. I am guilty of falling asleep during the Clinton years, only to awake to find George Bush president. To atone, I have dedicated myself to becoming a campaign field operations professional. In '04 I was a paid staffer for John Kerry in Broward County FL. I attended Camp Wellstone, Monmouth NJ, march '05. I worked part time for Corzine ('05) & Menendez ('06) and volunteered for Tom Wyka for Congress ('06) as his Essex Field Manager, organizing canvass efforts in Livingston and phone banking of Roseland voters. I organized a catered fund raising dinner for Tom Wyka, which was attended by NJ DEM Chair Joe Cryan and Essex Freeholder Carol Clarke. I also created 3 issue oriented internet videos for Tom Wyka found @ http://www.tomwyka.com/video2.html
Those that know me from Essex & Morris counties know of my un-ending energy, & my dedication to Jeffersonian ideals.
Where do you see New Jersey for Democracy going and how can you help move it there?
I see many opportunities for NJ4D.
A) The first, is as an organization that is similar to the NJ Democratic Committee, finding candidates for office, fund raising, endorsing, donating, to impact races in NJ. In some cases this means defeating incumbent republicans, in other cases this may mean supporting the more progressive democratic candidate over the less progressive candidate, in a primary.
I will champion the NJDFA fund raising potential.
Our "Tool Box" is the CPC.
Lets examine the tools in the tool box. A White Paper for NJDFA members is needed, that covers the tools that NJ4D has @ its disposal as a Continuing Political Committee. Essex County has put together an endorsement process for candidates that works quite well. Both Tom Wyka and Carol Gay participated. I feel that a easily understood NJ DFA endorsement process, such as the Essex process, must be a goal.
Reasons members may not donate money to NJ4D CPC. I would want to know how candidates get endorsed, and how they become eligible for receiving money from the NJ4D CPC. If members have a clear understanding of how their money will be used, would they be more likely to give? As a member of the NJ4D Executive Board, my goal will be to raise $25,000 for the '07 cycle.
The coming '07 Assembly, Senate & Freeholder races.
This can be used to elevate members awareness & foster discussion on who to target.
-Knowledge fosters motivation
Knowing who is targeted should provide some motivation/make it easier for members to give.
B) Citizen lobbyists. Organize face time and town hall meetings with elected Representatives, using citizen action, educational forums & petitions to inform elected Representatives on progressive issues that impact our times. This also includes advocating legislation or action by our reps.
Start a Congressional Watch
Like the Essex Freeholder watch.
Start a state wide petition, then go to DC, deliver it to our reps & senators, maybe tape a video with the rep, to be brought back as evidence, we were there. I think a state wide petition to support Senator Leahy's return to Habeaus Corpus is a great jumping off point. Lautenberg, Menendez, & our NJ DEM House caucus needs our prompting to embolden them.
Start a Trenton Watch
Much closer than DC, much easier. Nia GIlls S507 Voter Verfied Paper Ballot audit bill could be a starting point.
C) Liaise with like minded groups on issue oriented organizing. From Vets groups to NJ Peace Action, to NJPIRG.
D) Dean basics: Dean for America was about a decentralized campaign. localized autonomy at the meet up level, am I right so far? There was a race in NH 01, the Deaniacs did it, they won. They went back to what Deans primary run was about, NH 01 went back to DEAN basics. Lets not forget this. When I 1st joined Essex DFA I had no clue what the other locals were up to, or what was going on at the state level. I felt that there was a structual lack of 2 way communication. this needs redress, wether thru better use of the DFAlink web tools, or america blog, I find I put in too much time searching for things DFA in NJ, how about you? We have the tools for deliverying this information straight to our computers, and we need to make better use of these tools. Fostering 2 way communication can help build a larger sense of Community, & shared goals within NJ DFA.
Roger D. Fox