As devoted Democrats, we do our best to elect people who believe in progressive values, economic opportunity, and collective efforts to help everyone share in the blessings and responsibilities of democracy.  But what exactly are the details behind these generalities, and how do we translate our values into specific positions and goals?

While most of our party apparatus is rightly geared toward getting our people elected, two committees are charged with debating, exploring, and expanding upon the policies that underlie the fundamental values of our party.  One is the Platform Committee, which sets forth our broad principles every other year.  The other is the Public Policy Committee.  It meets year-round, every year, to hammer out the detailed positions that derive from our broad principles.

The Public Policy Committee is a county-wide group with representatives from every house district.  We meet the first Thursday of every month, to hash out special problems and explore the implications of the daily news.  Recent meetings have featured discussions of our electoral system, the sustainability of the current wave of activism, the meaning of Trump’s first 50 days, and mandatory tax returns for candidates. We also hear reports from our Study Groups, each of which meets monthly on a separate night to drill deeper into specific topics.  Our currently-active Study Groups cover (1) Criminal Justice, (2) Health Care, (3) Education, and (4) Energy and Environment.  Anyone can join a Study Group, whether or not, you participate with the full Committee.

During the legislative session, from early January to early May, we announce upcoming hearings of interest and importance to Democrats every week.  We also compile a scorecard on the voting records of our Denver and surrounding legislators about every two weeks.  We also encourage and provide assistance to anyone wishing to testify on a bill before a legislative committee.  In all these ways, we hope to play a role in promoting good legislation true to our Democratic Party values.

Demonstrations are great and essential for advancing our cause.  But if you like policy with your politics, and believe in positions behind your posters, please join the active group of DenverDems concerned with the details and substance of what we stand for.  Our meetings are all listed on the county party calendar (http://denverdemocrats.org/county-party-calendar).  You can also join our distribution list for announcements by e-mailing me at [email protected].

Louis Irwin, Chair

Public Policy Committee, Denver Democrats