This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grass Roots + Precinct Delegates

Former Grassroots Vice Chair of the State GOP Marlene Chockley, put on a power point presentation for the Livingston County Republicans Sat. morning. This was a Precinct Delegate Training workshop. Although Livingston County is 150 miles away, I was hoping it would be worth the trip. (time and money).

I went.

I was hoping to find out more information on what the job of the Precinct Delegate is or more precisely how I could start to do that job.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Prior to the workshop, the Livingston County Website put out a notice and bio of Chockley and the event.
In the article it had the MI GOP Precinct Delegate Handbook to download. In my previous research I had already downloaded this and studied it well. That was all I could find about PDs from the state party; to do the job I needed more. That was part of the reason I was willing to spend the time and the money.

Upon arriving I was given a four page informative outline of Marlene’s presentation. I will try to scan and link it on my Organize-Take Muskegon Back site. See side bar. I will dissect the information as fully as I can on that site. My purpose here is to try to highlight the overall feeling at the meeting.

I walked in and found people setting up coffee pots, fruit trays and donuts aplenty. I started meeting people. They all seemed friendly and welcoming. I left there and found the mini theatre where the event was to be held. I started introducing myself. There were a lot of good stories to be had. I would guess that there were about 30 PDs. While it wasn’t packed, it felt full. Full of life.

Marlene Chockley started her presentation which she punctuated with plenty of to the point personal examples from her experience that added insight and some humor. The structure of politics I’m learning is a continuation of personal connections. The example that the former Livingston Chair Cindy Pine was at one point Marlene’s boss highlighted that point. That all pointed to the idea that the Precinct Delegate was the beginning, the foundation of that whole system of connections upon which the party is based.

When asked about “The Party” most people go off into a philosophical direction. God knows I do, or did. The part of the Party, as I’m blogging about it now has to do with how it works. The philosophical underpinning is one thing, now I’m trying to learn the how to part. The part dealing with the personal interconnections that make it work. Again to paraphrase Drucker. A good idea is nothing until it degenerates into work. I wanted to learn how to do the work of making the good idea of Conservatism into something.

As I was listening, some of the pieces started falling into place. The reasoning behind the importance of a DeVoss sticker on a car in the driveway, and why I should make a written note of that got explained. Tidbits like what a candle burning in a window on a certain date means and also why I should make note of that. The whole importance of lists became more apparent. I made my first real acquaintance with Voter Vault. The whole reasoning of why I would want to walk around the neighborhood and knock on doors was better understood. The reasoning of how that fits into voter vault and eventually may get an extra Republican voter to the polling place became clearer.

I need to find out how to get trained with Voter Vault.

Getting back to the general, I found a feeling of identity among the attendees; unity. They were PDs. This meeting was about PDs, it was put on by the County Party for the express purpose of helping PDs connect and let them learn how to do their jobs. It was as close to a coffee clutch atmosphere as a workshop could be. The whole atmosphere was conducive to PDs.

While the hierarchy of the County was there, they kept in the background. They were watching and I hope listening. There was not a hint that this was a County meeting to discuss what the PDs should be doing and weren’t; jammed in between the reading of the minutes and financial report. This was by of and for the PDs. Two hours worth.

The County Party did a great job of advertising and probably getting the main pieces in place. They made it possible; they made it clear they were in favor of the effort. During the question and answer and discussion part there were a lot of good ideas put out there, by the PDs, about the PDs, the hierarchy listened. I know for example the main stumbling block thrown in my way by those I try to convince that we need something like this in our County is that the PDs don’t do anything. They don’t even show up to meetings. That was true here also. I mentioned there were about 30 PDs there, I’m sure there were twice that number of PDs not attending.

In this setting that was not a negative. After two hours of bonding, the negative was turned into a positive. The glass that was half empty became half full.

This workshop was an example of how a few positive actions and or lack of the negative, can change a negative into a positive. We need to make the PD position an important part of the Party. All the literature says PDs are the building blocks of the Party. Perhaps we can learn from the PDs what the party needs going forward. Perhaps many heads are better than a few when it comes to elections. I know many are better than a few when it comes to counting votes.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative


Anonymous said...

Wow. I surely wish my county offered that sort of program. I am a Washtenaw County precinct delegate, and I still have no clue what I should be doing.

Thanks for the link.

live dangerously said...

Hey fellow PD. Welcome
I believe Marlene Chockley was from Washtenaw County. You might try my other site. On the side bar. Organize-Take Muskegon Back.

I give a better account of the details of the presentation.

You're right we need help in this regard. For the state to say PDs are important is one thing, for them to actually show us what to do and how to do it is another.

Thanks for the comment.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Precinct Delegate

Anonymous said...

Is there anywhere in Wayne County to get more information on running for an office?

live dangerously said...

Hi and welcome Margie.

I have this website for the Wayne County Republican Party.
I called the only # I found and left a message asking for information. When I get some I'll pass it along. If you want to keep the correspondence you can email me at
I'm sure if you contact them they would be willing to help also.

Thanks and welcome.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

live dangerously said...

Margie, I got this # for you to call for Mr. Smail. (330)264-7500.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative