The Future of RI County Dems
John Gianulis has done an amazingly successful job as head of the Rock Island County Dem organization for as long as many of us can remember (hell, since before many of us were born!). He's recognized as THE county chairman in Illinois and widely respected. He's still as energetic and active as most 20 year olds, we should all be doing that well at his age. But even Gianulis can't work forever. (though he might prove me wrong!)
Now that we're making the first steps into the 21st century, it's necessary to think of the future. The way races are run has changed dramatically and fundamentally and will continue to change and evolve at a rapid pace. Methods that have proven successful in past decades, while important, just won't be sufficient in the years to come.
The quantum leaps in the use of technology in campaigns and organization will provide those who adopt them and use them wisely a great advantage. Those who ignore this development, who drag their feet or are slow to realize their value will be left in the dust.
Many reliably die-hard Democratic party workers and activists have done a tremendous job for many years, putting in an amazing amount of work and sacrifice to ensure decades of Democratic dominance in RI County. But times, demographics, and society have all undergone vast changes in the past 30 years. What happens as this generation of people who are the bedrock of the organization gradually are unable to continue?
Though there are younger people involved with the party, I've seen precious few of them, other than paid campaign staff. This is a definite cause for concern. Once the current generation of loyal workers has passed, what then??
There appears to be no one who has been groomed as heir apparent to Gianulis. Will it be open warfare when he steps down? What is needed to ensure that the RI Dems continue to be a strong and effective organization into the next millennium? Who would be a good successor to John G?
Can the RI Dem organization be drug into 21st century political reality, and if so, how, and by whom?