Chester Democrats work to engage public in democracy, to caucus on April 26

At its recent monthly meeting, Chester’s Democratic Party Committee focused on how to keep American democracy alive. “We’ve got to get people more engaged with the process of democracy,” Committee Chair James Clemer said as committee members discussed a variety of activities. “There’s too much at stake.”

This approach is very much in keeping with the thinking of other Vermont Democrats. Windsor County Democratic Party Committee Sally Laurent recently wrote, “This year we know that there are many, many disaffected voters who don’t know what to do.”

The meeting began by setting the date for the party committee’s town caucus, at which the committee will appoint three Chester Democratic Committee members to participate in the Vermont Democratic Party Convention. The town caucus will take place at Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St., at 6:30 on Friday, April 26, and the state convention will take place in Burlington on Saturday, May 18.

The state convention, former Committee Chair Bill Dakin said, not only chooses delegates to attend the Democratic National Convention, but brings committed Democrats from all around the state together to share ideas and concerns, develop ways to work together, and clarify the issues at stake.

The National Convention will take place in Chicago from Aug. 19 through 22, but long before that the Chester committee will have offered a public forum that will bring the processes and premise of democracy to life. The plan is to bring local and state leaders together to share their experiences with democracy for Chester residents.

“People just don’t know as much as they need to know about it all,” said one committee member, who told of a newcomer to Chester who had said he’d heard about Town Meeting, but hadn’t remembered to attend. Another shared his experience with a local former schoolmate who had never voted.

Vice chair Ed Grossman said, “We have to talk about democracy and make sure that people understand the mechanisms of government.” Grossman has been reaching out to New Hampshire Democrats to see how Vermonters can help with their outreach efforts.

For more information click here or email Grossman at

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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