BY PAUL ARONSOHN
Tunis. Cairo. And now Hackensack.
Although on a much smaller, less dramatic scale, the democracy movement in Bergen County – which has been underway for several years – has not only taken root, but judging by yesterday’s convention, it has started to flower as well.
Under the leadership of Chairman Lou Stellato, the newly named Democratic Committee of Bergen County (DCBC) held its first convention yesterday, and it was unlike anything in recent memory. Small group discussions of ethics and municipal government. The full complement of the Party’s leadership – all accessible and all collegial. And a contested election conducted impartially and respectively in the light of day.
For some, particularly traditional critics, the convention was “refreshing.” For most, if not all, it was “promising.” Simply stated, Stellato and his team helped put the “d” back in democrat, and it did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Granted, the convention was not perfect, and the Party still has some healing and growing to do. But to have some of the Party’s “old guard” mixing informally and comfortably under the same roof with Bergen Grassroots leaders — not to mention a wide range of other voices and perspectives — spoke volumes about the changing nature of Bergen Democratic politics.
More unity. More civility. And a whole lot more democracy. Taken together, the convention – in form and substance — signaled a new day for Bergen Democrats.
It certainly made for a good Sunday afternoon in April. Something tells me that it may also make for a good Tuesday night in November.
Paul Aronsohn is a Councilman in Ridgewood and a member of the Democratic Committee of Bergen County.