I don't think I've written anything about the election that happened here in WV over the weekend. It took place at the state convention for the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women (WVFDW). My county chapter was the host. I've shared a little bit about how busy our group was preparing for that. But the election? Not so much.
I was nominated for vice-president. Traditionally, the assembly accepts the recommendation of the nominating committee, everyone sings kumbaya, and you go to a banquet. But not this year.
Three of the top board positions were challenged by floor nominations. Mine was one of them.
WVFDW is a club, politically oriented, obviously, but not beholden to the public. It's nice, though, to know the members of a group you've served for several years appreciate you and welcome your contributions.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
Don't get me wrong: MANY, many women approached me and told me how much they appreciated my work for the organization. (I took care of the website and created most of the memes for the Facebook page. Oh, and started a blog, a newsletter, and a Zazzle shop.) From my brief parenthetical resume, you can see I was a big contributor to the digital side of things.
The nominee for president came up with the ideas. Having more time than she, I executed them. We really are a good team. As I said in my speech, she's the spark plug and I'm the mechanic.
But talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. You don't show me you value my service by then voting me out.
I learned a lot from the entire experience, most of which I will keep to myself. What I will share is this: For Democrats in West Virginia, longevity trumps all. The longer you've been a member, the longer you've had a D beside your name, the better. The lifetime Democrat who is a charter member of WVFDW wins the prize.
Which is silly, really. If you want your group to grow and attract new and younger members, you look at records. My record, and that of the nominee for president, has hundreds of thousands of digital fingerprints all over it. Social media is where those potential younger members are. And that's where we worked the hardest, while also creating the newsletter to make sure we were reaching those who don't spend much time online.
Without being too melodramatic about it, I guess I'm making my way through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You don't have to have all of them, and you don't have to have them in that order. But most people experiencing an impactful loss feel some or all of these emotions to some degree.
I'm pretty sure I skipped denial and went straight to anger. I'm not sure bargaining is relevant. I feel stuck between mad and sad right now, and I'm really very close to acceptance. I will be all right. I'm already making plans for how a way to work on issues that mean something to me and to other progressive women who feel that WVFDW chose a different set of values.
There was a lot of discussion at this meeting about adding a standing committee just for social media. And after all was said and done, it was added. The social media team will no longer serve at the pleasure of the president, but will be an elected office and a voting member of the board.
I'm happy about that.
I'm just sad I won't be on it.