A Big Win for LaMacchia, Cross and the Party
Jody LaMacchia, former candidate for Michigan's 46th State House District and former chair of the North Oakland Democratic Club, was elected chair of the Oakland County Democratic Party at the OCDP meeting and officer elections held last night. She is thought to be the first openly LGBTQ woman to hold that office. Oakland County Democratic Black Caucus chair Carlos Cross was elected 1st vice chair. The chair and vice-chair seats were uncontested.
LaMacchia and Cross ran on the "Unity Slate," endorsed by County Executive David Coulter, Treasurer Robert Wittenberg, Prosecutor Karen McDonald and Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash.
Reached by phone this morning, LaMacchia had the following to say:
"I'm eager to get to work at the OCDP with our first vice-chair, Carlos Cross, and all of the elected officers and executive committee as well as many Democratic activists who have reached out and expressed interest and enthusiasm to play a role," she said.
LaMacchia's stated goals are to increase fundraising, strengthen collaboration with local clubs, encourage diversity and inclusion, give young people more prominent leadership roles, win municipal elections, flip the State House and the State Senate and "make sure we reelect those fierce women from Michigan."
"The party is energized by our recent victories — President Biden and County Executive Coulter to name a few," LaMacchia said, "and the OCDP will continue to build on that enthusiasm and effort to turn all of Oakland County solidly blue."
Support From the Top
The following was posted on Executive Coulter's public Facebook page Dec. 3, regarding the Unity Slate:
"In 2022 we must seize the opportunity presented by redistricting and prepare for campaigns in new districts at the federal, state and county levels. That is going to take a robust OCDP, a party that is able to support our incumbents, train candidates, fundraise and organize, and win.
I'm committed to helping to build this party, and in the last weeks, I have enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Democrats throughout Oakland County. The following leadership team has emerged from those discussions.
This is a strong and diverse group of Democrats, and I am excited for the leadership they bring to our county party and the great things we can do together. I hope you'll join me in supporting this incredible slate of leaders."
Outgoing chair Vaughn Derderian chose not to seek reelection.
"This is a transitional moment for Oakland County and for OCDP, and I'm fully confident that Jody, David Coulter, and all of the exceptional people on this slate have the right combination of skills, talent, and drive to make OCDP a success right now, and for the future of the county," Derderian posted on his Facebook page.
Elected officials include chair, four chairs including vice chair, corresponding and recording secretaries, treasurer, sergeant-at-arms, parliamentarian and six each elected and appointed at-large chairs.
Eligible voters comprise the Executive Committee, whose members change based on the number of Democratic candidates nominated in the prior election cycle. Currently, the OCDP Executive Committee consists of about 150 people: approximately 1/3 of whom are the most recent Democratic nominees for countywide office, county commission, State House, State Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives, whose districts include all or part of Oakland County. The remaining individuals are elected at the County Convention held shortly after the November general election in even-numbered years. Each Democratic Club is allotted a certain percent of the slots; club members vote to determine who from the club's area will serve on the Executive Committee. Committee members serve a two-year term.
"I've heard from a lot of people that are very eager and enthusiastic to get involved in the OCDP," LaMacchia said. "And I am also very eager to make sure they get on board and have a mechanism to get involved and have a role they're interested in playing. … I just want to make sure that everybody that wants to participate and get involved has the ability to do that and is enthusiastically supported in that endeavor."
Learn more online at the Oakland County Democratic Party website.