Candidate Statement, Jennifer Crossley, Party Chair

We live in a great community that continues to grow and thrive and one that is a model for other counties in this state.  With the departure of Mark Fraley, there will be a huge void in our party.  It will take a person with passion, grit, experience and enthusiasm to continue the momentum that we have achieved here in Monroe County.  These are skills that I possess in abundance and therefore I respectfully ask for your support to be the next Monroe County Democratic Party Chair.

I am originally from Gary, Indiana and came to Bloomington to attend Indiana University.  I earned my B.A. in Telecommunications with an emphasis in Industry and Management.  My husband, Justin and I have three beautiful children who love this community as much as I do.  For majority of the last ten years, I have successfully led and built management teams while working as a General Manager for both conventional and student housing entities.  I hope to translate my leadership, coalition-building, and ability to foster relationships with a broad spectrum of people to guiding the Monroe County Democratic Party.

Like so many others, the Trump election in 2016 left me stunned, disappointed and ready to fight back.  It also brought hateful rhetoric to some of our community members, such as myself.  Instead of being paralyzed by fear, I decided to hit the ground running and to use my voice in ways that I had never done before.  In 2017, I became an active member in the Monroe County National Organization for Women and became the Membership Chair.  I also played an active role in ensuring all children in our local schools have access to a hot lunch, and was a major force in changing the social studies curriculum at MCCSC.  This past year I served as a member of the Jack Hopkins Committee which allocates social services funds in Bloomington. I am an active member of the NAACP, Mom’s Demand Action Against Gun Violence, and the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus.  I serve on the Steering Committees of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and Bloomington’s Black Lives Matter, the latter of which orchestrated the successful “A Seat at the Table” candidate forums in 2018.  This past election, I was honored to assist both Nicole Browne’s and Liz Watson’s campaigns.

So why am I running for party chair?  I am running because it is time for our party to progress.  It is time to pave the way for individuals with distinctly different backgrounds to be placed in elected offices, whether that means race, gender or socioeconomic status.  It is time for a party that not only talks about being progressive, longing for diversity, equity and inclusion.  It is time to truly become a party that models our ideals by placing those deserving individuals into leadership.  The party chair needs to be someone who can sit down with prospective candidates from various backgrounds and help them negotiate various steps, processes, and problem-solving.  This is something that I do every day in my work environment, in my home, and in my personal relationships.  I look forward to brining those skills to the table as the next party chair.  More so than ever before, as a woman of color in this community, the perspective and the voice I could bring to party chair is something that is glaringly absent and deeply needed.

Progress is still needed in our county and there is room for improvement in order for us to build upon our successes.  If elected, here are some of the things that I would like to work on:

  1. Outreach and Recruitment:  The person in this position plays an important role in strategizing to recruit and train candidates.  As your chair, I’ll make sure that we reach out to those in our community who might not feel as though their voice matters and be able to bring them in with open arms to gain their trust and to show that our party is for them.
  2. Communication and Transparency: No one should ever feel that our party is exclusive to certain individuals and my actions would exude this.  By being voted in this position, I promise to effectively communicate to all so that everyone has an opportunity to feel heard and to be involved.  I also want to be able to hold town halls to inform the general public about their local officials that work for them and their policies that affect our community members.
  3. Protect Progressive Ideals: I want to make sure our community holds on to our values that we hold dear.  I also want to implement events and programs that are also family friendly so that those who don’t have sitters or childcare will be able to feel like they can participate in party events without counting themselves out.

It is very crucial and important that people know and have full confidence that the person who is a party chair will be fair and neutral toward our elected officials and candidates, especially for the upcoming elections.  These are all skills that I have and furthermore, if elected, I will step down from any positions that give the appearance of bias.  It is an exciting time to be a Democrat and we need to continue to build on that momentum.  I truly believe that if I earn your vote, I will continue to keep up the forward movement that is needed to get us through the upcoming elections and will work hard to keep the promises outlined into reality!

If you should have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at Jennifer.r.crossley@gmail.com or at 219-805-1311.

 

Respectively yours,

 

Jennifer Crossley

Candidate for Monroe County Democratic Party Chair

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