For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, January 22, 2018
Contact: Toby Trimmer, Communications Director
(217) 622-7547 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Democratic Party Association Changes Name to Reflect Equality for All
Springfield, Illinois – In a sense, the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association no longer exists. The statewide grassroots coalition today announced a name change to better reflect the composition of their membership. The organization is now the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association.
“The reference to ‘men’ in our name is a leftover of the past that inaccurately reflects who we are,” said Doug House, president of the IDCCA. “The Democratic Party has long engaged in the battles for equality, fairness and justice for all people – regardless of their gender. In Illinois women have served as chairs of county Democratic Party organizations for decades and, as simple as it may appear to some, our outdated name is in conflict with these facts.”
The new name requires adjustments to association material such as logo branding, websites and other social media. Additionally, legal documentation with state and federal election authorities must be adjusted. More than any other consideration, the effort is a modernization reflecting the women who currently serve as chairs of county Democratic party organizations and are members of the association. In total, 21 women serve as chairs of Illinois county Democratic Party organizations.
State law is also outdated, according to Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) who serves on the IDCCA’s recently-created Sexual Harassment Task Force. Bush says she is introducing legislation this year to change political party references of ‘men’ to gender neutral terminology.
“The Trump presidency and the candidacy of people like Roy Moore have propelled scores of women to get active in politics at all levels,” said Bush. “If women are elected to represent the Democratic Party in their local precinct, Illinois law still references their role as a precinct committeeman. Changing these references to committeeperson is as logical as ensuring equal pay for equal work.”
In 2017, IDCCA formed a Sexual Harassment Policy Task Force to address how the Association should approach training and responses to incidences of harassment. The group’s name change aims to be a meaningful symbolic reinforcement of the values of County Democratic Parties throughout Illinois.
The Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) is a statewide, grassroots Democratic Party organization comprised of the elected Democratic County Chairs in all 102 counties in Illinois. The mission of the IDCCA is to help elect Democrats in every county and region of Illinois while continuing to grow the Democratic Party throughout the state. Rock Island County Chairman Doug House is the President of the IDCCA.