Introduction from our new chair

The last 18 months have come with an immense amount of tragedy and personal and professional challenges for almost every person I know. Through immense and rapid change, struggle, and perseverance I have also found one very positive result of the past year and half. During this time, I have witnessed numerous communities (local, national, and globally) come together in an on-line space. Many of these communities were organized for the purpose of helping one another, coming together to find the connection, furthering the greater good, or even for advocacy on specific issues. Businesses continued remotely, organizations continued to meet, online social media communities began to grow. I have noticed there was and continues to be an extraordinary amount of people coming together to support causes they fiercely support. I have also noticed that everyday people are starting to make real change. These groups of individuals are finding innovative ways to connect, meet, and mobilize even during a global pandemic and while facing their own personal challenges.

I have also noticed that people are starting to pay attention to what is going on in various levels of government. I personally have been actively involved in growing a community of over 400 Genesee County residents coming together for a greater purpose, to help keep our students safe from Covid-19. For the first time many are paying attention to who our local and state elected officials are and having good, bi-partisan, dialogue about what good government is and can be and it gives me great hope for the future of our county, state, and national government. Advocating for the safety of our children is not and should never be a partisan political issue.

In this very short time, I have also made connections that I am certain will last a lifetime. I have met people I look up to, people that have spent time mentoring me without expecting anything in return, people I fiercely respect (even when we disagree), and people I consider to be good friends. Some of these people I have yet to even meet in person. This is the good that has come from the past eighteen months. I see fighters and I see hope even in a time of immense hardship.

I also became actively involved with the Genesee County Democratic Party in early 2020. I reached out to get involved only a few weeks before Covid-19 hit and my first interaction with the county party was virtual. I can honestly say I never imagined I would be involved in partisan politics, but the concern I had at the thought of potentially re-electing Donald Trump made me seek out ways to get involved. After attending my first event (a virtual county caucus in early 2020), I spent over a year meeting people virtually and participating actively in the Policy Committee of the organization. I have come to realize that identifying with a Political Party does not have to be a divisive endeavor. I quickly came to realize that identifying with a party wasn’t problematic if you continue to live your values in everything you do. I find that the Democratic party reflects my values in the party platform and policies. I do not always agree with everything that my fellow Democrats do or say and that is ok. Disagreement, when handled respectfully, is healthy and many times even helpful. Even in times of disagreement we are more effective as workers, advocates, and community members when we can work together on issues. We stand together to accomplish justice and mercy even when we do not always agree on the best way to get to the common goal.

Therefore, I am honored to have been nominated and selected as the Chair of the Genesee County Democratic Party. I look forward to working on accomplishing our goals in 2022 and beyond.

Ashley Prew
Genesee County Democratic Party Chair

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