2nd Annual Party Congress
Our 2nd Annual Party Congress will be held this coming weekend, to facilitate voting on a new draft of the constitution and the election of the organisation’s leadership. Over 20 members will get to participate; they represent 6 units which together consist of over 80 persons.
As it is impossible to get everyone in one place, online voting will be facilitated. It is important to us to have persons in rural areas, Jamaicans studying abroad, and Jamaican diaspora being able to participate.
There are 5 candidates for the 3-member Central Committee and 2 candidates for the 1-member Politburo. The new draft constitution would set the minimum size of the Central Committee to 7 members and the minimum size of the Politburo to 3 members; if approved, this would take effect for the next Party Congress which would be held in 2019.
Another important change is further defining the relationship between the Central Committee and the Secretariat. A functional distinction is now made between the head of the Secretariat being given the title of First Secretary or Secretary-General.
Additionally, “community units” may be renamed to “people’s units” and “at-large units” will be considered their own type of units rather than being a type of cadre unit.
We have had over 30 meetings since the start of August, where our participants discussed a range of issues in their respective units. Meeting attendance and consistency are at high levels in most units. These have all taken place in cadre units and at-large units. We have been active internally, despite our lack of a public presence, and our organisers must be commended for that.
After the Party Congress, the Central Committee would need to clean up the Secretariat. We need to formalise the Organisation Committee, and maintain the current trajectory where meetings and participation are concerned. We also need to fix the Communications portfolio; the Secretary of Communications announced his intention to resign for months now, but we have not found a replacement. This has all but killed our online presence and has slightly affected our offline external relations. It may also affect our recruitment efforts, limiting us to the slow pace of growth we currently have.
Even when we are able to have a public presence, we will need to be able to manage whatever attention we get. We are not an electoral party right now, and we largely function as an underground (but not clandestine) movement. As things progress, we expect our conditions to shape our character.
We are optimistic about our future and our ability to organise, despite all the things that are happening in the world. We have already been around for 2 years, and we can confidently say that things have been going in a good direction. We will continue to build our cadres, and we hope to build some community/people’s units soon.