Outgoing Executive Director Alex Radus Somerset County Democratic Committee 7-28-10 Farewell Speech

Uploaded by somersetcountynjdems on 02.08.2010

This night is all about Alex
(Cheering and hooting and clapping)
Now I can tell you that when Alex came to us
he was a political neophyte
He knew nothing we taught him every thing he knows
everything he became is because of me and Zenon but, that's a lie
He is an amazingly talented young man
I have no idea how Erik and the rest of us are going to fill the void left by him.
He learned some words from us
Those words I'm not going to say
But he learned, he learned about push polling. He learned about the Republicans in this county and the kind of things they've said about us.
He learned about GOTV. He learned about....
Because words can't express everything that you've meant to this party and the extent to which you have changed Somerset County from a wanna be Democratic community
to a gonna be Democratic community we are now going to gift you with the words you will need for the next profession upon which you are going to embark
It's a book called Black’s Law Dictionary (laugh) You need to read it from cover to cover
I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate Alex on his wedding to the wonderful Maria
who is now Maria Radus. Maria...Those of you who've known me long enough to know I love to sing but can't can
the fact that I am not used to having a microphone in a darkend room
I'm usually have a microphone in a room I can see
but, in any event as I said it's all about Alex.. Alex i know wants to speak to you
As much as we enjoy him I think he got a great big kick out of meeting people who are
really dedicated to the community and dedicated to advancing the Democratic Principles of our society and he helped us
move from where we started to where we are today
and he will be in the background i'm sure rooting for us as we move to victory in November
I want to thank you all for coming and I want to thank Bound Brook once again for hosting us
and I am turning the microphone over to Alex
(Clapping and hollering)
Thank you very much...to our chair Peg Schaffer
The speech I prepared tonight is just a little bit shorter than the book you gave me so, uh bear with me.
Madam Chairman, Vice Chairman Christodoulou, Mike Goldberg, Peggy Glicklich,
Jinnee DeMarco, Paul Swanicke, our elected officials, excellent
even though she lives in another state. She has been extremely patient with me
while I spent ten, twelve or fourteen hours a day in our campaign headquarters, or typed away on my blackberry during romantic
dinners. In fact, instead of giving me the boot, she married me last Saturday (clapping) - ladies and gentlemen, Maria Radus.
what is a particular honor to serve Democrats in Somerset County because to be a Democrat in Somerset County is a special thing.
If you're a Democrat in Somerset County it's because it is who you are.
It's not because it's easy to get elected; it's not because it will get you connected; it isn't because it's the thing to do. It's because of your principles;
it's what you believe in; or perhaps it's because you'd be cut out of the will if you registered Republican - which is actually the case in my family.
To have been able to serve Democrats like you as the SCDC's first executive director has been an honor and a privilege.
I welcome our new executive director, Erik Wong, pass to him an organization that means a lot to me, and wish him success in his new role.
I pride myself, in all my endeavors, on giving more than I take, on leaving more than I find. I have sincerely tried to do that here, however,
I have learned so much from all of you over the last year, I cant imagine how that is possible. It has been a true education.
As you know, the recent history of the SCDC is one filled with ambition, growth and success, none of which comes easily.
Please join me in recognizing our Chair, Peg Schaffer. She is dedicated, determined and tough and that is exactly what we need for a victorious November.
I overheard a conversation Peg had recently. I won't mention who she was speaking to, but this person referred to her directions
to him as her style. She said "No, take out the word 'style' and insert the word 'standards.'"
We all know that Peg has high standards, and high expectations of our organization.
Perhaps no one knows how high Peg's standards are quite as acutely as I do.
Some of you may have noticed that I've put on weight since you first met me. I haven't changed my diet or my exercise routine;
it's just that my skin is about two or three times as thick as it was a year ago.
But honestly, I can think of no better preparation for law school and a career as an attorney than having
defended myself and my ideas in front of Peg Shaffer for the last year and a half.
She is tough, but after working with her over the last year and a half, I can honestly say that it is tough love.
Her dedication to this organization's success is inspiring and her standards will mean victory in Somerset County.
I told you I wrote a book stick around. I Promise there is more swing music coming up.
Leadership is, of course, extremely important in politics and government. We see the difference when we have it.
A leader displays leadership in the real world, where difficult and unpopular issues exist and have to be addressed - issues like health care reform and climate change.
Leaders do not create a fantasy world where these problems don't exist, and then attempt to lead there instead.
A leader understands that truly loving your country means rolling up your sleeves, getting involved and making tough decisions, not simply hiding in a talk show studio and judging from the sidelines.
A leader understands that global problems are nuanced and complicated, and that diplomacy has always kept us safer than bravado.
A leader understands that when you are elected to office, that the taxpayers are paying you to actually govern, not simply keep campaigning on their dime.
A leader understands these things, and I am proud that we finally have a real leader in the White House.
Yet I believe that leadership has been given too much focus in recent years, and we as Democrats need to be aware of this, because focusing only on leadership can make us overlook our most important strength.
I ask you, when did the narrative of governing in America switch to leadership and away from representation?
The dream of America was not simply one of leadership.
Americans have never lacked for resourcefulness, courage and vision.
In fact, we would not be in this beautiful, historic theater tonight, which has been ravaged time after time by flooding,
if it were not for the hard work of community leaders right here in Bound Brook and around Somerset County.
What drove our forefathers, what America is founded upon, and what the Democratic Party is demonstrably more capable of than any other party in the United States,
is representation. It is our greatest strength, and we must remember to cultivate it and to use it.
Our organization demonstrates this: we are business owners, union workers, attorneys, educators, religious leaders
and health care professionals; we are senior citizens, high school students, baby boomers and Gen Xers.
We are lifetime residents of New Jersey, transplants from other states, and immigrants
from almost every continent on the planet. We are black and white, Jewish and Muslim, men and women, young and old.
We are rich and poor. And still nothing divides us.
The Democratic Party has excellent leaders; and every once in a while the Republican Party does too.
(I know we all secretly like Freeholder Director Ciattarelli - c'mon you can admit it.
I know we'd all love him to reregister, but if instead he continues to fight with his fellow Republican freeholders in public and in the press, well take it.)
But what is for certain, what has withstood the test of time, what our party here emulates
and what we cannot forget, is that the Democratic Party will always be better at representing America, because the Democratic Party is representative of America.
It has been my honor to address you tonight. Please continue to support our great candidates this year - both financially and by volunteering at our headquarters.
I look forward to seeing you all on Election Day 2010, when we claim victory in Somerset County!