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Democratic National Committee Hosts First Future Forum in Phoenix

Saturday in Phoenix, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gathered for the first of its four “DNC Future Forums.” The forum is a way for the party to connect with members in different regions of the country, as well as for those running for office within the committee to talk about what they hope to see change within the party.

During the forum, with those running for chair for the DNC, there was a lot of discussion about ways to reunite the party after it suffered huge defeats in the 2016 elections.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is among the seven candidates running for DNC chair and said, “We have to come together in unity across all of our different points of view. We have to unify, and we have to be a group of people who are on the same page,” speaking about the fracturing of the party.

Ellison also believes that getting rid of barriers to voting is an important way to increase support for the party. He said he is in favor of getting rid of voter registration, and supports allowing some individuals with past felony convictions to vote.

“It would turn people out to vote, we would improve democracy, and we would end a racial injustice that has been scourging this country for centuries,” Ellison said.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley said Democrats need to return to more granular organizing efforts when engaging and energizing the party’s base.

“Washington is not the answer. It’s not where the message is going to come from. It’s not where we’re going to win from,” Buckley said. “It is going to be the local communities. One neighbor, talking to another neighbor, is the single most powerful tool we have.”

Also at the event, current DNC Chair Donna Brazile called out President-elect Donald Trump for the negative remarks he tweeted about civil rights icon John Lewis. “John Lewis is our hero,” Brazile said. “And he symbolize[s] everything we stand for as Americans, and as a Democratic party.”

The next forum held by the DNC will be January 28 in Houston.

Sarah Ventre was a producer for KJZZ's The Show from 2014 to 2018.