Mark Brewer

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Mark Brewer


Mark Brewer is a socialist "friendly", leading Democratic Party official from Michigan. He is the Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, chair of the Democratic Party's Association of State Party Chairs and a Party superdelegate.

Background

Brewer, who has led the Michigan Democratic Party since 1995, received his start in politics as a summer intern for Congressman David Bonior in 1977 and was involved in every reelection campaign of Congressman Bonior until 2000.[1]

As chair Brewer has used ballot questions as part of a winning campaign strategy in several elections and developed innovative programs to turn out absentee and young voters.

Active in the Michigan Democratic Party for 30 years, Mark Brewer has an extensive record of "successful grassroots activity". A 1973 graduate of Mount Clemens High School, Brewer obtained his A.B. with Honors from Harvard College in 1977 and his law degree from Stanford University Law School in 1981 where he served on the law review. After working for two years for federal and state courts, he joined Sachs, Waldman, O’Hare, Helveston, Hodges and Barnes, PC in 1983, becoming a shareholder in 1989. He resigned from the firm upon becoming Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.[2]

Democratic Party activism

Pic.phpbrewer.jpg

Brewer received his start in politics as a summer intern for Congressman David Bonior in 1977 and was involved in every reelection campaign of Congressman Bonior until 2000. From 1984 until 1993, Brewer served as President of the Clinton Township Democratic Club. The largest Township in Michigan, Clinton Township is home to nearly 90,000 residents and is a key political battleground in Macomb County, itself a key to winning Michigan elections. Under Brewer’s leadership, the Democratic Club became one of the most influential Clubs in the County and it served as a model for the creation of other clubs in Macomb County.

In 1983, Brewer also became a member of the former 12th Congressional District Democratic Committee, and joined the Executive Board in 1987. In 1992, he received the Committee’s first Outstanding Service Award for his work. In 1993, Brewer was elected Chair of the 10th District, the successor to the 12th District following reapportionment.

Brewer also has been a member of the Macomb County Democratic Committee since 1982, and an Executive Committee member from 1986 until 1997. He was elected Treasurer in 1990 and served in that role until 1993.

In addition to these activities, Brewer has served as a Precinct Delegate, been active in Michigan Young Democrats, been a delegate to local, state and national conventions, and has been involved in many local, state, congressional, and ballot question campaigns in every role including campaign manager.

He served from 1983 until 1995 as Assistant General Counsel to the Michigan Democratic Party, handling many matters such as reapportionment, election law, campaign finance law, recounts, interpretations of the Party’s rules, election day legal counseling, defamation claims, and service as parliamentarian at several Party Conventions.[2]

Chair of Michigan Democratic Party

In February 1995, Brewer was elected Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. He was reelected in February 1997, February 1999, February 2001, February 2005, February 2007 and February 2009. He was elected Executive Chair in February 2003.[2]

National party service

Brewer was elected President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) and DNC Vice-Chair 3 times, serving from 2003 until 2009. During that time, he led the ASDC to its endorsement of Howard Dean as DNC Chair and he worked with Dean to implement his very successful 50-State Strategy.

Brewer was a delegate to the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Democratic National Conventions and served as Chair of the Michigan delegations at all of those Conventions.

Democratic victories

Among his other accomplishments as Chair of the MDP, Michigan Democrats have carried the state for the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, won five straight U.S. Senate races, including electing Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2000 and reelecting her in 2006, elected Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2002 and reelected her in 2006, won nearly 80% of all statewide education board races, defeated GOP Chief Justice Cliff Taylor in 2008, worked to elect hundreds of county and municipal officials, used ballot questions as part of their campaign strategy and developed innovative programs to turn out absentee and young voters. Brewer was also the principal author of the MDP’s 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Delegate Selection Plans, two of which included an innovative Vote by Mail feature which allowed Michigan Democrats to cast votes by mail to select the party’s presidential nominee. The 2004 Plan also successfully used an internet voting option. Brewer has also expanded the Party’s constituencies, improved its fundraising, revised the MDP’s Rules, upgraded its technology and has expanded the MDP’s communications and research efforts.[2]

Democratic Party Endorsements

Mark Brewer has been strongly endorsed by his Democratic Party colleagues.[2]

  • Mark Brewer has clearly demonstrated that he is effective, brilliant and loyal – passionately committed to the Democratic Party.” - Governor Jennifer Granholm, Detroit News, January 6, 2005
  • “Mark Brewer has clearly been the most effective state Democratic chairman his party has had since Neil Staebler in the 1950s.” - Bill Ballenger, MIRS, December 1, 2008
  • "Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer is in a small group of long-serving, highly regarded chairmen." - Campaign and Elections, April, 2006

  • "The Michigan Democratic Party is on the cutting edge and many of its operations should serve as models for other parties." - The Democratic National Committee, September, 2001

Democratic Party Super Delegates

In February 2008 Michigan Democratic Party Super Delegates were;[[3]

Charles Brown Mon, 25 Feb 2008

Testimony

Brewer has testified on election and campaign finance issues before the Michigan Legislature and Michigan government agencies, in federal court and before the Federal Election Commission.

Working with the socialists

The Michigan Democratic Party works closely with Democratic Socialists of America. Michigan Democratic chairman Mark Brewer attended a DSA meeting in June 2006.[4]

Over fifty people attended the DSA Forum held at the Kulick Community Center in Ferndale on Sunday, June 4th. The subject of the forum was “Democrats and Socialists: Building the Alternative.” The speakers were DSA steering committee member and Wayne State University Distinguished Professor Ron Aronson, Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer, and Labor Notes editor Chris Kutalik.
Ron Aronson argued that in building an alternative to the dominant neo-liberal ideology, the Democratic Party must once again “become friendly” with many of the basic tenants of socialism—particularly those dealing with social provision (e.g., Social Security, national health insurance, public education). Mark Brewer argued that in order to avoid even more egregious setbacks for poor and working people, it is essential for socialists and Democrats to work together in the electoral arena. [Chris Kutalik cited examples of direct worker actions on the job as a means of challenging capitalist hegemony and suggested that this may be preferable to participation electoral politics. A lively discussion followed.

Brewer was back in 2007.[5];

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer will address our next DSA general membership meeting. He will discuss the prospects for the 2008 elections in Michigan as well as the upcoming presidential caucuses.
Event: Detroit DSA General Membership Meeting
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2007, 10 a.m.- noon
Location: Royal Oak Senior/Community Center, 3500 Marais Avenue

According to Seth A. Maxon writing in the DSA linked In These Times;[6]

Democratic socialists in southeastern Michigan can do something most of their counterparts across the nation cannot: they can boast of electoral victories. Moreover, they possess a level of influence within the Michigan Democratic Party of which many American leftists dream. And they’ve done it all without compromising their beliefs or values.

Their success has come from working with, instead of against, local Democrats.
“It starts out with relationships,” says David Green, the chair of the Detroit chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the organization that is a descendent of the Socialist Party of Eugene Victor Debs. He continues, “Mark Brewer, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, has a very good relationship with us. He’s spoken to our local several times. The chairs of the county parties, several of them are close friends as well.

At the March 6th 2010 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America general membership meeting' speakers were Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer who discussed the upcoming 2010 elections and Dick Olson, former editor of Solidarity magazine, who discussed the need for a new Constitution for Michigan.[7]

The Justice Caucus

Brewer addresses the audience at the dinner

On June 7, 2009, The Justice Caucus hosted the 2009 Spirit of Millie Jeffrey Award Dinner to Benefit the Camp Millie Progressive Grassroots Training Organization. Mark Brewer, Michigan Democratic Party Chair, attended the event.[8]

References