BROOKINGS – The number of voters registered as Independents in South Dakota will soon equal that of the South Dakota Democrat Party. Brookings County is already there.
On Saturday, Nicholas Weiland will speak to the rise of Progressive Independents and the chilling effects of neoliberalism on state and national Democrat politics. His talk is hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America Brookings organizing committee and is open to the public.
“It can be hard to stay involved in politics,” Weiland said. “The divisiveness seems so prevalent these days, but staying active and vocal is your best tool to change the status quo.”
According to South Dakota Secretary of State website data, registered voters are showing a trend of registering as Independents (including Non-Party Affiliated) and registering Republican, while the numbers for Democrats in the state continue to drop.
In Brookings County, Independents and Non-Party Affiliated outnumber Democrats, 5,432 to 5,218, and Republican numbers outweigh either at 7,867 with third parties making up the rest.
“With Independents on the rise, and the Democratic Party in South Dakota on the downtrend, we must form a new coalition of progressives that can take the fight to the Republican establishment that has so much unchecked power in this state,” said Weiland, himself a registered Indepen-dent who considers himself a progressive and democratic socialist.
Weiland, businessman and videographer, has worked for and supported several campaigns, including his own nonpartisan run for Sioux Falls City Council as well as his father’s Democrat bid for U.S. House in 2014.
“Getting involved with a campaign you believe in is something I wish everyone would do,” Weiland said. “Don’t be afraid to run for office. It is not rocket science. All you really need to do is get your name on the ballot, contact your local journalist and talk with people about the issues at play. Thanks to social media, that is all much easier to do now.”
The potluck lunch-and-learn style event will be from 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday at the Cooper Room at the Brookings Public Library.
Organizers ask that you bring one lunch item for yourself and a second portion of the same to share. Please bring your own drinking containers, plates and utensils. Cutting boards, knives and serving spoons will be provided by the organizers.
Democratic Socialists of America is a member-based 501c4 that works to push forward democratically driven economic policy and action. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/BrookingsDSA/.