Mending the Alabama Democratic Party, New Party Chair Huntsville Pastor Dr. Randy Kelley talks on his re-organization plans and the “Get Out and Vote” campaign

Submitted by Jenience Willis Wilmer, Speakin’ Out News, Staff Writer

Alabama Democratic Party Chair and Huntsville Pastor of Lakeside United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Randy Kelley

With his election as Alabama Democratic Party Chair, Huntsville Pastor Rev. Dr. Randy Kelley feels that mending the Alabama Democratic Party should begin with a complete audit and assessment of the organization from top to bottom to get an overall idea and understanding of what’s happening within the function of the Party.

Kelley stated, “The organization needs to be re-done from top to bottom to make us combat ready; a cohesive team, staff, and plans must be implemented to move forward.”

Pastor Kelley has already introduced and started his 1000 Pastors campaign. The former NAACP President, Chief Executive Officer Ben Jealous, and others are banning 1000 pastors statewide from engaging in their communities, having quick access to willing and ready volunteers, and serving as an additional source for information. Had this been in place, it may have made the “Get Out and Vote” flow somewhat easier.

According to Kelley, the “Get Out and Vote” campaign and its daily functions are not funded directly by the National Democratic Party. The NDP uses its “Get Out and Vote” funds via multimedia means. Pastor Kelley expressed concerns about equality and equity even with that, stating that he was able to talk with President Biden. He explained the importance of using the Black newspaper and radio to get the message out in the black communities; to look at other culturally sensitive ways to get the news out most effectively. As far as the state of Alabama’s Democratic Party, it traditionally has not had a mechanism used to promote the “Get Out and Vote.”

Campaign. The campaign is throughout various local community organizations, candidates and political officials, universities, Democratic Caucuses, and mainly the Alabama Democratic Conference, Alabama Democratic Black Caucus, and, of course, the Black Church. According to Kelley, if the Alabama Democratic Party allocated monies monthly to the various membered caucuses, it would be for staffing. That amount would have to be verified now, and he’s working on that. So when it comes to providing transportation to the polls, midterm candidate endorsement, or even explaining those purposely designed confusing amendments we need to vote on, the Alabama Democratic Party does not cover that campaign.

Kelley wants to reach out to young people, including young white democrats interested in equality and equitable and fair treatment for all. He is interested in developing leaders young and older and increasing our Democratic voters statewide. He’s excited about our Party’s future and looks forward to rolling up his sleeves and putting in the work. His history of success seems like the Democratic Party is in good hands.

Randy Kelley is not just your typical Methodist pastor; this man is a legend. He has worked with Democratic superstars, including Andrew Young, Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill and Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and even Coretta Scott King. The list goes on. Kelley has served as the Vice Chair for the Democratic Committee Black Caucus and Vice Chair of the Alabama Democratic Conference. He is also an inductee with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Board of Preachers of Morehouse College, and was even a former talk show host of the “Tell it like it is” radio show. Kelley is also a former NAACP, SCLC President, and Gadsden AL City Council member. Pastor Dr. Kelley is presently the Senior Pastor of Lakeside United Methodist Church here in Huntsville; this year, 2022, he orchestrated one of the country’s grandest Juneteenth Celebrations, including over 50 multicultural Coalition Collaborators. The event included greetings from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, supporting other local churches and prominent leaders.