Have you ever wondered why the Los Angeles County Democratic Party did or didn’t endorse someone? Have you ever wondered who makes the decisions on who and what is supported by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party?
The people who function essentially as the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party are known as County Central Committee Members and they are elected by a vote of the People.
These local offices are extremely important because it’s the County Central Committee Members who get to vote on who gets the endorsement of the Party, financial support and what issues the Party addresses.
While the monthly meetings of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party are open to the public for anyone to attend, only County Central Committee Members are allowed to vote.
Below is a short list of some of the important work that County Central Committee Members do:
County Central Committee Members take positions on candidates and ballot-measures at the county and city level, including nonpartisan contests.
County Central Committee Members take nonbinding positions on issues of relevance to the Party in the form of resolutions. These actions signal the body’s consensus opinion to our Party’s elected officials, who often may choose to allow the issue to take shape in the form of actual legislation.
Proposition 34 gives the County Central Committees special authority to raise contributions for Democratic candidates and causes. The Party hosts a number of annual banquets and serve as a conduit for individuals and organizations seeking to help like-minded candidates.
The County Central Committee has the authority to purchase an official ballot statement or to utilize the Registrar’s voter index to communicate directly with the electorate.
County Central Committee have the ongoing responsibility of communicating important policy issues to the electorate and continuing to add new registered voters to the Party.
State Central Committee and State Executive Board
The County Central Committee selects members to represent it at higher levels of Party leadership, such as the State Central Committee and State Executive Board, which, in turn, has the important responsibility of producing a biennial Party Platform and selecting members to the Democratic National Committee, among other things.
The Democratic Party has standing to enforce challenges to election-related conduct that would detriment one of our Party’s nominees.
Should there ever be a vacancy by the party nominee that occurs after a primary but before a general election, state law specifically delegates the responsibility for selecting a replacement candidate to the county and state central committees of each party. This contingency occurs highly infrequently, however is most likely the primary rationale for our existence as a formal institution. Thus, your vote for County Central Committee is principally a means of indirect representation into this process.
There is no compensation for this elected office and the Members volunteer their time to help run the Party.
County Central Committee Members are elected by registered Democrats in their State Assembly District. This means, that the Assembly District you live in will dictate the County Central Committee Member who you can vote for to represent you. Only the top seven vote getters will be elected from each Assembly District.
Only registered Democrats can vote for County Central Committee Members to be elected to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. If you are registered as an “American Independent” thinking that you are registered as an independent, or more accurately a “decline to state” voter–you might want to re-register to vote. The American Independent Party is a far-right political party established in 1967 best known for its nomination of former Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who carried five states in the 1968 presidential election running on a segregationist “law and order” platform against Richard M. Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey. The party split in 1976 into the modern American Independent Party and the American Party. From 1992 until 2008, the party was the California affiliate of the national Constitution Party. Its exit from the Constitution Party led to a leadership dispute during the 2016 election.
In closing, you want to elect County Central Committee Members whose votes and silence cannot be bought. You want to elect County Central Committee Members who will hold the Los Angeles County Democratic Party leadership accountable to the People and not to their favorite elected officials. Most importantly, you want to elect County Central Committee Members who will look out for and represent EVERYONE. We all deserve a seat at the table and the future of the Democratic Party starts with the leadership at the local level–that’s why I’m running.
Sources: Smart Voter, LACDP