It’s another Sunday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about, and with the help of other campaign workers and notes, we tackle how to improve and build better campaigns or explain issues that impact our party.
This week we’re focusing on a very different kind of campaign: the campaign to become a member of the Democratic National Committee, or the DNC. The majority of DNC members are elected and represent their states, either as state party chairs and vice chairs, or by others who are DNC members based on population and elected strength.
So you want to become a DNC member? Let’s talk about how you can do that.
A few caveats right off the bat
In most cases (some state party chairs are paid), members of the DNC are not compensated for their services. They work on behalf of the party; this work can require travel and a commitment to work on behalf of their state organization and to help support candidates.
If you are not prepared to do those things, being a member of the DNC can be difficult for you. The people who elect you and hope you will serve their interests have an expectation that you will handle these tasks, and failure to do so doesn’t present the right image for your efforts.
I’m prepared. What next?
So you are ready to run for the DNC, right? Depending on your state, you can stand for election at a state convention, in a primary election, or through any process by which the members of your state committee or Democratic voters as a whole can choose you.
For example, if you are in California, you have 33 Democratic National Committee seats: 20 stand for election, and 13 are chosen by the executive committee. A state such as California can have a complex system and a strongly fought race to become a member of the Democratic National Committee. Meanwhile, in some other states, the race to become a member of the DNC involves less pressure, as fewer people are interested in taking on the task.
If you are prepared, reach out to your state party as your first step. Its members can guide you through what is required in your state.
What do I get if I am a DNC member?
This is the question I get asked the most. Democratic National Committee members are automatic delegates to the National Convention and who no longer have a vote in the first round. They remain unpledged unless the convention moves to the second round, at which point they are free to vote as needed.
Democratic National Committee members can serve as officers on many committees, from regional committees to specific caucuses (LGBTQ, African American, AAPI). Democratic Committee members also can serve on significant committees, such as Rules & Bylaws, Resolutions, and Credentials, which establish the guidelines for the party as a whole.
Votes taken by DNC members in our national meetings can also change the policies of the party. Members also elect the Democratic National Committee’s officers: its chair, vice chairs, and all other officers.
In the comments, if you want to name your state, I’d be glad to talk about the process there for running for the DNC. You are also welcome to send me a message.
Next week: Stay calm