PARTY TAKES PRIDE IN GOALS, PRIDE IN DIVERSITY; IN CALIFORNIA, ANY DEMOCRAT CAN GROW UP TO BE A CONVENTION DELEGATE.
The California Democratic Party is both proud and excited about our delegate plan to select 434 delegates and 61 alternates for the 2000 Democratic National Convention to be held in Los Angeles next year.
The Republican Party, which will hold its national convention in Philadelphia, and their allies have criticized California's Democrats for having affirmative-action goals.
Yet, if you are an average Republican, you have no chance nor opportunity to become a delegate. You have to be practically a member of a country club or Republican County Central Committee with connections to get picked in a smoke-filled room.
The California Republican Party also decided that whoever wins their primary gets all the delegates, completely closing out other candidates. Under our rules, both Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. Bill Bradley will each get delegates.
Our 2000 Delegate Plan for California uses the same process and affirmative-action goals we used in 1992 and 1996.
Any registered Democrat in the state supporting Gore or Bradley can apply to be a delegate.
We will hold caucuses for each candidate on Jan. 23, 2000, in each of California's 52 congressional districts. That's a total of 104 caucuses statewide where all Democrats are invited to vote for their choice for delegate candidates.
The top vote-getters (up to six delegates per congressional district) are the winners and will be the delegates to the National Convention. That is as American as apple pie - those who get the most votes, win. Forty alternates also come out of this process.
Our California Delegate Plan includes affirmative-action goals - quotas are prohibited by the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws.
Our goals are: Latinos, 26 percent; African-Americans, 16 percent; disabled, 10 percent; Asian-Pacific Islanders, 9 percent; lesbians, 5 percent, gay men, 5 percent; and American Indians, 1 percent. These are goals to encourage outreach and, again, quotas are prohibited.
Having goals means that the Democratic Party both publicizes how to become a delegate and distributes the delegate applications in the mainstream and minority media outlets and to organizations throughout California.
Democrats see our National Convention as an opportunity to build support for our presidential nominee throughout California's communities, while the Republicans evidently see their National Convention as a place to reward their big donors and elected officials.
The California Democratic Party has an open process where we let average Californians apply and run. And out of the Jan. 23 caucuses and March 7 primary, 239 Californians will be elected as district-level delegates.
Then, on April 9, the 239 delegates will meet where they will elect 133 at-large delegates from a list of thousands who apply. The 239 delegates, plus the 133 at-large delegates and the 62 super delegates, which include members of Congress, the Democratic Party National Committee and Gov. Gray Davis, will fill out our delegation of 434 who will meet at the new Staples Arena on Aug. 14-17, 2000.
Our Democratic delegation will once again look like the diversity of California.
The Republican Party will once again look like the diversity of the Republican Party leadership.
Both in 1992 and 1996, California Democrats had the most diverse delegation in the nation and Californians can be proud of that.
I would urge all Democrats who are interested in becoming a delegate to check our Web site monthly: ca-dem.org, or later this November for applications, call our Sacramento headquarters office, (916) 442-5707 or e-mail us at: infoca-dem.org for more information.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Sep 19, 1999|
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