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By Kate Kruller
My fellow State Committeeperson, Santiago Ramos, and I are very grateful to have represented you for the past two years. They have been interesting years with many unexpected challenges, but we hope that you know we have done our best to represent you. With Santiago on the Executive Committee and me on the Rules Committee, the 11th Legislative District had a voice!
At the beginning of our term, we thought the BIG CHALLENGE would be making some serious changes in and preparing for the 2020 Democratic Convention delegate and Elector selection processes. Then it would be on to the U.S. Presidential nomination and election process. By the time 2020 started, those changes were in place – and along came 2020. We were presented pandemic and some historic challenges during the U.S. Presidential Election year. Here are the highlights:
- Literally, you were represented in countless hours of efforts changing the rules on how we select our delegates to the national convention. Result: For the first time ever, precinct caucuses were eliminated and we pulled our allocations on what candidates got how many delegates from the statewide Primary elections. The actual delegates were selected from our legislative district caucus processes on up. It was a success and completed as we moved into the pandemic.
- The pandemic meant that we needed to figure out how to hold a state level convention online. More countless hours making changes to our rules and innovating how the meeting would operate with 300 people online together. With the plethora of ways we know to hold meetings online today, that may not seem significant, but we made history and anyone could participate – even if they only had a telephone. Result: Delegate contender forums were held, information was provided online for each contender, nominations went smoothly and so did the voting. For the first time, we changed our bylaws to included non-binary nominations. We selected our delegates and Electors – of which our own Santiago is one and he will be voting on December 14, 2020.
- The next challenge was to simply hold a normal meeting online – again with hundreds participating. The ability to make motions, personal privileges, points of order/information all had to be organized in advance and we were able to reasonably address all comments raised and get through significant by-law, charter and resolutions as if we’d been conducting meetings online all along.
- Through all of the above, your WSDCC succeeded in: Holding the physical meeting in January, the Legislative District caucuses and the Congressional District caucuses were completed successfully, we held a virtual convention in June and the September general membership virtual meeting – never skipping a beat on addressing the business of the state Democrats. The National Convention selected our Democratic Nominee and ultimately won the U.S. Presidential election! It doesn’t get any better than that!
COMING UP NEXT:
The Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) General Membership meeting will convene January 30, 2021, online for the sole purpose of re-organizing. This happens every two years and all of the State Committee Officer positions are in contention (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary), along with 10 Congressional District Chairs that when elected, will be on the WSDCC Executive Committee.
State Committee rules prescribe that the WSDCC Vice Chair must be of the opposite gender and typically resides in the opposite side of the state of Washington from where the Chair resides.
The WSDCC Chair will have immediate business at hand announcing what state committee members will serve on what standing committees. Considerations include: geographic location, gender, race and diversity in selecting and appointing committee leaders. The Chair also will set the schedule for the year with the approval of the Executive Committee.
Anyway, that is what work has been done this year and what’s next at the state level of the Democratic Party.