Learn about the bottom-up structure of the Democratic Party of California, which aims to advance our policies and ideals whilst making sure all voices and stakeholders are represented and heard within the Party's organization, activities, and decision-making
State Party Organization and Role The governing body of the California Democratic Party (CADEM) is the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC). The DSCC may make endorsements in partisan primary elections and may take positions on statewide ballot measures. The DSCC is made up of approximately 2,900 members (also called “delegates”) coming from the groups below in roughly one-third proportions.
Local Parties (County Democratic Central Committees) Each county Democratic Central Committee (DCC) elects DSCC members from its membership. The number of spaces available to our Central Committee members is based on the number of registered Democrats in the County. Our County Party is allocated spots according to our county Democratic registration (1 spot / 10,000 registered Democrats). For 2021-22, the Imperial County DCC was entitled to elect 9 delegates from among its membership. Out of our delegation, we also select 1 delegate to serve on the CADEM Executive Board.
Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs) Fourteen AD delegates are elected in caucuses that are held in each of the California Assembly Districts in January of each odd-numbered year. Any Democrat can run to become an AD delegate, and any Democrat who lives in that Assembly District can vote in the caucus. You can file to run for delegate in an ADEM by filling out a form on the CADEM website; the deadline for filing is 30 days prior to the ADEM meeting.
Elected Officials, Nominees and Appointments All Democratic elected officials and nominees are DSCC members and additionally are allowed to appoint 2–6 DSCC members each. These include members of Congress, statewide officials, and state legislators.
Annual Statewide Convention At the State Convention in odd-numbered years after presidential elections, the members of the DSCC elect the officers of CADEM, who serve four-year terms: chair, two vice chairs, secretary and controller.
In addition, there are around 20 Regional Directors who function as liaisons between CADEM and the county DCCs and the Democratic clubs in their region (each region comprises 3–5 Assembly Districts). Regional Directors serve two-year terms and are elected at the State Convention in odd-numbered years.
The entire DSCC also votes on other issues that are brought before them at state conventions:
To determine the state Party's endorsements for partisan legislative and statewide offices
To take positions on ballot propositions as needed
To establish the official CADEM Platform
Resolutions (in odd-numbered years only)
Executive Board and Executive Board Meetings Although the entire DSCC meets only once a year at the State Convention, the Executive Board of the DSCC (the E-Board) meets two additional times each year to conduct business that arises between conventions, including standing committee and caucus meetings. In even-numbered presidential election years, the members of the E-Board elect the members to represent California at the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. There are approximately 330 E-Board members, consisting of the following:
Members of Congress (2)
State Legislators (2 per house)
Standing Committee Chairs
Democratic National Committee Members (19)
County Democratic Central Committee Representatives (one per county plus one additional member for each 100,000 registered Democrats within the county)
ADEM Representatives (one per Assembly District)
California Democratic Council President
California Young Democrats President
Standing Committees The statewide Chair appoints the members of the nine standing committees of the state Party: Affirmative Action, Credentials, Finance, Legislation, Organizational Development, Platform, Resolutions, Rules, and Voter Services. You can find out more about the purpose and duties of each standing committee in the CADEM by-laws (Article V, Sections 1–7) at cadem.org/bylaws. Appointments are exclusive to CADEM delegates. Standing committees meet during the annual Convention and Executive Board Meetings. Caucuses Caucuses comprise Democrats who share similar demographics and/or interests. Caucuses may have dues and many caucuses allow non-DSCC members to join. A full list of caucuses and contact information is at cadem.org/our-party/caucuses.