The Democratic Party is not a monolith. Source: my participation as a State Delegate at the Democratic State Convention 2018, 2020.
How did I become a State Delegate?
- I signed up to attend the senate district convention (in Texas they happen in March).
- I opted-in to being considered for the role of State Delegate (you can be voted to be a delegate by your precinct, but there is such minimal participation (ESPECIALLY in non-Presidential Election years) that anyone who opts-in usually becomes an at-large State Delegate.
- Requirements: You have to have either voted in the Democratic primary or affirm you have not voted in any other party primary.
- Cost: $0 (in 2018 I did have to pay for my transportation and hotel at the convention, but people ride and room share, so that cost varies; this year (obviously) everything is virtual.
What does a State Delegate do?
- Vote on party rules, platform, and resolutions. A list of what I’ll be voting on today can be found here: https://texasdemocraticconvention.com/delegates/ SIXTY-FOUR resolutions, y’all…I gotta get back to reading!
And during Presidential Election years, National Delegates are elected at the State Convention.
How does someone become a National Delegate?
- When registering for the district convention, you select your top three choices for presidential nominee.
- Prior to the State Convention you may file to run for various positions in the party, committees, and for National Delegate (including at-large and alternate delegates).
- Requirements: You have to file to be a delegate for one of the candidates you indicated at the district convention.
- Then you can request contact information of other state delegates in your district and you can reach out to them to campaign for their support.
- All State Delegates vote by senate district on their choice of who to elect to the various committees, positions and National Delegates.
- In addition to the number of National Delegates assigned to each district, there are additional delegate spots that are filled according to a set of rules intended to ensure diversity. One of the categories is someone participating for the first time.
- Cost: $0