Central Committee FAQ

What is a Democratic County Central Committee?

Across the nation, County Central Committees promote the growth and development of the Democratic Party, actively support Democratic candidates and incumbents and the Democratic platform, functioning under the general direction of each State Democratic Party. Our San Diego County Central Committee is made up of six members from each Assembly District, along with Ex-Officio, Designated, Lifetime, Alternate, and Associate members with organizational roles in the county party and chartered clubs.

What will I be doing as a County Central Committee member?
During your term, you will represent and serve the voters in your district as part of the only organization responsible for endorsing and electing Democrats to public office in San Diego County. As a group, the Central Committee conducts the County Party’s general business, approves its budget, coordinates Democratic campaign activity, and endorses candidates for nonpartisan local offices and makes recommendations in initiative campaigns. Your participation will be a mix of meetings and time volunteering in your district. You are also eligible to be appointed as a delegate to the California Democratic Party Convention as part of the County Party Delegation.

How often does the San Diego County Central Committee meet?
The San Diego County Central Committee holds monthly general meetings during election years and bi-monthly meetings during off years on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. The committee is further divided into four geographic Areas each of which sets its own meeting schedule ranging from quarterly to monthly. Many members also participate in Standing, Special Purpose, and Ad Hoc committees which meet separately from the Central Committee on regular or as needed basis.

What are my duties as a Central Committee member?
If you are an Elected, Ex-Officio, Designated, or Appointed member, you are expected to attend the regular and special meetings of the Central Committee. Elected, Ex-Officio, Designated, or Appointed voting members also have the option to appoint an Alternate member to vote when they are not able to attend.

If you are an Alternate member, you are expected to attend Central Committee meetings when your appointer can not and serve as a voting member; you are also welcome to attend all meetings when your appointer is there.

All members are expected to attend the regular and special meetings of your individual Area, attend the special meetings of their Legislative Caucuses, serve on SDCDP committees, share in the responsibility for raising money for the SDCDP, participate in the candidate endorsement process, assist the SDCDP with communicating and reaching out to Democrats, support endorsed Democratic candidates endorsed by SDCDP or CDP, share the general duties of building and supporting the Party, and be familiar with the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures.

Participation of all members in their geographic Area meetings is particularly important as our endorsement consideration process begins in the Areas.

How is information communicated and how are meetings noticed?
Email is the primary form of communication. Members are added to Central Committee and Area mailing lists and to committee lists as appropriate. Please read the communications sent by the party and keep your contact information up-to-date using the form www.sddemocrats.org/memberform

At the beginning of the term, the meeting dates will be confirmed at the Central Committee and Area meeting date voted on at the Area meetings. Central Committee and Area meetings will be posted on www.sddemocrats.org on the calendar.

Who has access to my information?
All Elected, Ex-Officio, Designated, and Appointed member names are listed on the website under the About Us Central Committee menu. All Members’ names, mailing addresses, preferred phone numbers will be made available to campaigns, including candidates for SDCDP officers and committees, and other groups with demonstrated business before the Central Committee. Your email addresses will be made available only if you choose to provide it for this purpose. Your registration address is a matter of public record and is available from the Registrar of Voters to candidates and campaigns. When you complete your form, you can provide us with a P.O. Box or alternative mailing address to use.

What class of member am I?
The member classes are outlined in our Bylaws. Elected members are elected to Central Committee during Presidential primary elections to represent the voter in their Assembly Districts. We also have Ex-Officio, Appointed, Alternate, and Associate members representing other districts or organizations or filling vacancies. If you are in doubt as to your member class, please contact the SDCDP office.

Who are the Ex-Officio members?
The Ex-Officio members are outlined in our Bylaws. They include federal and state officeholders and legislators and candidates who were endorsed by the CDP for the same offices but were not elected.

Who are the Designated members?
The Designated members are outlined in our Bylaws. They include DNC members and CDP officers, caucus chairs, statewide organization chairs, and ADEM EBoard Members, and the most recent past Chair of the SDCDP, the Director of Clubs, and the Director of Grassroots Organizing.

Who are the Appointed members?
The Appointed members are outlined in our Bylaws. They are members appointed by the Central Committee to fill a vacancy in the Elected, Ex-Officio, or Designated member classes.

Who are the Alternate members?
The Alternate members are outlined in our Bylaws. They are members appointed by Elected, Ex-Officio, Designated, or Appointed members. They are encouraged to attend all Central Committee meetings. They vote at Central Committee meetings when their appointer is absent.

What meetings do I need to attend?
At a minimum, you should plan to be attending one to two meetings each month.

Your attendance is required at all Central Committee meetings if you are part of the quorum. Elected, Ex-Officio, Designated, and Appointed members are always part of the quorum. Alternate members are part of the quorum if their appointer is not able to attend a Central Committee meeting.  Associate members are not part of the quorum at the Central Committee meetings.

All members are part of their quorum in their designated Areas, their legislative caucuses, and adjacent Areas for any cross-Area invitations they receive. Your regular Area meeting attendance maintains your voting eligibility – you must have attended a recent prior meeting to be eligible to vote.

The attendance requirements and policies are outlined in the SDCDP Bylaws and Policies and Procedures. Attendance is important! If you miss more than the number of allowed absences, you will have removed yourself from the Central Committee for the remainder of the term.

Why should I go to Area meetings?
Area meetings are vitally important to making sure each Area addresses its concerns in a timely manner, advocates for its particular concerns, and making sure we have qualified candidates in each office. The Areas are responsible for making recommendations for endorsement for offices fully enclosed in the Area, which in turn are voted on by the full Central Committee.

How is my participation recorded?
In lieu of roll call, we use attendance sheets where members sign-in at the beginning of each meeting. We also use these to establish our quorum. Should you forget to sign-in, it is your responsibility to let the Secretary or Area Vice Chair know that you were present at the meeting.  Please do not leave the meeting early or we risk losing quorum and not being able to take votes. As a member representing other voters, please plan to attend and participate in all meetings and all votes.

What are voting sticks and how are they used?
Voting members will be issued a voting stick at Central Committee meetings. If a member is not present, their Alternate will be issued the member’s voting stick. Some Areas also use voting sticks or voting cards to facilitate the counting of votes. While the majority of our votes are by voice vote, the voting sticks are used when a vote is done by a show of hands. Please be sure to return your voting stick at the end of the meeting so it will be there for you at the next meeting.

How else can I get involved as a Central Committee member?
You are encouraged to serve on our Standing, Special Purpose, and Ad Hoc committees. You can be appointed by the Area Vice Chair, the Chair of the Committee or the Party, depending on the committee. For more information on how to join committees, talk to your Area Vice Chair or the Chair about current vacancies. Many Central Committee members volunteer in the Kearny Mesa office and or satellite offices.

How is the Central Committee funded?
All funds for operations come from donors. There is no financial support from the state or national party. Our fundraising includes events, direct solicitations, and the Donate Every Month program. Our largest annual fundraiser is the Roosevelt Dinner which takes place in the spring.

Is there an office?
The San Diego County Central Committee has established a permanent office in Kearny Mesa with paid staff and may open additional campaign offices during the election. Volunteers, including Central Committee members, are integral to keeping our offices staffed and phones answered.

How does the County Central Committee fit into the California Democratic Party?
Each County Committee appoints a delegation to attend the annual CDP convention which meets once a year alternating between Northern and Southern California. Out of that delegation, the County Committee also selects a number of Executive Board members to attend two additional meetings each year. Members of the delegation are eligible to run for a CDP standing committee, which meets at the same time as the Executive Board. The CDP makes the endorsements for US Senate, US House of Representatives, California Senate and Assembly, all statewide offices, the Board of Equalization and statewide ballot measures. Delegates are responsible for dues, registration fees, lodging, and travel expenses. See a more detailed breakdown on the California Democratic Party website.

What Are ADEMS?
ADEM meetings occur in January of odd-numbered years to select members from the Assembly District to serve as delegates or Executive Board members to the California Democratic Party (CDP) Conventions. The SDCDP is allotted several dozen delegates and a small number Executive Board positions as well, so if you are a Central Committee member, you are eligible to be considered for the SDCDP delegation and one of the Executive Board positions. Generally speaking, there are spots for all Elected members as part of the delegation and there is no need to run during ADEMS in addition to your SDCDP spot unless you are running for a CDP Executive Board positions. There may not be enough spots for all Alternates and Associate members – you may want to run via the ADEMS to serve as a delegate to the CDP.