By Sarajane Siegfriedt, 46th State Committeewoman
The Washington State Democratic Central Committee adopted its 2012 Presidential Delegate Selection Plan on April 30th in Wenatchee, after changes to accommodate Passover.
The Democratic National Committee has shifted the entire calendar at least almost two months later. Instead of February 9, 2008, precinct caucuses will be Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 1 p.m. By holding them in April, we gain bonus delegates. (We also gain bonus delegates for having a regional date with Idaho and Alaska.) Delegates are allocated to each precinct based on the number of Democratic voters. Delegates elected at the precinct caucus are expected to attend their Legislative District caucus and their County Convention.
The plan says, “Resolutions and platform issues will be forwarded to the appropriate Legislative District Caucus or County Convention.”
Legislative District caucuses are on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10 a.m. The 46th adopts a platform and resolutions and elects delegates to the Congressional District Caucus and the State Convention. The number of delegates per LD will be decided in January, based on new LD maps and the number of votes for Obama in 2008. The 1,400 delegates elected at LD caucuses are expected to attend the state convention.
The call to the LD Caucus must be mailed or emailed five days in advance (April 23rd) and will include our 46th LD draft platform. This schedule allows only eight days to incorporate suggestions from the precinct causes and to evaluate, combine and edit resolutions. Responding to a question about this schedule State Chair Dwight Pelz suggested that LD and County platform committees start early, well before precinct caucuses, to write their drafts.
County Conventions will be held the next day, Sunday, April 29th at 10 a.m. No national delegates are elected, but county platforms and resolutions are debated and passed. The call to convention with the draft county platform will need to be mailed or emailed six days before, by April 23rd. The LD Caucus is the day before, so there is virtually no chance that LD platforms and resolutions can be considered by King County in writing its platform and resolutions. They will be forwarded directly to the state Platform and Resolutions Committees.
The Congressional District Caucus is where some of the national delegates will be elected and to the State Convention is where most of the remaining national delegates will be elected. Congressional District caucuses will be held Sunday, May 20th (time TBD by Chair Pelz). Sixty-three CD delegates will be elected to the national convention by the nine (current) CDs. The 7th CD will elect 11 delegates to the national convention.
The State convention is Saturday, June 2nd at 9 a.m. in Seattle. Twenty-one at-large delegates will be elected. Together with 13 pledged party leaders and elected officials, the Washington State delegation will number 113.
“Each presidential candidate…shall use his or her best efforts to ensure that his or her delegation within the state delegation achieves the affirmative action goals within this Plan and is equally divided between men and women.”