When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, it was due in large part to his ability to build a coalition of voters that historically had been untethered from each other.
In the moment, the Obama Coalition told the story of a rock star candidate as the force for unity the country so desperately craved. But it also painted the clearest picture we’ve seen to date of what the Democratic Party can and should look like when we do our jobs as organizers to truly empower all of our diverse constituencies.
Like America, the Democratic Party’s strength has always been in its diversity. For too long, however, that truth only came into focus at election time, while women, people of color, Delawareans with disabilities, and members of our LGBTQ community remain under represented in our halls of government, on our committees, or across other layers of our Party apparatus.
But Democrats are flipping that script, from the candidates we’re recruiting and electing, to the staff we’re hiring, to the way we’re holding elections in Delaware so more people can participate.
In 2018, the most diverse coordinated campaign in Delaware Democratic Party history helped break mid-term turnout records to elect the most diverse freshman class to the General Assembly our state has ever seen. The result has been innovative new ideas, new policy initiatives, and new energy at every level of our Party.
In 2020, we’re excited show the world what the Delaware Democratic Party truly looks like, as we join with Democrats from across the country at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee to nominate the next President of the United States.
To that end, we have published a draft of our delegate selection plan for next July’s Convention at www.deldems.org. The draft document, along with related materials that are central to the presidential nominating process, will be posted through June 9 for public comment, prior to approval by the State Party and submission to the Democratic National Committee in mid-June.
The plan, which is summarized in Section X, details our commitment to an open and transparent process that will ensure the result of Delaware’s presidential primary reflects the true will of Delaware Democrats, and that the related delegate selection proceedings will be fair and accessible to all who wish to participate.
Perhaps most significantly, it guarantees the sanctity of a process that will ensure that the delegation we send to Wisconsin next summer will be a true reflection of who we are as a Party.
Delaware will send a total of 28 delegates and two alternates to the Convention, which will be held July 13-16, 2020. While Party leaders and elected officials will make up a portion of the delegation, the majority of the delegate slots are open to any Democrat who wishes to run. And there are a number of other ways to participate in the process leading up to the Convention.
The plan details how registered Democrats can participate in each level of the delegate selection process, from Representative District level caucuses in March of 2020 to the Presidential Primary itself on April 28, 2020, to the Delaware Delegate Selection Caucus slated for Dover on May 9, 2020.
The plan also outlines the Delaware Democratic Party’s education and outreach plan, which will begin in earnest this fall and is aimed at making as many Delaware Democrats aware of the delegate selection process as possible. There’s even a committee of Party leaders dedicated to outreach and inclusion.
The bottom line is this: we need to be a united force in order to defeat Donald Trump, and the most significant part of that is making sure the delegate selection process allows us to engage voters who may have, for whatever reason, felt walled off from their Party in the past.
We urge all interested Democrats to check out the plan and offer comments via DNC2020@deldems.org through June 9. But more than that, we urge all interested Democrats to participate in the process of nominating the next President of the United States.
Jesse Chadderdon is the Executive Director of the Delaware Democratic Party and Travis Williams is the Deputy Executive Director of the Delaware Democratic Party.