What is the Philadelphia Democratic Committee?
Philadelphia is divided into 1,686 voting divisions (often called “precincts”). There are generally less than 1,000 voters in each division. The Philadelphia Democratic Party starts at the grassroots level with the office of “Committee Person.” Democrats in each division elect 2 Committee People to represent them in the party. Together, the 3,372 people who are elected make up the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, which IS the Philadelphia Democratic Party.
For organizational purposes, the 1,686 divisions are grouped into 66 Wards. The Committee People in each Ward elect a “Ward Leader.” The Ward Leaders job is to organize the Ward and represent their Committee People in meetings of the Philadelphia County Committee, which are meetings of all Ward Leaders. It is at County Committee meetings where most major decisions are made, though this practice has been increasingly subject to scrutiny by Committee People who want a more direct say in endorsements, platforms, and activities of the Philadelphia Democratic Party.
What does the Philadelphia Democratic Committee do?
Any Democratic Committee’s number one priority is to ensure that Democrats win in General Elections. But in Philadelphia, where Democratic voter registration over Republicans is 7-1, Democrats almost always win.
The Philadelphia Democratic Committee has an overwhelming influence in Primary Elections. The Committee votes to endorse certain candidates, appoints Democratic nominees in special elections, and controls the finances of the party.
What does an individual Committee Person do?
A committee person can do as little or as much as they please. Some Committee People work on Election Day and that’s it, but many engage with their neighbors about important community issues all year long. Committee People also vote on endorsements and nominees for special elections.
Nobody can fire a committee person except for voters. If a committee person is not doing a good job, it’s up to the voters to elect someone else.
Is this a paid position?
No and Yes. Committee people are party officers – not public officials. They receive no taxpayer-funded compensation. But the Committee often pays Committee People for their work on Election Day, and for getting out the vote in the days leading up to Election Day.
How can I get involved?
To appear on the ballot in your voting division, you must gather 10 valid signatures of fellow Democrats in your division and file your petition with the Philadelphia Board of Elections no later than the 10th Tuesday before the Primary Election. These elections aren't until 2018, so don't worry you have plenty of time. Sign-up to run and we'll reach out to you with all the information and tools you need to run and win.