The Alaska Democratic Party’s governing body — our State Central Committee (SCC) — is holding its spring meeting in the Golden Heart City May 19-21. I am thrilled to report that of the nine SCC members residing in Juneau, six are attending in person and three by proxy, so all of our members’ votes are accounted for!
SCC members take leave of their jobs and pay their own travel and expenses to attend Central Committee meetings, which occur three times per year. I am proud and grateful that Juneau has such dedicated SCC members. We definitely make our voices heard at the State Party level.
What are SCC meetings all about?
In a nutshell, we spend two days learning stuff and one day doing Party business.
The one-day State Party business meeting will include officer and staff reports; Resolutions, Party Plan, and Grievance committee reports; and electing a new Party Treasurer. Most of the work is pretty mundane, unless we’re voting to adopt our Party Platform, which we did at our SCC meeting in Juneau in January, which was very controversial and interesting, to say the least!
The other two days will include training on voter registration, improving our communication and messaging skills, campaign basics, targeting, strategies, and goals, and fundraising how-to’s. We’re also having a workshop on better understanding and engaging with Labor in Alaska, and will hear from our National Committeewoman – one of four Alaskans who represent the Alaska Democratic Party on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) – about mapping the future.
Supporting female Democratic candidates
One of my favorite parts of attending SCC meetings is the host city holds a Mary McKinnon Fund fundraiser. This event raises money for first-time female candidates running for state office as a Democrat in Alaska.
The State Party, as well as local district organizations such as the Tongass Democrats, actively recruit, work with, and support women running for state office. The Mary McKinnon Fund guarantees that every first-time female candidate running for State office as a Democrat will receive some startup money to get their campaign going.
Building a statewide perspective
Another important aspect of the SCC meeting is that Democrats from all over the state come together to work, train, and socialize, which enables us to build a better statewide perspective.
We hear reports from all six of our party’s regions about what’s going on in their districts, learning of the struggles and triumphs in their area. For us to be a strong State Party, it’s important for those who live in the Bush to hear from those who live in Southeast, and for those who live in western Alaska to hear from those who live in the Interior. We can only grow as a party by better understanding the experiences of those living in other, often vastly different places around our great state.
Focusing on areas of interest
Finally, the SCC meeting is an opportunity to meet with and get reports from our caucuses, which are small sub-groups that focus their work in specific areas. I am very proud that the Alaska Democratic Party has nine caucuses which focus on a multitude of aspects of Alaskan life:
- Alaska Climate Caucus
- Alaska Native Caucus
- Alaska Progressive Action Network
- Alaska Young Democrats
- Faith Caucus
- Labor Caucus
- LGBTQ+ Caucus
- Progressive Caucus
- Veterans and Military Families Caucus
SCC members can be members of as many caucuses they wish, depending on where their interests lie, except of course the Alaska Young Democrats. Members have to be age 35 or under to be in the AYD caucus…and our AYD’s ROCK!!!
Caucus work allows the members of the party’s governing body to focus more specifically on areas they support or are passionate about, in addition to doing the nuts-and-bolts business of the State Party.
Our State Central Committee meetings are open to the public. At the Fairbanks meeting, attendees pay a $125 registration fee, $100 for Young Democrats. We encourage anyone wanting to attend the meeting who is not an SCC member to also pay the registration fee to help the local party cover the cost to host the meeting.
So we’re off to the Golden Heart City this weekend! Stay tuned for my report on our SCC meeting in a Chair’s Corner to come.
Chair, Tongass Democrats
[Note: Our website administrator is traveling without a computer, so today’s post is going up a bit later than usual!]