Chair’s Corner: Democratic Party Organization

A large majority of Alaskans are registered as non-partisan or undeclared, but in the wake of the results of the 2016 presidential election, many are now reconsidering. People are searching for ways to step up, get involved, and take action to save the progress of these past 100+ years from the incoming Trump presidency.

Since the election, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what the Democratic Party is and how Tongass Democrats fits in.

So, here is a brief overview of the mechanics of the Democratic Party.

What is the Democratic Party?
The simple definition of a political party is “a group of people who work together to enact policies.” So the Democratic Party is a group of people working together to elect representatives who advocate for legislation that supports Democratic ideals.

More specifically, Democrats at every level strive to support progressive values, secure the passage of legislation upholding principles of the Democratic Party, and elect representatives pledged to Democratic Party principles.

How is the Democratic Party organized?
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the Democratic party at the national level.

The Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) is the statewide subset of the DNC.

Tongass Democrats are an adjunct (subset) of the ADP.

National and state parties have a “Plan of Organization,” aka the Party Plan.
• Here is the DNC’s Plan of Organization.
• Here is the ADP’s Plan of Organization.

The Party Plan is basically the rules by which the Party goes about its business. The ADP’s Plan is revised and adopted at our biennial convention held in even years.

What does the Democratic Party believe in?
The Party Platform is what the Democratic Party stands for — the core principles the party believes in and fights for at the state and national level. See the DNC’s platform here, and the ADP’s current platform here.

The ADP has been working on revisions to the current Party Platform since our convention in May of 2016. We expect to adopt the new Platform at the ADP’s Statewide Central Committee (SCC) meeting January 28, 2017, in Juneau.

How are Democrats organized in Alaska?
Based upon the ADP’s Plan of Organization, we are organized with a Party Chair, Vice Chair, Regional Vice Chairs, Executive Committee, Statewide Central Committee, adjuncts, and districts.

ADP also has a small staff, including an Executive Director, Communications Director, Financial Director, data director, and operations manager.

You can find detailed information on all the Party positions, committees, and staff on the ADP’s website.

So that’s a “sky view” overview of the Democratic Party and how it’s organized. If you would like more detail or have questions, please email me.

Coming up: details on the Alaska Democratic Party’s parts and processes – and why the electorate should care.

Until next week,
Nancy Courtney
Chair, Tongass Democrats
(907) 321-2285

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