Chair’s Corner: What is the Statewide Central Committee?

As I shared in my last post, the Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) is organized by its Plan of Organization (aka “Party Plan”), adopted at the 2016 State Convention. Today I’ll explain ADP’s organizational structure and how the Tongass Democrats operate within it.

The ADP’s Statewide Central Committee (SCC) is the Party’s governing body between biennial State conventions; the next meeting is here in Juneau at the end of the month.

The SCC has 172 members:

  • State Chair
  • Immediate Past Chair
  • Regional Vice-Chairs (14 total)
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Finance Committee Chair
  • National Committeeman & National Committeewoman (2)
  • Three representatives from each Tier Three Political Subdivision: House District Chairs, District SCC members, and District Young Democrats (120 total)
  • Two representatives from each Tier Two Political Subdivision (24 total)
  • One representative from each Tier One Adjunct Organization (4 total)
  • At large members if needed to achieve gender balance (currently 3 total)

The Party Plan details SCC member types, why they exist, and their rights and duties.

What are the “Tiers” and “Regions”?
Regions refer to where you live, and Tiers refer to how you are organized. Having multiple layers ensures House districts and geographical Regions are equally represented on the SCC.

So, in addition to its statewide elected leadership, the SCC is made up of members categorized into three “Tiers”:

  • Tier 1 members are the issues caucuses created by the ADP: LGBTQ, Military Veterans & Families, Alaska Native, and Labor. These caucuses do not raise money, and each elects one member to serve on the SCC.
  • Tier 2 organizations are the official Party subsets (adjuncts) with authority to raise money. Currently there are 12 Tier 2 organizations, including the Tongass Democrats. Tier 2 organizations elect two members to serve on the SCC.
  • Tier 3 members include the three locally elected members from each of Alaska’s 40 House districts – District Chair, SCC Member, and Young Democrat (under age 36).

The ADP also recognizes six regions in Alaska. Each region except Anchorage elects two Regional Vice Chairs to serve on the SCC. Because of its population, the Anchorage Region elects four Regional Vice Chairs.

How do the Tongass Democrats fit into this structure?
This is where you need to know some history.

  • Way back when, Juneau had two House districts, 3 and 4. The Juneau Democrats voted to unify the two House districts into the Greater Juneau Democratic District and became recognized as an official adjunct (subgroup) of the ADP.
  • In 2012, the original State redistricting plan created House Districts 33 and 34, which at that time included Gustavus, Haines, Juneau, Klukwan, Petersburg and Skagway.
  • Because the newly created House districts encompassed more than Juneau, the Greater Juneau Democratic District changed its name to the Tongass Democrats to better represent the new House Districts 33 and 34 and the communities the northern Southeast communities we represent.
  • Then, in 2013, the State adopted a revised final redistricting plan and House Districts 33 and 34 were reconfigured to include Excursion Inlet, Gustavus, Haines, Juneau, Klukwan, and Skagway.

Since each House district has three SCC members, and each adjunct has two, the Tongass Democrats have eight members serving on the SCC: three for House District 33, three for House District 34, and two for the Tongass Democrats adjunct.

Plus, the Southeast Region has two Regional Vice Chairs on the SCC. Elected at the State Convention in May 2016, both Southeast Regional Vice Chairs currently reside in House District 34. So the Tongass Democrats are afforded the great opportunity to have 10 SCC members residing in our unified district.

Wow, that’s a lot of information!

I had planned to explain why all of this is important to you in this post, but I think I’ll save that info for next week.

Then you’ll be up to speed on the party’s purpose, structure, and processes just in time for the after-the-meeting results post following our SCC meeting January 27-29 in Juneau.

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

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