What are Democratic Committees and why are they important?
The committee members and leaders will decide who the party endorses or "designates" for local office. In the past, it's much more likely to win if you get the designation of the party, though there are notable exceptions such as Mayor Lovely Warren. If you think you want to try to get the designation, customarily you'll send each committee member a letter early in the year introducing yourself and why you are running. Then you try to get to know the leaders of the committees.
- There is a Democratic committee for each County Legislative District or LD.
- Rhe City of Rochester contains 7, 16 and 21-29 LDs and each have their own committee and leader.
- The role of the committee is to vote to endorse Democratic candidates.
- Some committee's vote counts more than others based on voter turnout in the LD.
- The members of the committees vote, but unless a candidate gets 51% of the vote, the final decision is made by the leader.
- The leader may be the County Legislator for the LD or not.
- The designation process generally runs from March to May. During this period, you'll go in front of "most" LDs to speak about why you are running and why you deserve their vote.
Joining a Committee
Joining an LD committee is really the first step of the designation process. There is a general feeling that if you are to be designated then you have to do the work and put in the time.
- You can join by talking to a leader of an LD. If it's after the September primaries, they can appoint you.
- Once on the committee, every June you'll have to get signatures on a petition to be on the ballot in September. The signatures must be from registered Democrates in the Electoral District (ED). The # of signatures you'll need varies depending on which ED you're in. An ED is made up of a few blocks within an LD and they all have the same polling place. I'll deal with petitions in another post. You'll have to do this to run for a higher office as well.
- You don't have to live in the LD to be appointed or to run, but you need to be served by the same Assembly District.
- Many committees meet monthly and have speakers and updates from elected officals on the committee. It depends on the LD.