There are many ways to get involved with your local Democratic party.
Plenty of Opportunities to:
Become AN ELECTED OFFICIAL: Run on the 2018 ballot for Precinct Committeeman (Read the FAQ below “Being a Precinct Rep”). Here is the sign up to and attend one of our monthly trainings.
LIKE TO GET INVOLVED EVEN IF YOU AREN’T YET OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE? To apply, please write to email@example.com subject line YOUTH INVOLVEMENT. All young people are welcome to add their special POV and energy to what we do.
ORGANIZE FUNDRAISING EVENTS and drives and/or support us financially
ATTEND MEETINGS AND EVENTS: Dress up for our Annual Gala (every April), get some sunshine at our Visibility Picnic each August, join the Golf Outing in September or come to our Holiday Parties each December… or come to them all! (We also have many other festive and informative events each year at the township level.)
PHONE BANK FOR DEMOCRATIC CAUSES AND CANDIDATES!
Want more info: write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-629-1125
Represent your Precinct: Become a Precinct Committeeperson (PC for short, legally called “Committeeman”)
For many, the first step to becoming an elected official is running for Precinct Committeeperson, PC for short. PC’s are elected officials and are vital to their fellow candidates running for Public Office. Elected PC’s serve a two year term and make up the Central Committee of the County Party and vote on all major decisions. The DuPage Elections Committee describes the role of PC as follows:
The grass roots and foundation of the political parties are its precinct committeemen. They serve as the foot soldiers to the most fundamental political unit of government, the precinct. The precinct committeeman helps shape party policy and participates in the selection process of candidates. A precinct committeeman is elected to a two-year term in the even-year primary elections.
In our PC orientation, we cover exactly how you can
Expectations of a Precinct Committee Representative (“PC”) followed by some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :
- Represent the party’s voters at the county central committee convention to elect the county central chairman and its officers. The precinct committeeman casts a total number of party votes, (weighted vote), as cast in the precinct at the recent primary election
- Become a voter registrar and register all qualified constituents
- Appoint and fill vacancies of election judges for the precinct polling place
- Provide candidate and election information to the voters
- Circulate petitions for candidates prior to the primary election
- Become familiar with the elected officials and legislatures so the concerns of the voters can be passed on to them.
- Attend and become involved in the party’s Township meetings in one of the nine townships in which you live
If you have questions not answered by the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below, or are ready to start the process to become a Precinct Commiteeperson (legally committee”man”) then contact us here (subject line: “I want to be a PC” or “PC Question”)
FAQ on Being A Precinct Rep
1. What is a Precinct Committee “man”?
A Precinct Committeeman (the legal term for the office) is the main liaison and relationship builder between the party and the voters in that precinct and thus one of the most vital links in the voting chain.
2. How do I become a PC?
In short, the two ways in which one becomes a PC are:
A) Being elected — The best way to become a PC is to be elected in the primary by collecting 20-30 signatures of Democratic voters in your precinct and then appearing on the ballot like other candidates. You must be a registered voter in that precinct. We will give you instructions.
B) Getting appointed–In precincts in which no one is elected, the chair of the county party organization may appoint someone to serve until the next primary; such appointees need not live in their precincts but must live in the township. We will be happy to help you determine your status in this regard.
3. What if there’s already a PC in my precinct?
If there is an existing committee member in your precinct, you have a few options. You can get on the ballot for the next election to run against that person, but we would only recommend doing this if you feel that the current person isn’t doing an effective job. Alternatively, you can volunteer to assist the current committee person in your own precinct, thus doubling his or her effectiveness, or you can be appointed to “loop,” i.e. work a different precinct that doesn’t have an elected committee member. Neither of these last two options will allow you to vote for party leadership, appoint election judges, etc., but you will be doing the important work of helping to elect Democrats.
4. What are the primary responsibilities?
PCs are relationship managers in their precincts. This means convincing voters to go to the polls and support good Democratic candidates, and listening to their concerns so that they can be conveyed to candidates and party leaders. There are various means through which PCs support candidates: meeting voters door-to-door, sending out letters or postcards, making phone calls, or hosting neighborhood get-togethers at their homes or nearby public places.
5. How much time will it take?
A PC should walk his or her precinct once or twice per election but also, in off-year times, be making connections with neighbors as often as possible. Walking a precinct takes six to eight hours but connecting with people all year round means you can substantially increase your outreach by recruiting block captains in your precinct; see #6..
6. Will I be working alone?
Hopefully you won’t. The most effective PCs are usually those who have recruited extra volunteers to help.
Larry Quick of the Quick ‘n Clean Foundation has put together a plan for building dynamic precinct organizations. CLICK HERE
7. Why are PCs important?
The precinct committee person is vital in getting local Democrats elected to office.
Besides working their precincts, Democratic PCs vote to elect the leadership of the county and township Democratic organizations. This is important because the performance and credibility of the party leadership has a huge impact on whether Democrats get elected and respected. Elected PCs may also nominate election judges in their precincts which makes working in the polls and servicing our voters a smoother process..
8. Is there any kind of training?
Yes, we offer both an Orientation and a field training. As a matter of fact, its really important that you attend both so that you can feel comfortable and efficient in your new role as Democratic Neighborhood Representative.
9. How long is a PC term?
Elected PCs serve for two years. Appointed PCs serve until the next election; they may then be re-appointed anytime after the county party convention (the next one is April 12, 2018) at which the party officers are elected.
10. Why the gender-biased terminology?
“Precinct committeeman” is the official name for the position, as defined by Illinois state law. Some people are working to change the name to something that isn’t gender-biased, but until this can be accomplished “precinct committeeman” is the legal name. We prefer to insert the term Representative or Captain and you may do the same!