The Electoral Committee oversees the chapter endorsement process and campaigns for endorsed candidates. It is currently working with the Steering Committee to develop the structure of elected official engagement and accountability. Everyone is welcome to our regular monthly meetings the first Sunday of every month at 2PM. This process only happens because members make it happen, and we are looking for more volunteers to pitch in.
The Electoral Committee started the year by preparing the endorsement process for the state legislature. This included updating our questionnaire, soliciting member questions, promoting and running the endorsement meeting, communicating with campaigns, and responding to urgent developments. As the process ended, we received votes from 220 chapter members and made four endorsements for the Minnesota state legislature.
And we have more in this process to come. We have received additional applications from candidates seeking our endorsement. We will give membership the opportunity to evaluate and discuss these applicants. The aim is for our endorsements to be made deliberately and our resources directed effectively.
Then the efforts to get them elected begin. All of our endorsees are seeking DFL backing, which is frequently the most consequential factor in their electoral districts. To this end, we have robust communications including phone banking, text banking, and informational emails to let members know how to support DSA endorsed candidates at caucuses and conventions.
Significant changes occurred in caucus rules this year; most units held contactless caucuses and a rule change allowed people who may not be eligible to vote to participate in the caucus process. With DFL Senate District conventions scheduled for April 9th, we will be coordinating with members who signed up once delegate assignments are announced.
While we take advantage of these structures to advance our candidates, we do not limit our efforts to the DFL. We will relaunch our campaign operations, building on past door knocking programs. We hope to introduce new members to campaigning, develop new campaign programs, and develop members’ organizing abilities.
We are not just focused on elections. In addition to our first round endorsements for 2022, the Electoral Committee, in conjunction with the Steering Committee, is developing a system of engagement and accountability with elected officials. With this system we hope to foster an ongoing structure for communications between the whole chapter and its elected officials. To maintain this relationship beyond the effort we put toward getting candidates elected, we must build channels for engagement and accountability which break away from the traditional dynamic of disconnection between elected officials and the people they sought to represent.
by Tim H.