In past years a turnout of maybe 200 or at most 300 hundred Democrats was the norm when it came time to vote for delegates to the California Democratic Party state central committee. This year, on January 7 and 8, spurred by Trump’s alarming victory and Bernie Sanders’ continuing mantra of building progressive leadership in the party through grassroots organizing, a record 2000 people voted in the three Assembly Districts that cover LA’s Eastside.
The power of community organizing was evident at this year’s state party elections. Members of East Area Progressive Democrats led sweeps of the local elections. Diverse teams of candidates in three Eastside districts of the State Assembly earned victories based on bringing progressive values and commitments to reform and revitalize the party to its key decision-making boards. They include districts:
- The 53rd (Boyle Heights-Downtown-Koreatown) that drew 500 voters;
- The 51st (Eagle Rock-Echo Park-East L.A.), with nearly 900 votes and;
- The 43rd (Silver Lake-Atwater-Glendale) with 600 voters.
Combined with a handful of victories by EAPD members in the adjoining 41st Assembly District (Pasadena-South Pasadena), a total of more than 40 EAPD club members earned seats on the Democratic State Central Committee.
“The new cast of delegates have the potential to shift the agenda within the party towards progressive leadership,” notes EAPD President Hans Johnson, “including by Latinos, women, and LGBT people. We are also likely to see greater receptivity in party for initiatives on youth involvement and grassroots participation.”
In his farewell speech, President Obama stressed the crucial element in moving forward: “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.”
Mary A Fischer