This past weekend, California Muslims made political history when 28 Muslim candidates were elected by Democrats as delegates and alternate delegates to the California Democratic Party (CDP). This constitutes the largest number of Muslims ever elected as delegates in California.
The CDP held statewide elections for delegates to represent each of the state’s 80 assembly districts.
This encouraging achievement was reached with the help of CAIR-CA PAC, an independent political organization. In an effort to promote American Muslim political engagement, CAIR-CA PAC closely worked with candidates and organized voters to support them.
Among the hundreds of other candidates, at least 36 California Muslims ran for delegate positions. Twenty-eight were elected (five as executive board members and two as alternate delegates), and eight lost their races. This is an incredible step for Muslims to become more involved in the political process and make a difference for the Muslim community and in their districts.
CAIR-CA PAC is proud of every candidate that ran whether they were elected or not, because it takes a lot of effort and commitment to present oneself as a candidate and run in a fairly competitive race.
The California Democratic Party is governed by the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) which has approximately 3000 delegates. Some delegates are appointed by elected officials, but about one third are elected every odd numbered year through elections divided by assembly district. Twelve individuals (six women and six men) from each assembly district are elected as delegates to serve a two year term to the DSCC.
An elected delegate is able to vote on candidate endorsements, help shape the platform of the CDP, approve the rules by which the CDP functions, vote on resolutions of concern to various communities, and choose CDP representatives to the Democratic National Party. Delegates are also responsible for attending the annual statewide convention.
Additionally, one representative from every 12 delegates is voted to the executive board. The executive board (E-Board) has all the duties and powers of the CDP when it is not in session (at the Democratic National Convention). E-Board members are required to attend three quarterly E-Board meetings each year, as well as the statewide convention.