Announcing the Start of the Ad Hoc Committee on ADEM Elections

The Assembly Delegate Election Meeting's (ADEM) election process can be one of the California Democratic Party's greatest assets in organizing the state and getting more activists involved in the Party.

Traditionally, the ADEM elections have been a less than robust process. In fact, statewide turnout in ADEM elections typically included no more than 12,000 voters. Starting in 2017, turnout increased exponentially with approximately 33,000 people voting, then again in 2019 with 41,000 people voting.

However, as more people became engaged in the ADEM process, several issues arose, including how elections are operated, how locations are selected, and the need for consistent staff and volunteer training -- these issues cannot be ignored.

As a result, I have created an Ad Hoc Committee on ADEM Elections to address these concerns and ensure this process is a true organizing opportunity for our Party. During the Executive Board meeting, I announced the Co-Chairs of the Committee, Ricardo Cisneros, Coby King, Lara Laramendi, and Emily Ward. I am happy to announce the rest of the committee today:

  • David Atkins, Santa Barbara
  • Sergio Carrillo, Los Angeles
  • Joe Cislowski, Los Angeles
  • Temika Cook, San Diego
  • Deborah Cunningham-Skurnik, Orange
  • Nicole Fernandez, San Mateo
  • Stephen Gale, Sonoma
  • Felipe Grimaldo Jimenez, Madera
  • Lauren Hernandez, El Dorado
  • Jim Hilfenhaus, Los Angeles
  • Deana Igelsrud, Los Angeles
  • Corey Jackson, Riverside
  • Mirvette Judeh, Orange
  • Olivia Lee, Los Angeles
  • Anna Molander, Sacramento
  • Linda Nearing, Orange
  • Margaret Okuzumi, Santa Clara
  • Scott Rafferty, Contra Costa
  • Patricia Sanders, Los Angeles
  • Robert Service, Humboldt
  • Michael Thaller, San Diego
  • Gracie Torres, Riverside
  • Keith Umemoto, Sacramento
  • Karen Wingard, Los Angeles
  • Manuel Zapata, San Joaquin

This Ad Hoc Committee has been created to address two specific issues within the ADEM election process. First, the Committee will review and address historic issues in the ADEM election process -- where the elections are held, how meetings are conducted, how voter verification are done, and how ballots are counted. Second, the Committee will look at how we can convert the ADEM election process from being a way to elect delegates to the Party into a process in which the Party engages Democrats across the state.

The Committee will provide the Chair at least three separate comprehensive proposals to address the charges above and which differ in the amount of financial resources dedicated to the election. To be clear, every new idea will be considered.

The Committee is to provide recommendations to the Chair no later than February 20, 2019.

The Ad Hoc Committee is going to need your help in its work to reform our ADEM Elections. Starting today through December 1st, the committee will accept testimony from delegates, activists, and all stakeholders in the ADEM election process. Please use this form to submit testimony to the committee, by submitting your ideas on what needs to be changed and how you think we can do it.

Since I was elected in June, I have been committed to addressing the most pressing issues our Party faces. This committee is a step toward strengthening our ADEM process and preparing for 2020. I look forward to continuing to do this important work with you all.

In Solidarity,

Rusty Hicks
California Democratic Party Chair

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