The Democratic Party Structure
The Structure of the Democratic Party goes from the neighborhood Precinct up to the Democratic National Committee. Here is how they are connected together.
The Democratic Party is organized first at the precinct level. In Washington, those voting precincts average between 300 and 600 registered voters. The responsible party official is the PCO. The sections of state law describing eligibility for and election of PCO's are found in the section "The Precinct Committee Officer".
Each Legislative District is composed of many precincts and has an organization composed of elected and appointed Precinct Committee Officers. Some Legislative Districts have created associate (dues paying) members with voting privileges. Associate member's voting privileges are limited to the legislative district level, and do not extend to the county level.
Only elected PCO's elect Legislative District officers, representatives to the County Central Committee Executive Board, and to the State Central Committee, at the reorganization meeting.
Most district meetings are held montly. These meetings are scheduled for the purpose of sharing information about District, County and State Democratic Party matters, as well as current issues and candidates. Calls to such meetings are dictated by the bylaws of the organization, but often come in a montly newsletter published by the Party organization.
What do they do? The Legislative District Organization is primarily responsible for recruting, training, helping to finance, and delivering volunteers for campaigns for the State House and State Senate. Many also assist in organizing their district for federal, state, county and local office.
At the next level is the County Central Committee, made up of all PCOs in the County and county elected officers. In the more populated counties, the County organization's business is conducted by an executive board made up of elected officers and representatives of the Legislative District organizations contained within it.
Most County Central Committees meet on a quarterly basis. The executive board generally meets monthly. One of the most important functions of the county organization is to fill vacancies on the party ticket as outlined in the section "Your Role as a Member of the County Central Committee".
What do they do? The County Organization is primarily responsible for recruiting, training, helping to finance, and delivering volunteers for campaigns for County offices. Many also assist in organizing their county for federal, state and local office.
At the state level is the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. This is the statewide umbrella organization for the Democratic Party. At the present time, two representatives, one male and one female, are elected by the PCO's from each County and Legislative District at the reorganization meeting. The State Central Committee is presided over by a chairperson and other officers elected by those representatives.
What do they do? In addition to setting the tone for the Party for the state, the WSDCC assists county and district party organizations in recruiting, training and financing campaigns for state legislative and county office. The State Party takes the lead on recruting and assisting Democratic candidates for federal and statewide office.
At the national level is the Democratic National Committee. The DNC is composed of members (National Committee people) elected from each of the states. The DNC is presided over by a chairperson and other officers elected by its members. Four National Committeepeople (two men and two women) from Washington are elected in Presidential election years by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee to serve four year terms. The State Party Chair and vice chair are also members of the DNC.
What do they do? The DNC is the leader in setting the Democratic agenda for the nation and supporting the President when he/she is a Democrat, and leading the opposition when Republicans control the White House.
All terms of office, from PCO to State Party Chair, are for two years. In November of each even-numbered year, PCO elections are held. The following December and January, the reorganization process begins. This process includes:
This document was transcribed for the Web in June, 2003 by Chad Lupkes, a volunteer in Precinct SEA 46-2324