HCYD Urge Reform of FDP Voting to Conform with DNC Recommendations
Hillsborough County Young Democrats (HCYD) wish to congratulate Terrie Rizzo on her election as the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) chair! HCYD look forward to having her continue building the party and growing engagement of Democrats as we all prepare for the 2018 elections. As FDP continues working to get Democrats elected in 2018, we should improve our current procedures and processes to ensure that the party functions to its greatest potential. When evaluating the election of the FDP chair, along with the election of Democratic National Committee (DNC) delegates, HCYD believe updates to the voting structure could increase representation of currently underrepresented demographics and views. In particular, younger Democrats have the potential to offer a valuable perspective as Florida Democrats choose our FDP chair, DNC delegates, and the direction of the party.
In the current FDP Charter and Bylaws, the election of the FDP chair and DNC delegates are determined by votes at the State Executive Committee. This committee is made up of the state committeemen and committeewomen from all of the counties, elected Democratic Party leadership, and additional representatives from elected officials from the Democratic Party. Currently, most votes within the State Executive Committee are held by county committeewomen and committeemen. These committee members hold a number of votes determined by weighting the number of Democrats within each county. The weighted vote is split equally between the committeeman and committeewoman from each county. HCYD appreciate that counties like Hillsborough, which have a large number of Democrats, contribute a representative number of votes in important matters of the State Executive Committee like the election of FDP chair and DNC delegates. However, in an increasingly diverse county like Hillsborough, the way that these votes are cast concentrates the county’s entire voting power into two individuals. Limiting the number of people who hold these votes reduces the number of people who can provide input in important elections and party business. This leads to a “significant underrepresentation of Hispanics and youth,” as stated by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, when compared to the overall Democratic electorate of Florida.
This underrepresentation of minority populations and younger Democrats compels HCYD to release the following resolution. HCYD support moving to a proposed system that has been labeled “one person, one vote.” Under this structure, the weighted votes of each county would not be held by only two people, but would be shared among additional elected committeemen and committeewomen. This change will provide more opportunities for underrepresented minorities and younger Democrats to voice their opinions within the State Executive Committee. HCYD hope that the new FDP administration will take input from all generations of Democrats by prioritizing amending the FDP charter and bylaws.