Diaz: The Party of The People Slate, A New Twist On Party Participation

The Party of the People Slate is a group of 27 progressive humanitarian Democrats running for seats on the county central committee and are on the March 3, 2020 Democratic primary ballot.

In the past, many Central Committee candidates have won a seat on the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee simply by placing their name on the ballot. Some won their seats by default because others had no interest or adequate information about the central committee’s role in the county. Fast forward to a county that has claimed to flip from red to blue, yet the struggle continues in our local municipalities that are primarily controlled by Republicans; thereby, making it more accurately a purple county.

The uproar after the 2016 election was felt across the world, but more so in our communities. One can argue the activists who pounded the pavement gained much of the changes we see in the county today. While the local Democratic Party has been holding space in our county by many dedicated members, the wave of interest has taken many by surprise. Today we are not only fighting for equity in our government seats, but for seats at the house of the Democratic Party Central Committee, hence here we are: The Party of the People Slate – a county wide group of organizers taking their experience with working in their communities and using that voice to make a difference. The Democratic Party Central Committee is the “governing body of the County Democratic Party” and is tasked with the County’s Party’s general business, approves its budgets, coordinates Democratic campaign activity, and endorses candidates for local offices” (Central Committee Members).

The Democratic Party is commonly known for its inclusivity; however, many who long to be part of the local Democratic Party in a decision-making capacity struggle to see how they can beat those who have created a pipeline through their previous position or by obtaining endorsements from elected officials at all levels. In addition, the incumbents’ access to money, resources, and connections often dissuade those who would need to use their sweat equity to seek a more active position.

The Democratic Party platform has been progressive, waiting for the party to reach its potential. The slates did not form to exclude or to create competition, rather the slates formed to create a cooperative environment and a new way to campaign. A collaborative campaign that seeks to work together — committed both in the platform and the sweat equity needed to move forward as a team. The slate has a vision where we move away from how “things have always been done” to doing things that need to be done today, for today. We do not seek endorsements that can change overnight, instead we seek a commitment to the vision that we can continue to develop as a party and to the spark that is required to sustain the fire in our bellies. Rather than “calling out,” our slate “calls in” our fellow Democrats when straying from the values that unite us in the work. We will also apply the same ethic of care when “calling in” our members in this slate. We are first and foremost humanitarians who believe in people over politics.

The Party of the People Slate is challenging the narrative that slates create division. Any division in the Democratic Party has existed, and will continue to exist, until we come together with a common vision, through a bold process, and by electing the people who will commit to working for our communities and with our communities. Holding a position as a central committee member is a privilege. We want to stay away from being the “most” of anything (e.g. most progressive, most diverse etc.). The slate is not seeking to take anything from the party, instead the slate is aching to add to the party. In any organization, change is difficult.

Our slate is composed of many educators, business backgrounds, organizers, volunteers, and two recently named in the OC Register as two of “The 100 Most Influential People in Orange County” 2019. So why come together? Because the pedagogy we have embodied in our schools, organizations, and communities makes for a unique perspective that can only add a much-needed boost to our party. The Party of the People Slate is not here to highlight what is missing, rather to outline what we have to offer. Together we can contribute knowing we continue to support our platform, our communities, and the work we intend to focus on regardless of the outcome of the election. We are here to work, by honoring the work that has been done to get us here by many in the party, and by asking that room be made for our slate to work with and not in isolation of the Party. We believe in the Democratic Party and commit to furthering our name and values so we may continue to experience the rising of the tide together.

Because we can – The Party of The People Slate.

Vote for the following candidates in your Assembly District

Yenni Diaz, is a community organizer with over 10 years of experience living in Santa Ana. As an immigrant woman, Yenni has dedicated herself to improving her community through her involvement with civic engagement through grassroots organizations, non-profits, and cultural events. Currently she is a AD 69th Delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC), member of the Anaheim Dem Club, and an Associate Member of the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC).

 

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