Democratic Machine Exposed

When I’m on State Street at the Coffee Bean, people ask me about local Democratic Party organizational politics. Specifically they want to know who makes up the Democratic Central Committee, how’s that decided, and how it works. I respond with an explanation of the body structure and an invitation to join.

The Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee is made up 37 members. There are three types of members: elected, appointed, and club representatives. Elected members (one per every 10,000 registered Democrats in the county) are elected by supervisorial district. Appointed members are appointed by the region’s Democratic elected officials and candidates. Lastly, there are club representatives that have the vote of their clubs, which include the following: LatiDems (Latino Democratic Caucus of Santa Barbara County), Campus Democrats at UCSB, Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara, Democratic Service Club, Democratic Club of the Santa Maria Valley, Lompoc Valley Democratic Club, Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, and Santa Ynez Valley Democratic Organization.

The Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee recruits and endorses candidates for everything from special districts to congressional races, and raises funds to run campaigns supporting the candidates that we believe will carry the values of this body forward, in decisions that impact all of us. Our values are the backbone of our party platform, and they guide the advocacy work that this party does. If they’re not already engaged with our Labor Day picnic, Roosevelt-Hamer Dinner, or campaigns, voters usually encounter “the party” during election cycles or at voter registration events.

What makes our party strong are the people engaged with it.

As an elected member of the 1st District, I’m extending an invitation to any interested registered Democrat in the 1st District who wants to participate as my proxy in the in the April 4 meeting to contact me at


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