REPORT ON PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRATIC STATE COMMITTEE MEETING SEPTEMBER 7 & 8, 2018
All caucuses and the General meeting were held at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg. For State Committee members from Chesco and links, see here.
On Friday, 9/7/2018, in the late morning and afternoon, there were presentations called “Deminars” covering issues such as:
-Looking Ahead – Petitions
-Q & A for New County Chairs and Members
-Harrisburg Fall 2018 Update
-Media Relations 101
In the afternoon, there were caucus meetings for the following:
-Regional and Constituency Caucus Chairs
On Friday evening, there were a candidate Bake-off, a thank you Reception hosted by Gov. Wolf, and the Fall Dinner. Congressman Hakeem Jefferies was the Keynote speaker. This was followed by an After Dinner Reception hosted by the PA Young Dems.
On Saturday, 9/8/2018, in the morning there were caucus meetings for the following:
-PA Young Democrats
In the late morning there were geographical caucuses where the elected and appointed delegates met by region. There are eight Regional Caucuses. Chester County is part of the largest Caucus, the South East Caucus, which includes Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Lehigh Counties.
During this Caucus meeting, it was announced that there is a Harassment Resolution currently being developed by the Rules Caucus to be voted upon at a future State Committee meeting.
The floor was then opened to discussion on the status of the Coordinated Campaigns in the Counties. From the floor it was raised that the efforts and targets of the Coordinated Campaign do not align with the priorities and targets of the individual PA House Campaigns in Chester County and conflicts were developing. A delegate from Lehigh County said they had similar issues but through meetings with the Coordinated Campaign and HDCC they were able to get them to expand their voter outreach universe. As a result they have been successful in executing a consensus plan, which included splitting voter outreach target lists. More discussion followed.
Following this, there was a lively debate on whether and when the State Committee should make statewide candidate endorsements. Pennsylvania is one of the few states in the country that do make endorsements before the primary. Those in favor of making pre-primary endorsements felt the State Committee should give direction to the voting public by virtue of having the most knowledge and having vetted potential candidates. Those opposed felt a primary process without PA Dem endorsements would be more democratic, involve more people, generate more debate and energy in the primary and thereby get more people out to vote. No resolution was proposed and no decision was made.
At 12 noon, the PA State Committee Meeting was opened. There were 246 delegates and proxies present, achieving a quorum, which required 185.
After the Pledge, Invocation and In Memories were conducted, the minutes of the last meeting and treasurer’s report were read and accepted.
Committee reports followed from several Caucuses including: Voter Outreach, Rules, By Laws, Women’s, and Chair report. Nancy Wills, the new PA State Chair, declared Pennsylvania to be “Ground Zero” in the Nation. The DNC Caucus reported that there have been several reforms adopted, including that the Superdelegates will not have a vote on the first ballot at the National Conventions held every four years. Only those who have been elected as DNC delegates will have a first round vote. Also, the Caucuses of the DNC will be more inclusive and transparent in an effort to open up the party to a larger base.
There was a video presentation by Senator Bob Casey on the importance of this upcoming election.
The meeting was adjourned.
John Hellmann III