Membership in the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP)
Who is a member?
While anyone can attend WCDP functions and participate in events or actions it organizes, you become a full member, with voting privileges, by joining the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP). As a member of the MDP you have a vote and a voice in your County Party, your Congressional District, and at the State level. You can run for a delegate position in the State party, or to be a member of the Executive Boards or Committees of each of these groups.Join MDP
What does it cost?
While there are options as low as $4, and levels of support going up from there, it is in fact possible to join without contributing. Most people do contribute, though, knowing that they are funding an organization that makes a difference in their lives. The WCDP also depends on contributions to help fund its activities.
How does it work?
The national Democratic Party is built on a base of 50 State Party structures, that themselves repose on their County Parties. As a member of a County Party, you create and sustain an organization that has the potential to influence state and national legislation, to determine who will lead your State Party, and to mobilize voters for elections that will determine much of the shape of our lives.
A dynamic County Party such as ours engages in local grassroots organizing, through the various working groups and committees that it forms, and it also has the role of shaping the State Party through the election of delegates to State Conventions, where leadership is determined and resolutions are passed that will help to shape national platforms. Other delegates are elected on a Congressional District basis–another level of organization.
A quick explanation of Democratic Party structures, from the top down:
The Democratic Party is a national organization
It is run by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), whose members are elected every two years at State Party Conventions (The Spring Congressional District (CD) Convention)
The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) is a statewide entity
- It is run by the State Central Committee and an Executive Committee. The State Central Committee is also elected for two years at the Spring CD Convention, where everyone who has registered as a member of the MDP can vote. The voting is organized through Congressional Districts, which choose their representatives to the State Central. The Executive Committee is elected by the State Central, and includes the DNC members.
- Members can organize caucuses around issues that are important to them. If there are enough members, the caucus elects leadership, which participates in the organization and decisions of the MDP. Current active caucuses include the Progressive, Black, Environmental, and Disabilities Caucuses.
- The Fall CD Convention is where the Party chooses its nominees for a number of elected positions such as Lieutenant Governor, State Attorney General, and State Supreme Court, and adopts its platform; the Spring CD Convention chooses, as mentioned above, its internal committees as well as the State Chair and two Vice-chairs, and passes resolutions–its position statements on political issues.
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) is a County Party.
- It is run by an Executive Board, headed by a Chair and Vice-Chair, all volunteers, elected at a Fall County Convention, for two years.
- The Executive Board is composed of the heads of a number of working committees, who do the nitty-gritty work of organizing a small army of dedicated volunteers.
- Precinct delegates are elected representatives at the precinct level. These are also volunteers, who act as liasons between their neighborhoods and the Party, and can make a difference by organizing their precincts to increase voter and civic participation.
There are other Democratic groups who also do great work, informing and mobilizing their communities.
In Washtenaw County these include the:
These are less formal structures and do not play a formal role in determining the leadership and direction of the State Party.