From the moment we assumed office at the close of the 2017 Convention, the statewide officers of the CDP have been working to implement the reforms we believe are essential to making our Party a strong and progressive California Democratic Party that defines the progressive agenda for America and leads the national resistance to Trump and Trumpism.
One of the most important elements of that work is the fact that, we as Democrats, need to have a thoughtful and consequential discussion about our clean money future. Our Party platform is clear: “California Democrats believe that a healthy democracy is based on free and fair elections,” including support for public financing of campaigns. As Senator Bernie Sanders, President Barack Obama and Governor Howard Dean have all demonstrated, it’s possible for campaigns that rely on clean money to be competitive and successful.
Just as importantly, their examples—particularly that of President Obama’s landslide victory in 2008—show clearly that voters are eager for leaders who will truly restore the health of our democracy by limiting the toxic and corrosive effect that massive spending has on campaigns and governing. As California Democrats, we have a responsibility to make sure that our Party’s practices and operations are consistent with our values and the values of everyday Democrats across California
To that end, we are proud to announce the creation of a task force, to be co-chaired by Vice Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall and Controller Dan Weitzman, to evaluate CDP fundraising with the aim of substantially increasing the amount of clean money donations we take in. This task force will include grassroots activists, local Party leaders, labor union members, elected officials and institutional donors. It will take a global approach to evaluating our fundraising, as well as state and local laws and best practices, and will develop a set of recommendations for how we can strengthen our commitment to clean money by bringing in the kinds of clean money contributions that help ensure fair and competitive elections.
We anticipate the task force will make its recommendations within a year, and we aim to announce the full membership of the Task Force shortly. This is a crucial component of our reform agenda. We’ve already implemented a shared governance model of decision making where the statewide officers collaborate together on setting policy and direction for the CDP. We’ve flattened and modernized the Party’s operations where the statewide officers and staff work as a team. We worked together on standing committee appointments, and put together a committee roster that is majority woman, majority people of color, and almost 50 percent brand new committee members.
This task force is the next crucial piece of implementing our reform agenda, and now we look forward to the result of its deliberations.
Eric C. Bauman, Chair