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We’re excited to share more of the California Democratic Party’s work under Chairman Burton from 2009-2017: The Burton Legacy: Empower the Grassroots, Build for the Future. You can view the full report here, and this second message will highlight the section on “Rebuilding Trust: Transparency & Accountability.”


When Chairman John Burton ran for office in 2009, the one thing we heard repeatedly at every grassroots event was: communicate with us. So we did.

Rebuilding voter trust in the California Democratic Party through transparency and accountability is central to Chairman Burton’s legacy as California became a leader in progressive electoral success and grassroots activism.

Here are some of the ways Chairman Burton has restored trust in our party through increased transparency and accountability over the last eight years:

  • CDP Leadership Organizing Calls: Monthly calls with Statewide Officers, Regional Directors, Caucus Chairs, and County Committee Chairs with staff from all departments on hand to answer questions and receive feedback.
  • Election Organizing Calls: During election season, we hosted at least two monthly organizing calls in addition to the regular call.
  • Resolutions Transparency: Instead of a paper system for submitting resolutions, we democratized the process by creating a webpage with all committee rules and regulations, as well as an online form for submission.
  • Committee Appointments: Instead of an insider process for committee appointments, we created an online form for members to request appointment, and included specific answers for diversity and home residence, so we could make committees as diverse as possible.
  • Tips and Tools for County Chairs: Regularly emailed e-newsletter with essential information for County Chairs and officers.
  • County Chairs Dropbox: To help County Chairs keep up with current information on party activities, filing deadlines and more, we created a County Chairs Dropbox. This was less expensive, more timely and more accessible for Chairs, as well as providing an online Bookkeeping Best Practices Manual.
  • Revamped the CDP Website: Allowing for easier staff access and an understanding of where to get answers, as well as providing a CDP Menu of Services for County Chairs and activists.
  • Answering Questions: At every meeting, CDP Controller Hilary Crosby held an open Q&A with the membership for financial transparency questions.
  • Level the Playing Field: To ensure fairness, Chairman Burton instituted a party policy not to donate to candidates who are not yet endorsed for the position which they seek, and not to donate in support or opposition of state measures unless the membership has endorsed the corresponding position on it.
  • Convention Accessibility: CDP general session is always captioned and includes sign-language interpretation; all speeches added to our YouTube site.
  • Reporting our Achievements: After each election, we produced a report on our work for increased transparency, available at


As we approach our convention, we’ll be sending messages on Boosting Our Field Advantage, Rebuilding and Amplifying Our Communications, Fiscal Stewardship: A Sustainable Future, and Proof is in the Pudding: Election & Policy Success.

Thank you for being a California Democrat,

Angie Tate
Chief Financial Officer
California Democratic Party