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Since I was elected DNC Chair in February 2017, my North Star has been making the Democratic Party more accountable to you — empowering grassroots supporters to take full ownership of this party.

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This has been a truly incredible year for the Democratic Party — and so I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally.

Since I was elected DNC Chair in February 2017, my North Star has been making the Democratic Party more accountable to you — empowering grassroots supporters to take full ownership of this party.

Much of that work has been around our presidential primary process — making it more transparent, fair, and inclusive. I believe that if we do that, we’ll put our party in the best possible position to take back the White House in 2020.

But so much of our progress has come from you holding up your end of the bargain. We’ve asked you — a lot — to donate to support the DNC, and you’ve come through. Most people don’t know this, but the majority of the DNC’s fundraising in 2017-18 came from donors giving $200 or less.

With your support, we enacted some of the strongest reforms to our party in decades — here are some of the ones I’m most proud of:

  • We took the historic step of reducing the influence that superdelegates have over our presidential nominating process. Now, superdelegates will refrain from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot, unless a candidate has already passed the threshold to secure the nomination. This change empowers the grassroots and respects the will of the voters.
  • The DNC voted to expand the use of primaries so that more people can participate in the presidential nomination process. Primaries are more accessible for many voters, including seniors, shift-workers, students, members of the military, parents of young children, and people with disabilities.
  • For states with caucuses, our reforms recommend that those states take steps to make their caucuses as accessible as possible, including offering absentee voting for voters who can’t make the caucus in person and implementing better processes for tracking ballots in case a recount is needed.
  • We’ve announced an initial framework for presidential primary debates in 2019 and 2020, which will help maximize viewership and allow our candidates to talk about our party’s values and ideas in front of as many voters as possible.
  • To accommodate a potentially large field, we’re taking two unprecedented steps for our first two debates:
  • We’re including grassroots fundraising as a qualifying criterion for debate participation, in addition to other objective measures that gauge candidate support such as polling.
  • In the event that the qualifying field of candidates requires these debates to be held over multiple nights, the lineup for each night will be determined at random, with qualifying candidates assigned one night per debate. The random selection of candidates will be done publicly.

These steps are a really big deal — they’re going to make our party more inclusive, and ultimately more successful. But we’ve still got a lot more work to do — this is just the beginning. So as we head into the new year, I’d love to hear what you think. I’ll ask you the same questions I’ve been asking all DNC staffers:

  • What do you think worked in 2018? What should we keep doing?
  • What do you think we can do a better job of moving forward?

Let me know what you think here — and don’t be shy, I have a pretty thick skin. Our team will go through all of your answers over the next few weeks, and your input will be really helpful as we continue to make our plans for the next two years.

Thank you so much for everything you’ve done over the past two years, Jeff — with your continued support, I’m confident we can take back the White House and win up and down the ticket in the years to come.

Happy New Year,


Tom Perez
Democratic National Committee



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