CCC & Ward Elections
Why Become a Ward Leader or County Central Committee Member?
Democrats were amazingly successful in the past two election cycles: We turned out to vote in record numbers, and Santa Fe County Democratic turnout helped drive wins at the federal, state, and local levels.
Now, in 2021, there is more work to be done. We must fill Ward Chair and County Central Committee (CCC) positions with energetic people who will become strong grassroots leaders. We must start preparing NOW for the critically important 2022 mid-term elections.
Santa Fe County’s Democratic Party ward elections will be held Feb. 13th to 21st, and our CCC Meeting takes place on March 13th at 11 AM. All meetings will be virtual, with electronic voting.
Here’s some information on the organization of the Democratic Party of Santa Fe County (DPSFC), and the types of roles to be filled.
What is a Ward?
A ward is a collection of neighboring precincts — essentially, a “community of communities.” Santa Fe County has 21 wards, each made up of about 5-10 precincts.
Wards provide an organizational structure to help Democrats in the county coordinate and collaborate, in order to build the party. Every two years, (in odd-numbered years – 2021, 2023, etc.), ward officers are elected by the Democrats who show up for each ward meeting. These ward officers are the Chair and Vice Chair, and possibly others (some wards choose to have a Secretary, Treasurer, or other officers). Ward leaders help organize activities and do outreach in their wards.
Ward activities are up to the members of the individual wards. Some wards have regular meetings on various issues. Some organize events (e.g. a summer BBQ or neighborhood clean-up), and some are involved in voter registration and door-to-door canvassing. They should also facilitate regular communication with the Democrats in their ward.
The Ward Chair is an automatic member of the County Central Committee (the CCC). Both the Chair and the Vice Chair are members of the County Executive Committee, which meets monthly to direct the day-to-day operations of the county party.
What is the County Central Committee?
The County Central Committee (CCC) is the governing body of the DPSFC. It typically meets once or twice a year. CCC members are elected in the ward meetings. The number of CCC members from each ward is based on the number of votes cast for Democrats in the ward in the most recent elections. (After the ward meeting election, and before the CCC meeting, Ward Chairs can appoint CCC members to any unfilled positions.)
This year, the new CCC will meet on March 13. At that time, the CCC will elect new County Officers (Chair and two Vice Chairs), adopt rule changes, and elect members of the State Central Committee (SCC). The DPSFC will elect 58 members to the SCC, including the County Chair and First Vice Chair. CCC members represent Democrats in their ward, so their votes are not secret (since party members are entitled to know how they voted). There may sometimes be other business for the CCC. For example, this last summer CCC members in NM House District 48 chose the new Democratic candidate for HD48 in the fall election, after the candidate selected in the June primary resigned before the general election.
What is the State Central Committee?
The State Central Committee (SCC) is governing body of the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM). It elects the State Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, two additional representatives to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and party committee members. The SCC takes final votes on party rules and platforms. There may sometimes be other business for the SCC. For example, SCC members in CD-1 will choose the new Democratic candidate to replace Rep. Deb Haaland on the ballot, after she formally resigns from her position to become Secretary of the Interior.