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What Is the LA County Central Committee and Why Should You Care?

I get asked this question every time I tell someone new I’m running for office.

So, let’s start with the basics.  

What is the LA County Central Committee? 

In my opinion, it’s an intentionally confusing way to say LA County Democratic Party. That’s what it should really say on our ballots, but it doesn’t. It says “Member, County Central Committee” and so many people often times just skip over that section of their ballot unaware of the importance of this position. 

This has allowed the status-quo to control the Democratic Party for decades. I think if the position were listed as a Delegate in the LA County Democratic Party a lot more people would take time to research candidates and cast informed votes AND actually run for the position themselves.

Have you ever wondered why the LA County Democratic Party did or didn’t endorse someone or take a certain position on an important issue?

The people who function essentially as the Board of Directors for the LA County Democratic Party are known as County Central Committee Members (Delegates) and they are elected by a vote of the People.

Every four years 7 people are elected at-large by Democratic voters in each of LA County’s 24 Assembly districts. Those people become Delegates in the LA County Democratic Party and get to vote on who gets the endorsement of the Party, what issues the Party takes up, what the position of the Party is on any given issue, and support for Party endorsed candidates among other things.

For example, no matter where you stand on the war (pick one), if you are a Democrat, you know that the Democratic Party has been known to take a position on conflicts outside of the US. Well, the only people who get to decide on what that official position is, usually through a resolution, are the Delegates elected. This happens at the local, state and national levels. Being a registered Democrat doesn’t give you a vote. The Delegates vote for you, so it’s important to choose wisely. It’s important to choose Delegates whose values and views align closest with yours.

A good example I always like to share is how long it took the Democratic Party to finally come out against former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Delegates in the Party, including myself, tried to get a resolution passed calling on Villanueva to resign in 2020 and it failed. It would be another two years before enough Delegates had changed their position on Villanueva to get a resolution passed. But by then, irreparable damage had already been inflicted on the community under Villanueva’s version of leadership and we’re still dealing with the effects of his administration.

What Do County Central Committee Members Do?

Below is a short list of some of the important work that County Central Committee Members do:


County Central Committee Members take positions on candidates and ballot-measures at the county and city level, including nonpartisan contests. 


County Central Committee Members take nonbinding positions on issues of relevance to the Party in the form of resolutions. These actions signal the body’s consensus opinion to our Party’s elected officials, who often may choose to allow the issue to take shape in the form of actual legislation. 


Proposition 34 gives the County Central Committees special authority to raise contributions for Democratic candidates and causes. The Party hosts a number of annual banquets and serve as a conduit for individuals and organizations seeking to help like-minded candidates.

Voter Communication

The County Central Committee has the authority to purchase an official ballot statement or to utilize the Registrar’s voter index to communicate directly with the electorate.

Party-Building Activity

County Central Committee have the ongoing responsibility of communicating important policy issues to the electorate and continuing to add new registered voters to the Party. 

State Central Committee and State Executive Board

The County Central Committee selects members to represent it at higher levels of Party leadership, such as the State Central Committee and State Executive Board, which, in turn, has the important responsibility of producing a biennial Party Platform and selecting members to the Democratic National Committee, among other things.

Election Conduct

The Democratic Party has standing to enforce challenges to election-related conduct that would detriment one of our Party’s nominees.

Electoral Continuity

Should there ever be a vacancy by the party nominee that occurs after a primary but before a general election, state law specifically delegates the responsibility for selecting a replacement candidate to the county and state central committees of each party. This contingency occurs highly infrequently, however is most likely the primary rationale for our existence as a formal institution. Thus, your vote for County Central Committee is principally a means of indirect representation into this process.

How Do County Central Committee Members Get Elected?

How Are County Central Committee Members elected?

County Central Committee Members are elected just like everyone else.  The only difference is that only registered Democrats in their State Assembly District can vote for them. This means, that the Assembly District you live in will dictate the County Central Committee Members who you can vote for to represent you. 

Only the top seven vote getters will be elected from each Assembly District.

Only registered Democrats can vote for County Central Committee Members to be elected to their county Democratic Party.

How much do County Central Committee Members get paid?

There is no compensation for this elected office and the Members volunteer their time to help run the Party.

Voting as an Independent

If you are registered as an “American Independent” thinking that you are registered as an independent, decline to state”or more accurately a “no party preference” voter–you might want to re-register to vote

In California, the American Independent Party is a far-right political party established in 1967 best known for its nomination of former Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who carried five states in the 1968 presidential election running on a segregationist “law and order” platform against Richard M. Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey. The party split in 1976 into the modern American Independent Party and the American Party. From 1992 until 2008, the party was the California affiliate of the national Constitution Party. Its exit from the Constitution Party led to a leadership dispute during the 2016 election.

Maybe more importantly, the American Independent Party according to their platform, believes marriage is between a man and women, is against illegal immigration and supports secure borders and are pro -life.

You’d be surprised at how many people in California are mistakenly registered as American Independents.

The more you know…


Sources: Smart Voter, LACDP

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