Local Officer Elections & Call for Nominations Committee

It’s that time of year again — time to elect a brand new set of Local Officers — the DSA-LA Steering Committee and the YDSA Coordinator! But before we elect the Local Officers we need to elect a Nominations Committee. So we present:

THE CALL FOR NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE (NomCom)

Starting today, anyone can nominate themselves for the Nominations Committee, which consists of three members who will oversee the elections for Local Officers. The nomination period will run from September 28 (today!) to midnight on October 3. If you are interested in being on the nominations Committee click here to submit your candidacy no later than Midnight on October 3.

At the end of the six-day nominations period, the statements of those interested in serving on the committee will be put on the website and circulated to membership in a chapter-wide email with the call for members to vote.

Voting will close at midnight on October 8, and the Nominations Committee will be announced the following morning.

Steering elections have to close by November 22 (according to the one-year terms outlined in the bylaws), but we want to push the schedule up slightly so that the process is done before the Thanksgiving holidays kick in.

Here’s the timeline for NomCom:

September 28 (today) - nominations open
October 3 - nominations close at midnight
October 4 - voting opens
October 8 - voting closes at midnight

After the NomCom is elected, it’s their job to make the Local Officer elections happen. There are a lot of moving parts involved, so here’s a timeline that the Steering committee has outlined for the Local Officer elections:

October 12 - Nominations open
October 26 - Nominations close at midnight
October 27 - Deadline for candidates and members to pay dues (or request support from Comrades for Comrades) in order to run/vote in the election (deadline closes at midnight)
October 27- November 9 - Steering candidate forums/events, organized by NomCom
November 10 - Voting for Local Officers opens
November 17 - Voting for Local Officers closes at midnight

If you’re interested in how our internal chapter democracy works, read on for details on the Nominations Committee, how this process worked last year, and our recommendation for voting methods.

What does the Nominations Committee do?

Per the bylaws, “It shall solicit and receive nominations for the positions to be elected,” which in this case means Local Officers. The only requirement for the election is that it be by secret ballot. Encouraging members to participate in the election and ensuring a high turnout is an important additional task for the NomCom.

Who can be on the Nominations Committee?

Anyone who isn’t running to be a Local Officer!

Should I run for Nominations Committee?

Yes! Unless you have the desire and time to run for a Local Officer position, in which case you should definitely do that.

Nominations Committee is possibly the elected position within DSA-LA that’s the most fun and low-impact while also being absolutely crucial to the functioning of our growing organization. To that end, we’d urge anyone who likes light admin tasks, voting, and maintaining confidence in the trustworthiness of our internal democratic systems to run.

This work is particularly good for people who might not be able to commit to a long-term responsibility, but has availability to undertake this crucial work over the next month.

Nominate yourself here!

Voting For Local Officers

The Steering Committee is recommending plurality voting for named positions, and ranked choice (Borda Count) for the at-large positions. The voting method used in electing Local Officers is not codified in the bylaws and we strongly encourage members to research and propose voting systems for future elections at the next Annual Convention.

The Borda Voting system was used to elect DSA’s National Political Committee at the last convention, and last year’s Local Officer elections. In this system, the voters will rank six candidates in order of preference for six at-large positions on the DSA-LA Steering Committee. Your first choice vote will receive 6 points, your second choice vote will receive 5 points, descending down to 1 point for your sixth choice. The points awarded to each candidate will be tallied. The top six point-getters will make up the at-large body of the Steering Committee.  

For the YDSA Coordinator and the named positions on the Steering Committee (Recording Secretary, Communications Director, Treasurer), we recommend a simple plurality system, where each voter will have one vote, and the winner will be the candidate with the most votes.

And as a refresher, if you’re thinking about whether you’d like to run for a Local Officer position, here are the various positions (and corresponding duties) that are up for election in November, as outlined by our bylaws:

YDSA COORDINATOR

Though elected by the chapter, the YDSA Coordinator is not a member of the DSA-LA Steering Committee. The YDSA Coordinator shall be responsible for maintaining a network of coordinators and representatives from YDSA chapters across Los Angeles, as well as extending that network to include nearby regional DSA and YDSA chapters. They shall be responsible for ensuring that YDSA chapters have abundant avenues to work in solidarity with the Chapter’s work, as well as to request resources and support from the Chapter for YDSA chapter-led campaigns and initiatives.

COMPOSITION OF STEERING COMMITTEE

Local Officers shall be elected for a 1-year term; the Steering Committee is comprised of a Recording Secretary, Communications Director, Treasurer, and six at-large members. The Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) Coordinator is an elected position which does not serve on the Steering Committee.

RECORDING SECRETARY

The Recording Secretary will be responsible for

  • The taking of minutes of all Steering Committee meetings, and shall have custody of these minutes, and resolutions, reports and other official records of the Local.
  • Ensuring that key decisions and meeting minutes are available to members of the Local.
  • Maintaining detailed and accurate membership records in coordination with the Membership Committee, as well as Local bylaws and official Local organizational policies.
  • Transferring all records to their successor at the end of each their term.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

The Communications Director will be responsible for

  • Coordinating public-facing statements from the Local, including but not limited to the DSA-LA website, social media, and blog.
  • Coordinating regular internal email newsletters and announcements.
  • Coordinating a Communications Committee that includes representatives from each Local Group in the chapter, to ensure that both external and internal communications accurately represent work done across all of the Local’s groups.

TREASURER

The Treasurer will be responsible for the funds and financial records of the Local. All funds collected by the Local will be turned over to the Treasurer, who shall deposit them in a bank account under the name of the Local. In cooperation with the Communications Director, the Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that membership dues are paid up-to-date. The Treasurer will prepare the annual Local budget, and deliver the Local financial report to the Annual Convention of the Local, as well as periodic progress reports as requested by the Steering Committee of the Local.

AT-LARGE OFFICERS

At-large officers of the chapter serve as members of the Steering Committee and are responsible for ensuring all Steering Committee work is executed in accordance with the Local’s Mission and Organizational Priorities.

Duties of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee’s duties shall include:

  • Facilitating and planning meetings of the Local at least six times annually, including the Annual Convention
  • Accepting proposals and facilitating votes for updates to the Local Mission Statement, Organizational Priorities, and Bylaws.
  • Ensuring that the Communications Coordinator, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer have sufficient resources and help to perform their duties.
  • Evaluating proposals and analyses in accordance with Article VI.
  • Overseeing Local communication and coordination with other DSA Locals and responsibilities to DSA National
  • Facilitating coordination between Local Subgroups and ensuring that all projects are executed in keeping with the Local-wide Mission Statement and Organizational Priorities.
  • Drafting and executing Local administrative policy in accordance with the Local Organizational Priorities to ensure the smooth working of the Local
  • Requesting and receiving regular reports from all Local Subgroup Coordinators
  • Empowering and overseeing a fundraising committee
  • Having a cute group Signal thread
  • Smashing capitalism