If you’re new to being politically active, or new to “formal” party politics, it can be confusing even to figure out where to start. Here’s a very quick primer of the first steps. (Some of these details are specific to LD24, but the overall concept applies to most places in the U.S.)
What is a Precinct Committeeperson (PC)?
The PC is the most locally elected official in a given neighborhood and the foundation of grassroots democracy. PCs represent the party to their neighbors, and in turn are the eyes and ears of the Democratic Party throughout the district.
What does a PC do, exactly?
The PC helps achieve the goals of the district, and the party. Specifically:
Help elect strong, progressive Democrats to public office.
This needs a solid organization of capable and experienced leaders and volunteers in the district. Some of the activities include:
- Organizing at the precinct level to recruit new PCs and volunteers
- Registering voters
- Raising funds
- Participating in public events
- Communicating our message
- Listening to voters regarding their concerns about local issues
- Recruiting candidates
- Supporting current Democratic office holders that share our values and goals
- Make our communities stronger and meet the needs of people now, regardless of election timetables.
Some activities that work towards these aims include:
- Organizing food bank donation drives, baby supplies and diaper drives, etc.
- Doing neighborhood cleanups
- Assisting with homeless shelters and supply needs
- Holding community events focused on learning about the people and their needs
- Having community workshops or seminars about public works and issues
- Fostering a more inclusive and accessible city and community
Connect the people in the precinct to the Democratic Party, and the Party to the people.
At the Party level, PC duties include:
- Participating in District/County Democratic Party meetings, events, and activities including providing assistance to your local Democratic Party by staffing registration drives and tables, supporting local candidates, and taking part in local fundraising efforts
- Recruiting new PCs and other volunteers in your Precinct and communicating with them regularly. Adding volunteers means you can divide the Precinct for more personal 6 contact with the voters. It also means providing additional support and backup for each other and for your candidates. Develop winning strategies by utilizing the group's collective skills, best practices, contacts, and energy to get the job done!
There are legal roles, too
- In case of a vacant Legislative seat, elected PCs will meet with interested candidates, and forward a slate of 3 candidates to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to fill the appointment.
- In Presidential Election years, PCs are responsible for electing the Presidential Convention Delegates at the District Level Convention.
In short, we support—and more importantly, shape—the larger goals of the Democratic Party by acting locally, as productive and helpful members of our own community, and actively participating in Party decision making.
Outside of PC Election cycles, you can still become an appointed PC.
OK, but what is a precinct?
Precincts are the smallest political units in the country. A precinct is where elections are won or lost. Most importantly, it is your neighborhood. A precinct is made up of one or more Precinct Committeepersons. They lead the precinct working with other volunteers as a team to promote Democratic values and elect Democrats to office. To determine what Precinct you are in click here to go to the LD24 Precinct Map page.
Each precinct has an allotted number of PC slots, based on the number of registered Democratic voters.
What if my precinct has already maxed out its PC quota?
You can still be active! Come to meetings, volunteer at events and voter registration campaigns, and even join a subcommittee. Next time there is a PC election, you can run for the position.