By Brad Swanson:
Even as Fairfax County grows more blue, the Fairfax County Democratic Committee is growing smaller — deliberately.
FCDC, which is the core of Democratic Party activism in the county (click here for website), has decided to constrain membership in order to make the organization leaner and more efficient in the face of a historic election in 2020.
Every two years, FCDC, like other Democratic committees in Virginia counties, reorganizes itself, from bottom to top. Existing members must re-apply if they want to retain their membership, and are considered on an equal basis with new applicants. Leadership also turns over at the magisterial district and county-wide levels.
In the past, membership was typically freely available to those willing to take a pledge, pay membership fees, and submit to a cursory vetting. As a consequence, as the county has grown larger and more Democratic, FCDC membership has swelled to its current total of about 2,600, although many of those are not active.
But for the upcoming two-year cycle, starting in January, FCDC has imposed a much lower limit upon itself — 1,170 regular voting members, not including some special categories.
The math works out to 130 regular voting members for each of the county’s nine district committees. More populous districts will not be allowed to absorb the excess from less populous ones, in order to avoid having a few “super districts” that dominate the rest.
That is why it is important for interested Democrats to submit their application before the Dec. 1 deadline for the first member intake of the new biennial season. After that date, districts with space for new members may continue to process applications, but there is no guarantee that the larger districts, like Dranesville, Hunter Mill and Providence, will have space available. In addition, members joining after this wave will not be able to vote for district and county leadership.
Applications can be submitted online, click here. This link also has complete information on membership rules and the reorganization process.
For those who miss the opportunity to become regular voting members, volunteer opportunities are available, and there is a plan for associate level (non-voting) membership that will be presented for approval to the general membership in January. But the heart of FCDC is its voting members.
Key dates in the upcoming reorganization (for further information, click here):
- Dec. 1, 5:00 pm: Deadline for applications for membership in the first wave of the new two-year cycle
- Dec. 7- 14: Districts hold caucuses, open to all registered voters of the district, to elect members from the applicants (to check the date of your district caucus, click here).
- Jan. 7: Reorganization meeting of entire newly selected membership to elect officers
FCDC has extensive operations, not just at polling stations, and not just during elections, but throughout the county and at all times of the year. For anyone who wants to play a part in restoring the leading role of the Democratic Party in American politics, both nationally and locally, FCDC membership can be an effective and rewarding commitment.
Brad Swanson is the editor of The Blue View and has just submitted his application to renew membership in Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee
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