Welcome to the party, California Berniecrats!

Dante Atkins, the Press Secretary for Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03) at U.S. House of Representatives, shared this advice via Medium:

To all the CA berniecrats who won delegate spots over this weekend:

1) Welcome! I remember the energy and excitement from when we in the Dean crew did something similar, but on perhaps a smaller scale, 10 years ago during the 2007 ADEMs. You’re embarking on a fun adventure.

2) You’re not nearly done. This was a beginning, it wasn’t the end. Now you’re going to have to take the next step to become enmeshed in the party and make it your own. Next up: apply to be on committees. I got the chance to make a big difference when I was on the Platform and Legislative Committees. Go do that. 

Example: The California Democratic Party was the first state party to enshrine support for net neutrality in its platform. That happened because I wrote the language and pushed for its passage. What will your mark be?

3) Get involved in your County Committees. If you want progressive representation at the local level, your County Committee is where that happens.

4) Build relationships. It’s easy to come into the process with an “insider vs. outsider” and “us vs. the establishment” paradigm. But as you go along, you’ll realize it’s more complicated than that. You’ll end up finding out that a lot of the people on the inside will want your help making the change they’ve been working on for a long time, and that some of the people you came in with may in fact be impediments to progress.

5) Figure out what specific things you’d like to change, and work on it. You may not win the first, second, or even the third time — but it’s all about hammering away at that block. Don’t quit, because change doesn’t come from showing up once.

6) Important tip from Miles Kurland that I should mention: LEARN HOW MEETINGS WORK. That means Roberts Rules of Order, as well as the CA Dem bylaws. Knowledge is power, and you would be surprised at how much it helps you get what you want when you know parliamentary procedure better than the other guys.


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