District 10 Supervisor Extends Her Reach to Democratic County Central Committee
In June, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen was elected to San Francisco’s Democratic Central County Committee (DCCC), a position, that enables her to promote various Democratic Party objectives, including determining which ballot measures and candidates receive DCCC endorsement.
“Serving [on the DCCC] is what you make of it,” said Cohen, about a position that can represent a step up on the political ladder, an opportunity to advocate for issues and candidates, or both. “My first priority is to get President Obama reelected. How can we make sure that happens?” And she wants to “influence the way the party has a role in moderate-progressive politics in San Francisco.”
In addition to candidate primaries and initiatives, the June 5, 2012 ballot offered those registered to a political party — Democrat, Republican, American Independent, Green, Libertarian, or Peace and Freedom — a list of candidates to be selected for leadership roles in each voter’s chosen party. Cohen was among the 14 highest vote getters out of 30 candidates to serve Democrats in the state’s 17th Assembly District (AD). She was among five San Francisco supervisors elected to the AD 17 committee, including board president David Chiu.
The committee is “an organizing body” for the party, said Cohen. She explained that it helps determine what issues and individuals the party will support, and raises funds to finance Democratic campaigns. “I’m interested in looking at how we can maximize our ability to raise money so we can reach out more…to share our persuasive arguments with the voters.” One of Cohen’s fund raising roles is to help “moderate events and host lunches and dinners” held to add cash to the party’s coffers. She noted that scoring the party’s endorsement — she was one of three candidates in the 2010 supervisorial race to receive the DCCC’s stamp of approval — helped her win the District 10 supervisor’s election, out of a field of 21 candidates.
Among DCCC projects that have Cohen’s attention is the “bounty” program, under which individuals are paid to register new voters. “We need a cost/benefit analysis to determine what we’re spending on the program and if people are voting. It needs to be about spending effectively and building long-term relationships with people who will get behind Democratic issues and Democratic candidates.” Cohen also supports ending the death penalty and enforcing equal pay for equal work laws. And she wants to be sure the party’s efforts “focus on outreach to folks in public housing and among young people; teaching them the importance of voting.”
County Democrats are served by 32 individuals who can, with a simple majority, endorse a candidate or ballot measure. In addition to the 14 committee members of the 17th AD — which covers the eastern half of the City — 10 people serve on the DCCC from the 19th AD, which includes San Francisco’s western neighborhoods and a slice of northern San Mateo County. The balance of the DCCC is filled by eight ex officio members, who are federal or state elected officials.
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