The 400+ members of Pennsylvania’s Democratic State Committee (PADSC) constitute the governing body of the state’s Democratic Party. Members serve a 4-year term and are elected by Democrats at the county level. County population determines how many representatives a county sends to the PADSC. Delaware County currently elects 11 representatives to the state committee. Members meet three times a year in Harrisburg to decide on the party’s platform, policy positions, and candidate endorsements for statewide and federal offices. These meetings are open to all, but only elected members can vote.
The PADSC vets state and federal candidates and votes as a body on who to endorse. It also takes up policy issues proposed by Chairman Jack Hanna, the professional staff, and their own member caucuses.
Committee members belong to both “regional caucuses” and “constituency caucuses.” So our Delaware County representatives belong to the South East Caucus. Those same representatives choose what “constituency caucus” they wish to join, from a list that includes the Progressive Caucus, the Senior Caucus, the Women’s Caucus, the Black Caucus, the Latino Caucus, the LGBTQ caucus, the Labor Caucus, the Rural Caucus, the Veterans Caucus, the Youth Caucus, and the New Americans Caucus. The PADSC provides more detail on these caucuses on its own website.
Recently, the PADSC voted to support a moratorium on fracking in the commonwealth and to support an independent districting commission to replace legislators’ gerrymandering. Thanks to steadfast effort by Haverford Township’s representative Mary Ellen Balchunis, the PADSC passed a resolution proposed by the Women’s Caucus. That resolution gives the Pennsylvania Democrats a tangible, near-future goal: women comprising 30% of office-holders in every federal, statewide, and local elective office. The PADSC further committed to begin providing female candidates with financial support equal to what male candidates receive from the state party.