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Randolph Democratic Caucus 2023

    Randolph Democrats to hold Caucus on Sunday June 11 at 1 PM

    Contact: Jesse Gordon, Randolph Dems chair 617-320-6989

    Click here for charming Mass Dems Caucus video

Randolph is about to have a well-hidden exercise in democracy -- in which you can participate and make it less well-hidden. During February, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will hold caucuses across the state, including one each in Randolph, at which delegates to the statewide conventions will be selected.

The Democratic delegates elected on June 11 will attend the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention, to be held in Lowell (hybrid) on Sept. 23. At that convention, the Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform (the issue stances) and Massachusetts Democratic Party Charter (the party rules) will be amended and voted upon. Those issue stances and rules will apply for the 2024 elections and beyond.

The Randolph Democratic Town Committee will hold a hybrid caucus on Sunday June 11 at 1 PM (Zoom link below), to decide who Randolph will send to the Democratic State Convention. The Randolph Republican Town Committee will hold their caucus at a time and place to be announced shortly -- contact for the GOP chair is below.

The caucus and convention process traditionally favors "party insiders" who know about the caucus and who attend with their friends to vote for them as delegates to the convention. But knowing the rules -- outlined here -- allows anyone to attend, and could make the process more "grass roots."

To be eligible to attend the Democratic caucus, you must be a registered Democrat on the day of the caucus. Similarly, for the Republican caucus to be held later, you must be a registered Republican. You can change your party registration, including from unregistered or independent status, up until the day before the caucus, online in advance or in-person at the Town Clerk's office at Town Hall.

This year the caucuses will be "hybrid" (in-person plus virtual) – Randolph’s caucus will be held at Randolph Town Hall (41 South Main Street) or by Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9633988959 or Zoom call-in (301) 715 8592. The doors at the caucus are traditionally locked at the appointed hour, so you must arrive on time – for the hybrid caucus, just Zoom in on time, and announce yourself to the Zoom host so your party registration can be checked.

"Last year we held virtual caucuses for the Nominating Convention to decide the Governor’s primary, where delegate seats were open for the asking," says Randolph Democratic Town Committee Chair Jesse Gordon. "This year's caucuses are for an Issues Convention so we don’t expect high attendance or competitive delegate seats – just show up and you can attend the State Convention and vote there. It's fun! -- and call me if you have trouble registering as a Dem, or joining on caucus day." The Randolph Dems will have a "Zoom master" to ensure against technical troubles, and two Democratic State Committee members present to ensure that everyone possible can participate.

This is how the Democratic caucus elects delegates: Half of the delegate seats are set aside for men and half for women. Anyone can nominate themselves or someone else to be a delegate. There is no limit on the number of people who can be nominated. Once the nominations are finalized, every registered Democrat attending the caucus votes for delegates, by a list in the Zoom chat, or by texting the Chair (votes are public, not secret!). Randolph is assigned 22 seats at this year's Democratic Convention, so you can vote for up to 22 delegates, plus 5 alternate delegates who can attend the Convention if an elected delegate cannot attend. Randolph residents who want to run for delegate, but cannot attend the caucus because they are in the United States Armed Forces and stationed out of town, or unavailable to attend, may contact the Chair in advance and can then be nominated in absentia. “That means contact me at jesse@jessegordon.com or 617-320-6989 in advance to let me know you want to run, if you cannot attend,” says Gordon.

"We have rules for gender balance and also provisions for gender-nonbinary individuals," notes Gordon. "We also have additional 'add-on' delegate seats available for diversity representation at the Convention -- the diversity criteria are: under-represented race; sexual orientation; disability; and youth." If the nominations exceed 22 candidates, each person will have the chance to make a two-minute speech, to state their qualifications. If there aren't 22 candidates (as is likely this year), the election will be by acclamation instead of by voting, and the remainder of the caucus will focus on how the Convention works, and on speeches by any candidates or officeholders who make an appearance.

Delegates will vote at the Convention on issues regarding the Party Platform and the Party Charter. This year, for example, the convention will vote on whether to set up a new ‘add-on’ category for veterans. “There may also be some petitions for resolutions to sign and vote on,” notes Gordon; “I’ve organized a couple of those in the past, and they are the most interesting parts of the Convention.”

The Democratic Convention events will take place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 22, and all votes will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23. The in-person location is the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.

This is democracy at work. You can earn yourself the right to complain about the system for the next few years by spending one morning on it in June, then one day on Sept. 23, and maybe the process can become more grass-roots and participatory while we're at it. Contact for the Randolph Democrats is Jesse Gordon at 617-320-6989 or jesse@jessegordon.com. The Randolph Republicans will hold their caucus at a time to be announced shortly – contact Jean Riguel Ulysse at 508-649-0971 or ulyssejeanriguel@gmail.com. For readers outside of Randolph, check MassDems.org or MassGOP.com for when your caucus will be held. The Randolph Dems Zoom link is:

Randolph Democratic Caucus
Sunday, June 11, 2023;
Virtual Meeting opens at 12:45; must arrive by 1:00 PM to participate
To Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 963 398 8959
Dial-in: (301) 715 8592

Randolph Democratic Town Committee, chair Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368

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