How does the Democratic City Committee work and how can I get involved?
The Democratic City Committee is made up of the Ward Leaders, and has been led by Bob Brady, a Federal House Representative for Philadelphia, since 1986. As Philadelphia is heavily Democratic, the influence of the Democratic City Committee is enormous. Ward Leaders make a significant impact on the city by endorsing candidates in each election, creating sample ballots to be distributed to all voters in their ward, determining how “street money” is distributed, and organizing get out the vote efforts. Ward Leaders have enormous discretion in endorsements. Four wards are referred to as “Good Governance Wards”, and have candidate-vetting committees in which the committee people interview candidates and independently determine the ward endorsements. The remaining 62 wards determine endorsements at the discretion of the Ward Leader, and many follow the recommendation of Bob Brady, which allows him to direct the course of elections.
The entry point for those interested in getting involved in local politics is often through the Committee Person role. It may sound like a big title, but committee people are just people who live in that neighborhood and want to be involved in the Party. Becoming a committee person involves registering your candidacy by getting a handful of signatures from neighbors, and then running for office on Election Day. People often get elected with only a handful of votes! Additionally, many of these positions are currently vacant. When the position is vacant, the Ward Leader has the discretion to appoint someone for the remainder of the term. Getting appointed is as easy as contacting your Ward Leader and expressing your interest (see our “About Us” page; many MPFers are already serving in this vital committee person role). Becoming a committee person can be a great way to experience the Philadelphia political system from within, and begin to understand where we can make big differences by working together.