2019 California Democratic Party State Convention Recap

Our booth got coverage by the  SF Chronicle .  Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

Our booth got coverage by the SF Chronicle. Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

RTBiQ Political attended the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at Moscone Center in San Francisco. The event was buzzing with energy, attracting candidates, party insiders, activists, and consultants from across the state and nation. In fact, 14 presidential candidates made an appearance, drawing attention to California’s importance as a delegate-rich state in the upcoming 2020 presidential primaries. The 14 presidential candidates included: Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, and Elizabeth Warren.

RTBiQrew with 2020 Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar

RTBiQrew with 2020 Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar

At the event, attendees perused the various exhibit booths hosted by progressive organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, California YIMBY, and the SF Democratic Party. RTBiQ Political was proud to partner with San Francisco’s premier Asian-American Democratic club, the Ed Lee Asian Pacific Democratic Club (formerly known as the Asian Pacific Democratic Club), to co-run a booth at the convention. Our booth focused on highlighting iconic female political figures, the many Democratic presidential candidates, and featured cardboard cutouts of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Over the course of the three-day convention, hundreds of people stopped by to take photos and selfies with the cutouts, get more engaged in local SF activism, and learn how RTBiQ Political’s cutting-edge platform can amplify your voter outreach and help Democrats win at all levels.

RTBiQ Political team at 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention

RTBiQ Political team at 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention

In addition to the various booths, the convention featured speeches in the main convention hall from prominent political figures from the party and other major organizations. In many of the speeches, impeachment was the word of the day. In a stirring speech kicking off the convention’s main proceedings on Saturday, NextGen founder and environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer called for Trump’s impeachment, drawing loud applause from attendees. Steyer’s remarks were echoed by other speakers, notably Kamala Harris who electrified the crowd when she declared, “We need to begin impeachment proceedings!” However, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi took a different tact in her speech. While listing the various evidence of Russian collusion from Mueller’s report and declaring “President Trump will be held accountable for his actions,” Pelosi refused to explicitly call for his impeachment. Pelosi’s reticence drew angry cries from the crowd, with many yelling “Impeach Donald Trump” as she gave her speech. While the convention’s speeches reveal the democratic base’s growing impatience and disagreements about whether or not to proceed with impeachment, it’s clear that Democrats are united in making Trump a one-term President. The crowd’s energy was palpable, and moving into 2020, it’s clear that Democrats are fired up and ready to go!

2020 Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention

2020 Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention

Finally, the convention’s proceedings ended in a vote for the new Chair of the California Democratic Party. The two top contenders were activist Kimberly Ellis, who narrowly lost the previous contest back in 2016, and union leader Rusty Hicks. The race for Chair was an electric affair, with supporters of both candidates loudly chanting in front of the main hall. While many party insiders predicted a close race and a runoff, Rusty Hicks handily won the election on Saturday. Hicks won 57% of the vote to Ellis’s 36%. In his post-win statement, Hicks affirmed race’s generally amiable character and emphasized the California Democratic Party’s unity, declaring, “I believe that the positive nature of our respective campaigns has been and will prove to be a positive step to a bigger, better, stronger Democratic Party. Let’s get to work.” Despite past tribulations then, the California Democratic Party is looking ahead toward fighting for everyday Americans and combating the Trump Administration’s harmful agenda.

Overall, if last weekend’s convention is a preview for 2020, then Trump and the Republican Party should be very afraid. Democratic activists are revved up and ready to build on the gains in the historic 2018 Blue Wave. We at RTBiQ Political can’t wait for 2020 and are looking forward to offering campaigns, progressive organizations, and activists the digital tools they need to turn the Blue Wave of 2018 into a 2020 Tsunami.