Democrats congregate at 2019 California Democratic Party convention

Sarah Abdeshahian/Courtesy

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This weekend, California Democrats gathered in Long Beach to hold an endorsing convention and host a televised presidential forum.

Sixteen campus students from Cal Berkeley Democrats were able to raise enough money through fundraising efforts to become California Democratic Party State Convention, or CDP convention, delegates, according to Sarah Abdeshahian, president of Cal Berkeley Democrats. She added that the club was awarded the Eric Bradley DEEP BLUE Grant, which “will be used to mobilize students to vote in the 2020 primary.”

Samantha Warren, political director for Cal Berkeley Democrats, noted that universal healthcare and gun control were among major themes discussed at the convention. Other topics included a town hall on the importance of engaging voters, particularly Latinx communities.

Eight presidential candidates were invited to participate in CDP’s televised forum, which focused on addressing issues that face the Latinx community, according to Abdeshahian. Although Julián Castro did not qualify for the fifth Democratic primary debate, he was also present.

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden were not present at the CDP convention, according to Abdeshahian. She noted that Univision hosts and Rusty Hicks, California Democratic Party chair, “express(ed) their disappointment” regarding their absences.

“Cal Berkeley Democrats has yet to endorse in the Presidential race, therefore we did not vote in that endorsement vote,” Abdeshahian said in an email.

While Cal Berkeley Democrats has not yet endorsed a presidential candidate, the California Democratic Party endorsed the re-election campaigns of Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and state Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland.

California Young Democrats, or CYD, however, has voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, according to Abdeshahian. CYD is the youth arm of the California Democratic Party, made up of young Democrats aged 14-35.

After the CDP convention in Long Beach, the Democratic Party will gather again in July 2020 to select the Democratic presidential nominee and adopt a party platform at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Contact Olivia González Britt at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Oliviagbritt.