The mission of the GBDSA Electoral Committee is to contribute to and support the self-organization of working class communities in the greater Baltimore area. By advancing an electoral strategy which (1) promotes sustainable, long term organizing efforts, (2) supports working class leaders accountable to movements and to their communities, and (3) reduces harm to poor and working class communities, we can use the tools of electoral politics to help lay the groundwork for democratic socialism.
We tend to avoid paper endorsements, which are nothing more than a permission for a campaign to use our name and logo on their web site and an encouragement to our members to volunteer with the endorsed campaign. Instead, we focus on a smaller number of quality endorsements where we will commit significant chapter resources towards electing candidates.
We view our endorsement as a commitment to intensive grassroots organizing. When we’re committed to electing a candidate, it’s more to us than just a seal of approval. We work to make thousands of calls, send thousands of texts, and knock thousands of doors for the candidates we endorse.
This strategy is rooted in the belief that every socialist electoral campaign should do more than help elect a socialist to office – it should build the infrastructure and know-how for many socialist electoral campaigns moving forward.
GBDSA passed a chapter platform in 2019. We advise candidates or their staff to read it over to confirm that there is a fit between the campaign and GBDSA before the campaign invests the time required to request an endorsement.
Candidates seeking endorsements for 2021 and 2022 elections should contact us as soon as possible.
Steps in the Endorsement Process
Candidates and campaigns seeking an endorsement should begin the application process by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, including the following information in the body of the email:
- Full name, including pronouns
- Position they are running for
- Campaign webpage, or a brief candidate/campaign statement if a webpage is not yet available
- Contact information
The Electoral Committee will then provide a questionnaire to the candidates to be completed within 10 days if they wish to continue seeking the chapter’s endorsement. Candidates who return questionnaires on time will be invited to a scheduled Electoral Committee meeting that is announced to all chapter members with at least 2 weeks notice. Each candidate will be allotted no more than 30 minutes to answer questions from members.
After the candidate finishes answering questions, the committee will deliberate. Non-members and candidate(s) will be asked to leave the meeting during deliberations. At this point, the committee will vote on whether the endorsement of the candidate warrants consideration by the general body. This will be done by a simple majority vote.
If the Electoral Committee chooses to move ahead with the process, then the candidate will be invited to the next GBDSA General Body meeting. This meeting will have designated time for the candidate to speak and answer questions. Time will also be designated for chapter members to express both pro-endorsement and anti-endorsement statements. Members may also submit a written pro- or anti-endorsement statement to be read aloud during the meeting by a proxy reader. After discussion, the question of whether to endorse will be voted on at the chapter level. There must be a quorum as defined in the chapter bylaws. A candidate must receive a majority of the chapter vote to receive endorsement. After voting has concluded, the ballots will be counted and the chapter’s decision announced to the chapter membership.