From 2017-2020, most of our chapter’s electoral endorsements have been reactive, responding to candidates seeking our support. This work was critical for the development of our chapter and reflective of our capacity at the time. Now in 2023, with over 4000 dues paying members across LA County, our chapter is large enough to survey the electoral field among our five Branches, intentionally seek out candidates to support, and be part of developing a winning campaign early.
By understanding our chapter’s priorities and our membership capacity, the Electoral Politics Committee has developed the following three-phase roadmap for our candidate endorsements for regularly scheduled elections in 2024, prioritizing races where we can have the most impact and ensuring that we do not miss electoral opportunities throughout LA County. This roadmap was informed by and the National Electoral strategy written by the DSA National Electoral Committee for the 2022 electoral cycle.
Candidate announcements, redistricting, and changes in our chapter’s membership all may affect the proposed timeline, at the discretion of the Electoral Committee and with the approval of the Steering Committee.
All DSA-LA endorsements begin with and are ultimately approved by chapter membership. For each endorsement sought by the membership, the Electoral Committee will continue to prepare briefs assessing the criteria described below and making recommendations to the membership, which will be presented at endorsement meetings. For more information on how to seek endorsement, see https://dsa-la.org/endorsements/.
Phase 1, LA City Council: July – September 2023
Member Petitioning open July 10th to August 20th, 2023. Please see the endorsement FAQ page about the petitioning process.
- Races considered in Phase 1 of the endorsement process are DSA-LA’s highest priority races. In addition to supporting viable socialist candidates for public office, a Phase 1 race must be integral to the growth and development of our chapter.
- Races considered in Phase 1 must meet the following criteria: DSA-LA’s participation can have meaningful impact on the outcome of the election, and a successful election will meaningfully increase our ability to pursue our policy agenda as defined in the Democratic Socialist Program for Los Angeles and through the chapter’s Socialists in Office framework.
- Additionally, the race must either consider a candidate(s) that emerges from the chapter membership and the district must have significant DSA-LA member density, or the race must be in a district with high growth possibility for the chapter (ie, high-Bernie 2020 support, low DSA membership) where our early involvement could lead to significant increases in chapter membership.
- 2024 will be the first electoral cycle in which we have candidates being considered for re-endorsement, and these races will be among those considered first.
- Endorsements scheduled to be considered in Phase 1
- Los Angeles City Council District 4
- All other Los Angeles City Council races
Phase 2, State Legislature & other municipal elections: August 2023 – October 2023
Member Petitioning open August 21st to September 23rd, 2023. Please see the endorsement FAQ page about the petitioning process.
- Races considered in Phase 2 include those where our chapter could have significant influence in the outcome of the election, but where we have less membership density than races considered in Phase 1.
- This phase is also where ballot measures, whether local or state level, may be considered.
- Endorsements scheduled to be considered in Phase 2
- State Legislative seats identified as strong opportunities by California DSA State Committee
- State Legislative seats identified as strong opportunities by DSA-LA Electoral Politics Committee
- Other Los Angeles municipal, district-based races, i.e. LAUSD Board of Directors
- Other municipal races outside of the City of Los Angeles
Phase 3: December 2023 – February 2024
Member Petitioning open December 4th, 2023 to January 7th, 2024. Please see the endorsement FAQ page about the petitioning process.
- This phase of our endorsement process will consider all remaining races regularly scheduled for the 2024 Primary election. These races include those where a DSA-endorsed victory would not result in significant tangible gains for DSA-LA or the organized left, or where our chapter’s ability to impact the outcome of the election is low. Reasons for this include, but are not limited to, being a relatively junior coalition partner or the office itself not having major leverage over issues in our platform.
- Endorsements scheduled to be considered in Phase 3
- All US Congressional races
- All Los Angeles County supervisorial and countywide races
Phase 4: April – May 2024