Handful Of Santa Monica Residents Elected As California Democratic Party Delegates

Saturday, 19 Jan 2013, 9:33:00 AM

Mitch James

Five Santa Monica residents have been elected to two-year terms as delegates to the California Democratic Party, where they will influence the party's direction by weighing in on its candidate and issues endorsements and helping to craft its resolutions and platform.

All were elected as part of a Progressive Slate, which swept the available six slots for men and six for men in the newly configured 50th Assembly District. About 175 registered Democrats turned out for the election meeting, held at McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica last Sunday.

Jon Katz of Santa Monica, elected as an alternate two years ago, now joins returning delegates Ben Allen, immediate past president of the Santa Monica-Malibu School District board; Genise Schnitman, a member of the steering committee of Santa Monicans for Renter's Rights, and Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown.

Allen and Schnitman also serve on the executive board of the Santa Monica Democratic Club. McKeown continues his longstanding activity in championing progressive causes - from single-payer healthcare to campaign finance reform - in his capacity as a local Santa Monica elected official and also at the state level, through influencing the direction and policies of the Democratic Party, where he is vice-chair of the Irish-American Caucus.

The fifth Santa Monica resident elected as delegate Sunday, a newcomer to our city, is Jessica Yas, a Berkeley graduate who majored in political science and was previously a San Fernando Valley-elected delegate in the 42nd Assembly District. Yas intends to become involved in Santa Monica civic affairs and the Santa Monica Democratic Club.

“One thing redistricting did not change is the strong progressive commitment that Santa Monica's delegates will bring to the state party, a long tradition they are proud to carry forward,” said club president Jay Johnson , adding “with the recently attained 2/3 legislative majority, it's important for Democrats in Sacramento to feel a strong progressive push from the grassroots.”

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