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What to Expect at Convention & How to Make the Most of Your Time

Advanced planning helps you get the most from your Convention experience!

Viewing our Statewide Organizing Convention within a larger context will help you better prepare for and utilize the opportunities Convention Weekend brings. We aim to make the Convention an event that strengthens your effectiveness as an organizer and advocate. 


Welcome to the California Democratic Party’s May 2023 Re-Organizing State Convention in Los Angeles, California where Democrats from across that state will come together to welcome our newly elected delegates. During CADEM’s May 2023 State Convention, we’d like to take this opportunity to honor the legacy of Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi. As we embarked on the new year, 2023 marked an end of an era with Speaker Pelosi relinquishing her position in leading the House after 20 years of public service. 

Moreover, CADEM is excited to welcome ALL new and returning 2023 – 2025 Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) Delegates! Our new delegation plays a vital role in building a brighter future for California. While our Nation continues to face extreme MAGA Republicans who are working hard to roll back our effort to build progress, the Biden Administration continues to deliver for the American people. 

That’s why over the last few years, California Democrats are working to ensure long-term investment in our organizing efforts while doubling down year-round to embolden our grassroots campaigns through small-dollar donor contributions, maximize direct support to Democratic candidates, and empower new leaders. While we’ve made strides to move our Golden State forward, there is still much more to do. Join the California Democratic Party as we kick off our Statewide Convention dedicated to organizing year-round to protect our democracy and elect people-powered leaders in every corner of our state and across the Nation. 

Our annual convention is a unique opportunity because: 

  1. it is the largest gathering of Democratic delegates, activists, and elected officials from around the state;
  2. Democratic leaders will come together to address our year-round organizing efforts; and 
  3. Phenomenal networking and organizing opportunities are available at various meetings, receptions, workshops, and hospitality events. Very often, Delegates will have a large number of events (caucus meetings, hospitality suites, delegation breakfasts, etc.). 

2023 Statewide Officer and Regional Director Elections 

Statewide Officers are elected for a four (4) year term, and Regional Directors are elected for a two (2) year term. Please refer to Article III of the CDP By-Laws for further information regarding the election of officers and Officer job descriptions. The election for the 2023 Statewide Officer and Regional Director Elections will take place on Saturday, May 27, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  If necessary, a run-off election will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

*In the event that a CDP statewide office becomes vacant, an officer election will be held at the next State Convention to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the original term (2021-2025). (CDP By-laws Article III, Section 5a.)

General Tips

Pick a few clear, realistic, and strategic convention goals 

  • Network with Democrats 
  • Participate in our  training sessions 
  • Meet Democratic community leaders 
  • Set firm times and locations in advance: Make clear plans for the weekend beforehand Please Note: There will be events and meetings happening simultaneously. Plan ahead! 

Plan as a team to make sure your bases get covered

  • Connect with your local Delegates in advance to make sure that the desired training events, Caucus meetings, and networking are covered by at least one person in your group
  • Most Convention events are informal. That said, while it’s possible, it’s not always desirable to have to leave one event to attend another.

Take this opportunity to connect with people: 

  •  Use this networking opportunity to connect with people from across the state.. 

Convention Day-By-Day

Here’s what you should expect during the May 2023 Re-Organizing State Convention in Los Angeles: 



Training will take place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and run concurrently with other meetings like Caucuses and Standing Committee meetings. If a training session interests you but conflicts with another meeting, remember your delegation will work best as a team to cover all of the events and take notes. Register for training now!



Registering in advance using the online registration form is the best option; it allows you to save  money and time by bypassing onsite registration/payment lines.

VERY IMPORTANT: You must still sign in and pick up your credential during registration hours. You must be credentialed to vote and enter the general session. Registration closes before voting begins. If you do not have proper credentials, you cannot vote — there are no exceptions.

Onsite Credentialing and registration begins Friday afternoon. Please check the schedule to make sure you are in line before credentialing/registration closes for the day. Lines in the early afternoon tend to be longer, so you won’t be able to enjoy other convention activities until the lines are more manageable. An online schedule will be accessed here.

Credentials Types / General Session Seating 

Credentials are issued in a whole rainbow of colors, each indicating a different category: Delegate, Observer, Staff, Volunteers, Press, and Campaign Staff are a few of the credential types you will see during the convention. You must have a credential to get into the general session or to vote. KEEP YOUR CREDENTIAL ON YOU AT ALL TIMES.. Registration is closed before voting. You must be registered and credentialed BEFORE VOTING OPENS. 

While there are several different types of credentials, for delegates and the public at large, there are three types of credentialed participants that have access to the General Session Hall:

Delegate: A voting member of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) delegate or the delegates. As a delegate, part of your responsibility is to bring home what you’ve learned. Plan a post-convention presentation to your local club, County Committee, or sub-committee. Pre-planning will help you focus during conventions. The delegate is responsible for representing their local organizations as well as keeping their local activists informed. 

Proxy: A person representing a Delegate. A Proxy may be chosen from a specific pool of people, depending on the method by which the Delegate was elected or appointed. If you are carrying a proxy for someone, make sure to consult with them, check if they’ve paid their annual delegates dues and that they’ve registered for the convection before you submit the proxy form to be approved by the credentials committee. For more information about how to proxy, visit: and scroll down to the section header “Proxy Information” and click into the proxy submittal form to read more about being a proxy.

Observer: A “guest” of an elected or appointed Delegate or a Democrat wanting to attend the CADEM State Convention. An Observer may participate in workshops and Caucus meetings, social events, and general sessions — but may not vote. 

General Session Seating

Seating for General Session is divided into 22 CADEM Regions. Each region is designated in sections by tall 12ft signs, with the region’s number above the seating section. 

Delegates or their proxies sit in their respective regions; this is important for vote counting. (Reminder: Proxies are expected to vote according to the wishes of their delegate).  

Delegate credentials are labeled with the delegate’s name, the Delegate’s DSCC ID, assembly district, senate district, and congressional district, CADEM Region, and will include a space for the delegate’s signature. 

Note: A Democrat who will be a Proxy will be credentialed as the delegate and will have the delegate’s information, not the Proxy’s information. The delegate’s credential will include an orange “Proxy” sticker. A Proxy will sign the proxy sticker using their own signature.

(Reminder: the voting delegation is seated in their respective CADEM Regions. For more information on CADEM Regions CLICK here.

There is a special seating section for Observers and media, distinct from  the voting delegation.

Caucus Meetings

Caucus meetings take place both Friday and Saturday and may run concurrently. If a Caucus interests you but conflicts with another caucus meeting, remember your delegation will work best as a team to cover all of the events — and take notes. A schedule can be accessed here.

REMINDER: Pre-register for your Caucuses online to save time. The lines are often long and you’re likely to miss a part of the Caucus meeting waiting to get through registration. 

Caucuses and Paying Caucus Membership Dues

Each CDP caucus has its own set of Rules and bylaws.emberships of each caucus may expire at different times. Please check your caucus bylaws to determine when your membership begins and when it will expire.

CDP Caucus membership can also be paid in advance online. This will help avoid otherwise long (time-consuming) lines before meetings. 

Click here to join and pay your Caucus dues now!

Need to contact a Caucus Chair? Click here

Hospitality Suites 

Friday and Saturday evenings include late-evening hospitality suites by hosted candidates and groups. The host determines what is available. There are usually beverage and appetizers provided, and these are good opportunities to network and socialize. They generally run from 10 pm until midnight and delegates are welcome to visit many if not all of the suites. All Hospitality Suites are listed on the agenda and will be posted online here: – before Convention.


General Session 

During the General Session, volunteers assist attendees to ensure that  people are sitting in the correct sectionsand aisles remain clear at all times. (Reminder: The Fire Marshall takes keeping the aisles clear seriously. If you want to have a conversation, you will need to do it in your regional seating section making sure you are not lingering in the aisles).

General Sessions have many purposes. The Saturday session “opens” Convention. The Sunday session includes Committee reports and votes and once concluded, formally concludes Convention. While the format follows Robert’s Rules of Order, sessions can also be impassioned and enthusiastic.

To get into General Session (“on the floor”), you must have one of the following credentials:

  • Delegate
  • Observer
  • Campaign (Floor)
  • Volunteer 


Organize at Convention

We are preparing for next year’s crucial election by starting our organizing work at the Convention. Our year-round Forever Organizing Team will offer two actions: 

  1. bundle essential items that will be donated to Angelinos in need or
  1. text young voters to activate them to take action this year. These actions will both be offered on Saturday, May 27 from 12 pm-2 pm. Sign up now!

Saturday Guest Dinner

The State Party hosts an annual dinner Saturday evening, usually with a very interesting keynote speaker. The dinner often sells out so it’s best to purchase your ticket when you register online. (Visit the Registration tab to purchase Dinner Tickets)

Saturday Hospitality Suites 

Saturday night often includes additional Hospitality Suites. All Suites are listed on the agenda, which will be posted online before Convention and provided onsite.

Saturday Trainings / Caucus Meetings 

Saturday will offer additional training and caucus meetings. All events are listed on the agenda, which will be posted online before the Convention and provided onsite. REMINDER: pre-register for your Training and Caucuses online to save time. The lines are often very long and you’re likely to miss a part of the Caucus meeting waiting to get through registration.


The Sunday General Session closes Convention, and no events are scheduled beyond it. The general session usually ends around midday — however, that is never guaranteed, especially if there are contentious votes, debates, and discussions.

REMINDER: You cannot get into the general session and you cannot vote without a credential, even if you’re pre-registered. You must be wearing a credential in order to get into the general session or to vote. 


What to Bring

However, it is still a large venue, and taking a detour may not be especially convenient if you have two competing events (often the case). A convention is very tightly scheduled with varying temperatures, so consider:

  • Face Mask
  • Sanitizer
  • Water/thermos drink
  • Snacks (apple, string cheese, nuts)
  • Comfortable shoes — you’ll do a lot of walking!
  • Pad of paper/pen
  • Business cards / pre-written contact information
  • Your group’s contact information on a 3×5 card
  • Cell phone (make sure your group has phone numbers for one another)
  • Chapstick
  • Scarf, vest, or sweater (dress in layers; room temperatures vary widely)
  • A method for comfortably carrying stuff (backpack or small rolling cart); you will acquire stuff during the day, as well as what you bring with you
  • Plan on having a reunion location among your group. (Getting separated is easy.)

Planning Suggestions and Tips

Most convention centers are located within convenient distances of many eateries and the building is designed with many entrances/exits, so getting in and out is fairly easy. Review a map of the region and the Convention Center before you arrive. There are often places within and around many convention centers for gathering, or holding an off-site meeting.

We hope this quick overview of what to expect at this year’s convention is helpful. Keep an eye out for email updates and notices to give you better ideas of what to expect as well as any late announcements regarding speakers or events.