Organizational Structure of the Democratic Party
The Democratic National Committee (DNC)
The DNC is the national party organization for the Democratic Party of the United States. To find out more about the DNC please visit www.democrats.org
The Ohio Democratic Party (ODP)
The ODP is one of 50 state parties. The ODP operates from Columbus. The ODP chair is elected by the State Central Committee members, one man and one woman, who are elected by Democrats in the even-year primary elections from every Ohio state senate district. To find out more about the ODP please visit www.ohiodems.org
Hamilton County Democratic Party (HCDP)
The HCDP is one of the 88 county parties in Ohio. Gwen McFarlin is Chair of the Hamilton County party. The county party chair is elected by the County’s Central Committee, made up of precinct executives from over 556 precincts in Hamilton County. Each individual County Party in Ohio adopts its own bylaws, they vary from County to County, though they are also consistent with the Bylaws of the State and National Democratic Parties. The current Bylaws of the Hamilton county Democratic Party can be found here.
Hamilton County Democratic Organizations
There are a number of Democratic groups operating within Hamilton County, representing different interest or regional groups.
Hamilton County Democratic Executive Committee
The HCDP Executive Committee is the decision-making body for the county party. The Executive Committee endorses county-wide issues and candidates and oversee the running of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. The Executive Committee is headed by the Chair of the party and has five Executive Co-Chairs and a Secretary and Treasurer. The committee is limited to 250 members including the Cincinnati Ward Chairs and the District Chair of each city, village and township. Certain Elected Officials are also automatically included. Those are any County wide elected Democrats, all local Democrats in the State legislature, all Democrats on Cincinnati City Council, all Democrats elected as Mayor in local jurisdictions and also all local members of the State Central Committee (one man and one woman from each of our State Senate Districts).
The Democratic voters within a precinct are represented to the party by their Precinct Executive (PE). PEs are elected by the Democratic voters in the primary election in the even number years or are appointed by the Executive Committee members. PE candidates must file a petition to place their name on the even year primary ballot or they can run as a write-in candidate for election in in his or her home precinct. After the first meeting of the Central Committee, a PE can be appointed by the Hamilton County Executive Committee to any precinct with an opening. Before being appointed, the individual’s voting history will be checked to make sure he or she did not vote in a Republican primary. Finally, the approval of the ward chair will be sought.
Townships Wards, & Democratic Committees Precincts are made up of voters within a geographically contiguous area. Some municipalities, like Cincinnati are organized into wards. The Precinct Execs within a ward democratically choose their Ward Chair to represent them to larger Democratic entities, such as the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee.
Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC)
Every two years the Cincinnati precinct executives elect officers who oversee the CDC. This is another layer of leadership charged with organizing the Cincinnati wards to execute the official duties of , and to report back to the CDC. The CDC acts as the endorsing organization for candidates and issues, that fall specifically within Cincinnati. During the odd year elections, the CDC is busy interviewing, nominating and endorsing candidates for city council, and Cincinnati School Board, and organizing precinct execs to work on those campaigns. During the even year elections, the CDC is recruiting activists for the county, state and national races.
Ward and Democratic Clubs
Within geographic areas, there are organizations referred to as a Ward Club or “Democratic Club". Examples are the Norwood Dem Club or Green Township Dem Club, or the Cincinnati Ward 2 Club. These organizations have an internal structure that helps raise money for the club and for poll workers, encourages Democrats from the area to congregate, discuss, socialize and work for candidates. Along with a great way to socialize with Democrats, training, recruiting and networking takes place within these clubs. In short, It is a neighborhood political club for Democrats. Our groups page has a list of the active Ward and Democratic Clubs in Hamilton County.
The local party also encourages Democratic-related organizations that are open to the public. These include The Duckworth Democratic Club, The Democratic Forum, and The Women’s Democratic Club. These serve a specific focus within Democratic constituencies. The Duckworth Democratic Club is a social club that is the longest standing Democratic Club in the country. The Forum is an issues-oriented organization bringing in guest lecturers, recruiting volunteers and candidates and raising money.
Young and College Democrats
The Young Democrats of America and the College Democrats of America have chapters here, The Hamilton County Young Democrats, UC and XU college democrats meet regularly. These organizations are composed of college students and Democrats under the age of 35 and support efforts to stay involve young people in the political process.