Activity 5 – Preparing for the Convention

OBJECTIVE:

To prepare for a State Political Party Convention.

MATERIALS:

GET READY:

  • Prepare the list of names of the delegates that will represent your school and their party affiliation.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Select the number of delegates and alternates to the state convention. We suggest the most defensible system would be the direct election of delegates from all those students who:
  1. Express an interest in becoming a delegate
  2. Are able to attend the national convention
  3. Express a willingness to work for their party and an eagerness to participate fully.

Ranking of the number of votes received would yield the delegates followed by the alternates.  If the number of party members equals or is less than the number of delegates allowed, all party members would be selected to participate at the state convention.  We are asking for you, and if needed a staff colleague, to help ensure credibility in this important step.  To help us prepare for the state convention, we would need to have the names of the delegates for credential preparation before March 9, 2018.

  • After the selection as party delegates, each party delegation needs to select its officers. These officers include (within small delegations, delegates may assume more than one officer position:
  1. Chair – Is the official leader of your state delegation, as such calls meetings of the delegation to consider important decisions, leads the delegation at the national convention, makes important announcements to the national delegation, meets with other state delegation leaders.
  2. Vice-Chair – assists the state delegation leader in the duties listed above.
  3. Credentials Officer – checks to make sure all delegation members have the proper materials to be seated at the national convention.
  4. Platform Committee Chair – makes sure the delegation is fully aware of the implications of each party platform position and helps to guide the delegation toward a reasonable platform position, meets with other platform chairs to help shape platform planks.
  5. Campaign Chair – if the delegation has a candidate for President helps to head up the candidate’s campaign, meet with other campaign chairs, and state party leaders to garner candidate support, formulate candidate campaign materials.
  • Develop a CountyParty Platform that will be submitted to the State Platform Committee.

POSSIBLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What are the characteristics of a good party delegate?
  • How should you go about selecting a party delegate?
  • What is the purpose of the party delegate?
  • How did you prioritize the party platform issues?

MORE:

  • Invite a local party leader to your classroom to discuss convention protocol.
  • Invite a local party leader to share his/her experience attending a state or national party convention.