Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Beacon Democratic Committee (BDC)?
A. The Beacon Democratic Committee is the official arm of the Democratic Party in the City of Beacon. The Committee consists of two Democrats elected from each of the city’s 10 election districts, who also serve on the Dutchess County Democratic Committee. The BDC also has advisory members to accommodate as many active Beacon-area Democrats as wish to participate.
Q. What does the Beacon Democratic Committee do?
A. The BDC recruits, endorses and helps elect Democratic candidates for municipal, state and federal office. It provides leadership, education and grassroots advocacy for Democratic and local progressive issues – including open, honest and inclusive government. Committee members provide a critical role in the process of electing Democratic candidates, by collecting petitions from Democratic voters to get Democratic candidates on the ballot.
Q. How does the BDC select candidates to endorse?
A. The Committee publicly solicits and interviews potential candidates, and then debates and votes on a slate of candidates. There are usually more people interested in running than there are positions, so the Committee picks who they think will best represent Democrats and the community.
Q. Are there restrictions on candidates and committee members?
A. There are only a couple legal requirements under state law. Committee members must be registered Democrats. Candidates are almost always registered Democrats, but there can be exceptions with local committee approval. During an election, neither committee members nor candidates should publicly support opposing candidates. Committee members can resign or be removed for doing so. Candidates are asked to commit to publicly supporting the full slate as a condition of endorsement, but cannot be removed from the ballot once placed on it.
Q. How can I get involved and/or get on the Committee?
A. Committee members are elected by petition in Wards and Election Districts for a two-year term. Committee members must be registered Democrats, living in the City of Beacon. They must be willing to carry petitions for endorsed candidates, participate in fundraising, education and other events, attend monthly Saturday morning meetings, and be willing to speak up and debate.
Q. Why not have one candidate run on all the party lines?
A. Democracy is about giving voters a choice among candidates – and we believe there should always be a progressive choice.