California Democratic Party convention begins in San Diego

Posted at 3:31 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 21:16:03-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The three-day California Democratic Party State Convention begins Friday at the San Diego Convention Center with a series of caucus meetings, workshops and panel discussions.

The approximately 3,400 delegates will vote Saturday on endorsements for governor, U.S. senator and other statewide offices.

The delegates will adopt the 2018 party platform Sunday and ratify earlier endorsements for congressional and legislative races.

Keynote speeches will be delivered Saturday by Sens. Kamala Harris, D- California, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D- San Francisco, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, billionaire Tom Steyer, founder and president of NextGen America, which describes itself as acting to prevent climate disaster, promoting prosperity and protecting the fundamental rights of every American, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas.

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Gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang and Delaine Eastin are set to speak Saturday, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and her challengers, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Pat Harris.

Lieutenant governor candidates Jeff Bleich, Ed Hernandez and Eleni Kounalakis will participate together in a forum Saturday. Candidates for other statewide offices will also speak Saturday.

The general sessions will also include programs on mobilizing women to run for office and vote, a celebration of black voters, a series of speeches by labor leaders and millennial elected and party officials.

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Saturday's luncheon program will feature California Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman and remarks by national politics and policy journalist David Dayen and Jon Lovett, who was a presidential speechwriter for Barack Obama and now hosts the weekly podcast "Lovett or Leave It."

The dinner program Saturday will feature Democrats serving in municipal offices discussing the policies they have implemented. San Diego City Council President Myrtle Cole will be the master of ceremonies.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Garvey Unified School District Trustee Henry Lo and Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton, the first transgender person elected to a city council in California, are set to speak.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will conclude the program by discussing the interplay between city government and the federal government.