10/9/23: New update! Read here for my report on the Fall 2023 DNC meeting, and our priorities as we prepare for another showdown with Donald Trump and the GOP.
2/6/23: Read here for my report on the Winter 2023 DNC meeting, including thoughts on the new primary calendar, the DNC's relationship to president's re-election campaign, and what I believe progressive priorities should be in advance of the presidential election.
9/11/22: Read here for my report on the Summer 2022 DNC meeting, including reform efforts and a behind-the-scenes look at how the DNC works.
3/17/22: Read here for my update on the Spring 2022 DNC meeting and our ongoing reform efforts!
10/9/21: Read here for my update on the Fall 2021 DNC meeting
1/21/21: Read here for my update on the Winter 2021 DNC meeting
I am grateful to have been elected as one of the DNC members from California for the 2020-2024 term!
The election results can be viewed here. Thank you to all who participated in the election, and especially to everyone who took the time to have speak with me, hear my thoughts and let me know their priorities and concerns. I am deeply appreciative of all those who placed their confidence in me, and thank you so much for your votes, endorsements and support. And thank you also to the DNC members whose terms are coming to a close for their years of dedicated service.
My term on the DNC does not officially begin until the close of this year's Democratic National Convention, but I am already working on the issues I raised during the campaign: transparency, accountability, institutional reform and progressive policy. And I am looking forward to serving in earnest.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or issues you may have, and I am excited to work with all of you to help improve our shared Democratic Party!
My campaign message and platform:
I'm David Atkins, and I'm running to be your next Democratic National Committee (DNC) member from California. I’m running because I believe the DNC must be more transparent and more democratic, and prioritize the values of grassroots Democrats instead of big donors and special interests.
I’m a grassroots activist with a history of progressive reform and a national voice. I want to use my skills, experience and platform to continue the progress we’ve already made to make the DNC more accountable to you—not special interests. I am running to be your voice on the DNC. As your elected DNC member, here’s what I want to accomplish:
In order to win elections everywhere, the DNC must be unafraid to be a progressive party that refuses to compromise on the issues in order to make donors and corporations feel more comfortable. As your DNC member, I promise you that I will always vote to end corporate donations, emphasize Medicare for All, fight to expand affordable housing, and make sure that the existential threat of climate change gets the attention it deserves from party leadership.
Far too many Democrats have no idea what the DNC is, how it works, and how it makes decisions. This is harmful for two reasons: it erodes the trust that grassroots Democrats ought to have in our party leadership, and it prevents our party leadership from being accountable to its activists. As your representative on the DNC, I will work to increase transparency so that you can not only know what the DNC is doing in your name, but also so that you can know how to influence the process and make your voice heard.
For too long, the DNC has been a body that simply rubberstamps the decisions made by the Chair and the inner circles of leadership. The climate change debate issue that came to a head at the 2019 summer meeting in San Francisco shows that this model is in desperate need of change. I will fight to reform the DNC to make sure that grassroots Democrats are guaranteed a seat at the table and have the tools to hold leadership accountable.
I’m proud to make the following reforms key to my campaign platform:
- Democratizing the DNC by giving more decision-making power to the state parties rather than vesting them solely in the Chair
- Reducing the number of appointees by the Chair
- Clean money and small dollar fundraising that treats Californians as partners rather than a fundraising piggybank
- Re-implementing a 50-state strategy that builds our party everywhere, especially red areas in California and across the country
- Transforming the DNC into a vehicle for organizing nationwide, especially in areas often ignored by other national Democratic organizations
- Pushing other states to elect their DNC members in a more democratic fashion
- Running the DNC with transparency and respect for rules of engagement and debate
- Emphasizing fully coordinated campaigns up and down the ballot, uniting our national, state and local efforts to help build our bench across the country
I’m running because I believe I have the experience, vision, and dedication needed to accomplish progressive change on the DNC.
I got involved in the fight to make the Democratic Party more progressive as a volunteer in Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004. In the 15 years since, I haven’t stopped organizing to beat Republicans, support progressive causes, and hold the Democratic Party accountable to its values.
I currently serve as the Region 10 Director for the California Democratic Party, serving Assembly Districts 35, 37, 38 and 44. I’m also a Co-Chair of the CDP Credentials Committee, member of the Ad Hoc Committee on ADEMS, and the South Vice Chair of the Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee. In addition, I'm a nationally recognized writer for a number of major publications covering both state and federal politics. You can read more about my background and qualifications here.
The DNC election will take place at the 2020 Spring Executive Board Meeting of the California Democratic Party in Visalia. I would love to count on your support and endorsement in this campaign--I'm looking forward to working on your behalf on the DNC, and would love to hear from you with your thoughts and perspectives in the days and weeks ahead!