Monday, August 18, 2008

Convention will be most diverse ever

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From the DNCC:

With certification of all delegates for the 2008 Democratic National Convention now complete, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today that 44.3 percent of the delegates elected to attend the Convention in Denver represent minority communities, 50.1 percent are women and 31.4 percent are either seniors or youth, making this the most diverse Convention in Party history.

“Opening the door of the political process to people who have never taken part in the past has been the bedrock of our planning for this Convention since we arrived in Denver one year ago,” said Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC. “Twelve months and 56 primaries and caucuses later, it’s only fitting that our delegates represent that same core value and Barack Obama’s unparalleled ability to bring more new people in to the electoral process than ever before. Young and old, first-timers and Convention veterans, all representing a broad spectrum of backgrounds and communities, this is a delegation that will bring America’s voices to Denver.”

According to statistics compiled by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), more women, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, GLBT delegates and delegates with disabilities will attend the Convention than ever before.

“In just days, delegates will come together in Denver to conduct the most important business of the Convention – nominating Barack Obama as our Party’s nominee for the next President of the United States,” said Alice Germond, Secretary of the DNC. “As we gather in Denver to change the course of our nation, we will truly represent the strength and diversity of our Party and our country.”

The DNCC also announced the oldest delegate to the Convention is Sophie Masloff, 91, from Pennsylvania. Ms. Masloff is an unpledged delegate. The youngest is David Gilbert Pederson, a 17-year-old at-large delegate from Minnesota –one of two delegates under the age of 18.

Seniors, age 65 or older, make up 16.9 percent of the total delegation and delegates age 36 or younger comprise 14.5 percent.

Delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention are selected over several months by various methods outlined in each state’s delegate selection plan. In most states, the selection process begins with the state’s presidential primary or caucus and concludes in late spring at state party meetings and conventions. The certification of all delegates, alternates, standing committee members and pages is managed by the Secretary of the DNC.

Each state has several types of delegates based on both how the delegate is selected and whether that delegate is pledged or unpledged. The number of delegates allocated to each state, the District of Columbia, Democrats Abroad and the territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) is based on a formula that incorporates the state’s population and Democratic voting strength.

For more information on the makeup of the delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, visit