How We Operate
The Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee (PCDEC) is an entity of the Florida Democratic Party, and is the official governing body of the Democratic Party at the county level. The basic building blocks of membership to the PCDEC are:
- Elected members who are elected to represent the Democrats in their voting precinct (Precinct Committeewoman and Precinct Committeeman) and to conduct Precinct Captain roles of organizing and outreach in their home precinct;
- Automatic members who are the Democrats elected to partisan office (such as County Commissioners and Florida Legislators) who are Pinellas County residents;
- Appointed members who are selected by the PCDEC County Chair (but whose membership is subject to approval by the PCDEC) who bring special resources and talent and diversity to the PCDEC but do not serve as Precinct Committeewomen or Committeemen.
- Associate members who desire to affiliate with and volunteer with the local Democratic Party, but are freed from membership duties and do not have voting rights. Associate members are typically Democrats who enjoy having a voice in the Democratic Party’s governance structure but prefer to volunteer as their time allows. Associate members who work at the most local level of Building Captain or Block Captain are indispensable to the Democratic grassroots network.
Each county’s DEC elects a State Committeewoman and a State Committeeman to represent the county to the State Executive Committee, which in turn elects DNC members to represent Florida Democrats to the Democratic National Committee. In this way the Democratic Party’s county, state, and national governing Committees are representative of Democrats from localities all over the country.
County DEC’s exist on a 4 year cyclical basis, with elections every Presidential Election year. In December of Presidential Election years, the organization starts from scratch, with the Elected and Automatic members (those who have, by virtue of having stood for election by the voters, earned the right to represent Democrats in their precincts or districts) convening at the “Organizational Meeting” to elect the leadership of the DEC (County Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman). This model, established in Florida law and Florida Democratic Party (FDP) Charter and Bylaws, ensures that the major political parties are responsive to the will of the voters. The Pinellas County DEC has a Sergeant-At-Arms.
There are various standing committees in the PCDEC that fulfill necessary administrative and constituent liaison functions.