SAN JUAN - The Democratic Party of Puerto Rico (DPPR) announced today the beginning of an education and orientation effort to encourage a broad participation in the delegate selection process to become part of the Puerto Rico delegation to the 2020 National Democratic Convention.
Chairman Charlie Rodriguez detailed the process to take place in all of the island's senatorial districts, to attract the participation of more women, youth, seniors, members of the LGBTQ community, veterans and union workers in the selection of delegates.
Rodriguez highlighted that Puerto Rico will have 59 delegates and 5 alternates to the National Democratic Convention for a total of 64 delegates, far more delegates than 24 states of the Union. He added that once selected, these delegates will attend the convention to be held on July 13-16, 2020 in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Prior to this, the selection of pledged delegates to presidential candidates will be decided in the Democratic primary scheduled for March 29, 2020. "Having advanced the primary from June to March elevates the island's influence in the process of selecting the democratic candidate and next President of the Nation," he said.
Rodríguez immediately added: "There is very little margin under our Commonwealth territorial status to allow us to exercise our full voting rights as American citizens at the national level. The Democratic presidential primary provides the only limited influence we have in national politics. It is a great opportunity for the people of the territory to express their outrage at President Trump's offensive treatment of Puerto Rico and promote our request for statehood which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the people in the two latest plebiscites and continues to have tremendous support in the mainland as recent opinion polls indicate."
To ensure the widest representation of all sectors, the Delegate Selection Plan provides for the 64 delegates to be apportioned considering the demographic composition of the population with no less than 22% youth between 18 and 36 years old; 10% of the LGBTQ community; 15% of people with disabilities; and 20% seniors.
On the March 2020 primary, 33 delegates will be selected at the senatorial district level: 15 men and 16 women; 4 for each senatorial district, except Arecibo with 5. In order to be entitled for delegates presidential candidates must obtain no less than 15% of the votes cast in the primary. The proportion obtained in the primary will also establish how 18 additional delegates and the 5 alternates are distributed among the candidates.Finally, there will be 8 automatic delegates representing Democratic Party officials who will not be able to vote in the first round of the vote of delegates at the National Convention but in the next rounds, if needed.
Rodriguez urged anyone interested in being a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, to participate in the educational process that will extend over the next three months through town halls and presentations to different party groups and non-governmental organizations.
For this stage, the former Senate President indicated that direct contact with the public will be accomplished by means of the press, electronic news media, social networks, and the DPPR’s website www.prdems.org
The delegate application forms and instructions will be available at the DPPR’s website beginning on January 2, 2020.