Press Release

Nurses Applaud Huge Vote for Change in California Democratic Party Elections

Grassroots Activists Confident of Majorities in District Votes

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United today applauded the hundreds of nurses and other progressive activists who appear to have won the majority of Assembly District delegate slots for the 2017 California Democratic Party convention in town hall type meetings over the weekend.

Despite the monster storm that hit California, hundreds of Democratic Party activists braved the rain, snow and strong winds to jam meetings in 80 Assembly Districts across the state where delegates to the May Democratic convention were elected.

Dozens of registered nurses were elected to the slots, uniting in coalition with other progressive activists, many inspired by the 2016 Presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“This is a ringing endorsement of the new direction the Democratic Party needs, not just in California, but nationally,” said CNA/NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

DeMoro said she is starting a #CaliforniaSoProgressive hashtag, adding that “it's critical the California Democratic Party hold up the state up as a standard for the U.S. at this moment in history. We can do better as a state in healthcare, education and environmental, economic and social justice issues. No more resting on laurels. It’s time for action.”

“We are confident that when all the results are fully tabulated that progressives, including RNs, will have won a majority of the more than 1,100 Assembly District slots, and the 80 executive board seats that were up for election this weekend,” said CNA Legislative Director Don Nielsen, who coordinated the CNA participation.

“These elections, the only Democratic Party seats that are truly decided through town hall style grassroots participation, are a strong signal of the direction many Californians believe are needed to protect the public interest at a time of a major challenge from the right nationally,” said CNA Co-President Malinda Markowitz, RN, who herself won a delegate seat in San Jose.

Most of the candidates ran on slates, calling for new representation by those, as one slate card read, who will “fight hard for labor, economic, social, and environmental justice” and “represent California voters, not big money interests.”

Another slate card said its candidates “embody the set of values our district came to rally behind Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential bid: putting principles before politics to represent the needs of everyday people and the environment. We are carrying the torch of the Political Revolution. Real change has to be bottom-up and people-powered.”

Assembly District delegates are one of the major groups that comprise Democratic Party convention seats in California, along with Democratic elected officials and their appointees, and Democratic Central Committee members. Assembly district winners will serve for two years.

The California Nurses Association, the largest nurses organization in California is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S. with more than 150,000 members nationwide.  CNA/NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.