Fairness for At-Large Members
Build supports C/B #38: Improving At-Large Representation
For the purposes of at-large delegate elections, divides the at-large membership into 10 geographic electoral districts, the at-large members of each being considered a "virtual local chapter" and assigned delegates as any other chapter. Elections are conducted using ballots specific to each district.
Why Is Build Endorsing This?
Because “nice, even numbers” don’t trump democracy.
Provides that at-large members are allocated delegates in the same way as local chapters. This gives them the same representation as all other DSA members.
Gives a real voice to members in organizing committees and areas where no DSA chapter is yet in operation.
Wouldn’t you rather not deal with a ballot of hundreds of candidates?
At-large members will only be asked to vote on candidates in a limited geographic area. This means fewer candidates on their ballots and makes it more feasible for members to actually evaluate them.
Electoral districts are supposed to be drawn in geographically coherent ways, increasing the likelihood that at-large members actually will actually know their candidates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Concern: Could the districts be gerrymandered?
Answer: It’s a possibility, but this concern has to be weighed against how unfair the current system is. A nationwide ballot of hundreds of candidates is both exhausting to evaluate and nearly incomprehensible without external guidance.
Another answer: An amendment has also been made to provide some protections and checks against gerrymandering.
Concern: Why should unorganized members have the same organizational power as members in chapters? Shouldn’t they be focused on forming new chapters first?
Answer: We’re a democratic organization, and that includes all our members.
Another answer: If we want to grow new chapters and organize in new areas, shouldn’t we hear from people who are in areas with no chapters?
Another answer: The many at-large members who are in chapters that have yet to gain official recognition are hardly “unorganized.”