Las Vegas DSA is a democratic, member-led organization. This means that members have the opportunity to review, debate, discuss, and vote on any candidate as part of our endorsement process.
Why Seek Endorsement?
LVDSA will ask hundreds of members to organize canvasses, phone banks, text banking, poll coverage, press releases, rallies, and more to help our endorsed candidates win their race. We will work with a candidate as part of a coordinated campaign or act as an independent expenditure as determined by the Steering Committee for each individual campaign. We will work tirelessly to get our endorsed candidates into office.
Our endorsements are meant to be more than a recommendation to our members to vote for a particular candidate. Instead, they are a commitment to fight to get that candidate elected and enact change, while helping to build the broader movement for socialism. Once the candidate is in office, we expect to continue engaging with them and continue to push the policies and projects that helped propel them to victory.
LVDSA shall only endorse candidates who are members in good standing. Candidates must be willing to openly identify as democratic socialists while running for office. Candidates must also pledge not to take any campaign contributions from for-profit corporations, for-profit corporate PACs, real estate developers or corporate lobbyists.
Candidates seeking endorsement from LVDSA must proceed through the following steps in the order outlined below. We suggest candidates apply for endorsement at least 3 months before the election to allow enough time to navigate through the process and for LVDSA to make meaningful organizing efforts to help you win. The earlier you apply, the more we can do to support your candidacy if you’re endorsed.
Step 1: Questionnaire
The first step to apply as a candidate is to study and respond to the appropriate Candidate Questionnaire.
All questionnaire responses are sent to the Electoral Working Group and forwarded to the Steering Committee.
Step 2: Candidate Consideration
To be considered, a candidate will need to be sponsored for consideration from five LVDSA members in good standing who have been members for longer than 6 months. The names of the sponsors may be submitted along with the candidate questionnaire or emailed separately to email@example.com after the questionnaire has been submitted.
Once the Steering Committee has received the candidate questionnaire and has verified the sponsors, members of the chapter will be informed of the application for endorsement. Candidate questionnaire answers will be listed on the LVDSA website for members to review.
Step 3: Candidate Q&A Session
After completing the questionnaire and being sponsored by the required number of chapter members, candidates will be invited to an online Question-and-Answer meeting with LVDSA’s general membership. Each candidate in consideration will have a separate Q&A event.
Step 4: Endorsement Meeting and Vote
The Steering Committee will add an endorsement vote to the agenda for a general body meeting after members have received notice of the endorsement application and provide members with at least two weeks notice of the upcoming vote. Notice of the endorsement vote may be included in the notice of the endorsement application. The Steering Committee will include in the endorsement resolution whether we will be participating through a coordinated campaign or independent expenditure if the candidate is endorsed.
At the endorsement meeting, each candidate will be given a few minutes to state why they should receive a LVDSA endorsement. Then, candidates will be required to leave the meeting so that members may speak freely while debating the endorsement decisions.
Following the conclusion of the endorsement meeting, a ballot will be emailed to LVDSA membership. To be endorsed, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the votes on a ranked “Single Transferable Vote” (STV) ballot — defeating any competing candidates as well as “No Endorsement.”
A Note on Candidate Filtering
To help inform the general membership of any important considerations, the Electoral Working Group will conduct basic research on candidates and the offices being sought for endorsement. This will most likely relate to the viability of a candidate’s campaign to win, or alignment on important issues if findings differ greatly from the submitted questionnaire.
Based on this information — or for example, if an overwhelming number of candidates seek endorsement, making the endorsement meeting untenable — the Steering Committee has the ability to decide who proceeds to the endorsement meeting and appears on the endorsement ballot.
Also Good to Know
If not endorsed: If it should happen that you don’t get endorsed, this will not prevent LVDSA members from working for your campaign, as long as nothing either you or they do would give the impression that LVDSA has endorsed you.
Building support for consideration with chapter members: As soon as your questionnaire is submitted, you can post on your own social media, ask in person, or ask other members to advocate for you in their networks! If you are also a member, you can ask your comrades on Slack, or other open channels, to support LVDSA considering your candidacy for endorsement.