The Arab American Caucus played an important role in the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego, which took place on February 23-25 with many members of the caucus taking leadership roles in several committees, caucuses, and the Party’s Executive Board, and plenty of them running for local, state and federal office.
This convention marked the Arab American Caucus’ first ever recommendation for endorsement process. Since Caucuses are not allowed to endorse candidates outside the state Party’s endorsements, caucuses can instead recommend their preferred candidates for party endorsement. Each caucus Executive Board Member appointed one delegate to join the recommendation committee, which made up of 10 delegates (each board member and her/his appointee). Candidates who filled out the Arab American Caucus questionnaire were considered for endorsement recommendation upon receiving the consensus of the committee. . During the meeting, the endorsed candidates were given an opportunity to address the caucus members.
The meeting also featured speeches by Arab Americans and Muslim Americans running for local, state, and federal office in California, including Ammar Campa-Najjar, Sam Jammal, James Elia, Ahmad Zahra, Asif Mahmood, Fauzia Siddiqui Rizvi, Farrah Khan and others. In addition, Arab American elected officials were highlighted and addressed the caucus. Among them were Sam Hindi, Mayor of Foster City, Ali Saleh, Councilman of City of Bell, Michael Salah Tahan, Councilman of City of Fontana, and the youngest Arab American elected official Jonathan Abboud, Chair of the Santa Barbara College Board of Trustees.
Also during the meeting, Iyad Afalqa announced that he received news from Delegate David Mandel that the Legislative Committee made the recommendation to to support House Resolution 4391 “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children,” opposing S 720/HR 1697 the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a federal bill that would impose draconian penalties for boycotts regarding Israel under certain circumstances; and S 170/HR 2856, the Combatting BDS Act, which purports to permit an encourages states to enact similar laws – as many have. Party delegates approved these position during the general session on Sunday. Read the Progressive, Arab American, and Veterans’ caucuses press release here.
Watch the Caucus meeting here:
The Arab American Caucus was established in 1991, to unite and provide representation for Arab Americans within the California Democratic Party structure. The next Arab American Caucus meeting will take place during the CDP Executive Board meeting on July 13-15 in Oakland. For more information, visit www.cadem.org.