The Democratic State Committee is the elected body which oversees the New York State Democratic Party. It is composed of State Committee Members, who represent districts from throughout New York State. Adam Roberts represents the 76th District, which includes the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.
State Committee Members have a significant amount of influence over New York’s political landscape. They help determine the rules of the New York State Democratic Party, which gives them influence over:
- Party Platform: While non-binding, the State Committee passes resolutions which in effect become the party platform for the New York State Democratic Party.
- Spending: The State Committee determines what races money is spent. Unfortunately, the State Committee often spend money defending Democratic incumbents in primaries instead of defeating Republicans in general elections.
- Endorsements: The State Committee endorses statewide candidates, such as Governor. These endorsements carry a considerable amount of weight, as they provide endorsed candidates with the New York State Democratic Party’s voter data, money, and campaign staff.
- Democratic National Committee Members: While representatives to the local and state Democratic Parties are elected, representatives to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are not. DNC members are selected by the State Committee.
- Ethics Code: The State Committee oversees the New York State Democratic Party’s ethics code, as well as the hearing process for violating it. In Albany’s present culture of corruption, cronyism, and sexual harassment, this is an important tool.
- Primaries: Currently disputed as to whether the State Committee can amend the primary process, some believe the State Committee can decide who is eligible to vote in primaries, while others believe State law determines this.