Cal Berkeley Democrats (or Cal Dems, as the club is commonly known on campus) was founded in 1960 by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Cal Dems is the official arm of the Democratic Party on UC Berkeley’s campus, and the largest campus chapter of the California College Democrats. Cal Dems won the Chapter of the Year award in 2011 for our enormous efforts to elect Democrats in the 2010 election.
Cal Dems is also one of the most active chapters of the California Young Democrats. We take a biannual retreat to Tahoe with the organization to strengthen our membership and build a statewide progressive network. We also attend CYD’s annual Executive Board Meeting at the California Democratic Party’s State Convention.
What does Cal Berkeley Democrats do?
Cal Dems is a proven force for political organizing and outreach. For example, in the 2010 Midterm Elections, we:
· Distributed over 2500 pieces of campaign literature on campus, and another 3000 pieces through
· Helped register 5100 voters, including 2200 Democrats, as a part of the UC Berkeley Vote Coalition
· Made over 4500 calls in our phone banking efforts for Democratic candidates
· Knocked on over 6000 doors through our canvassing efforts
· Helped carry to victory 6 of 7 Democratic candidates in races we targeted
Every year, Cal Dems brings accomplished leaders and elected officials to campus. In the last four years, the club has hosted California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as well as Berkeley’s Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and State Senator Loni Hancock, among several others.
Cal Dems provides a variety of social and professional opportunities. The club is a great place to network and socialize with a group of students bound by common Democratic values. Cal Dems members connect to employers through the weekly Digest, annual Summer Internship Fair, and a series of professional workshops designed to support individuals interested in careers in politics, government, and law.