An Intro to Local Democratic Groups; A Message from the Acting Chair

Dear Fellow Democrats,
Welcome to the Party!  And the first addition of what we hope will be a bi-monthly newsletter.  

All through 2020, the year of isolation, the Yellowstone County Democratic Central Committee (YCDCC) has been working hard to put together a creative messaging and communications team.  So, if you happen to see Ming Cabrera around town, thank him for his vision and many hours of hard work and dedication in bringing this great team together.  And thank him for finding our new Communications Director, Melissa Smith.  Melissa can be reach at

When the Communications Committee was ready to publish its first newsletter, I thought this would be an excellent time to begin with some basics for those that are new to the Party. When I first became involved with the Democrats, I heard people speak about the Central Committee, Executive Board, Precinct Committee men/women, State Committee men/women and Officers. It was all very confusing.  It took me a long time to finally get it all straight in my head and understand the relationships of various groups.  So let me take a stab at defining them.

In Yellowstone County there are three basic groups: 

Yellowstone Democratic Central Committee is the local infrastructure to:

  1. Provide support for our Democratic Candidates
  2. Direct the activities of Democrats within the County
  3. Set short-term and long-term goals for the Party
  4. Educate the public on platform issues and candidates
  5. Coordinate activities with the State Central Committee

County Central Committees are officially recognized in Montana State Statute. The make-up of the Central Committee (CC) is one man and women from each precinct within the County (precinct committee man/woman/people) and are the voting members of the Central Committee, along with officers selected by the Central Committee.  In the statute, precinct people are elected on the primary ballot, with the Central Committee charged with appointing for vacancies in between elections.

The Central Committee then elects an executive board of 10 members: chair, vice-chair, treasurer, tary, recording secretary, state committeeman and two alternates, and a state committeewoman and two alternates.  Executive board members are not required to be precinct committee people.  Each year, the Central Committee holds a county convention in the month of May.  In even years,  the convention is a platform convention where all Party members can contribute their ideas on the values of the Party.  In odd years, the convention is an officers’ convention. 

The Central Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5:15 p.m., currently via Zoom.  If you are interested in serving as a precinct person; we have several open seats, or if you would just like to attend and participate, contact Wanda Grinde at  

Yellowstone Democratic Club  This is the independent social arm of the Party. The Club’s function is to organize  monthly dinners and the annual summer Democratic picnic. The intent of the Club is to have a year-round venue for Democrats to keep engaged and active, and to sponsor programs of interest and information for local Democrats. The Club also has its own executive board.  Due to the COVID pandemic, the Club has been unable to meet, but we are all hopeful that dinners may resume in the fall. 

Yellowstone Democratic Study Club is an independent organization which invites community leaders to discuss a variety of issues, current affairs, and topics of interest.  This is an informal group that currently meets every Wednesday morning via Zoom at 7 a.m. The contacts for the Study Club are Tom Towe, and Pam Ellis,

Stay tuned to our newsletter, as we roll out additional plans for engaging citizens and re-branding our organization.

Becky Riedl, Acting Chair