“The Democratic Party is in a period of crisis,” the party’s national chair, Ben Jealous, said in an address Monday to a group of Democratic activists.
“The question is, where do we go from here?”
The Democrats’ current crisis comes at a time when the party faces a number of major challenges.
The party is at a crossroads, with Bernie Sanders’s progressive agenda dominating the news headlines and a host of other progressive policies in the works.
And Democrats are facing a critical shortage of political talent, and many are looking for ways to recruit new talent.
The Democratic Party’s current crisis also comes at the end of a tumultuous time for the party, with President Donald Trump’s presidency already causing Democrats to be deeply divided, with some members of Congress saying they have no faith in the party.
The DNC has struggled to find its footing in the aftermath of the 2016 election, when the Democrats were forced to cut ties with the party following the defeat of Hillary Clinton.
In 2018, the DNC reorganized in order to maintain the unity of the party and bring more diversity into the party as well as help the party gain the necessary number of seats in the 2018 midterm elections.
But the party is still far from a full-fledged political organization.
The Democratic National Committee has struggled with the growing number of non-partisan candidates seeking the party nomination, especially during the past several years.
The lack of diversity has been especially problematic for members of the Democratic National Convention Committee, which holds the convention this summer and is tasked with deciding the party nominee for 2020.
“There are no non-voters,” said a former DNC official who was on the committee in 2016.
“There are a lot of us who have worked hard, who are committed, who have been fighting for years to elect the best candidate to represent us.”
The current party leadership, however, says the problem is a function of a lack of diverse candidates and a lack the party can recruit enough people to fill the ranks of the 2020 slate.
The next wave of candidates is projected to include at least four of the candidates on the 2020 field, with the Democratic nominee expected to be announced by June.
That person would be the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination, a milestone for the first time since 1976.
The Democrats currently have no female candidates on their 2020 slate, according to Politico.
But that could change.
The party is expected to announce a new slate of female candidates this month, with a new party leader expected to take office in early 2018.
The 2020 Democratic Party has been in a state of flux since the party announced the new slate in February, with many members questioning whether the party should continue to rely on the same list of candidates that was elected in 2016, and if there were any lingering questions about the party being a full party.
In 2018, former DNC chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and his successor, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D) announced a slate of new female candidates, including Rep. Cheri Bustos (D), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D).
“I want to make sure we get out of the ‘women only’ box,” Bustos said in a speech last month.
“This is an exciting time to be in this party.”
Another potential new female candidate could be Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D–Calif.), who has long pushed for women to have more influence in politics.
The former DNC Chairwoman and current vice chairwoman of the House Progressive Caucus, Lofberg has long called for women in Congress to have a greater say in the selection of candidates.
In 2016, Democrats also announced the formation of a women-only policy advisory committee, with five members to be appointed by the party to serve as its first women-led panel.
The policy advisory group is expected be filled by the time of the convention.
The new policy advisory team is expected, in part, to be a response to the growing calls from progressive groups for the Democrats to create a women’s committee, an issue that has been a point of contention for the Democratic Party since the 2016 presidential election.
Many Democrats also want the party not to focus solely on building a progressive infrastructure for the 2020 cycle, as Trump has done.
“The DNC is not a party of the future,” said former DNC staffer and author Donna Brazile.
“We are a party that is built on the past.
The Democrats need to build a progressive movement in 2020.”
The 2020 field of Democratic candidates includes:Rep. Hilda Solis (DFL-Fla.), who is the House Minority Whip for the 3rd District, has been leading the party in terms of recruiting talent for the next cycle.
The former DNC vice chair and former chairwoman for the DNC, Rep.-elect Tim Ryan (DNC), will serve as chair of the DNC’s 2020 Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D –Calif.), the first openly transgender woman elected