California Democratic Party Convention

The Democratic State Central Committee met in San Francisco May 31-June 2

Who Sponsored the Convention?

In the General Assembly, smaller screens on the left and right displayed the names of Convention Sponsors.

Sponsors included Uber and Juul.


The California Democratic Party faced a messaging crisis at its convention over the weekend in San Francisco.

Juul, currently the largest e-cigarette maker, was one major sponsor of the event, causing disagreements between some party members.

Some of the convention’s other controversial corporate sponsors included the ride-hailing company Uber—which is anti-union and pays workers severely low wages—and Airbnb, the home-sharing company that has exacerbated urban inequality in cities globally.

It’s not clear how much money Uber or Juul gave to the party but Juul had an entire sign all to itself (the only other entity with it’s own sign was the California Teacher’s Association). Sponsorship materials from last year’s convention show that the largest package goes to donors giving $100,000.

At 8:27 in the Sunday Streaming Video Part 2,  Hene Kelly, the party director for California’s Region 6 approached the microphone, asking, “What committee should I go to to ask this party not to take any money from Juul, who preys on children?” 

Phonetic transcription.

“What committee would take a resolution or a statement from this party that we will not take money from Uber which is non-union and treats its employees terribly. What Committee should I go to? Please tell me?”

CDP Acting Chair Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker stepped up to the microphone.

“Can the Chair say, ‘Take that to the Finance Committee?” and Hene, can we put you on a subcommittee to replace that money that we’re not going to take? So we’ll have to raise a few hundred thousand dollars? (Boos) Come on! Come on! It takes a lot of money to run this party and to make sure we win. So Hene Kelly I would like to appoint you to the Finance Committee.” 

The Legislative Committee chairs politely continued with the Agenda despite interuptions, and recognized microphone 2. Sunday Streaming Video Part 2 at 10:03, RL Miller spoke.

“I’ve been appointed to one of those committees. It’s not serving! When will party stop taking money from people who do business with the Fossil Fuel Industry?” 

At 10:37, Hene Kelly returns to the microphone. “And I accept a position on that Committee! And if I have to bake 10,000 challahs and sell them on Friday evening, I sure as hell will!”

At 28:40, Daraka Larrimore-Hall addressed the Convention as Vice Chair. 

“I also want to say that I look forward to getting back to getting back to the work of the reform agenda that you’ve been demanding as grassroots Democrats for decades. First and foremost is reconvening the working committee on Campaign Finance.

And thank you very much Hene Kelly. You continue to be the conscience of this Party.

But to continue the work that my colleauge our controller Dan Weitzman and I started with having serious conversations about how we can get corporate money out of the Democratic Partry and big money out of politics and replace it with money we can be proud of. But we’ve got to earn your trust back in so many ways as leaders of this party.

Challah is the theme for 2019.

Christine Pelosi posted a photo of “Hene Kelly –nothing less than the 💯 real deal–here she was doing her Statue of Liberty 🗽 imitation auctioning challah at the SF District 11 Democratic Club dinner. I put in a bid – but Tony was the winner.”

Hene Kelly‎ to CADEM Delegates (Unofficial): Remember that Challah Baking will beat JUUL Vaping!


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