Megan Chapa and other LEAP Ambassadors recently had the opportunity to serve as temporary precinct chair at the Walker County Republican Precinct Convention. This was a unique experience as the students got to explore the local political process at the grass-roots level. Kaitlyn Tyra was the precinct convention secretary and took minutes at the meeting, and Brian Aldaco came in to observe.
The purpose of a precinct convention is to appoint delegates and to propose party platforms to the county convention. All primary voters from the precinct in which the convention is held are eligible to attend the precinct convention and to either submit platform resolutions for a vote, or to submit their name as a delegate to the county convention. If someone cannot make the precinct convention, they can contact the precinct convention chair and request that their name be included as a proposed delegate to the county convetion.
In some precinct conventions, the proceedings can become heated and, although Megan was anticipating a challenge that night, she reported the following: “The precinct convention ran extremely smoothly and finished within an hour. The chair, Linda McKenzie provided me a packet that walked me through the entire process. Of course I was nervous, but I always try to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I may grow and experience new things. There was not a huge turnout in my precinct, but it was still a great learning experience. The best part of the night was seeing many people I know from my community participating in the democratic process.”
LEAP Ambassadors look forward to the county convention and whatever role they have the opportunity to play in that. Local government is so much different than the textbooks and the Ambassadors are glad that they can not only see the process but participate in it.