The Texas Democrat Party will forgo its original plans for a traditional in-person state convention in San Antonio, Texas, and will instead hold the event online, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa announced on Thursday.
“COVID-19 has impacted every facet of our lives. To keep people safe, engage Texans everywhere, and adapt to the challenges we face, the 2020 Texas Democratic Convention will take place online,” Hinojosa said in a statement.
“Our tactics have changed, but our goals for 2020 have not,” he continued.
Hinojosa is presenting the online convention, which the press release described as the “largest online convention and virtual experience in Democratic Party history,” as a breakthrough in terms of engagement, as it will make it easier for individuals across the Lone Star state to participate:
BREAKING: Texas Democratic Party Moving State Convention to Virtual Experiencehttps://t.co/3EySXSUIqY pic.twitter.com/Ck2zG6wvMe
— Texas Democrats (@texasdemocrats) March 26, 2020
As the largest state convention in the country, the Texas Democratic Party knows that we have an obligation to Texas Democrats everywhere to make this convention open to everyone. We view this as an opportunity to do something groundbreaking: by moving into a digital forum, we will make it easier for individuals across Texas to participate by removing barriers associated with travel costs, missed work, or physical ability. We also have the opportunity to innovate our convention business. By designing these systems now, we stay ahead of the curve and continue to be a leader among state parties who are operationalizing digital systems year over year. It will be the cutting edge of what technology has to offer and an example of how conventions are going to look in the future. I have the utmost confidence in our team’s ability to host this historic event.
“Make no mistake, there will be a Texas Democratic Convention, and the Party’s business will be done,” he continued, noting that additional details are forthcoming.
The announcement comes as Democratic National Committee (DNC) organizers engage in “intensive scenario-planning” in the event of the coronavirus pandemic preventing the July 13–16 gathering at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“There are no plans to cancel the convention and we are not considering a rules change at this time,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement this week. “Contingency planning is a routine part of preparations for any convention.”