CAIRO - Making political history, two dozen Muslims have been elected delegates of the Democratic Party in the US state of California, a move seen as a milestone for the sizable minority.
California Muslims made political history when 28 Muslim candidates were elected by Democrats as delegates and alternate delegates to the California Democratic Party (CDP), the CDP said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
This constitutes the largest number of Muslims ever elected as delegates in California.
Elections were held last week to pick up delegates of the party in California's 80 assembly districts.
At least 36 Muslims were among hundreds of candidates who have run in the vote for CDP delegates.
Twenty-eight were elected (five as executive board members and two as alternate delegates), and eight lost their races, the statement said.
An elected delegate is able to vote on candidate endorsements and help shape the platform of the CDP.
He also approves the rules by which the CDP functions, vote on resolutions of concern to various communities, and choose CDP representatives to the Democratic National Party.
Delegates are also responsible for attending the annual statewide convention.
The CDP has approximately 3000 delegates, some of whom are appointed by elected officials.
About one-third of delegates are elected every odd numbered year through elections divided by assembly district.
Twelve individuals (six women and six men) from each assembly district are elected as delegates to serve a two year term to the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC).
The election is hailed as a political milestone for American Muslims.
This is an incredible step for Muslims to become more involved in the political process and make a difference for the Muslim community and in their districts, the CDP statement said.
US Muslims, estimated at between six to eight million, have been playing an increasing role in the American politics.
Muslims have also become an important voting bloc in the country.
Several groups as the umbrella Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have launched initiatives to boost political participation of US Muslims.
A campaign launched by CAIR before the November election included a presidential voter guide, an online voter registration tool and a video promoting online voter registration.
The campaign also encouraged Muslims to volunteer in election campaigns, host candidate forums and mobilize community members to vote in the elections.Although the Muslim population in the US may be small, the voting power of this group could become significant in a close election as a significant number of US Muslims live in key swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Virginia.