The Pennington County Democratic Party – sometimes known as the Pennington County Democrats, PennDems, or PenDems – is the political arm of the more-than-16,000 registered Democrats in Pennington County. Any registered Democrat who lives in Pennington County is welcome to participate. Regular monthly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Computer Village in the Gap in downtown Rapid City at 6 PM.
The County Party functions as a subsidiary of the South Dakota Democratic Party, just as the State Party is a subsidiary of the National Democratic Party. The formal structure of the County Party is based on the voting precincts in Pennington County. Each precinct is entitled to two votes on the governing body – the County Central Committee. Those representatives are the precinct committeewoman and the precinct committeeman.
Among the foundational principles the Pennington County Democratic Party believes in are the following:
Everyone is entitled to the same rights, privileges, advantages, and opportunities as any other person. There are no exceptions.
Due to historic prejudices and inequalities experienced by the Native American population in South Dakota, additional efforts must be made to overcome prejudice and ensure fair opportunity for members of racial minority groups.
The importance of high quality public education was recognized by South Dakota’s founders and enshrined in the State constitution which states in part that “it shall be the duty of the legislature to establish and maintain a uniform system of public schools … and adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of public education.”