When the Democratic Party holds its annual national convention next month, Palm Beach County’s LGBT community will be well represented.

Rand Hoch, founder and president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, is a member of the DNC’s platform committee. Hoch spoke to SFGN Monday morning, via telephone, about his duties on the committee.

“It’s an impressive process going on,” said Hoch, a retired judge.

When asked how the platform committee intended to reach out to supporters of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, Hoch said it requires patience and understanding.

“It’s listening to their concerns,” Hoch said. “We as Democrats have a lot more in common than we have differences. Bernie Sanders has brought a lot of new people into the party. How we integrate those new ideas with the party’s platform is what our committee will have to work on.”

Hoch said that while important, the platform committee is second to the rules committee in terms of power. Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank, a gay man, is co-chair of the DNC rules committee.

According to Hoch, Florida’s delegation to the convention contains 29 delegates who identify as LGBT. Deidre Newton, a lesbian and state committeewoman for the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, is joining Hoch in Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention is July 25-28.

Hoch said currently there is a lot of drafting of party documents. He expected the “final crunch” of the party platform to occur during an October meeting in Orlando.

This will be Hoch’s seventh Democratic National Convention. His first time was in 1976 when the party nominated Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who went on to become the 39th President of the U.S.