OPEN LETTER TO DNC MEMBERS: Support expanding State Convention Delegate Voting Rights & Majority Voting before 2024 State Conventions
The following is a letter I sent to many DNC Members on October 6, 2023 during the Fall DNC Meeting in St. Louis:
Dear DNC Members,
I know you are busy with your Fall Meeting but I would like to invite you to engage in a critical dialogue before you leave St. Louis.
I have been an advocate for better replicating the lessons of OFA’s “Respect. Empower. Include. Organize. Win.” mantra for over a decade and tried to raise the alarm in Virginia recently about the need for greater collaboration in the Washington Post that discussed the need for party unity through civil discourse not civil war.
So after receiving news and first-hand confirmations about the recent proposal submitted to our DPVA Central Committee that we change our state bylaws to transfer the election of our DNC Members from our 3000+ State Convention Delegates to our 300+ Central Committee, I want to encourage every party official nationwide to empowering our State Convention Delegates instead of causing further divisions by excluding them.
This is a simple “democracy” issue not a “progressive” issue that should concern everyone. The good news is the proposal has been tabled as many of our Central Committee Members have voiced their objection regardless of ideology.
In fact, this is exactly what is recommended by the DNC Bylaws in Section 11:
“The National, State, and Local Democratic Party organizations shall undertake affirmative action programs designed to encourage the fullest participation of all Democrats in all Party affairs. All Party affairs shall mean all activities of each official Party organization commencing at the lowest level and continuing up through the National Democratic Party. Such activities shall include but need not be limited to the processes in which delegates are selected to the National Democratic Convention; Party officials are nominated or selected…”
We need to go forward not backward. That is why we need to expand participation wherever possible.
And in terms of the voting methods used, it is more empowering to State Convention Delegates to select an Instant Runoff (or Ranked Choice Voting) system for choosing DNC Convention Delegates and DNC Members.
As you probably know, this is exactly how DNC Executive Committee Elections are already conducted as the voting method is stated in Article Five of the DNC Charter:
“The National Chairperson shall be elected and may be removed by a majority vote of the Democratic National Committee, and each term shall expire upon the election for the following term.”
In Northern Virginia, we easily conducted two Congressional District Committee special elections in VA-8 and VA-11 via Instant Runoff in recent weeks and ensured that the consensus choice was elected by a Majority not a Plurality as well as that no candidate felt the pressure to drop out as a result of threat of being a “spoiler.”
The only change is an Instant Runoff ballot allows for a voter to rank their preferences on one ballot which eliminates the need for extra rounds of voting.
If a motion can be made at the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee to add to Article Five that all elections of all DNC Officials be held by State Convention and Majority Vote that would be an excellent step toward making our election process more equitable.
i would like to invite you to join me in building a community of DNC Members who support uniting the party behind expanding participation and collaboration.
As we approach 2024 it is critical that we re-commit ourselves to the Coalition-building playbook that elected President Obama and President Biden which is centered on our Democracy-centered values.
As you probably know the DNC has built a new framework with the Coalitions & Community Engagement Department but we need to spread this kind of infrastructure down to the state and local level next with new initiatives.
Sign Up below and I will follow up:
DNC UNITED DEMOCRATS (for democracy-driven coalition-building that bridges our divides)
DNC MEMBERS FOR MAJORITY VOTING (Instant Runoff or RCV)
Otherwise, feel free to reply with your feedback as I look forward to participating in this process with you in the year ahead.
Virginia Democrats Network, Blue Victory 2024, Virginia Blue Victory 2023, Network For Progress
NoVA For Biden, Virginia Grassroots Coalition, Swing Left Virginia, Fairfax County Democratic Committee
ABOUT FORWARD PROGRESSIVE
Jim McBride is a coalition-building strategist with almost 3 decades in communications and politics including media relations work with the International Association of Fire Fighters after 9/11 and multiple award-winning public relations firms.
Jim is founder of Virginia Democrats Network, Blue Victory 2024, “Virginia Blue Victory 2023, Network For Progress) and community-building Member of NoVA For Biden, Virginia Grassroots Coalition, Swing Left Virginia and the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.
Jim previously served as a DNC & Biden-Harris Community Leader, Communications Director of the DC/MD/VA Grassroots Coordinating Committee and served as the 1st Volunteer Database Coodinator for Virginia For Obama and founded Generation Obama-DC/MD/VA Chapter in 2007. He is a former President of Arlington Young Democrats and Vice Chair of Precinct Operations for Arlington Democrats.Thanks for reading Forward Progress! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.