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DNC Meeting January 2013

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) held its first meeting of the year at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC today.  The DNC elected officers, adopted committee reports, and heard from Vice President Biden.  Highlights:

  • Virginia has three new DNC members – The Virginia State Party Chair and highest-ranking-Vice-Chair-of-the-opposite-gender are automatically members of the DNC.  Chair Charnielle Herring replaces fromer Chair Brian Moran, and to keep gender balance, Vice Chair for Rules Fred Hudson replaces Vice Chair for Organization Gaylene Kanoyton.  Gaylene has done an extraordinary job on the DNC advocating for state parties in general and the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) in particular.  She served as Vice President of the Southern Region of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC), and the ASDC is perhaps the most active and important part of the DNC.  Gaylene will continue to stay involved at the national level and we will continue to benefit from her activism.   DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given an at-large apppoinment to Juanita Luiz of Alexandria, an international representative of the IBEW, who will also become a member of the DPVA Steering Committee.  Congratulations to our new DNC members!
  • dwsThe DNC unanimously elected a slate of officers – Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets), Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation Donna Brazile, Vice Chair Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Treasurer Andy Tobias were re-elected.  Vice Chair Linda Chavez Thompson and Rep. Mike Honda did not seek reelection and the new vice chairs are Maria Elena Durazo and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  Secretary Alice Germond and National Finanance Chair Jane Stetson did not seek relection and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake (Baltimore) and Henry Munoz were elected to those positions.  Alice Germond of W.Va. has served as secretary since 2002, succeeding Kathy Vick (1989-2002) and Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush (1944-1988).  She has been a tireless advocate for Democratic candidates and issues and an extraordinary resource for DNC members. She has always been available, accessible, and helpful, and DNC members appreciate her support and assistance.  Thank you Alice, for all you have done for the DNC, and its members.  Alice will serve as Secretary Emeritus of the DNC and have an at-large appointment.
  • The DNC Chair has 75 at-large appointments.  As is usually the case, the DNC voted to extend the terms of the current appointees to the Fall 2013 meeting and new appoinand the terms of persons appointed will continue until that time.
  • Chair DWS endorsed the agenda President Obama set out in his Inaugural Address.  She also briefly discussed the new Organizing for Action entity explaining that “Organizing for Action will enable us to keep our volunteers engaged in issue advocacy to help pass the president’s legislative agenda, while training the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders in communities across the country.”
  • Chair DWS, Vice Chair Donna Brazile and others also echoed president Obama’s call to ease long voting lines and make it easier for citizens to exercise their right to vote.
  • The ASDC elected its officers – Chair Ray Buckley (NH), who has been a strong voice for state parties, was re-elected as President.
  • The DNC Credentials Committee met and its co-chairs announced that challenges had been brought to the election of DNC members in Georgia and Virginia.  The Chairs upheld the State Party rulings rejecting the challenges and the Committee’s report was approved by the DNC.  The Credentials Committee also recommended actions be taken to make sure that state DNC delegations reflect the diversity of the state’s Democratic population.
  • dws bidenThe Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) held a short meeting – it will meet before the fall DNC meeting and consider changes to the presidential nomination process for 2016.  Following the 2008 election, the DNC Change Commission met and recommended changes in party rules, but no Comission is required this time and changes are likely to be relatively minor.  In 2012, the DNC and the Republican National Committee (RNC) generally coordinated their primary/caucus calendars.  Although the DNC was happy with a longer process in 2008, the RNC was not happy with 2012 – I think this has more to do with the quality of the candidates than the process, but in any case the RNC may want to make changes.  The RBC may want to consider more guidance and objective standards for affirmative action in general, and for people with disabilities in particular.  As I have noted in the past, the RBC needs to provide general definitions and guidance for outreach to the disability community.
  • The DNC approved the Resolutions Committee report, including resolutions supporting President Obama’s actions (including the middle-class tax cut), and resolutions on gun violence, Suyria, and commerical diplomacy, as well as resolutions honoring Sen. Daniel Inouye and Sen. George McGovern.  I will post the final resolutions when I receive them.
  • After the meeting, Vice Predident Joe Biden fired up the crowd at a reception.