So what did we accomplish at the DNC’s two-day summer meeting in Phoenix? The full DNC meets twice a year, and here are some of things that DNC members did this week.
The Virginia delegation included DPVA Chair Charnielle Herring, DNC members Mame Reiley, George Wallace, and me (Frank Leone), YDA president Atima Omara-Alawa, At-Large member Juanita Luis, and Executive Director Lauren Harmon.
The meeting gave the Virginia delegation a great opportunity to talk about Terry McAuliffe and our 2013 Virginia Democratic candidates – our Chair and Executive Director met with DNC officers and staff, Terry made a video presentation to the DNC General Meeting, and Virginians reached out to other DNC members – e.g., I raised the issue at the Small Business and Hispanic Caucus meetings and spoke with Democrats Abroad members.
We discussed President Obama’s policy priorities, including upcoming (and continuing) battles for jobs, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, and voting rights, and heard from a number of impressive speakers including President Obama (via a phone call), Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, and White House staff.
We also heard from Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz about DNC priorities, including voter registration and protection, raising money, strengthening state parties and winning state elections, providing training, recruiting candidates, building on our lead in technology, advancing outreach – including a new Women’s Institute, holding the GOP accountable, spreading the Democratic message, and competing and winning everywhere. Moreover, we had an opportunity to meet with DNC officers and staff (many of whom are Virginians) and discuss these issues.
The DNC elected 75 At Large members and 11 At Large Executive Committee members, and ratified appointments to the Rules & Bylaws, Resolutions, Credentials and Budget & Finance Committees. See lists below (note that Mayor Dennis Archer replaced Mayor Michael Nutter on the Executive Committee). Congratulations to Virginia’s At Large members – Susan Swecker, Juanita Luis, and Del. Jennifer McClellan, and committee members Doris Crouse-Mays (Budget & Finance CO-CHAIR), Mame Reiley (RBC), me (Credentials), and Del. McClellan (Resolutions).
Party business also includes adopting resolutions, including one calling on San Diego Mayor Filner to resign, which he did by the end of the meeting (so that worked well). Other resolutions addressed important issues including President Obama’s accomplishments, the March on Washington, the Voting Rights Act, and immigration reform. We also honored the late Jack Germond (husband of beloved DNC Secretary Emeritus Alice Germond) and other recently departed Democrats. I will post when I get the final versions.
On the Rules front, we adopted one bylaw change (calling for gender balance among the officers “as practicable.” See below. The RBC will start working on 2016 delegate selection at the next meeting. (See post)
The Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) and four Regional Caucuses (East, South, Midwest and West) met to conduct business and discuss their activities – congratulations to Susan Swecker who won one of the four Southern Caucus DNC Executive. Committee seats.
A large part of the meeting consists of constituency group meetings including the Women’s, Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander American, and LGBT caucuses, and the Rural, Small Business, Ethnic, Seniors, Youth, and Native American Councils. At least Virginia DNC member was able to attend most of these meetings. Congratulations to Mame Reiley who was re-elected as CHAIR of the Women’s Caucus.
I attended the Small Biz Council meeting, which is just getting organized, and spoke to the group about our own Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council. The group will be adopting bylaws and setting up a regional structure. (I also attended the Hispanic and Women’s Caucus meetings.)
These DNC meetings provide an opportunity to meet with party leaders and staff from across the country and share information about what we are doing to build the party and elect Democrats. They also provide a great opportunity for informal discussion among Virginians who attend.
We also are able to learn about our host area and heard from Arizona Democrats, including Native American leaders, about issues (including immigration and voting rights), enjoyed the rabbits, birds, and cacti, and demonstrated how tough we are by holding a meeting in August in Arizona where it was 110 degrees.
I still think that the DNC could benefit from changes in meeting structure, e.g., shorter constituency/caucus meetings, more general membership presentations and discussion, but it was a positive and productive experience.
The full DNC will next meet in DC in the Winter/Spring, but the Executive Committee, ASDC, and Standing Committees meet a total of four times per year, and will meet in New Orleans during the Po’ Boy Festival in November 2013.
2013 DNC At Large Members (11.2 KiB, 1,671 hits)