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DNC Rules and Bylaws Commitee – Comment

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I really appreciate all the work the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee has done over this cycle, and over today’s three hour meeting, but here are some general thoughts:
• As I noted in July, this Committee would benefit from a presentation from someone experienced with disability issues – they don’t understand the definition of disability or what access issues mean to people with disabilities.  It is not “wearing eyeglasses.”   State inclusion goals for people with disabilities range from 1 to 25%.  Years ago, we had a presentation from Ed Turner to the DPVA Central Committee – it has stuck with me ever since and the DNC needs such an experience.
• In general, we are at the point where the DNC should provide guidance and data to help states set affirmative action goals.  There needs to be more consistency in terms of type of data considered and what to do with it.
• At times during this meeting, members suggested that this year – with no serious race – the committee could be more lenient in granting waivers.  But the RBC should try to maintain a consistent position – the candidate positions shouldn’t affect the rules (although they often do).
• There were a couple of issues at today’s meeting re allowing states to set ranges re caucus dates.  Specific caucus dates provide notice and a maximum opportunity to participate.  In the 1960s, Democratic Committees held caucuses on buses with cocktails.  We can’t do that anymore.  The obvious solution is to allow multiple dates, but to have those publicized – e.g. rather than allow caucuses over a week, have them held on a Saturday and a Monday.   This gives people reasonable notice, while allowing flexibility.