The Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission will hold its final scheduled meeting on Friday, December 8, 10 AM – 6 PM EST and Saturday, December 9, 9 AM – 12 PM EST at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20008. The meeting is open to the public – You can sign up here. As set forth in the 2016 Democratic Convention Resolution creating the URC, a few things to keep in mind:
- The URC won’t make any final decisions – it will present its Report to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee by January 1, 2018. DNC Rules & Bylaws will consider the recommendations in drafting the 2020 Democratic National Convention Delegate Selection Plan and making other proposals, and ultimately the DNC will consider and act on the recommendations.
- The URC is to recommend ways to increase voter participation and encourage the expanded use of primary elections.
- The URC will provide recommendations on how to make caucuses less burdensome and more inclusive and consider certain caucus reforms.
- The URC’s mandate as to automatic unpledged “superdelegates” is relatively narrow – the status of Governors and members of Congress as unpledged automatic delegates is not affected, but the URC is to recommend a process that will make DNC members reflect the presidential preferences of voters. (It’s harder than it looks.)
- The URC was also asked to suggest reforms that will make the Democratic Party more competitive in all regions of the country, build state parties and make them more accountable, support fair redistricting, broaden the party’s base, and expand its donor base.
One other point to keep in mind: The DNC cannot require State governments to take actions to implement its goals. State legislatures determine if they will allow state-run primaries (i.e. primaries) and if those are open or closed and the dates thereof. If a State government fails to offer a primary, the state party must run an assembled or unassembled caucus and convention system. The DNC can set rules and standards and calendar windows and ultimately the National Convention can refuse to seat state delegations that don’t comply with its rules. But the DNC can’t decree all primaries, no primaries, or here is your 50-state schedule, and make it so.