WSDCC April Meeting
By Kate Kruller
April 22, 2017
The Washington State Democratic Central Committee met in Walla Walla for the April 2017 meeting.
As you may recall, this year I was reappointed to the Rules Committee. As of the last meeting, the state committee relegated this committee with the additional duties of reviewing any WSDCC Charter or By Laws amendments before they are placed before the General Assembly Membership Meeting body for considerations. These are only recommendations to the body from the perspective of whether what is proposed is not in conflict with the DNC or other language contained in the respective document, is what the author intended, is appropriate for the document (not better suited for something else, such as special rules) and makes sense at the state level.
We considered three WSDCC Charter amendments. The first idea was to add language Article I Section C: “Show Up, Elect Democrats and Build Community.” Although the spirit was in the right place, the committee voted to recommend a no-pass position, because the section of the charter is a critical document of limited language. The author was encouraged to work through educational/communications teams at the WSDCC to formulate a narrative/messaging along the same lines.
The second item arrived in a condition of language that even the author did not intend. It proposed enlarging the WSDCC Executive Committee by electing two congressional district chairs – one male; one female – and placing them on the Executive Committee with a half-vote each. The committee voted to recommend a no-pass, due to the fact that the concept had not been well vetted by the author, complications from logistics of facilitating a binary-vote process and the fact that the Executive Committee has no real power. It is primarily an advisory committee to the Executive Board. There were also concerns about the complexities of nearly doubling the size of the committee and that may render the committee too large to function with any semblance of efficiency.
The third item concerned renaming the Affirmative Action Committee. There were multiple motions to capture the name change at the Rules Committee, but there were conflicting reports on whether there was consensus from that committee on what the final name should be. This was tabled until the next meeting of the WSDCC.
At the General Membership Meeting, it was a packed house with members or their proxies.
Chair’s Report: Tina stressed that the WSDCC is “Working hard statewide to claim elections!”
Campaign support efforts include races for the state legislature and congressional delegations in 48th, 37th, Spokane County, Pend d’ Oreille and the 7th District – There is a donor focused on helping with messaging and different campaign techniques.
Small Dollar Fundraising – Modeled after what US Senator Al Franken does – has produced 1,100 donors so far. Another push you will see from the WSDCC is the “Summer of Canvass – Winning elections.” The state party recognizes that when you do doorbelling – sometimes people are grumpy and phone banking contact rates not are not good. That all equals lower response rates, so we’re going to take two new approaches:
- Voter’s Circle – using contacts on your phone and in social media you personally know
- Building long-term infrastructure. Building power to take collective action over the years. Not getting the win the first time, but getting long-term groups going – that feel comfortable going in there to Get Out The Vote (GOTV).
There will be a webinar coming up in the near future to go into greater detail on this. By the way, if you want to help fund this program, there will be a funding stream created via text messaging app. Put in 444999 and Type the word “Resistance” and send it – that will take you to the Resistance fundraising page. Use the same approach and select “Persist” – that will take you to the volunteer site.
Vice Chair Report – Joe Pakootas is all about visiting the congressional districts. If he asked for a copy of the 4th and 5th congressional district meetings – nearer to where he lives. He wants to make sure that the WSDCC provides the support we’ve been asking for over many years. He wants to increase the Resistance movement and get more Democrats involved – any way he can.
Communications Committee Report: First up, they are working on communications between the chairs. They also will focus on training PCOs. They are establishing a timeline and will have a working copy of the schedule by September. Plans are in the works to publish the PCO training materials they already have. The will also work with the Technology Committee on delivery systems.
The committee wants to provide templates and elements for a consistent look and feel that will get local organizations started, while providing central access to the materials. Future training topics will include VoteBuilder, Public Disclosure Commission reporting, Legislative Action, Dems 101, Public Speaking, Candidate training, etc. A communications survey will out to State Committee members, Chairs, Vice Chairs on what communications elements we have/need. Messaging is important. They want to:
Clearly and authentically communicate our values.
- Distill the platform Work Group to communicate what it says
- How we talk to non-democrats. A list of things that don’t work and alternatives for better communications
- Outreach tools – media relations, online – podcasts, offline – public speaking and town halls
WSDCC has hired a Communications Director – Nancy Lacitis, whose resume is packed with qualifications!!! More to follow!
Elections Committee: Split the areas of focus into three subcommittees
- PCOs – identify precincts that are filled/not filled AND build a database tracking all races at all levels. Make sure we have a democrat running in every single race
- Endorsements Committee – encouraging a one type endorsement form
- Process Committee
Eastern WA Committee: Supporting the 7229 Project – that‘s how many PCO positions there are statewide. They will put an emphasis on two areas of eastern Washington: (1) North and (2) from Yakima to the Tri Cities. There are a lot of democrats in eastern Washington. They need to know they will have support from the state party. It is hard to elect democrats if they know they have no chance of winning. Candidate training for women. Asking candidates with campaign experience to come back and shared what they learned. Access to data is important. Keep a current list of donors and voters. The benefit of Act Blue for fundraising for candidates. Messaging is very important. PCOs have a vote and voice for the party. Eastern Washington used to be Blue. We need to think about
Asked the body to have the WSDCC Chair to send a letter of support to US Resolution 60 (has already passed in the Congress): Designating May 5 as a national day to commemorate native American women who are missing and murdered. The General Assembly passed that resolution resoundingly.
Finance Committee – Tasked with facilitating grass roots fund raising and getting local treasurers to support sharing information to train. Develop training for Local Party Organization (LPO) Treasurers.
Rules Committee – Packed first meeting/full attendance and more.
Charter and Bylaw amendments. First time since the new process adopted in September.
- Model rules for Endorsements. This will be offered to LPO’s to use as they wish. The committee voted to release the draft for publishing.
- Constituency caucuses. Continuing work on a document that will actually have standing rules. Will vote on it next meeting
- Legislative appointment process. What are the rules we have to replace vacancies.
Two new working groups:
- Caucus evaluation – looking back to discover what worked and what did not.
- Primary Election – Primary rules selection plan. What would the rules be/develop rules.
These committees are on a fact-finding mission of what is possible. So when the WSDCC makes a decision, it will have something tangible in hand, with recommendations to help choose the right path to take. Rules should be enabling what members want and the legislative districts and counties they represent.
Additionally, the WSDCC Chair has tasked the committee with simplifying our rules and bylaws, where appropriate.
Technology Committee: Over 60 volunteers. Want to recruit 40 more in 2017. Improving the infrastructure for the state party. Such as automatic backups. Also data analysis. App development teams to reach voters across the state. Social media team to open up access to meetings. Information on open offices. Centralized calendar team. PCO Finder Tool. Standing up a volunteer IT team to be on call to help LPOs with their tech needs. Establishing relationships with other committees to see what can be done to optimize what they are doing.
David MacDonald: Focus on rules and structural issues. New chair has assigned jobs and duties to individual vice chairs and new associate chair – plus the Council position tasked with leading the 50-state strategy and planning the 2020 convention cycle. Two Washington US Reps were on the transition committee. The professional staff seem to be remaining for the next round. Unity Reform Commission created and adopted by the National Convention. The commission has 21 members – 10 appointed by Clinton, 3 appointed by the DNC, 8 by Sanders. The report is due January 2018. The next meeting is May 5 and 6 – David will attend. Resolution proposed in Atlanta that got tabled: Requiring the office of the Chair of the DNC to abide by certain policies: No nepotism, bias in contracting, etc.
Sharon Mast: Secretary of the Western States Caucus. Also on the Labor Caucus. Tom Perez was elected Democratic National Committee Chair. He appointed Ellison Vice Chair who will be in charge of the Western States Caucus. Talked about the Democrats Live web online sessions that Perez leads. Described the various changes of who serves as what at the DNC. There are some important party partnerships are forming. There is a lot of energy going into restructuring the DNC. Looking at the appointment at Large process and committee assignments from Perez’s office. Also reorganizing the regional areas.
Nancy Monacelli: There is a lot of really fabulous talent that remained at the DNC. Rick Palacio is to be credited – he was the only state party leader in the race and one of only two candidates (out of nine) who wasn’t from the East Coast. He is now on the DNC Transition Team. Jaime Harrison is a very grounded and thoughtful leader. These are the kind of people we really need at our national party. Perez can take large, moribund groups and committees and turn them around. The people at the top of the organization are much more interested in listening to you than they have been, so take advantage of that opportunity.
Resolutions Committee: This committee debuted working subcommittees. These committees will help us process what is before us more efficiency and quickly. Also pushing our resolutions abilities forward in our LPOs. Then walked through the resolutions to be considered at this meeting.
Please see the update on resolutions passed on the WSDCC website.