Change the rules and make the NYS Democratic Party more...democratic!

Hon. Byron Brown, State Chair, NYS Democratic Committee

If you are a registered Democrat in the State of New York, fill in your name, email and zip code and click the red "Add Your Name" button to sign this petition and urge our State Chair to change the party rules. Why?

Across New York, more and more Democrats are stepping up to engage in the political process, pressing our elected officials to act in support of the values we share as Democrats—values like fairness, transparency, and inclusivity. What most NY Democrats don't know is that our own State Democratic Party definitely needs some improvement when it comes to embodying those same values.

The Problem?

Every two years we elect 400+ Democrats to represent our voices on the New York State Democratic Committee, but they end up having very little say in Party decision-making. Meetings are announced last-minute and members are typically offered "up or down" votes on items pre-decided by the Officers and Executive Committee—the majority of whom were not elected to the State Committee.

The Solution? Change the Rules.

On May 1, 2017, five amendments to the Party rules were proposed, offering common sense reforms to ensure the kind of bottom-up, democratic representation that gives our party its strength. Two of the amendments were successfully adopted on July 25, 2017: AMENDMENT 1, making it easier for State Committee members to participate in meetings, and AMENDMENT 5, restoring language missing from the rules including the State Committee's purpose, its units of representation, and how its members are selected.

These remaining three rule changes will be considered on the October 2, 2017:

AMENDMENT 2. Guarantee that elected State Committee members have a role in decision-making by designating seats for them on the Executive Committee
Even though State Committee members are democratically elected to represent the voices of registered Democrats in state party decision-making, the current rules do not require any Executive Committee members to be drawn from the State Committee. The Executive Committee handles State Committee business between meetings and develops recommendations to the full Committee, so the people who were actually elected to do this work should be guaranteed spots. With this rule change, 24 Executive Committee seats would be designated for State Committee members.

AMENDMENT 3. Provide a balance between the number of elected State Committee members and non-members on the Executive Committee by limiting the number of Vice Chairs
The current rules allow for an unlimited number of Vice Chairs, none of whom must be State Committee members. Right now there are 29 Vice Chairs who make up 38% of the vote at Executive Committee meetings. This rule change would limit the number of Vice Chairs to five, ensuring a balance on the Executive Committee between elected State Committee members and non-members.

AMENDMENT 4. Give Executive Committee members a say in deciding who will serve as the party’s Executive Director
Right now, a single person (the State Chair) appoints the Executive Director of the party without any formal review or approval by State or Executive Committee members. With this rule change, the State Chair still gets to appoint the Executive Director, but a majority vote of the Executive Committee is required to approve the appointment.

Read more about the proposed rule changes at

GrassrootsDemsNY.org

FOR FULL TEXT OF PETITION, SEE BELOW
Petition by
Kelleigh McKenzie
Rosendale, New York
Sponsored by

To: Hon. Byron Brown, State Chair, NYS Democratic Committee
From: [Your Name]

Dear Chairman Brown,

As a registered Democrat in the State of New York, I urge you to adopt the remaining proposed amendments to the Rules of the Democratic Party of the State of New York that were submitted on May 1, 2017. The common sense reforms enacted through these rule changes will help ensure the kind of bottom-up, democratic representation our Party needs to stay connected with its base, and promote more fairness, transparency, and inclusivity—three things I value deeply as a Democrat.

Article I, Section 4 of The Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States directs Democrats to “Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates, the formulation of policy, and the conduct of other Party affairs.” The three remaining proposed amendments to the rules will help the State Party meet this mandate by:

—Guaranteeing that more elected State Committee members have a role in decision-making by designating seats for them on the Executive Committee (Amendment 2);

—Providing a balance between the number of elected State Committee members and non-members on the Executive Committee by limiting the number of Vice Chairs (Amendment 3); and

—Giving Executive Committee members a say in deciding who will serve as the Party’s Executive Director (Amendment 4).

The Preamble to The Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States states, "We acknowledge that a political party which wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people’s trust must prove that it trusts the people."

Please, trust us on this... these rule changes make sense.